Official Guidelines for XenForo 3rd Party Resources

Pete

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No, but your reply intimates that you think what I'm thinking
No, it really doesn't. It intimates that I can put myself into your position.

I've been a prominent mod producer (not quite 400, but still, about 100) and had arbitrary rules imposed upon me, and I chose whether to implement or not. I've also *been* a mod reviewer for SMF, so I've been on both sides of that fence and been in the position of actually making such value judgements.

I'm not saying that XF are wrong to issue guidelines, but their implementation of them may not be the best way forward.
Having seen the post from Slavik about 'here are the addons, we asked their names be changed', I found myself completely agreeing with this. I have no reason to doubt any other part of the story.

And I will again come back to the use of the descriptions; rules are rules, they are commandments set out to draw lines in the sand that must not be crossed. Guidelines are for guidance, and guidance also implies help in understanding with a view to improvement for the benefit of all.
"More what you call guidelines than actual rules" - I honestly suspect if it had been one or two slightly vague names, it would have been let go, but as it's far more than one or two and it's far more vague and misleading, I think it's fair to try to impose the rule fairly on everyone.

Bear in mind I've come from a place where the names of addons often bear absolutely no relationship whatsoever to their function - for example SMF has an addon called Optimus. You'd never know it was SEO related...

The problem with guidelines is that they're too loose - you end up making exceptions to one and not another and then foul is cried. So you have a rule that you try to enforce as equally as possible and 'the name of the addon should describe what it does' isn't an unfair rule.
 

Alfa1

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There have been plenty of instances where an addon title caused confusion or misrepresentation. This is especially problematic with commercial addons or addons for which other developers are considering to also develop an addon. Often the description of addons and the screenshots are not comprehensive, so you will have to assume there is undocumented functionality. Often this assumption is based on the title. It sucks to buy an addon and then find out it doesn't work as advertised or expected. More money down the drain. I've seen a pages modification advertised as a full featured blog. I've seen an addon that changed name a few times a month to a more spammy name. And plenty of addons with names that imply or seem to do something that they are not.

So its a very good thing that xenforo is setting some standards in regards to naming addons. I's very legitimate and much needed.

Andy just happens to be the first to refuse changing names. The question is indeed why, because it should be a no brainer. So put forth this question.
I don't think this is about titles at all.
I think you may have a very good point. While the XF team is simply enforcing the standards set, why refuse? Is Andy expecting to be able to upgrade his addons to the rest of the standards or is that a worry? Is this what this is really about? I hope he is able to make his addons compliant. But Andy has a lot (430) of addons and always needs a lot of help in the developers forum.
 

Maddox

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It's not the "just because of a name". It's because of a refusal to follow a request (no matter whether YOU think it's fair or not) to provide more descriptive naming conventions in his add-ons and a refusal of a valid request of the site owners/staff.
You are not entitled to "hear both sides of the story". In fact, you are entitled to absolutely nothing other than the knowledge that those add-ons were removed for a failure to follow a request to use a specified type of naming convention by said staff/owners of the site.
OK here we go with point and counterpoint - this will be my last post in this topic as it is pointless.

Was it a request or a demand? It depends on how it was phrased.

I never said I was 'entitled' to anything, I have always said there are two sides to this story and only one has been told - I would 'like' to hear the other side, that's not a demand or stating that I have a right. The fact that this topic has been raised gives me the right, as a member, to reply and voice my opinion, just as you have. If there is to be a meaningful discussion on any topic then all of the facts need to be on the table so a valued opinion can be raised. We do not have all the facts, only what we have been told by one side. There is no point to this discussion if all the facts are not known. Do you know what was said to Andyb, or what Andyb said to XF? No, only what you have been told by one side. But because it's coming from Xenforo it must be right, mustn't it?

The furor this has caused over an addon name is unbelievable. Can people not read past the title and go into the resource and discover further what the addon does? There is no way I would buy into ANY addon just based on the name. I would like to see details, screenshots, reviews, etc. That's where I would base my decision on whether to buy or not, not based on the name alone. If there is no description, screenshots, reviews etc, then I would walk away; as most people would.

I'll comment no more in here as it really is pointless.

:)
 

Pete

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Do you know what was said to Andyb, or what Andyb said to XF? No, only what you have been told by one side. But because it's coming from Xenforo it must be right, mustn't it?
I don't know, but I can well imagine given how he acts from what I've seen, and I can well imagine his response was simply 'oh well, guess I won't let them here' because it's probably what I'd do.
 

djbaxter

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The furor this has caused over an addon name is unbelievable. Can people not read past the title and go into the resource and discover further what the addon does? There is no way I would buy into ANY addon just based on the name. I would like to see details, screenshots, reviews, etc. That's where I would base my decision on whether to buy or not, not based on the name alone. If there is no description, screenshots, reviews etc, then I would walk away; as most people would.
That is exactly the point.

If nothing else, this was a terrible PR mistake on the part of Xenforo - or more likely I suspect on the part of the moderators implementing the policy in an overly heavy handed way.
 

Alfa1

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The furor this has caused over an addon name is unbelievable. Can people not read past the title and go into the resource and discover further what the addon does? There is no way I would buy into ANY addon just based on the name. I would like to see details, screenshots, reviews, etc. That's where I would base my decision on whether to buy or not, not based on the name alone. If there is no description, screenshots, reviews etc, then I would walk away; as most people would.
It seems we have posted around the same time. I'd appreciate your thoughts about my post above yours in regards to the issues with addon titles.
 

R0binHood

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At present this is all one-sided; no one other than the XF team knows what discussions took place between them and Andyb. I have doubts that Andyb would just simply say 'no' without his reasons and we are not privy to those reasons, so I think it is very unfair to favour one side without hearing the other side.
Except, really, what possible legit reasons could there be for not taking a minute to come up with a better name for small add on's that do specific things, yet have incredibly broad non-descript names?

I still believe the description of addon functionality is more important in the body than it is in the title and as long as that takes place then the initial title is just a guideline. How many topic titles on TAZ do not actually reflect the content or basis of the discussion taking place?

I also understand that XF is attempting to bring in (albeit at a late date) some quality standards, but are those standards best applied to the quality of the addon rather than the name? The name is only an indicator, what happens after that is more important in terms of understanding what an addon does in the detailed description and that is where a potential customer will make their decision as to whether it's what they need.
It's not just the discoverability of the add on in the resource manager that's important, it's managing the add on's once you've installed them. I've been in the position before where I have nearly 100 add ons installed and I need to trouble shoot things and deactivate certain ones. It's absolutely a hindrance having vague, non descriptive names for add ons that do small tweaks that I may even have forgotten exactly what they do without having to looks them up in the resource manager again. It's frustrating as a user of add ons like that and a pain in the ass to manage as a site grows.

I will reiterate that I am not an advocate of Andyb's work, but much of his work is appreciated by a lot of people and the reviews he receives are generally positive; I think XF will lose a valuable onsite developer if they cannot come to an amicable agreement with Andyb. When budding developers are slapped down it doesn't exactly give them the encouragement to learn more and potentially produce something significant and exciting when their experience grows.
If the situation really is that he's complied with everything else and just doesn't want to change the names, I don't really understand why that amicable agreement can't be that he just plays by the rules and tries to do his part to raise the standards of all the add ons in the repo.

Yes, these rules are coming in quite late to the game, but if XF plans to scale and grow this add on marketplace then the existing developers need to jump on board and show willing to comply with these rules to set an example to new developers coming into the ecosystem.

No one wants to see Andy go or withdraw certain add ons for non compliance of a very easy rule to adhere to, but if in the long run there's 1,000 developers all contributing better add ons to the plugin repo as a result of that rule, then that's better for everyone.
 
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Tracy Perry

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Was it a request or a demand? It depends on how it was phrased.
As a police officer I ask you to "Please step out of the car". Is that a request or a demand.
It's both in actuality as in that case I'm an authority figure giving you instructions on what to do. ;)
 

Pete

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Also just remember, only a few short weeks ago y'all were complaining about a lack of rules.

What happens with really awkward rules that are actually vague and open to interpretation even more than 'use a descriptive title'?
 

Maddox

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It seems we have posted around the same time. I'd appreciate your thoughts about my post above yours in regards to the issues with addon titles.
I said I would say no more in this topic, but as you have asked me to I will do my best to oblige you.

There have been plenty of instances where an addon title caused confusion or misrepresentation. This is especially problematic with commercial addons or addons for which other developers are considering to also develop an addon. Often the description of addons and the screenshots are not comprehensive, so you will have to assume there is undocumented functionality. Often this assumption is based on the title. It sucks to buy an addon and then find out it doesn't work as advertised or expected. More money down the drain. I've seen a pages modification advertised as a full featured blog. I've seen an addon that changed name a few times a month to a more spammy name. And plenty of addons with names that imply or seem to do something that they are not.
If there is no follow up description once entering the resource itself, if there are no screenshots or explanations as to what the addon does and if there were no reviews, then personally I would walk away. I've spent well over £1000 on XF addons in the time I've used it, almost all of them worked as intended and did what they said they would do. The title of the resource had little bearing on my decision whether to buy or not. I did, what some would call, research as far as I was able and then made my decision. To this date I've only had to contact one developer with an issue and it was caused through a theme; the developer could see what the problem was and corrected it; great. I'm a happy chappy.

So its a very good thing that xenforo is setting some standards in regards to naming addons. I's very legitimate and much needed.
Yes it is a good idea in as far as it goes, but I would have thought that more pressing issues over standards would be prevalent over a naming convention, such as the quality of the code, the compliance with the coding guidelines, compatibility etc. There is nothing inherently wrong in providing guidelines, but when they come in like sledgehammer after years of never being there, well

Andy just happens to be the first to refuse changing names. The question is indeed why, because it should be a no brainer. So put forth this question.
This is where I have doubts regarding the decision that was made - if it's a no brainer why indeed refuse? There must be more to this than what we are being fed. The guy is not offensive (not that I have seen) and has always responded relatively quickly if a problem was to arise. So the guy is not a troublemaker, yet the impression is being given that he is.

I think you may have a very good point. While the XF team is simply enforcing the standards set, why refuse? Is Andy expecting to be able to upgrade his addons to the rest of the standards or is that a worry? Is this what this is really about? I hope he is able to make his addons compliant. But Andy has a lot (430) of addons and always needs a lot of help in the developers forum.
You raise very good questions to which there are no answers, and this is where I have an issue with this debate. It's not so much about following XF rules or guidelines whatever you want to call them, it's about why did Andy refuse to make the changes. We simply do not know and to castigate the guy on the basis of very little information is wrong, in my opinion. I would defend anyone who was under the spotlight where not all of the facts are known and too many questions remain unanswered.

That's me done in here.

;)
 

The Sandman

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As Andyb is not a member on TAZ (as far as I can tell) and perhaps never ventures here, he may be unaware of this topic.
AndyB is a TAZ member. He hasn't been a contributor here for a long time but it doesn't have anything to do with his add-ons.
 

The Sandman

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I'm disappointed in the behavior shown in this thread... so much to discuss yet we devolve into pettiness.

TAZ allows anonymous posting when appropriate. Blame me for that if you want to blame someone - don't blame the people who use it. Most people here have their own forums and/or work in the forum industry, and sometimes cannot freely comment among other forum admins without creating backlash elsewhere... TAZ doesn't exist in a vacuum. Anonymous posting is reviewed and removed if deemed inappropriate, which for the most part happens only very infrequently.

However, if it's such a huge issue for some people by all means post a thread/poll about it in the Feedback forum and if the majority want it disabled than so be it.
 

Neutral Singh

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If the naming of Andyb's addons is such a major issue, get the moderators to work and make some changes and then highlight these to Andyb and advise that this is a better way and may encourage more people to use his addons. That's just my take on it. But to remove addons because of a title issue that was never an issue before, that's just petty.
Couldn't have said it better! :tup:
 

The Sandman

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I've reviewed this thread in more detail - I worked a 24 hour shift at the hospital yesterday and therefore I didn't see all the threads about Andy's add-ons until today. I've determined that the anonymous posts in this thread were inappropriate and have removed them and edited or removed the posts relating to them.
 

The Sandman

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Only on taz can we end up with 2 pages of people complaining about a 10 second name change that hurts nobody and benefits everyone.
It's your customers and potential customers that make posts on TAZ.

In your estimate it would only take 10 seconds to change the title of each add-on as Andy is required to do? Because it was my understanding that it was a little more involved than that.
 

Neutral Singh

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Add-on Name: VisibleChildren :whistle: - https://xenforo.com/community/resources/visiblechildren.6564/

Released: Jul 25 2018 (14 days after the guidelines, 10 days have passed after the release);

Downloads: 23 so far;

My observations as a support staff: Without the description, title makes absolutely no sense...

Two options:

1. As a support staff, simply edit the title to make much more sense;

2. Delete the add-on; (no idea, if the author will be informed of the removal proceedings.);

Personally, setting my ego aside, I would take the option 1 and move on. End of the story. No confrontation. Everybody is happy!

What will you do as a forum admin or a moderator or a support staff? and why? :whistle:
 

Slavik

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Apr 22, 2011
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What will you do as a forum admin or a moderator or a support staff? and why? :whistle:
Option 3 - What will happen:

The addon author will be (if they havent already) notified about the resource standards, and asked to update the addon accordingly at the next suitable opportunity.

If the addon author does so *as every other author contacted so far has done apart from Andy* then happy days. If not the addon will be removed.

And no, we won't be making the edits ourselves, that is the responsibility of the addon author, so lets put that one to bed right now.

Its quite simple really, if you want to promote your resources on XF.com then you will be required to follow the standards set.

The standards are not hard, they are not there to make peoples life difficult, they are frankly common sense and why 99% of addons wont need us to do anything.

As of now we are mainly focusing on the cosmetic side of things, making sure peoples titles are relevant, making sure addons are listed in the correct free or paid categories, making sure updates are informative so board owners know what is happening rather than "lol update". The stuff that is simple all around but creates a much higher quality wealth of information on what is available and what it does.
 
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Chris D

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Adhering to the resource standards is now the "price of admission" to the Resource Manager. Bear in mind that if we ever went down the route of doing full code reviews before publishing, which some here seem to support, then those resources wouldn't have been published at all unless their names were changed beforehand.

Until then, any of the resource standards, no matter how major or minor they are perceived to be, will be dealt with consistently and fairly as they are discovered.

A clear choice was given to Andy. Please either rename or remove the resources. Andy disagrees with the rule on the basis that the resource description describes what the resource does.

His response was:
Yes please remove the add-ons. It would good if the reason the add-on are being removed is explained so admins will know why it was removed.
So, here we are.

And no, we won't be making the edits ourselves, that is the responsibility of the addon author, so lets put that one to bed right now.
Indeed. We wouldn't go and rename a user's resources for them because the add-on title should be reflected when they are installed on a customer's forum ideally. Makes very little sense to have one title appearing on a customer's installation that doesn't match what is in the resource manager.
 
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