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Clarification

To me (a relatively new user) the current feature request / bug tracking system here on MSO seems to be rather chaotic and somewhat difficult to comprehend. Having had some time since originally posting this question, I think I've hammered down what I was intending to find out a bit more accurately now:


Lots of [feature-request] tagged questions have never gained a [status-*] tag (compare the total number of feature request questions to the number without any status tag, remembering to discount those that are closed) and there are some questions have obviously gained a lot of support (votes) and have any much discussion without ever gaining a status (check the top voted of those with no status tag for examples).

The available status tags look pretty comprehensive to me, as far as I can tell every request should match a status (even if it's "deferred" for "we're ignoring this until later"), but given there are many "open" feature requests how do we tell the difference between those without a status that might eventually happen (worth supporting) and those that are effectively declined (a waste of time supporting)? Is the "default" for a requests effectively the deferred tag? Or should those with no real moderator input be assumed to be declined?

And, assuming a feature request hasn't been declined or otherwise completed, how do I effectively add my support to help the request along?

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Note that I've effectively rewritten this question in full, please refer to the revision log if you wish to see the original (probably less precise) posting as well the current form. –  DMA57361 Sep 1 '10 at 13:58

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Deferred implies more strongly that the team has looked into it with an ambivalent level of consideration. As opposed, something without a status tag may simply be glanced at or not yet addressed.

The most important thing you can do to help support old feature requests is upvote them. The reqs tab is around to basically mirror the process that the team uses in deciding what might be important to look at. They are more likely to spend time looking into a feature that has some level of community support. This has been repeatedly stressed by the Team at various points.

Really, this is sometimes more useful than paying heed to the status tags. Even officially declined requests may end up implemented after reconsideration. The important thing is to give good reason for reconsideration - bump it with an answer that provides additional data in addition to upvoting it. If you can bring enough support to the idea, it increases the chances that it will get looked at.

There are some subtle clues you can look for, also. Maybe the things in Jeff Atwood's favorites are being looked at despite the lack of a tag. Also check for comments by team members. One of the better methods of judgment of whether a particular unaddressed feature may be declined instead of merely deferred is to look at all of the discussion in it - does it sound more convincing that it is a waste of time or not worth the effort?

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Do you know, somehow I had completely failed to spot the reqs or bugs tabs. Good grief. That deserves a *facepalm* I think. Well, those alone add quite a lot of perspective that I was missing, and Jeff's favorites would have never occured to me either; I shall have a nosey at them later. –  DMA57361 Sep 1 '10 at 14:33

You can set a bounty so it will be on the featured tab, or add an answer refining the request if adequate, which will bump it.

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An option I'd missed, yes. But, thinking about it, I'm not sure adding bounty makes much sense - it's just one person shouting louder than everyone about what they want, rather than a community group collectively deciding on what they'd like the team to consider. –  DMA57361 Sep 1 '10 at 9:41
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@DMA57361: Yes, but if you got the feeling that the request is now more relevant than it was, you basically state "hey guys, you may not have seen this, but it may be interesting". That you give in some of your rep for that is your own decision, but whether the community up- or down-votes is beyond your control anyway –  Tobias Kienzler Sep 1 '10 at 9:50
    
Indeed it is, but I have no delusions about waves of users suddenly supporting an idea and it being implimented immediately. The team presumably have/need a way to measure what the user base are after, to help guide some design choices? To me (a reasonbly new user), MSO seems to be rather haphazard in this respect - which is why I thought I'd ask this question to see if I'm missing something from the process, or if it really is as disorganised as it looks. [Note: I've reposted this comment to fix some rather poor spelling, original was ~15mins earlier] –  DMA57361 Sep 1 '10 at 10:21
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You can also simply edit any new information into the Q and that will also bump it. –  devinb Sep 1 '10 at 12:13

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