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Note that I'm not referring to general feature requests, but specifically to Community Requests, i.e. What features did the Community Team discuss, have implemented, or have denied last month?.

In the most recent update, posted in November 2017:

We’ve always known that we have some technical debt that would eventually require payment; work on Teams has revealed that the extent of this debt reaches quite a bit further than we hoped. As integrating [Teams] requires us to dig into every system supporting and surrounding Q&A, we’d like to ensure that we don’t add anything else to the pile while we get things sorted out. To that, we’re going to be putting a freeze on all new features while we start paying off some interest.

Note that this doesn’t include work on testing the new ask question templates or bugs that surface while we straighten out some messes - those sorts of things will still get the attention that they need. What we can’t do is introduce any new complexity into what we’re currently sorting out, which involves quite a bit of things both supporting and surrounding our core Q&A product.

We appreciate your patience during this period, and we’ll update you again as soon as we have a better ETA on when we’ll be able to start scheduling new features.

One year later, how much of said "interest" has been "paid off"? I believe most of the dust on Teams has settled. Also, is there a better ETA on scheduling the several new features listed in the "Punted" list there, or to requests that are in the internal queue and up for discussion by the Community Team, such as Don't mark migrations as "rejected" if they were closed long after migration?

  • I guess it was simply shut down by management. They'll likely delete all references or lock them down soon enough. – ShaWiz Oct 29 '18 at 7:15
  • @Shadow In which case an archived copy exists at web.archive.org/web/20181029072807/https://…. – Sonic the Anonymous WizHog Oct 29 '18 at 7:28
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    Can you please explain how this is a support question? Support is used for help with site features. Community requests is not a site feature. I see this as a discussion about this issue, not "How can I submit a request to Community?" which would be a support question. – ShaWiz Oct 29 '18 at 10:10
  • @Shadow "If your question is not reporting a bug, requesting a new feature, or soliciting opinionated discussion, this tag is probably the right one." (support tag wiki) – Sonic the Anonymous WizHog Oct 29 '18 at 10:19
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    Pretty sure you wrote it, right? Anyway it is really not that important. – ShaWiz Oct 29 '18 at 10:26
  • @Shadow It was reviewed by two users who voted to approve it. – Sonic the Anonymous WizHog Oct 29 '18 at 10:27
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    @SonictheAnonymousHedgehog: I don't necessarily disagree with the tag excerpt, but let's not kid ourselves about the level of wiki edit review. It's pretty nearly just a rubber-stamp: "is this edit blatantly wrong? no? throw it in!" – Nathan Tuggy Oct 29 '18 at 15:15
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All Q&A-related features are now completely under control of the Developer Affinity & Growth (DAG) team, which is currently transitioning to VSTS (now Azure DevOps) to meet their needs. Trello is great, but ... it's not a bug and feature tracker.

I can't give details on any specific bug or features that are currently being tracked because it would be premature and irresponsible. While we want to be transparent, we also have to get stuff done, which means updates sometimes need to take a back seat to actually getting work done so there can be updates.

While folks on the community team will continue to place things in DAG's scope and suggest prioritization, it's completely up to the product teams how they manage their priorities, and they'll be working to get better roadmaps in place as soon as we get systems tuned up. Juan will have some more about that soon, as soon as we're sure we have a process that will (1) actually work and (2) consistently set people's expectations correctly, even if that news isn't great.

I do not have an ETA for this. We know we're struggling here, we've more than admitted that, so continuing to point out that we're struggling isn't very helpful. If we had more to announce there, we would have.

I'll do my best to answer any follow up questions, but it's hard to talk about something on our side of it when our side of it is still completely disassembled.

  • Is it the DAG team that essentially develop the core Q&A software? Does having "developer" in their team name affect how their work is seen internally in terms of the audience they're trying to grow and raise affinity? – curiousdannii Oct 29 '18 at 14:47
  • Core Q&A is probably overly sacred to the point that making any changes to anything makes folks nervous because it's the thing that supports all the things. General management of it is shared, because of so many stakeholders (the community being the biggest one), and that's had the effect of making things a little too hard to get done sometimes. DAG took over essentially executive ownership of tracking all of that, which makes them the primary gatekeeper, which is the best way to do it, but now we've gotta funnel all the incomplete stuff through that new system [1/2]. – Tim Post Oct 29 '18 at 15:06
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    Getting the responsive design and stuff done was the major portion of all debt and blocking so much other stuff, so that's why they focused on that first (pain before pleasure), once that's done I think they'll be in a much better place to let stakeholders influence priorities again, but their priority (apart from maintaining Q&A) is going to be affinity and growth, which means dealing with attrition rates, product shortcomings in the new user path, etc [2/2]. – Tim Post Oct 29 '18 at 15:07
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    It's frustrating for me to not be able to look as far forward as I'd like because as the person most in front of the main stakeholder (y'all), I have all of the accountability but not much authority. But I feel like we're finally getting to a place where we can start building at scale again while more focused teams work on specialized types of debt (e.g. us not setting new user's expectations so well while continuing to reinforce violating those unseen expectations so negatively). Welcome Wagon will work on that, and honestly, that group is going to need its own PM and developer team soon. – Tim Post Oct 29 '18 at 15:09
  • But again, we're looking at months. We're looking at probably Q2 of next year before we've done enough stuff in Q&A to get expectations back on track, and that's a long time in Internet time. But that's just the way it is, and what we've gotta work with. – Tim Post Oct 29 '18 at 15:11
  • So what will happen to the "punted" features there and the ones in the community FR queue that still have yet to be discussed? – Sonic the Anonymous WizHog Oct 29 '18 at 18:57
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    @SonictheAnonymousHedgehog All of the requests from the old system you linked to where ported to Azure Boards (just can't get my mouth around Azure DevOps aka VSTS) and have been re-triaged with the community team. We are hoping to begin pulling off some smaller items each month. We have started to more actively track and fix bugs as they are reported. These are all small steps in getting to a maintainable system. We're also hoping to get some extra dev resources and that will obviously help as well. – Joe Friend Oct 29 '18 at 20:29
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    @TimPost It feels more like you really want to fundamentally change the core Q&A when friendliness is declared the one dominating goal and the idea that quality of content might be important is completely absent from any official statements. You declare SO a "collaborative learning community" which is something completely different than a Q&A site for professional and enthusiast developers. From the outside it feels not like Q&A is sacred but like the company is annoyed by it and wants to avoid it and would rather do something different. – sth Oct 30 '18 at 11:45

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