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View Full Version : Suggestion: The vB.org Modification Sandbox


kira
19 May 2006, 21:42
One of the things discussed in the many "what's wrong/how to fix stuff" threads is the increasing number of unfinished, buggy, untested modifications.

From the standpoint of a humble member, I can agree that it's frustrating when people release stuff that ends up requiring umpteen fixes and that can possibly mess up your board. From things I've read posted by coders, many would appreciate a communal approach to coding -- whether via a group project, or having a place where they can seek testers and get advice on stuff they've been working on.

I know the latter is what the "Coders" private forum is intended to be used for (among other purposes). However, since it's only visible to other coders, this limits the potential numbers, as well as the range of experience one might desire in a test group. Sometimes you need the advanced folks to help you ... but other times, it's very useful to get the feedback from the novice or average user during testing. We may see your modification very differently from the advanced coders.

Anyway, all this is leading up to my suggestion of adding a vB.org Sandbox. (Well okay, I guess I'm really asking for a Beta Release subforum. I'm just using the Wikipedia nomenclature of "sandbox" 'cause it seems cool and all Web 2.0esque. Or think of it as Pimp My Beta Release Subforum.)

When the idea of a Beta Release forum was last requested (http://www.vbulletin.org/forum/showthread.php?t=103631), the response was ... yes, let's all say it together:

"This is coming in the Hack Database, so it's not needed."

Heh. Well, that was six months ago. And the beta/sandbox area is definitely still needed. There is everything to gain by adding the extra area. All those buggy, unfinished and under-tested mods could be fine-tuned as they deserve to be. Custom Prefixes could even be used to help in filtering or categorizing things, such as Testers Wanted or Project Partners Needed.

This way coders could collaborate with others, and/or get feedback from novices on just how easy or convoluted instructions are, and so on. And noncoders who like taking risks and being all cutting edge-y could get to experiment with some cool new mods ... and even collaborate/contribute in some small way to their development, perhaps by editing / suggesting instruction changes, or refining graphics or whatever. We noncoders have our uses too and I bet I'm not the only one who'd like a place to contribute!

All I'm saying is that I strongly encourage that we don't wait for the nearly-legendary Hack Database to implement this pimped-out Beta Release area, or even a non-pimped-out version. It will benefit coders and noncoders alike, which means y'all would be covering your entire membership. What've you got to lose? :)