John C: What about the feedback? 5 minutes a day is all it takes!

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May 04, 2009

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We're giving you guys TONS of feedback. We're helping to troubleshoot, were telling you what works and what doesn't. We're reporting on problems and helping other uers with workarounds and solutions. We're offering everything we know and can figure out. Yeah, it gets elevated to some pretty noisy bitching at times. Sorry about that, Chief!


But we're not hearing much in return, or seeing much in the way of tangible results.


Example: Since we've heard nothing much about getting rid of the annoying right-side column, we'd made suggetions about putting some quick navigation links in the right-column boxes for forum thread indexes. You agreed that it's a good idea. You asked me specifically to put together a list of links. I took the time and put together a nice set of links for both of the Photoshop forums. I even formatted them in the HTML that it looks like you'll need. I sent you a Private Message about them. You asked me to send the text file via email. I did that.


Then.....NOTHING.


Seriously, how difficult would it be to just copy/paste those links I sent you into the boxes that are already there and waiting for the code? Maybe there's something I don't understand about the way the forum needs to be tweaked in order for those links I put together to work, but I really don't think so. While we're waiting for the big fixes, how about spending a couple minutes to implement those links? I mean, throw us a bone already! At least that would make things a little nicer while you work on the more dire issues.


Apart from a few things that seem very minor, we're getting almost nothing in the way of feedback from you (I use that term collectively, but YOU are the public entity who is dealing with us). Of course we can assume that you all are diligently working on things, but WHAT? And HOW? And with what goals in mind?


How about you make it a point to provide us with a regular digest of what you folks (both the Adobe and Jive people) are doing?


• What's on your "To-Do" list?


• What are you having trouble with?


• What requests just can't be met because of certain technical or other considerations?

--->How about some quick explanation about why something can't be done?


• What things are you trying in order to fix problem xyz that many have been so vocal about?


Please, think about giving us 5 minutes a day (that's all it should take ) to bang out a few sentences about progress being made or roadblocks that refuse to flatten out.


Keep us in the loop. Many of us feel like we're banging our heads against the wall. We have scant little sense about whether the feedback we're giving to YOU guys is being listened to, acted upon, relayed to YOUR bosses, ignored, sneered at or sent straight to dumper. In the absence of a 2-way dialogue, we have no idea whether we should continue to report on certain problems, or bring up new ones. We don't know whether we should fine-tune our scrutiny and the reports we provide to your team.


To quote George Carlin, We don't know whether to s**t or wind our watch.


Don't worry about whether what you report to us is too trivial, or esoteric, or bureaucratically convoluted. Please let us know what is being done.


Like Dave Milbut and others have expressed elsewhere, we're really starting to feel like we just don't matter. And that feeling keeps growing with every passing day where we're kept out of the loop and in the dark.


I appreciate that you have a lot on your plate, that your dancing as fast as you can. I'm glad for the progress you ARE making, even if it's not highly noticeable out here in Userland.


The people who make these forums EVERYTHING that they are deserve to be kept informed.


Please. 5 minutes a day is all it takes.


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John C: What about the feedback? 5 minutes a day is all it takes!

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May 04, 2009

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We're giving you guys TONS of feedback. We're helping to troubleshoot, were telling you what works and what doesn't. We're reporting on problems and helping other uers with workarounds and solutions. We're offering everything we know and can figure out. Yeah, it gets elevated to some pretty noisy bitching at times. Sorry about that, Chief!


But we're not hearing much in return, or seeing much in the way of tangible results.


Example: Since we've heard nothing much about getting rid of the annoying right-side column, we'd made suggetions about putting some quick navigation links in the right-column boxes for forum thread indexes. You agreed that it's a good idea. You asked me specifically to put together a list of links. I took the time and put together a nice set of links for both of the Photoshop forums. I even formatted them in the HTML that it looks like you'll need. I sent you a Private Message about them. You asked me to send the text file via email. I did that.


Then.....NOTHING.


Seriously, how difficult would it be to just copy/paste those links I sent you into the boxes that are already there and waiting for the code? Maybe there's something I don't understand about the way the forum needs to be tweaked in order for those links I put together to work, but I really don't think so. While we're waiting for the big fixes, how about spending a couple minutes to implement those links? I mean, throw us a bone already! At least that would make things a little nicer while you work on the more dire issues.


Apart from a few things that seem very minor, we're getting almost nothing in the way of feedback from you (I use that term collectively, but YOU are the public entity who is dealing with us). Of course we can assume that you all are diligently working on things, but WHAT? And HOW? And with what goals in mind?


How about you make it a point to provide us with a regular digest of what you folks (both the Adobe and Jive people) are doing?


• What's on your "To-Do" list?


• What are you having trouble with?


• What requests just can't be met because of certain technical or other considerations?

--->How about some quick explanation about why something can't be done?


• What things are you trying in order to fix problem xyz that many have been so vocal about?


Please, think about giving us 5 minutes a day (that's all it should take ) to bang out a few sentences about progress being made or roadblocks that refuse to flatten out.


Keep us in the loop. Many of us feel like we're banging our heads against the wall. We have scant little sense about whether the feedback we're giving to YOU guys is being listened to, acted upon, relayed to YOUR bosses, ignored, sneered at or sent straight to dumper. In the absence of a 2-way dialogue, we have no idea whether we should continue to report on certain problems, or bring up new ones. We don't know whether we should fine-tune our scrutiny and the reports we provide to your team.


To quote George Carlin, We don't know whether to s**t or wind our watch.


Don't worry about whether what you report to us is too trivial, or esoteric, or bureaucratically convoluted. Please let us know what is being done.


Like Dave Milbut and others have expressed elsewhere, we're really starting to feel like we just don't matter. And that feeling keeps growing with every passing day where we're kept out of the loop and in the dark.


I appreciate that you have a lot on your plate, that your dancing as fast as you can. I'm glad for the progress you ARE making, even if it's not highly noticeable out here in Userland.


The people who make these forums EVERYTHING that they are deserve to be kept informed.


Please. 5 minutes a day is all it takes.


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May 04, 2009 0
Advisor ,
May 04, 2009

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we'd made suggetions about putting some quick navigation links in the right-column boxes for forum thread indexes.

I can only comment on the small realm I haunt, and I certainly cannot answer for John on the larger questions you are asking.  But we are testing the link box concept in the premiere forum.  It exists in the PPro CS4 and PPro CS3 forums so you can jump back and forth easily along with other useful links...

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May 04, 2009 0
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May 05, 2009

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Yep, that's the sort of list I came up with.

Did you add them, Curt?

I just sent a P.M. to Zeno B. to ask if he had host access to the PS forums. If yes, maybe he can add the set of links I created to the right-side columns in those forums' thread index pages.

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May 05, 2009 0
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May 06, 2009

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I got a reply from Zeno. Any Host access he did have was apparently a mistake, and has since been rescinded.


So OzPeter is still on a birthday break (maybe?), Neil Keller seems to have disappeared.


Who does have Host access to the Photoshop forums?


Whats the big deal about adding the links to the sidebar in those two forums?


Give me a half hour of access so I can add & test them.


Then yank my access. I wouldn't want to have to claim any responsibility for the operations of this festering pile of skunk pus beyond that.

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May 06, 2009 0
Adobe Employee ,
May 06, 2009

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I'm a program manager who has worked with John for most of the past year on planning and managing the migration of the forums to Jive, and I talk to John at least a couple of times a week, so I'm aware of what he's working on.

I'm also helping John to stay on top of a whole heap of post-launch items we're tracking - some of which are bugs and some of which are feature enhancements. Right now I have a list of about 50 items, most of which have been reported by you guys. There are a bunch more that are in John's head, but these are the important ones that he's noted as our top priorities.

Are we listening? Yes. We are, however, finding it difficult to read everything (due to the sheer volume) and due to these things being sometimes included within discussions about other things. Volume and noise are challenging for us. It's hard to separate personal preference/taste from usability, and usability issues are not simple things to fix because it's about making it work for everyone.


Resourcing is another. John is the only full-time resource dedicated to forums, though he has the support of various internal people like me, who can provide some assistance to him. Every time an important issue is reported to you guys, John is asking Jive about if it can be done, how we could solve it, etc. John made a joke earlier this week about how the Jive support guys must hate him by now due to the sheer volume of questions he asks. Jive is being responsive. Some things are easier than others to fix - some are definitely more complex to fix.

Take the email threading issue for example. Simple in concept - follow the RFC. Difficult in practice. We've come up with an initial fix that would allow better threading in email clients by removing the unique characters which show up in the square brackets - this is scheduled to go live this weekend. Technically, that was not hard to do, though it took some effort to coordinate the fix and the testing to ensure we weren't breaking any exisitng functionality. Fixing the email headers themselves to do proper heading is far more technically complex because it requires Jive to dive into what they call "core" functionality - basically, getting into the guts of the system. Much riskier, requires much more testing and planning. In this case, we know exactly what we need to do, but we require someone else to do it, we require a budget to do it, and we need time. Is it on our list? Yes. When can we get it done? We don't know yet, which is the reason John hasn't said anything yet - he doesn't want to commit to anything unless he knows it's actively being worked on and knows it has a firm, target release date in sight.

This week, we have been working on some bugs - some of which you guys have seen and/or reported, others which are a little bit more under the hood and not so much visible to you guys. One such fix was some data cleanup from a bug that affected about 40 users where they were seeing their accounts "multiply" every time they logged in. We've merged all their content back into a single account. This was important to do for those 40 users, not something the greater community will benefit from, but required a great deal of coordination and testing to make sure that we did it properly and didn't impact anyone else.

We're working on proper reporting. We're trying to figure out why some attachments are getting stuck in the queue. We're seeing what we can do about inching up the login session time. We haven't forgotten about the web services.

We're hard at work trying to find an underlying cause for performance issues - it's not where we'd want it to be, but because it's intermittent and there are so many variables, we are having trouble narrowing it down to specific scenarios where we can duplicate the issue. This is like when you take your car to the garage because it's making that noise, and of course when the technician sits behind the wheel, the car doesn't make the noise. You know it's making the noise! You've heard it a dozen times! But if the tech can't duplicate it consistently, he can't fix it. Performance is probably top on our list.


There is a lot going on behind the scenes and John is working hard. There's the reality of budgets, resources, and prioritization. But hopefully it helps to know that we're listening to you guys, we're keeping a really long list, and especially know that John is always, ALWAYS championing your voice inside Adobe. Your feedback does matter. Please keep it coming. In a perfect world, we'd be able to get to everything and do it quickly. We're in the process of trying to transition out of a project post-launch state into an operational mode.


John will be posting an announcement shortly about some upcoming system downtime this weekend, which is being used to release some bug fixes and feature requests (breadcrumb at the bottom!).

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May 06, 2009 1
Enthusiast ,
May 06, 2009

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kanguyen wrote:

{snip}

That is good to hear.  Unfortunately, it begs the question: Why were the forums taken 'live' when there were so many glaring omissions?

I'd list some, but then I'd be accused of 'kvetching'.

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Adobe Employee ,
May 07, 2009

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Bob, it's hard for me to respond to that when I'm not sure what you are referring to. We had some very clear business requirements that were met before taking the forums live. As many of you know, the main objective was to get off both our existing systems and onto a single platform. There were many other key requirements that we felt were met as well.

We knew there was some desired functionality (NNTP and being able to see where you left off in reading, for example) that people sought that we would not be able to meet right out of the gates. We are hopeful these are things that can be met either with comparable functionality or with future enhancements/customization of the Jive platform.

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May 07, 2009 0
Enthusiast ,
May 07, 2009

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kanguyen wrote:

Bob, it's hard for me to respond to that when I'm not sure what you are referring to. We had some very clear business requirements that were met before taking the forums live. As many of you know, the main objective was to get off both our existing systems and onto a single platform. There were many other key requirements that we felt were met as well.

We knew there was some desired functionality (NNTP and being able to see where you left off in reading, for example) that people sought that we would not be able to meet right out of the gates. We are hopeful these are things that can be met either with comparable functionality or with future enhancements/customization of the Jive platform.

Please ignore my comments. They were out of line and NOT in keeping with the thoughtfulness of your reply.

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May 07, 2009 0
Advocate ,
May 07, 2009

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kanguyen wrote on 2009-05-07 13:36 :

We had some very clear business requirements that were met before taking the forums live. As many of you know, the main objective was to get off both our existing systems and onto a single platform. There were many other key requirements that we felt were met as well.

Was full two way email interaction one of those key requirements?

Do you still feel the key requirements are met?

Jochem

--

Jochem van Dieten

http://jochem.vandieten.net/

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May 07, 2009 0
Adobe Employee ,
May 07, 2009

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Jochem,

The two-way email interaction was definitely a key requirement, especially given the loss of the NNTP functionality. This functionality currently works as designed - we can all receive the email notifications and respond by email. Is it perfect? Surely not. Do we want it to work better? Yes.

In terms of where we are now and if our key requirements have been met - that's a tough question to answer with a discrete yes or no. I would say it's definitely not a "no", because if it was, we would have rolled back. As a whole, we're closer to the "yes" than we are the "no". The key one which we're not happy about at the moment is the performance. We're having some teething troubles and are working with Jive to try to improve this. We have some known bugs we're working out.

Jochem, I know you also feel like your posts haven't been responded to or addressed with the proper responsiveness. Our (limited) ability to respond is not an indication of how we value the community's feedback nor the level of activity going on behind the scenes. We're also human, so sometimes we do need a friendly reminder about things, too. Your contributions are appreciated, especially given the time you put into providing context and detail that we can very easily action on.

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May 07, 2009 0
Advocate ,
May 07, 2009

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kanguyen wrote on 2009-05-07 18:27 :

The two-way email interaction was definitely a key requirement, especially given the loss of the NNTP functionality. This functionality currently works as designed - we can all receive the email notifications and respond by email. Is it perfect? Surely not. Do we want it to work better? Yes.

I am going to have to disagree with you here. Not because of the

threading, or the extra junk at the bottom of email messages, or the

extra line breaks, or the broken links, but because I do consider it a

core requirement that when I send a message with certain content,

readers, both through email notifications and the web interface, will

receive that content and not something else. And these forums do not

meet that requirement. It is impossible to send email with any

significant code fragments because the software will do all sorts of

replacements on the content. Anything that contains square brackets or

HTML will be maimed and the recipient will receive broken code.

Yes there are all the other issues as well. But if I send working code

through email, readers should get working code. I can not believe that

is not a key requirements, nor can I believe that requirement is met.

Jochem, I know you also feel like your posts haven't been responded to or addressed with the proper responsiveness. Our (limited) ability to respond is not an indication of how we value the community's feedback nor the level of activity going on behind the scenes. We're also human, so sometimes we do need a friendly reminder about things, too.

But how should we know when? How can we distinguish "no reaction because

Jive has not confirmed a fix yet" from "no reaction because it slipped

our attention"?

Jochem

--

Jochem van Dieten

http://jochem.vandieten.net/

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May 07, 2009 0
LEGEND ,
May 07, 2009

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Kanguyen,

Can I respectfully suggest that you include Jochem in your internal

work? He is by far the most knowledgeable one of us around here about

these technical things, and appears to be very eager to help. If you

include him, he will probably have many significant suggestions on how

things can be done to get things working better and probably save you

guys some work as well...

Harbs

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May 07, 2009 0
Advocate ,
May 07, 2009

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Good to see the announcement at the top of the page. Thanks John.

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May 07, 2009 0
Adobe Employee ,
May 07, 2009

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I think we are probably more in agreement than you think. I'm going to stand by my earlier statement - the core functionality works for the email notifications/reply by email, but does not work for all use cases, such as the one you mention with the code snippets.

But how should we know when? How can we distinguish "no reaction because

Jive has not confirmed a fix yet" from "no reaction because it slipped

our attention"?

You can't. And please don't mistake this answer to your question as anything but trying to be quite honest. I am certain things will slip our attention. I am not sure how John can humanly stay on top of all the discussion.

The reality of the situation is that we cannot be responsive to the level where we are able to provide status on every item, to the point where radio silence means it's slipped our attention. We are doing our best and will continue to do so.

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May 07, 2009 0
Advocate ,
May 07, 2009

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kanguyen wrote on 2009-05-08 02:51:

I think we are probably more in agreement than you think.

No we don't. You will never be able to convince me that a group

communication mechanism meets its core requirements when it alters

content and then publishes that content pretending to be the original

submission under the name of the original author. Quality in, garbage out.

>> But how should we know when? How can we distinguish "no reaction because

>> Jive has not confirmed a fix yet" from "no reaction because it slipped

>> our attention"?

You can't.

The consequence is that if we care about the issues we report being

noticed, we have no option but to repeat, annoy, shout and flame until

somebody acknowledges our issues have not been overlooked. Which in turn

makes it harder for you to filter the content.

And the solution for that feedback loop (pun intended) has to come from

Adobe. And please don't mistake this as anything but trying to be quite

honest. Adobe is organized and can create a policy and follow a

protocol. The users side is chaos and does not have the means to instate

a policy, let alone enforce it.

Jochem

--

Jochem van Dieten

http://jochem.vandieten.net/

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May 07, 2009 0
Advocate ,
May 08, 2009

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Harbs. wrote on 2009-05-07 22:02:

Can I respectfully suggest that you include Jochem in your internal

work?

Thank you for the vote of confidence. And while I would love to have

some more access to certain specific information (or people), I don't

think that is the right way forward.

1. I do already have access to some areas on these forums that are not

open to the general public (Community Experts have privileges). And I

try not to use that unless I consider it necessary, for instance for

reasons of privacy and / or security. In fact, on the first day I found

out I had access to that area (I always used the NNTP interface on the

Macromedia side of things, so I have no experience with hosts,

moderating and that sort of stuff), I posted a rather long rant there

that Adobe should be paying attention to people based on the competence

they show in their posts, and not based on an arbitrary badge like

"Employee" or "Community Expert". (And my private rants aren't nearly as

nice as my public ones.) People get those badges for reasons that are

entirely unrelated to the running of forums. There are no product

Community Experts for a forums product since Adobe doesn't have a forums

product.

2. From the outside the process appears to be very process / budget /

management driven. What could I possibly add to that?

3. Any internal information is also privileged by its very nature. Sure

it would satisfy my personal curiosity if Adobe added my account on the

Jive forums to the people who can read the Adobe support area, but I

still wouldn't be able to take anything I learned there back to the

people here. When I had a private discussion a few weeks ago about some

forums issues I actually wrote "if the information on *** is privileged

please don't tell me, then I will just reverse engineer it" so that I

could still blog about it without breaking any NDAs.

If Adobe wants to open up a bugtracker for these forums to the whole

world, I will gladly participate in weeding out the duplicate reports

and supplying arguments as to why my issues deserve a higher priority

then anybody elses. If Jive wants to provide full bugtracker access and

source access I will do the same.

But I do not want to be some exception. If I have access, you should

have access, anybody should have access.

Jochem

--

Jochem van Dieten

http://jochem.vandieten.net/

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May 08, 2009 0
Advocate ,
May 08, 2009

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There are no product Community Experts for a forums product since Adobe doesn't have a forums product.

There's one. An anomaly.


I kind of get your point Jochem - it's just that you seem almost uniquely qualified to cut through to the actions that need to be taken to get things working. You seem to be exactly the person who is needed. It's not about badges, it's about skills and knowledge.


My problem with the 'Community Expert' label, apart from it seeming childish, is that a world-renowned expert in Illustrator, for instance, might turn up in a forum for a product s/he has no knowledge of at all, and be assumed to know what s/he is talking about.


I'm also with dave on the points system - it almost seems a deliberate attempt to limit and dumb-down discussion. As with the CE label, points for useful answers on one application are no guarantee of expertise on another - quite apart from a CE who has no recognised expertise in any product at all.

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May 08, 2009 0
Harbs. LATEST
LEGEND ,
May 09, 2009

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1. I do already have access to some areas on these forums that are not

open to the general public (Community Experts have privileges). And I

try not to use that unless I consider it necessary, for instance for

reasons of privacy and / or security. In fact, on the first day I found

out I had access to that area (I always used the NNTP interface on the

Macromedia side of things, so I have no experience with hosts,

moderating and that sort of stuff), I posted a rather long rant there

that Adobe should be paying attention to people based on the competence

they show in their posts, and not based on an arbitrary badge like

"Employee" or "Community Expert". (And my private rants aren't nearly as

nice as my public ones.) People get those badges for reasons that are

entirely unrelated to the running of forums. There are no product

Community Experts for a forums product since Adobe doesn't have a forums

product.

I agree that the badges don't really mean very much. My area of expertise is InDesign and if I cared enough to invest the time required to earn and maintain an "Expert" badge, I would probably have one. That does not mean anything in terms of expertise in how to run a forum software. Your posts however have demonstrated that you are more knowledgeable than the rest of us in this area.

I see there being two issues here:

1) Keeping the users of the forums informed.

2) Ensuring that every possible angle has been covered to ensure that the forum is running as best possible.

With #1, there's not much we can do beyond waiting for bits and pieces of info that we're thrown.

With #2, I would feel a lot better knowing that there's someone on the user side of things with total access to the relavant info.

2. From the outside the process appears to be very process / budget /

management driven. What could I possibly add to that?


You seem to have the ability to see through to the source of the issues quite well. I doubt you'd take anything Jive says at face value, and you'd try to figure out solutions on your own. If you present a solution to Adobe that won't cost them anything (which they might have not come up with on their own -- for example fixing the header issue with four lines of code...), I see no reason why they should not accept it!

3. Any internal information is also privileged by its very nature. Sure

it would satisfy my personal curiosity if Adobe added my account on the

Jive forums to the people who can read the Adobe support area, but I

still wouldn't be able to take anything I learned there back to the

people here. When I had a private discussion a few weeks ago about some

forums issues I actually wrote "if the information on *** is privileged

please don't tell me, then I will just reverse engineer it" so that I

could still blog about it without breaking any NDAs.

If Adobe wants to open up a bugtracker for these forums to the whole

world, I will gladly participate in weeding out the duplicate reports

and supplying arguments as to why my issues deserve a higher priority

then anybody elses. If Jive wants to provide full bugtracker access and

source access I will do the same.

But I do not want to be some exception. If I have access, you should

have access, anybody should have access.

Jochem

Opening up these bugs to the rest of us will not accomplish very much (besides opening it up to more kvetching and spewing of hot air!). Like you said: "Adobe should be paying attention to people based on the competence they show in their posts" and you've displayed far more competence than the rest of us (combined!)

The issue which concerns me is not so much as knowing what's going on -- being I can't offer very much in terms of fixing things. Rather, I would like to be cofident that things will be fixed as best possible in the least amount of time.

I'm pretty confident that you can help in that department!

Harbs

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May 09, 2009 0
Mentor ,
May 06, 2009

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I will be one to commend you for you efforts. One complaint that I had removing the code or serial number from email notifications appears to be one of your fixes. I look foward to seeing the bug fixes and corrections. In my case It will be much easier to click on one link in a thread. Making it much easier and faster to read items.

I think the reasons why people people have been so upset and in a Tizzy, is that not much has been said until this announcement and one other from John that anthything was being done.

If when an items up an employee would come on item is noted and we will work on it would calm many people, down. Another thing is on items that can't be done on new system, just flatly say it can't be done. would settle an issue for once and for all.

I big issue with everyone is attempting to post a message and being unlogged from system.

It would be nice if we had permanent cookies that stayed in effect until you voluntarily log of like in the webX system. But if not possible make sessions last 48 hours could be workable alternative.

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Adobe Employee ,
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Thanks for your feedback Phillip.

We need to make a greater effort to let you guys know when we're working on things. Quite honestly, sometimes putting something on our list doesn't mean it's getting worked on. This is especially true at the moment since we have so many things on that list. John has been careful not to say things like "Yes, we'll work on it" without knowing for sure that it's far enough along to commit to say it'll be fixed. With some items, they will get done eventually (timeframe unclear) and others may linger at the bottom of our priority list indefinitely. I'm sure you guys would agree that it's important to tackle the list in order of priority and severity, even though it means that some of the things that really nag us have to stay unchanged for the time being.

The issue you mention with people being logged out in the middle of posting is not the way the system is supposed to work (unless it is taking you over 4 hours to compose a reply - which I'm sure it's not!). This is a bug that we would like to be able to duplicate, but as far as I know, we have not been able to. We've seen some strange inconsistencies in the way the login is working for different folks. I, for example, have been logged in overnight even though I shut down my computer. Which is also not supposed to be the way it works. 🙂

We need to be able to duplicate the issue for ourselves or at least narrow down the circumstances which cause this error to occur. Phillip, if you are one such individual who is having this problem consistently even after we have made the recent changes to extend the timeout to 4 hours, would you reach out to me via private message because I'd like to be able to get more information about your browser/browser settings to see if we can duplicate the scenario. If this is happening to anyone else, please reach out to me via private message so that we don't take this thread off on a tangent.

That said, I know that John has been following up on a lead to see if we can leverage a "remember me" type of cookie. Some progress has been made there in the investigation - too early to say if it's possible or what the level of effort is, or when it would be complete. But again, we've heard loud and clear from you guys that the current login timeout is too short and we knew that this would be a huge departure from the way things were in Web Crossing. We've been working hard internally to see if we can be more flexible with this but as you guys already know, the Adobe login provides access to other areas of the site, so there are some greater security policies at play here. If we can make sure these areas stay secure while our non-Fort-Knox forums are open, that would be the ideal case. We're working on it.

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May 07, 2009 0
Guide ,
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Thank you for the courtesy of your thoroughly professional reply, Kanguyen.

It's very refreshing—and astonishingly rare—to find a member of Adobe staff who actually treats customers like customers, not adversaries in a newsgroup.

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May 06, 2009 0
LEGEND ,
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I second Ramón's thanks.


Just reading that, it  is re-assuring that so much is in hand and at the same time disconcerting that so few resources are available for the task.


Thank you again for the "report from the coalface". It would have saved a lot of tempers, and a lot of complaints, if feedback like yours had been available from the start of this painful migration.



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Advocate ,
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I agree. Thank you very much. I hope Chris and Dorothy see your post and recognise that this is the way to deal with customers, not by scolding them. I also hope you know that frustration is behind the repetition of complaints, not a lack of appreciation of the hard work that I for one am sure is going on. Just, please, continue to talk to us

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LEGEND ,
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Kanguyen,

Thank you very much for taking the time to post this professional

response. (I'm sure it took more than 5 minutes.) I am very glad to

know about the work being done behind the scenes (especially with the

email threading)! I'm sure this will do a lot to keep us at bay.

One issue which I'm not sure was taken seriously enough is emails of

our own posts. There are two reasons (besides archiving) why this is

important:

1) Threading doesn't help very much if you can't see your own

responses in the threads.

2) There's no way to know that your post actually made it to the

forums (and in what shape) without logging into the web interface.

This is especially important because of all the "glitches" while

posting via email...

I'd be very comforted to know that this is on the "important issues"

list...

Harbs

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Adobe Employee ,
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Harbs,

I recall having seen that issue that you mention. I believe that this would be a change in the way Clearspace works (i.e. it's working as designed, and this would be a change to that functionality). I'll note that in our list, but this would stack up as a low priority given other items currently on the list. I have a feeling we won't get to this one for a while.

Thanks for the feedback!

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Participant ,
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Most gratyfying reply. Thank you very much. Wish it were indicative of a change in attitude at Adobe in regard to the forums. That would be such a step forward.

As an aside. Can anyone tell me how to subscribe to a thread that one is not actively participating in without using RSS? Used to be so simple. Thank you.

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Advocate ,
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Can't you just go into it and use the link under 'Notifications' on the right?

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Participant ,
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I am currently giving up using the Adobe forums as every single page takes

FOR EVER to either load or refresh, so I can't check if your suggestion

works for me. Thank you anyway. Shall try it later.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
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Kanguyen, I think Adobe should pay you just for periodically posting messages of this kind. We need more of this to relieve the unpleasant and unneeded tension that has been growing up.


Congratulations and thank you.

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LEGEND ,
May 07, 2009

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Claudio González wrote:


We need more of this to relieve the unpleasant and unneeded tension that has been growing up.


Very true Claudio – it's getting to all of us.


This morning I kicked the cat.   



... and I haven't even got one!

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May 07, 2009 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
May 07, 2009

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John Joslin wrote:

Claudio González wrote:


We need more of this to relieve the unpleasant and unneeded tension that has been growing up.


Very true Claudio – it's getting to all of us.


This morning I kicked the cat.   



... and I haven't even got one!

Get a toy one and kick that instead, specially if you don't have one...

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Advocate ,
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kanguyen wrote on 2009-05-07 03:08 :

Every time an important issue is reported to you guys, John is asking Jive about if it can be done, how we could solve it, etc. John made a joke earlier this week about how the Jive support guys must hate him by now due to the sheer volume of questions he asks. Jive is being responsive. Some things are easier than others to fix - some are definitely more complex to fix.

I have suggested before that you could just ask Jive to mark a bunch of

issues as public and then we will gladly followup on them on the Jive

forums. Sort of like http://www.jivesoftware.com/jivespace/thread/44179

was moved from private to public.

Take the email threading issue for example. Simple in concept - follow the RFC. Difficult in practice.

I am not even going to pretend I sympathize with Jive on this issue. If

you have been trolling the Jive site a bit you may have seen that their

own import functionality for email archives in mbox format depends on

these headers. So they will gladly use them as a means for people to

migrate from something to Jive software, but they do not provide them

for people who want to integrate with Jive software.

We've come up with an initial fix that would allow better threading in email clients by removing the unique characters which show up in the square brackets

Threading or grouping?

http://forums.adobe.com/message/1885009#1885009

Fixing the email headers themselves to do proper heading is far more technically complex because it requires Jive to dive into what they call "core" functionality - basically, getting into the guts of the system. Much riskier, requires much more testing and planning.

I am very surprised by this because this runs completely contrary to my

analysis. As far as I can see it is just a matter of adding 5 lines to

https://svn.jivesoftware.com/svn/dev/repos/jive/plugins/advancedemail/trunk/src/com/jivesoftware/clearspace/plugins/advancedemail/OutgoingMessageListener.java

But I (and others) have noticed before there are some differences

between the functionality of these forums and the available sourcecode,

so maybe the drift is bigger then I have anticipated.

We're hard at work trying to find an underlying cause for performance issues - it's not where we'd want it to be, but because it's intermittent and there are so many variables, we are having trouble narrowing it down to specific scenarios where we can duplicate the issue.

So what do you need? You want to know the jsesionid.node value of the

slow requests? The jive.server.info? Just imagine that somebody has a

custom client with custom logging and can log every single request

with a full URL, full timestamp, all cookies etc. into a database for

ready (statistical) analysis. What would you ask for if somebody could

provide any logging you wanted?

Also, have you considered it might be easier if you tried reproducing

the slowness not in the forums, but in the webservices or email? I can

easily provide you with a bunch of to the second exact timestamps and

tracking codes for emails that were slow.

Jochem

--

Jochem van Dieten

http://jochem.vandieten.net/

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May 07, 2009 0
Adobe Employee ,
May 07, 2009

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Good suggestion on making some cases public. In some of our current open cases, this isn't feasible due to the very specific information about our setup that is being discussed, but this will be a good vehicle of helping to collect user information about specific bugs we're finding.

The fix this weekend addresses grouping. Apologies for the error in semantics.

There has been a lot of discussion/activity around the performance issue with Jive, and my technical counterpart has been largely handling that, so I am not as close to the details. I've asked Jive what kind of information that users can provide to help troubleshoot this issue further.

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Contributor ,
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Thanks to kanguyen for taking the time. THAT'S the type of progress report we're asking for. (At least, I'm pretty sure I expressed a desire of many of us by framing the start of this thread the way I did).

kanguyen wrote:

"...he has the support of various internal people like me, who can provide some assistance to him."

Just curious...what do you do as an employee, kanguyen? If you'd mentioned it before, I'm sorry to say I missed it. "Program Manager" is a little nebulous. It might be beneficial to know what your duties and skills-sets are a little more specifically; there could be questions we might want to direct to you, that you're especially equipped to answer.

Anyway...

Yes, of course, there are specific things we want fixed, changed or improved, and yes, we have harped, repeated, reiterated, demanded, and kvetched about them over and over again.

But actually stating and addressing those issues is not what this thread is about. This thread is about the importance of keeping us in the loop.

So Phillip, Harbs, Jozi, Kath and everyone else who might want to use this thread to bring up, discuss and get answers to specific issues...PLEASE DON'T. To use the lack of response about specific issues as an example is one thing (as I did in my first post), but to use this thread to rehash problems of functionality is off-topic, and dilutes the more important point I’m trying to make here.

I started this thread PRECISELY because I was tired of seeing the same issues brought up time and time again, in a dozen different ways and in every other thread in this forum. I also understand that keeping track of bugs is made all the more difficult for you guys if the reporting of them is all balled up with an intense and negative emotional context.  I was suggesting that regular reports from John C. and/or anyone else working on the forum problems would provide a bit of a salve for the anxiety being felt and vehemently expressed by everyone who visits this forum to complain or point out a problem.

I started this thread because it seemed to me that the concepts spelled out in the "Something Adobe Corporate needs to pay attention to..." thread (and the similar thread I missed that Dave Milbut started -"hey adobe" ), as well as the longer articles they linked to should be of enormous importance if Adobe cares even one little bit about keeping and building upon the richly important resource that these forums have become. That some of us might be worthy of the title "super-user", and some might not—those are designations better left to others to pin upon us. But the point is, we're complaining because we care about the health and functionality of these forums. The wealth of these forums' resource is undeniably embodied in the people who participate; the script and code and functionality and hardware and bandwidth is merely the vehicle...and a relatively inexpensive one at that. Further, it kind of worried me that those concepts were either unread, or ignored, or dismissed by John C. and company, and therefore tacitly deemed unworthy of even a quick reply, except by a few of our user peers. And even though they go hand-in-hand, I believe that the overarching idea of catering attention to customers' wants and desires is even more important than the actual nuts and bolts of functional operation, especially in light of the ever-more-malleable playing field that technologically-focused business has become in the past 5 years.

I can only deduce that Adobe (The corporate entity) has some sort of interest in maintaining, building upon, and improving the forums. Otherwise, why would enormous changeover job be tackled at all? There are likely broader considerations about the direction and scope of the forums that we can only guess about. And if past is prologue, we will never be told of them, because the high muckety mucks rarely see a benefit in sharing that corporate vision with us. And pardon me if I'm a little out of bounds by saying so, but I don't think it's a good idea for that sense of propriety and insularity to trickle all the way down to affect the way the men and women in the trenches deal with the users.

It doesn't need to be pointed out that the most active and vocal participants in these threads is comprised of a relatively small group of people. That condition is exactly the same as it is on any forum you care to name. Many of us—certainly a lot more than are making most of the noise lately—have made these forums a part of our daily lives. Many of us (and certainly not solely the main actors in these threads) have been at it for upwards of 7, 8, 10 years, or more. I dare say that those of us who have been around for so long have every right in the world to speak out on behalf of the majority of users who don't have the time, or the desire, or who don't have the long-view tenure to understand pretty intimately how changes that are made can have a heavy and long-lasting impact on the value of this place to them, to every new user discovering it for the first time. By integral extension, that value acts as a mirror held up to Adobe itself.

The changes being made can either be largely positive, or they can be largely negative. We can all have a hand in how that plays out.

I'm still idealistic enough to believe that Adobe would prefer that the forums be a positive reflection, a feather in the corporatre hat, the current hassles being attended to notwithstanding. And I'm idealistic enough to believe that most of the noisiest among us don't want to come off as nasty, redundant haranguers. But without an active and open two-way feedback loop between us, it feels to me like we are being treated as an annoyance. I feel this whole process we're all involved in—employees and users alike—would be a lot more productive if it exhibited the sense of being a united effort instead of what I feel is a currently building adversarial storm.

If we users continually feel like Adobe doesn't care to deign to keeping us informed, to let us know that our opinions, our desires, our concerns matter, it could be that we start reflecting that attitude right back. If Adobe doesn't give a clown's butt about us, why should we continue caring and contributing?

We regular users bring an almost incalculable value to this forum; indeed we (those of us here now, and those who will participate in the future) ARE the value. Period. So, let's say some of us current regulars get more up our noses than we can handle, and quit participating. Individually, it might not mean a whole lot. There are plenty of folks around who are just as knowledgeable and thoughtful and dedicated as any one of us. Collectively, though, just as our value is virtually incalculable, so the loss would be as well. And who among us is naive enough to believe that the steadfast, reliable resource which has been built up over the past 10–15 years can be easily replaced?

Our asking for a regular dialogue about the progress of improving and fine-tuning should be considered part and parcel of a mutually beneficial relationship here, part of the basic infrastructure of interacting with valued customers. It shouldn't be merely tolerated as an afterthought, or as something that might be gotten around to if the thought occurs, and there are a few minutes to spare while the afternoon pot of coffee is being made.

That whole "5 minutes a day is all it takes!" business? Simply a metaphorical in-joke of sorts. Maybe it'll take longer, maybe not. But once regular reporting is established, and we're all able to follow along with the progress in context, it shouldn't be too unreasonable a burden on time and energy.

—Respectfully submitted,

Phos....

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May 07, 2009 0
LEGEND ,
May 07, 2009

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This report, by its very length, defends itself against the risk of being read.


Winston Churchill

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Contributor ,
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Fun quote, and perhaps appropriate.

But not all planning will fit on the back of a business card.

(I knew I'd attract derision for my writing. No big deal, Josh... At least it wasn't jk3, whose sum thoughfulness would fit on the edge of that card.)

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May 07, 2009 0
Adobe Employee ,
May 07, 2009

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Phosfourdots,

A couple of points in your message to address.

John is your permanent, full-time employee dedicated to forums. I am one of several resources assigned to the specific project to migrate the forums to the new platform; specifically - my role has been one of project management. Right now I can help to address any questions about what's being worked on. Going forward, these questions are best directed to John as he is your prime contact.

Regarding the Slashdot article that you posted, this is the exact philosophy that drives Adobe to provide support forums and to have invested in this project to migrate our forums to a new platform. I cannot speak on behalf of Adobe on this topic, but I can speak for the resources that have been assigned to this project when I say that we have spent the last year planning and executing this plan because we share the same views about forums that are discussed in this article. This forum community is a huge source of free support to users and most definitely deflects support contacts into our other support channels. As such, you guys are a huge asset as an extended part of our support organization. We care about what you guys think and we want it to be a positive, constructive area where people feel safe asking questions and getting help.

As John's the ongoing prime contact, he will be best equipped to provide updates and I know he strives to do so in the most honest way possible without overcommitting and making empty promises. Sometimes this may be perceived as radio silence, but it's not indicative of the amount of work going on behind the scenes or John's continued commitment to making these forums successful. Realistically, given all of what's on John's plate, it's not feasible for him to give you (literally) five minutes a day to update, but I know he will do his best to keep you guys updated as best he can and as frequently as we can provide meaningful updates.

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May 07, 2009 0
Mentor ,
May 07, 2009

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What Employees at Adobe could possibly do, is once a week or every two weeks, come on and give:

a list of items reported on this forum,

a list of items definitely being worked on,

a list of items being considered,

and a list of items that are impossible to do.

You could use the same list and just move to appropriate category and strike through when completed, or double strike  item considered but not feasable to do (on here you use trike throug and undline to double strike - example)

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Advocate ,
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Thank you Kanguyen, you're a breath of fresh air. (Do please listen closely to Jochem though, I understand about one word in five of what he writes when he gets technical but having looked at his blog I'm quite sure he knows what he's talking about).

And I agree with Phillip

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Adobe Employee ,
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Phillip -

You guys have asked us to be upfront about the things that we simply cannot do. This level of detail is not possible for us to do, for a number of reasons, but the key one is that management is not comfortable with us giving that level of transparency. I have asked John to give some thought as to the frequency of the updates that he wants to provide and set the expectation with you guys so that it's clear from the get-go.

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May 07, 2009 0
Mentor ,
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kanguyen wrote:

Phillip -

You guys have asked us to be upfront about the things that we simply cannot do. This level of detail is not possible for us to do, for a number of reasons, but the key one is that management is not comfortable with us giving that level of transparency. I have asked John to give some thought as to the frequency of the updates that he wants to provide and set the expectation with you guys so that it's clear from the get-go.

I'm not saying to come up with a list off the top of your head of things that can't be fixed , added or subtracted. But after conferring with everyone at Adobe and ClearSpace (Jive) and you determine with absolutely certainty its impossible to do, and its okay to say so, say so.

You don't have to give away trade secrets.

It was just a suggested guide.

For instance, as an example, say there is no possibility with the technology in use , you can provide NNTP Service. Say so.

Hiding stuff because of confidentiality, I can understand. But some Transparency with Forum users is needed. Otherwise it breeds mistrust, and low expectations, and defections

I'm sure you've viewed some of the various comments, some border on exasperation; and wonderment why someone is not acknowledging the complaints. They are not directed at you or John. You just work for company the comments are about.

In any event I am looking forward to the changes coming up. And am thankful for what is being worked on.

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LEGEND ,
May 08, 2009

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Perhaps a solution to the repeative posts (noise to Adobe) is to do as some suggest and create a list of issues that are being worked on, issues that they will get to next, issues that in infeasible, and issues that they would like to do.  But rather than have  endless replies to the post have a "vote" box so we as users can register our priorities, which may be different than the perceived priorites of Jive and Adobe.  Not that is will do a lot of good, but at least the users can resiger their desires without all the noise and endless posts on the same topics.

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May 08, 2009 0
LEGEND ,
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I think people telling Adobe what to do is as bad to them as all the complaining, moaning, and whining that we are advised to stop.


The next thing you know, they'll make this forum R/O!

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Explorer ,
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That’s if R/O works.

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LEGEND ,
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You apparently don't buy into the Ghandi quote either, or at least accept reality that Adobe (or any large company) does not.

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May 08, 2009 0
LEGEND ,
May 08, 2009

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curt y wrote:

You apparently don't buy into the Ghandi quote either, or at least accept reality that Adobe (or any large company) does not.

I don't follow your logic.


For my entire time on the Adobe forums I have criticised the attitude of Adobe corporate to it's customers; the crazy policies dictated by Marketing rather than Engineering, and the poor support furnished outside of these forums.


I also think that the continual repetition of the same problems and the litany of log-in misfortunes is obscuring the usefulness of this forum

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May 08, 2009 0
LEGEND ,
May 08, 2009

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John Joslin wrote:


I also think that the continual repetition of the same problems and the litany of log-in misfortunes is obscuring the usefulness of this forum

That is exactly my point.  Everyone wants to have his say on the issues, and that means repetition, endless repetition.  If there was a list of issues and a vote tally perhaps they could accept that as having their say, but without pages and pages of written responses.

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May 08, 2009 0
Enthusiast ,
May 08, 2009

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frankly, and no offense intended, but bull. this piece of cr&p rollout deserves all the derision heaped on it and more.

boo hoo. poor adobe don't want to read all the tiresome complaints?

TOO BAD! It's way past time to  FIX the damn thing or ROLL BACK.

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May 08, 2009 0
Mentor ,
May 08, 2009

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dave milbut wrote:

frankly, and no offense intended, but bull. this piece of cr&p rollout deserves all the derision heaped on it and more.

boo hoo. poor adobe don't want to read all the tiresome complaints?

TOO BAD! It's way past time to  FIX the damn thing or ROLL BACK.

If I could give you a correct star for this answer I would.

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May 08, 2009 0
Enthusiast ,
May 08, 2009

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Buko. wrote:

dave milbut wrote:

frankly, and no offense intended, but bull. this piece of cr&p rollout deserves all the derision heaped on it and more.

boo hoo. poor adobe don't want to read all the tiresome complaints?

TOO BAD! It's way past time to  FIX the damn thing or ROLL BACK.

If I could give you a correct star for this answer I would.

and the star/points system is stupid. plain stupid! it discourages forum participation and group discussion to arrive at a good answer, to try and discuss differnet way to do things and weigh the pros and cons of each approach. now it's all about getting "points" whoopty trucking doo.

adobe has turned a great learning resource into a question and answer site. great job. who's going to answer the questions when those of us who hung out here to learn leave because that's no longer prossible in an efficient way?

i know rants like mine fall on deaf ears except for the chior. but i guess that's the real point. when the last person in the chior leaves the building, don't forget to turn off the lights.

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May 08, 2009 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
May 08, 2009

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As an addition to what was said in earlier posts about badges and points:

The detrimental effects of badges and especially points were pointed out numerous times by many of us from the very beginning of the trial period.

Just to repeat one specific point about points: Even if they were not destructive, as they are, and even if they were not given in an erratic way, as they are, the points would still be silly because they do not reflect the insight and contributions within in each forum.

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May 08, 2009 0