Denoting case/project status?

Aibohphobia

aka James
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So the topic came up during internal discussion on better ways to denote which threads in the Custom Cases & Projects section were in development versus production.

One proposal is separate sub-forums, and when a project moves from the development/crowdfunding phase to production to move the thread.

Another proposal is to have thread prefixes like the Buy/Sell/Trade sub-forum to show status. For example, [Development], [Crowdfunding], [Production], [Support] or something.


I lean towards the latter, but we'd like feedback from the community on these (or some other idea entirely) so it's clearer when browsing the forum which stage of development the various projects are at.
 

jØrd

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  • design
  • prototype
  • pre-order
  • crowdfunding
  • production
everything else seems somewhat arbitrary
my $0.02
 

Aibohphobia

aka James
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Hmm, I'm not opposed to rolling the shipping phase into PRODUCTION.

But I think it's useful to have at least COMPLETED for projects that are, well, completed.
 

Aibohphobia

aka James
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Thoughts? And should selecting a prefix on thread creation be required?

Also, should the Build Logs section have a modified subset? Like CONCEPT, IN-PROGRESS, and COMPLETED?
 

K888D

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I like this idea and I think it should be a requirement for creating new threads in the workshop sub forum. Can we add the tag to existing threads?
 

robbee

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Thoughts? And should selecting a prefix on thread creation be required?

Also, should the Build Logs section have a modified subset? Like CONCEPT, IN-PROGRESS, and COMPLETED?

I think the tags should all have the same font color. The white ones stand out more than the black ones atm. Also woulndn't it make more sense to go from red-ish when the project is in development to greenish when the project is finished?

About required tags: most tags don't apply to cases that aren't sold. While there's some that do apply, forcing the tags may be confusing to people who don't intend to sell their project. This could be solved by adding documentation to the field though.
 

iFreilicht

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Thoughts? And should selecting a prefix on thread creation be required?

Also, should the Build Logs section have a modified subset? Like CONCEPT, IN-PROGRESS, and COMPLETED?

Looks pretty good to me. I'm not entirely sure that crowdfunding should be a separate tag. It seems like it's quite similar to pre-ordering, but maybe the distinction is useful. I agree that build logs should probably just get a subset of this, but I don't see why a build-log couldn't be "Stalled" as well. But in general, the destinction between build logs and potential commercial projects is a useful one. If we agree that one subforum is only for commercial ideas, a tag should be mandatory.

Something I'd also like to propose is to automatically mark a thread as stalled if it has not been updated by the OP for a certain amount of time. Not sure if that's doable, but it would certainly be useful.

What I'm not sure about is how this is to be handled for cases that were produced in the past but aren't anymore, cases that are in stock and can be ordered. I guess the latter could say "Production", but that communicates that you can't buy it right now. And for the former, there is a distinction between "Completed (but actively supported)" and "Completed (and never to appear again)" to be made. Maybe "Stalled" could be expanded to "Stalled/Discontinued"?
 
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Phuncz

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Crowdfunding and pre-order could be condensed into FUNDING, maybe.
 

Aibohphobia

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Can we add the tag to existing threads?

Yes. It's in the same setting used to change the thread title: Thread Tools > Edit Thread

I think the tags should all have the same font color. The white ones stand out more than the black ones atm.

Font color is just the default, it can be fixed.

Also woulndn't it make more sense to go from red-ish when the project is in development to greenish when the project is finished?

Current color scheme is because there's enough phases to cover most of the color spectrum, green is in the middle and conveniently Kickstarter's color is green and it's crowdfunding is toward the middle of the development stages, and in the context of production cases the project being done is more of a bad thing since people can't buy it anymore so red is at the end.

I think it works nicely but it's not set in stone.

About required tags: most tags don't apply to cases that aren't sold. While there's some that do apply, forcing the tags may be confusing to people who don't intend to sell their project. This could be solved by adding documentation to the field though.

Prefix requirement just means a label has to be picked, not that all of them have to be used in succession. So for non-commercial projects it'd just go from CONCEPT to PROTOTYPING to either COMPLETED or STALLED.

But in general, the destinction between build logs and potential commercial projects is a useful one. If we agree that one subforum is only for commercial ideas, a tag should be mandatory.

I've been debating whether to have a commercial project only sub-forum. But my thought is it's not always clear when starting a project whether it'll be commercial or not. Maybe there's so much interest a one-off prototype turns into serialized production, or maybe something intended for production just gets no interest at all and ends up a one-off for the creator.

Something I'd also like to propose is to automatically mark a thread as stalled if it has not been updated by the OP for a certain amount of time. Not sure if that's doable, but it would certainly be useful.

I'll look into that.

What I'm not sure about is how this is to be handled for cases that were produced in the past but aren't anymore, cases that are in stock and can be ordered. I guess the latter could say "Production", but that communicates that you can't buy it right now. And for the former, there is a distinction between "Completed (but actively supported)" and "Completed (and never to appear again)" to be made. Maybe "Stalled" could be expanded to "Stalled/Discontinued"?

Yeah, this stage of a project is the trickiest to convey. But since it has the widest number of possible states I lean to just encompassing it all under PRODUCTION and it'll be up to readers to actually read the thread to check for details.

Post-production is also tricky since all these projects are batch production. I think COMPLETED suffices for any project where it was produced and will be no longer, regardless of whether there's active support or not.

What I'm not sure on is the gap between batches. If there are plans for another production run in the not too distant future, should the status just be left at PRODUCTION?

Looks pretty good to me. I'm not entirely sure that crowdfunding should be a separate tag. It seems like it's quite similar to pre-ordering, but maybe the distinction is useful.

Crowdfunding and pre-order could be condensed into FUNDING, maybe.

Yeah, I think just lumping them together is better in the end.
 
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iFreilicht

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If there are plans for another production run in the not too distant future, should the status just be left at PRODUCTION?

That is a tricky question. I would've said it stays at COMPLETED as long as there is nothing else going on. If another production run is planned soon, pre-ordering should be made available either way. Maybe people could denote something like [Next Funding starts on DD-MM-YYYY] to the title? In general, that would help differentiate the more subtle cases from one another.
This would also allow for production runs that will not require any funding prior to production. You could just put [Available in stock starting DD-MM-YYYY] in the title and leave the tag at PRODUCTION.

I've been debating whether to have a commercial project only sub-forum. But my thought is it's not always clear when starting a project whether it'll be commercial or not. Maybe there's so much interest a one-off prototype turns into serialized production, or maybe something intended for production just gets no interest at all and ends up a one-off for the creator.

That is true, but it's not like we can't move projects between subforums. The thing is, many people are not sure whether to put their post in "Build Logs" or "Custom Projects" anyway, so maybe making a distinction between "this is something I make for myself" and "this is something I'd be willing to sell at least a few of" might be useful, for both posters and for the tag system. On the other hand, maybe those forums shouldn't be separate in the first place.

I know we had a discussion about those forums in the past, do you still know what the general consensus was?
 

Aibohphobia

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This would also allow for production runs that will not require any funding prior to production. You could just put [Available in stock starting DD-MM-YYYY] in the title and leave the tag at PRODUCTION.

That's a good idea.

so maybe making a distinction between "this is something I make for myself" and "this is something I'd be willing to sell at least a few of" might be useful, for both posters and for the tag system.

Maybe, though I notice most all the threads that are regularly posted on in the Custom section looks like it's intended for production anyway.

I know we had a discussion about those forums in the past, do you still know what the general consensus was?

I believe it was that build logs are for documenting a build using mostly off the shelf parts.

While Custom Cases & Projects was for from scratch designs.

So maybe just we can just be stricter about moving stuff from Custom that belongs in Build Logs?
 

iFreilicht

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Correction, I meant to write YYYY-MM-DD. ISO 8601 must prevail!

So maybe just we can just be stricter about moving stuff from Custom that belongs in Build Logs?

Sure, that works. This might be solving itself over time anyway, as the tag system will clearly communicate to somebody posting a simple build-log that they might be in the wrong subforum.
 

iFreilicht

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At least you didn't write MM-DD-YYYY :p

So how's this for the final list?
  • CONCEPT
  • PROTOTYPING
  • FUNDING
  • PRODUCTION
  • COMPLETED
  • STALLED

Reading it like this, I wonder whether people will understand that FUNDING can also mean "in stock and available for purchase". But I guess that's something the OP will have to specify in the title.

You'll make a sticky explaining the tags in detail, right?
 

Aibohphobia

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Ok, I've soft-launched the prefixes in the Custom Projects section, let me know what you think.

To do list:
  • tweak background/font colors
  • remove prefixes from "New Posts" block to save space
  • write sticky explaining
 
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jtd871

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Please include info in the sticky explaining how to add these tags to existing build logs. I didn't see a prefix list in the thread tools when I checked this morning; have you restricted it to custom projects for the time being?
 

iFreilicht

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Ok, I've soft-launched the prefixes in the Custom Projects section, let me know what you think.

To do list:
  • tweak background/font colors
  • remove prefixes from "New Posts" block to save space
  • write sticky explaining

Looks like I'm the first one to have a stalled project. Yay?

Also, it would be nice if the prefixes didn't show up in the page title. "Prototyping - " takes up almost the entire space available on a tab title in my Browser.
 
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LocoMoto

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I'd also prefer an off white or very light grey background colour for... well all of it or at the very least, much more muted colours.
 
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