Reviewing Early devot:ee Feedback
November 4, 2008
by Ryan Masuga
When signing up for notification about devot:ee’s launch, some of you took the time to fill out the comments form. We pick some of the comments and respond.
I wasn't sure what to write about this week, so I thought I'd sift through the comments submitted so far on the signup form, and respond to a few.
The signup form was done in a very basic way with "Solspace's Freeform module":http://www.solspace.com/software/detail/freeform/c/modules/ - which is a very useful module with a full EE control panel screen allowing you to track (and later export) form submissions. I decided to do it that way, rather than having people have to sign up or register, because I wanted the notification signup to be very quick and easy: enter your email only, then optionally give us some feedback and you're done.
If we picked your comment below, you win a prize. Imagine what that prize is, and then realize we're not actually going to give it to you. Sorry. But hey, at least you'll know we read your comment.
h3. Where are the Add-Ons? No, Really, I can't find any.
Probably the most recurring theme is the fact that the current method to find the add-ons you need for a site is just too tough. Here's a sample:
bq.. One thing I'd really like to see is a comprehensive list of extensions, plugins and modules and links to where you can get them from.
I agree that especially with plugins/extensions/modules it's hard sometimes to find them.
I look tirelessly for solutions I know have to exist somewhere
I am relatively new to EE, and have been intimidated by the lack of consolidation of developer resources. I have been impressed by the EE community, but frustrated by the sometimes muddy waters.
It is sometimes so counter productive to search through the EE site to find something particular because the information can be scattered
I'm learning to use EE and searching the web and forums for extensions (and extension fixes) has been a pain. I'm comfortable enough with PHP to consider writing my own, if necessary, but there's not much thorough, intro-level information about how to go about that either.
p. We agree with all of the above. We don't think the Forum format works best for everything, and that is currently the primary way to get information for EE add-ons. There's no easy easy to search them there, either. This is the reason we put together - as has been mentioned before - the add-on library.
We will try to keep the add-on library as up to date as possible. We do our best to stay on top of the latest news regarding EE add-ons through the forums, blog posts, twitter, etc, but eventually (and sooner than later) we may need help from developers and the community alerting us to new add-ons and information. We'll design the site to make it easy to help submit information.
h3. Miscellaneous Thoughts
bq.. Libraries of alternative ways of achieving the same problem. For example great ways to structure a search results page (Smashing Magazine style).
Article about e-Commerce solutions used together with EE, this is an area where EE definitely can be improved.
p. Great suggestions. Maybe we can put out calls for "design patterns" in EE and get people to submit theirs, such as (one I'd personally like to see): *Event Calendars in EE*. I'd personally love to see 5-10 ways this has been handled.
bq. Would love to see more input from the rest of the EE community, like guest posts, etc.
p. Absolutely agree with this. In fact, I have someone writing up some articles to share with everyone. Are you (yeah, you reading this) interested in sharing anything? If so, email us at email@example.com
and let us know what you'd like to write about. We'd love to have you, and I'm sure everyone else would, too.
bq.. Code, Code, Code that's all I ask.
The EE community desperately need in-depth talk about process: - How are you structuring your EE site? - What problems did you solve with smart EE solutions? - Show and tell with some back-end views and code
p. Something I thought would be beneficial, and that would address some of the desire for "code, code, code" would be to write about putting _this_ site together - and show some under the hood stuff (with weblog names changed to protect the innocent). Here are some quick potential areas:
* how we're using add-ons like LG Better Meta, MD Markitup, and Solspace Ratings
* how the template groups and templates are set up
* how we're using categories
* how EE caching is used to speed up page load times
Granted, this is just one site, but it's a _real_ site that people visit every day and I think a series like that would offer some great insight.
bq. You[sic] header/logo looks really dated. I'm interested in seeing where this goes though!
*Hey!* How did that one get in here?
h3. Ad Space and Sponsorships
bq. Do you have any ad space or sponsorships available for the website?
We are working on that. We certainly would love to have sponsors, and the design does have room for ads. We hope the site attracts many eyeballs and repeat visitors, and is worthy of being advertised on. However, we have no details whatsoever at this time. We'll write about it when the time is right.
h3. "Bye For Now"
Have any thoughts on the above? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
or leave a comment below.
fn1. The export function needs some love (and sometimes a few hacks) to get it to work correctly. That's likely the subject of a future article here at devot:ee, as there are a few ways to go about it - from hooking up (hacking up?) Freeform to the "CSVee plugin(CSVee thread in the EE Forums)":http://expressionengine.com/forums/viewthread/42155/ to a total rewrite of the export function that "Leevi Graham(Leevi Graham's Site)":http://leevigraham.com/ wrote.
fn2. If you get that radio talk show reference, you're my "bro"!