Update Nov. 26: SourceForge.net finally fixed the voting issue. Yay! I still don’t understand why they didn’t manage to post a warning sign for the whole period of this, but for now I am just happy this is resolved. So now it’s easier for all of you to vote on the ideas I linked to below (and all others, too 😉 ).
SourceForge.net has been busy changing lots and lots of things in the past years. Some things certainly got a lot better by this. But some really got a lot worse. Well, when renovating a system, that happens; usually such “regressions” are simply fixed quickly, and one we go.
Not so with SourceForge, it seems :-(. For example, they shelved from their old “request for enhancement” tracker (on which you could suggest your ideas on how SourceForge could improve their site, have it sit there for some years, then watch it being closed with a comment stating that they will consider it at some point. Yes, I am bitter :-/). Instead of the good old RFE tracker, they now use a new way to track feature requests: They switched to using IdeaTorrent, a fancy pancy Web 2.0 thingy which allows people to vote on issues! So, the community can put emphasis on what features are important to many people, and thus this helps SourceForge to prioritize things.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? Only, it doesn’t work. Voting on SourceForge’s IdeaTorrent has been silently broken for over two months now. Silently meaning that it looks as if your vote has been registered, it increases the count, no error. Only when you reload, you notice your vote was, in fact, ignored. This has been reported via their Trac and via their IdeaTorrent in September. And they haven’t even managed to put up a simple box on the IdeaTorrent page that warns people about this, and points them to the workaround. (I requested this highly “innovative” workaround September 21).
In principle, SF.net staff has been great in personal communication on this issue; they gave me a “VIP” treatment and even skyped with me about this. Only, in the end, the result is still the same: For two months, people would vote on the SF.net IdeaTorrent, and their votes were silently lost. And not even a warning sign (something that should take virtually no time, even with testing before deployment) has been put up yet.
Wow. I am baffled. Something must be really wrong with their internal organization, I have no other explanation. Lack of internal communication? Strange priorities? Incompetence? I am trying to think of an explanation that doesn’t let them look quite incompetent, but just can’t come up with any (if you have a better imagination than me, feel free to leave a comment).
I have been using SourceForge for many years. I used to be a big fan and supported. I used to defend them whenever people raved about how SF.net sucks. I still use it a lot, but I get more and more annoyed with how things are these days, and how slow things move. And how unimportant the wishes of the developer community seem to be (but maybe it’s just me who perceives it this way). Normally, I’d keep silent about this and hope for a fix, but I kind of have lost hope on that by now. A sad day for me :-(.
Anyway, if you haven’t given up on them, consider voting on some of the following IdeaTorrent entries (but don’t forget to use the workaround, else your vote is sent to /dev/null):
- Fix the ideatorrent voting bug
- Add ReviewBoard to Hosted Apps
- Allow importing of data for hosted apps.
- Support ssh authentication for subversion
- Science/Engineering category should be on the home page! Instead of say, “Clustering”…
- Migration tool from SF.net bug tracker to MantisBT or trac
- Statistics should include hosted apps activity (trac at first)
- Thumbs down is not appropriate for free software
- Lets add Bugzilla to hosted apps
- Trac’s SSL urls are not friendly to newbies
And maybe I should recycle a rejected support request of my own: “Add real searching to IdeaTorrent”. Because the “search” box in IdeaTorrent apparently doesn’t actually perform a search. Instead it filters based on tags. Intuitive… But I was told that this is the “intended behavior”, and answer I get a lot these days. Maybe now you have a glimpse as to why I am unhappy :-(.