Organizing Ideas & Suggestions: Feature Design Forum

(EDIT: split from

This spins around in my head since a few weeks now:

What if we split the ideas and suggestions forums into a “brainstorming” forum and a “feature design” (or just leave it “ideas and suggestions”) forum? If we say that this community is one part of Renoises brain, then this brain could/should also be responsible for higher level tasks like putting and collecting features together, designing GUI for it, think about how this interferes with the already implemented and planed stuff. -> designing the feature

People who just want to put an idea into the pot like: “Wouldn’t it be great to have this and that?” (aka: don’t ask me how exactly and why, but I want that) should post this into the brainstorming forum. This is an essential and important part of getting a feature done, but still its just one small part of the process that makes an idea a feature.

The ideas and suggestion forum should then consist of two parts:
One part where a feature/idea for a future release is presented in a way that only some moderators or the original “owner” of the idea may post/update something. The current proposed way should then be discussed in a different topic. The part were the current stAe of a feature is shown, should be editable by only one person or a small group to avoid mess (take a look at the piano roll topic and you know what I mean with mess). The other one is open for everyone. And everyone can start/take care or join a feature topic though by asking the main “owner” of the feature.

Is it rude to ask for something like this? Normally its that users of software just throw in ideas, and the developers or designers then collect those and make it to something fully thought of, fully designed that then fits into the application? But we are anyway different, so why shouldn’t we integrate the community even more? At the end this will result in a even better product if we manage to get the overhead small. Also this way the devs will have more time to take care about technical details or bugs or implementing the thing.

Details of how this could be done in this forum needs of course some more discussion. Just wanted to throw in this idea to see what you think of this…

Yes, good idea. I agree with this.

I fully understand your scepticism, and you have many valid and good points.
I should stop just throw out partial ideas like this I guess. Because this was an idea that is thought out very well on many levels. It’s just too much to explain quickly, and thus it just confuses more then it helps to understand I guess.
I fear too much attention is put into the mockups themselves (they are really not important at all… they are in no way a final solution or anything… just a quick illustration so you quickly get a clue what it is all about).

In fact, as taktik said, this is a long term thing really, and I had the entire renoise structure in mind when I suggested this.
It’s not like have the grand masterplan for everything, but I do have some qualifications for saying this as I have done quite a lot thinking about these structural issues. So no… it’s not just ‘some brainstorm idea thrown in’ this time.
But when I don’t tell the whole story, and don’t show all the arguments behind it, then I probably should not say anything at all?

You are right, even in the internal discussion and very much in the public forums it is very hard to not fragment ideas. And especially the large and controversial issues often get very messy.
Bantai also got a point that this demands much more of the author. But I’m very much for such a separate idea/document/design moderated threads and a brainstorm/discussion section attached to them in another section.
Even though this means we do not get that many ppl involved in the more large stuff, and there might not be too many contributions, it is still very useful for both developers and average forum member to better navigate in all this mess.

If you want to do a brainstorm like idea jar, maybe a Wiki is a better solution for such a thing? People could create new idea pages themselve and if the idea takes off, one of the devs could lock it and people could discuss it further on the discussion page (like wikipedia). This way an idea could grow into a design specification, and it’s all kept in one location.

I think something could be done, yes, to have things more organized. I’ll think about it and see if I can come up with something useful…

One thing maybe would be to have a sticky thread with the links to all the (at least popular) suggestions/requests… like a link to the “Rewire” thread, a link to the “beatslicer” thread… so that they don’t get repeated and for an easy overview. The duplicates would get deleted/locked. Now some requests (like to implement Rewire) are self explanatory. For the “beatslicer” etc. threads it’s a bit more difficult, since they can include different things.
But suggestions could be put under categories (still in the sticky thread), like:
-Sample Editor suggestions
-Instrument Editor suggestions
-Audio recording
-General workflow…
-Pattern sequencer/arranger

No, I would keep that totally open and chaotic (in a creative manner). Everything else will stop people from posting their ideas there.
The questions is more how we extract the ideas from the jar to the design forum.

A Wiki for the design specifications, yes. Because maintaining a single topic (the specification would end up in something like this) is far more comfortable in a wiki.

A Wiki for the jar: No. Because I still think that a forum is the easies, less error prone way for even the most unexperienced computer guys to quickly post something (thats why we are using a forum for the bug reports and not a bugzilla or some other complex beast which are made for developers but not for users).
I have also no problem in having dupl ideas, ideas no one understands or whatever there. Thats brainstorming. I would even not start to categorize it.

Agreed it’s a bit too messy. I spend a lot of time on the forums reading but i have no clue what’s been suggested before and what has not. Sometimes i get quite annoyed with people posting referneces to previous duscussion in similar topics. Good ideas are probably burried too deep in the forums for people to find them. If you think you had a great idea it should be easier to find similar topics. Dividing the ideas & suggestion section in more specified branches like ermi says could be a good first hand solution.

Personally i like making photoshop mockups of how things could look and like looking at pictures people have made. There’s too much jidderish about this & that, likes and dislikes, between good constructive ideas and posts. I think a dedicated forum section where people actually want to discuss ideas rather than likes & dislikes would be much apriciated.

Is there any way to compile previous ideas & requests filtering away all the mumbo jumbo you dont want to read?

Would be nice to have some kind of gallery of ideas of some sort. Where you could browse ideas, photoshop pictures, comment them and possibly rate them. I bet there are many variations of similar ideas but each with their own twist. Maybe this way devs could find top rated suggestions and photoshop mockups in a snap. I personally would think it would be sad to see people hesitate posting their ideas. Maybe their idea is almost exactly like someone elses, so what. Maybe they know, maybe they didn’t but it’s their idea of how that feature might work or look like.

+1 by me… I hate seeing my hard photoshopping work sink to the bottom of an “I WANT CANDY!!” forum. I’m not indicating that my ideas are any more important than the next person’s, but as a developer, I think a request, and detailed specs are 2 different things. There are often times we discuss topics that have been “confirmed future features” that get lost in a sea of “can you make it so the volume changes itself?” posts. So yes. I agree wholeheartedly with Taktik. Also, might I suggest that such a forum have subforms for hot topics? … just an idea ;)

Good idea! I’ve been wishing for some more constructive discussions from time to time, maybe this will help. I know that some of my past ideas were no way near fully thought through, just brainstorming and hoping to get some discussion started to work out the best possible suggestion. But mostly it ends with “+1” or “THIS IS A TRACKER, LETS KEEP IT THAT WAY”.

Great idea!!
It would separate two different streams, moderate it, cleanup and optimize a whole developing process a lot!

Like it very much. +1

Not a bad idea.

Good idea this. For the record, please don’t hate me for coming down on ideas like i do sometimes. I try to be civil but i guess i come off as a bit of a cad sometimes.

I’m a user interface designer and programmer by daytime, so i feel a lot about this subject =)

Would the design forum be moderated somehow?

I’m in.

Yes, only the author of the initial version and his “friends” (people who asked to join the moderator team for this topic) should be allowed to edit it. But we could also try how things evolve if everyone is allowed to edit. I do not have much experiences with public Wikis.

Is this possible to do in a Media Wiki (the ownership and friends)?
Bantai: Would it be hard to set up something like this?

The Wiki should start up with a guideline (what’s this, how to edit/contribute features) and an overview about the already added features (list of features and its state).

We should also set up a rough guideline for writing feature pages, to make them easier to maintain and to read. How exactly the guideline should be gets maybe more clear as soon as we have the first feature added.

The features should be discussed in this forum only, so the pages/feature proposals in the Wiki and the forum pages should be clearly linked.

Pysj: Do you maybe want to take the leadership for this project (the feature design page) aka be the main mod for this page? I think you are the one who currently has the best overview of the main features like the RNI future, “Piano Roll” and Arranger/Automation future.

Sure, I would love to. I don’t have much experience in public wiki’s either though.
But if Bantai could make something here, then I would be more then happy to plan, contribute and look after the content.


this is a nice idea,so how is the brainstorming going??

it seems a little quiet,NO PUN ATTENDED

Somehow it seems like you have no clue about Renoise development, but i can assure you taktik and the small team of helpers have always done all they can to make this program and community great, and then you come waltzing in here and… well… anyway, have a look at the Renoise track record, it’s great, it’s like full steam ahead so don’t be suspicious about development, it has no merit what so ever!

I bet there’s tons you don’t know yet about Renoise, start making music, find the features, read the manual. I have been here from the beginning, and i’m still finding new things. Why are you so eager, what do you really need to make music? Start helping, and please realize the small renoise team, okay? As far as I know it’s just taktik coding this program, one guy, pretty f****ing amazing.