From what I notice, a number of requests notified on Meta are abandoned without being fixed.

  • For example my request related to the color of the links and posted a year ago is still ignored, while is has been shown (see link in the answer by Yannis Rizos to the linked request) that the actual choice of colors is poor.

  • In the same way, the bug notification about the bottom of the links not being clickable is still pending, one year after, with no reply whatsoever, while it is clearly a bug, and a very disturbing one, given that there is a visual response (red color) while the cursor is on a non-clickable area.

  • Around a year ago (finding a link is a bit tricky), there was a request to add other relevant SE sites to the list shown when the question is being closed as off-topic.

    There is still only Stack Overflow, and no sign of willingness to add some relevant sites like:

    • UX.SE or
    • DBA.SE

    or a plethora of beta-state sites like:

What explains such passiveness? Is it because Joel Spolsky and his team lost interest in Programmers.SE, like he repeatedly explains in his podcasts?

Who is (or is there somebody) in charge of implementing new features and fixing bugs on Programmers.SE?

Is there a better place than Meta to ask for new features and to report bugs?

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MSO (meta.stackoverflow.com) is much better site to report bugs and submit feature requests, because there, one can at least set a bounty to draw attention. Though, if request is "endemic" to particular (non-SO) site, chances are high that it will migrate to respective per-site-meta –  gnat Nov 21 '12 at 13:10
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@YannisRizos nice destruction of the meta homepage –  Ryathal Nov 21 '12 at 13:19
    
I've re-opened the old links request. –  Yannis Rizos Nov 21 '12 at 14:51
    
@MainMa great question and what a fantastic answer. The guys do fix issues. I am glad you raised these 3 points, they may seem cosmetic but are really important. +1 for the last point about extending the list for referring off-topic questions. –  Jeremy Thompson Dec 1 '12 at 5:35
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5 Answers

up vote 15 down vote accepted

Manishearth's answer is (basically) the short version. Our core development team is ~7 people strong, and our design team is literally a single person. There's lots of projects, network-wide, that vie equally for their attention. Eight people handle all user feature requests.


The longer answer is a bit more complicated. Since I'm talking to people involved in the SDLC, I'm a little astonished that you're not all a bit more sympathetic. After all, the network is 90+ sites, and we serve double-digit millions of users, and getting the project right from step one takes time and person-power we don't really have right now.

The bugs and errors you point out, while important, aren't going to get top priority because there are other problems that affect the entire network that may require immediate attention (e.g. a site blackout) or are concentrating developer resources right now (e.g. the /review queue, or our localization efforts).

What explains such passiveness? Is it because Joel Spolsky and his team lost interest in Programmers.SE, like he repeatedly explains in his podcasts?

Okay, let me clear about something: there is more to the Stack Exchange team than Joel or the dev team. For one, there's the team I'm on: your (hopefully beloved) Community Managers. And, in fact, we even hired on one of your moderators based on her work here. So, no, the company doesn't hate Programmers. Denying your community's complicated history would be foolish and short-sighted, and a great number of really excellent lessons were learned over the course of the last two years.

The "passiveness" you're referring to is entirely perceived; it's a symptom of the real issue, which is that our development team is overextended. Their time is an extremely precious, scarce resource. Not to put too fine a point on it: they're only human.

Who is (or is there somebody) in charge of implementing new features and fixing bugs on Programmers.SE?

Design bugs are usually handled by our always-wonderful, one-man design team of Jin Yang. Jin is literally one single person handling all site design issues across the network. Jin also does the design for our marketing initiatives, some of our advertising, helps us make fliers and small promo items, puts together top user swag and a whole host of things.

Is there a better place than Meta to ask for new features and to report bugs?

No. Meta is exactly the correct place for you to be reporting these.

Look, I'm sympathetic. I really, really am. I've been working on making features happen on some of our other sites for months now. The toughest is knowing that doing a fun, exciting event would basically "cost" us a feature for a site. All decisions regarding dev allocations are made with great care and after a lot of deliberation. We don't just assign development time to things willy-nilly because we cannot do so. It's literally a thing we can't do.

If you're dissatisfied with our ability to meet our users' needs (and it does sound like you are) then you're in luck. Right now, we're hiring for a bunch of positions, including developers. If you know someone who could/should be working for us, who loves our sites (yes, even Programmers!) and is a talented developer who is looking for a new challenge, tell them to apply!

Otherwise, for the mean time, I can only advise you sit tight and be patient. It's all on The ListTM and I'm confident we'll get to it. It just might take some time.

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Thank you for your detailed answer. Also, I want to apologize that my question was perceived as being rude and/or unsympathetic. I was unaware of the internals and thought that there are people who work specifically on features requested for Programmers.SE. The fact that there are only 7 + 1 people for all Stack Exchange sites explains well where I was wrong. –  MainMa Nov 22 '12 at 19:51
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I went over all our open bugs and feature requests and retagged/closed a lot of them. The Meta front page looks like a battlefield because of this, but I figured it would be better to do it in one big sweep to get a better idea of what we are talking about. So, right now we have:

It's not that bad. Yes, there are some Meta questions that needed feedback from Stack Exchange and appear to be long forgotten, but we can easily fix that, just ping one of us (mods) in chat and we'll ask a SE employee to have a look. With 90+ sites (and 90+ Metas), it's understandable that they can't keep track of everything. Furthermore we haven't really been doing a very good job keeping our Meta clean, there were (and still are) a lot of questions that are mistagged, or no longer relevant. We should clean up Meta at some point, that would make our feature requests and bug reports far more noticeable.

Back in June we created a mod+SE only chat room, the collection room, and gathered tons of feature requests and bug reports from all per site Metas, in an effort to get feedback from SE. The room was frozen in August, and we're still waiting for feedback on most, if not all, requests. I've nagged Grace Note a couple of times about this, privately and publicly, and although progress has been very slow, I'm confident SE isn't ignoring per site Metas.

As for migrations, our migration stats don't really justify more migration targets:

enter image description here

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Regarding the list of migration targets - only graduated sites are added to the list. While a site is still in beta (even if beta lasts years rather than months) there is the risk that the site would be closed down which is one reason why they're not allowed.

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There are countless design "bugs" that may or may not get fixed in any reasonable amount of time because they don't actually matter very much. Everyone has their pet peeves, but when and how those actually amount to problems worth fixing is subjective. Easy to fix when related changes are being made, but not a high priority otherwise.

This may change somewhat as we continue to expand the dev and design teams.

I can't find a recent suggestion to change migration targets either, but if you look at the stats there's no real point - as ChrisF notes, we don't add beta sites to these lists, and with only 3 questions migrated in the last 90 days, SU isn't exactly crying out to be more easily migrated to. Choice for the heck of it just wastes time and increases the chance of mistakes.

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The colour of our links is troublesome, and it does matter. –  Yannis Rizos Nov 21 '12 at 14:50
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Every meta has this problem. Dev time seems to be concentrated towards features like the new review queue. There is a priority, they probably stick to it. There are lots of metas, and site-specific feature request probably have less priority. Even on the mother meta (MSO) --which would probably have more priority-- a lot of bugs/featurreqs have passed unattended--there are just too many of them

About migration paths--they generally cause more problems than they solve, with rejected migrations/etc (you're an active member of Programmers.SE, you've been on the recieving end of bad migrations from SO). Also, there may be an issue with TW/SQA/PM being beta sites. Not sure.

What explains such passiveness? Is it because Joel Spolsky and his team lost interest in Programmers.SE, like he repeatedly explains in his podcasts?

It's not "they've lost interest", it is "there are things with a higher priority that need to be done". Also, "Programmers.SE is one of many many SE sites, and thus must share dev time with them."

Who is (or is there somebody) in charge of implementing new features and fixing bugs on Programmers.SE?

There's no SE staff "assigned" to you (AFAICT). The devs do look through meta-bug reports on small sites, but remember--there are lots of sites.

Is there a better place than Meta to ask for new features and to report bugs?

You can ambush a dev in chat. Doubt they'd like that. Or ask a moderator to forward it to the relevant SE staff member (preferably for more important things). Though the best place is Meta. For non-site-specific bugs, go to Meta.SO (you'll get more attention there).

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