Archive for April, 2012|Monthly archive page
Today some small UI changes were rolled out to the RFC page. The old page, below had quite a lot of unused white space on it and was just a list of requests with their status and comments. There wasn’t a lot of stylistic love going on here.
The changes that were rolled out today should help with this by making a better use of the space. The updates make use of the white space and include a bit more information about RFCs. The two new pieces of information displayed here are when the request was submitted, and by who, and when it was last commented on, and by who. When looking through a long list of requests this information can help you more easily find the one you’re looking for.
Today a small update to RFCs was rolled out that added statuses. Statuses can help you more easily keep track of requests that are still open and looking for new comments and feedback and ones that have already been implemented or decided upon. You’ll find the current status of an RFC next to it’s title where ever it’s displayed on the site.
Currently the only two states an RFC can be in are open and closed. To close an RFC you have to comment on it. Next to the save button for comments you’ll find a new ‘Comment and Close’ button. This will post the comment you’ve entered as well as close the RFC in one shot. A comment is required when closing an RFC to promote people explaining why they’re closing an RFC and what the final outcome was. Did you decide not to implement the idea yet? Was it an idea that’s now implemented? Was it a duplicate that was already discussed?
Closing requests will also be shown in the activity feed on the RFC landing page so you can see, at a glance, any recent changes in RFC statuses. Even after a request is closed it can still be commented on. Closing a request does not permanently lock it and prevent future discussion. This means that a request that has been acted upon can still be discussed.
One of the core principals of Neutrino is that ideas are important. Arguably they’re the most important part of any business or organization. It’s seemingly random ideas from people within your organization that lead you to try breaking into new markets or manufacturing new product lines. It’s their ideas that help you become better at marketing your products and services and better at being more efficient in what you do.
There are only two problems with ideas though.
- You can’t really control when they appear.
- They’re very easily forgotten or ignored.
While there are ways to help with number one on that list Neutrino was built with the intention of helping you deal with number two so that’s what I’m going to focus on.
There’s plenty of easy ways to make sure you don’t forget an idea. You can jot it down in a notebook or on a sticky note. You can email it to yourself or ask a friend to remind you about it later. The issue here is that all of these have their own problems built in. You can lose the sticky note or the notebook. An email is easy to accidentally lose or delete and your friend might also forget it. Especially if, like you, they tend to be busy and doing many things at once.
Enter Neutrino and our Request For Comments (RFC) system. The concept of an RFC has a long history in network engineering and we’re trying to make the concept available to anyone. RFCs are, as the name suggests, a way for some one with an idea to solicit feedback for that idea. In Neutrino when you create an RFC we save it for you so you can come back later and easily find it. And they’re stored forever so unless you delete it it will always be there for you to find it later.
But RFCs have one other important feature. When you create an RFC everyone else on the team, or in the company, gets notified about it and can come comment on it. This lets other people see your idea and provide their own ideas and thoughts about it. Comments can be anything ranging from simply agreeing with you to providing improvements upon certain parts of your idea.
There’s no limit to how long an RFC can stay open either. Some will stick around for days and others for months. You decide when it’s closed and you no longer want/need feedback. RFCs make it easy to record your ideas for future reference and to get feedback from other people in your organization.