JCC5: Twitarr Feedback
I've been really sick the last week, and was not capable of dealing with Twitarr-related things. Better now, and I even lost the ten pounds that I gained on the cruise!
First thing: I know that @origamislayer and @gbadsen spent a TON of time the first day getting people up and running at the shadow IT desk, and I'm personally grateful to them for it, since I wasn't able to be there at first. I get the feeling that they don't get to unpack their bags until at least day two.
I haven't seen a CruiseMonkey feedback thread from @RangerRick, and most people have trouble differentiating the two, so you can probably post such things here. (I do know that @RangerRick could use some assistance on CM this year, if any mobile developers would like to pitch in!)
I hope these don't come across as defensive, but there is some feedback every year that is consistent. I'd like to save some time by responding to it early. 80% of the work on this app isn't always obvious. Getting the app working on everybody's phone, choosing which features are NOT important enough to add (or how best to display them if they are), these things take a huge amount of time, but don't have as much immediate impact.
First caveat: This is a mobile webapp. Screen real estate is at a premium. There are features I would love to put in to Twitarr, but there simply isn't the room. If this were a desktop app, it would be MUCH more feature-rich. (One of the things I hated most about status.net is that you couldn't see more than one post at a time, and sometimes you couldn't even see an entire post at once.)
Second caveat: This app is used for a week. Most people use it for about an hour during that week. Any complex "following" features are going to be ignored by 99% of the population, since they just don't use the app enough. Instinctively, people are not going to spend time adding social network data into an app that won't be usable in the future. I think profiles are a nice middle ground, and I'd like to have ways of remembering a profile, but it needs design work.
The *BLEEPING-BLEEPED-BLEEP* DNS server pissed me off. I don't think anyone else was as angry about it as I was, but as far as I'm concerned it indicates a complete lack of support by the RCI IT personnel. I'm willing to accept evidence to the contrary, but I'll be very surprised if any exists.
Twarts design - I made the design decision this year to change from facebook-style replies to twitter-style replies. It seemed to work in beta, but once on the ship the twarts feed became a firehose of noise. (Which is my Dragonforce cover band) I'm really tempted to switch this back to facebook-style inline replies. The downside is that replies wouldn't be first-class posts any more, but I think it would make things clearer.
Autocomplete didn't work. That was just something we ran out of time for. It would have made hashtags and username-references much easier. (and therefore people would have used them)
The seamonkey didn't get distributed - @rhaje and I had plans to post the Seamonkey every day, but they sort of fell apart - I couldn't ssh in to the server, not sure if THO was having the same problem.
There were probably over 400 different device type / browser combinations that used Twitarr & CruiseMonkey this year - it worked on most of them, and I think it was better than JCC4. I don't know who figured out the proxy trick, but that seemed to help a bunch of people. If you used a different trick to get your Twitarr working, or just weren't able to get it running at all, please share here, especially with your device configuration.
Performance seemed really good. The forum list and a couple of the forums got bogged down when there were too many things to display, but I think us devs probably noticed it more than anybody else. Anyone have problems scrolling? - that's usually the first sign that your phone can't keep up with the page.
Were profile pics too much? I liked having faces to go with the posts (when people had them), but they use a LOT of real estate. We kind of put them everywhere.
Facebook-style replies vs twitter-style replies. Discuss.
Did people find the forums useful?
What is the average flying velocity of a sparrow?