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Add-ons Idea Exchange

I think creating a new Add-ons and Tools Idea Exchange is a regression in organization! Why not just add a new Label called "Add-Ons"?

 

Now, a user does not know whether to post an Idea on the LabVIEW Idea Exchange or the LabVIEW Add-Ons Idea Exchange. Further, both customers and R&D must patrol two boards rather than one.

 

Why not just create a new Label and leave all the Ideas on the LabVIEW Idea Exchange?

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I'm not trying to ding decisions to make a new Idea Exchange, I'm just wondering if a new Label was considered as a solution to the organizational dilemma.

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Finally, a bit of background information, from the Spoiler on my post here just a few days ago:

 

"A folder (or board) is nothing but a mutually exclusive meta field. Example: you have a question that flirts the line between three boards. With our current system you must roll the dice and pick a board, hoping the correct audience is visiting that board. However, if we only had one (or a few) generic boards, you could ask your question and place all three meta tags on the question. Now, instead of one group, you have piqued the interest of three groups of superusers waiting to answer the question in their field of expertise. This also promotes cross-pollination."

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Highlighted

Going into more detail, here are the current Labels available on the LabVIEW Add-Ons, VIs, and Tools Idea Exchange

 

  1. Communications
  2. Control and system design
  3. Database connectivity and security
  4. Development Tools
  5. Energy
  6. Extensions to other products
  7. Hobbyists ideas
  8. Image and video processing
  9. Math and optimization
  10. Medical
  11. Military and aerospace
  12. Other industries
  13. Semiconductor
  14. Signal processing
  15. Statistics and data analysis
  16. Test and measurement
  17. Visualization and reporting

Consider removing all of the industry-specific Labels, since software is generally industry-agnostic. Also, consider excluding Labels that currently exist on the LabVIEW Idea Exchange. This would leave the following Labels that would need to be added to the LabVIEW Idea Exchange, and might be good candidates to add anyway:

 

  1. Control and System Design
  2. Database
  3. Development Tools
  4. Image/Video Processing
  5. Signal Processing
  6. Statistics and Data Analysis
  7. Visualization/Reporting
  8. Add-on/Toolkit

Note the final Label Add-On/Toolkit can be one of the concurrent Labels chosen by the poster, or it can be added later by a moderator if R&D determines it's a good candidate for an add-on.

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I just loved your recommendation. But, I am confused... To give you some more background, I work in the LabVIEW software team and we are working hard (Jeff Meisel, Jervin, Rob, Chris, and others in our product partner team) to "enable LabVIEW developers to productize LabVIEW code. Some of the other things we’ve done this year were adding Licensing & Activation for 3rd Parties, launching the Compatible with LabVIEW Program and the LabVIEW Tools Network." (I copied this part from a Jervin's post)

 

As Jervin mentioned, "We just launched a new branch of the NI Idea Exchange to foster ideas for LabVIEW Add-ons. The intent was to create a place for LabVIEW Add-on developers (both NI R&D and developers in the community) to find ideas that matter to the community."

 

Because, there are only about 10 add-on ideas in the main LabVIEW Ideas Exchange today. My question is: What should we do to foster more discussion on this important topic, specially if NI, community developers, and other companies what to invest in this area? At this rate, it will be hard to get critical mass and evaluate new areas to grow the platform. What do you think that we should do?

 

Armando Valim

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@avalim wrote:

Because, there are only about 10 add-on ideas in the main LabVIEW Ideas Exchange today. My question is: What should we do to foster more discussion on this important topic, specially if NI, community developers, and other companies what to invest in this area? At this rate, it will be hard to get critical mass and evaluate new areas to grow the platform. What do you think that we should do?


 

First, thanks for replying Armando! Second, my motives are purely for meta field/organizational matters, and I have no intention of stifling Add-On developers in any manner. I recognize having a centralized means for collecting market research on customer demand must be invaluable for Add-On developers.

 

I'm glad you brought up the term "Critical Mass", because this reason is paramount for not branching a new Add-On Idea Exchange from the LabVIEW Idea Exchange. Are you familiar with the Spolsky/Atwood and crew and their Stack Exchange experience? I'll copy a few select excerpts:

 

"We thought that other people would create awesome sites on every imaginable topic. Some people did (yay!), but it wasn’t the flood of high quality sites we were hoping for.... And by allowing anyone...to make a site, we got a lot of ghost-town sites that nobody visited. We also got a lot of duplication: multiple sites on the same topic, competing for the same people and preventing one another from hitting critical mass. Bottom line, it just wasn’t working. We’ve been in beta for half a year now, and we only have a handful of sites that get enough traffic..."

 

My contention is this: it can be ambiguous (to every level of developer expertise) whether an Idea should fall into the category of "Base Package" or "Add-On". They might post to the "wrong" Exchange. Further, Voters and R&D must now patrol two separate forums for nearly identical Idea topics. What's the opposite of symbiotic? Parasitic? The two Exchanges are mutually parasitic.

 

Currently, the LabVIEW Idea Exchange has a critical mass - enough hype has been generated to get people to post Ideas, and enough people are posting Ideas to generate more hype. Check out the chart below, which plots the cumulative number of posts on the LabVIEW Idea Exchange and the RT Idea Exchange since inceptions. The LV IE is literally 100x more popular, and has sustained constant growth, whereas the less popular RT IE goes through "droughts" since it's not developed the Critical Mass. I'm not picking on the RT Idea Exchange - I have posted there and read all 75 posts - just using it as a representative example.

 

LabVIEWIdeaExchangeGrowth.png

 

Ultimately, Idea Exchanges are not for customers, they are for R&D, and I'm making assumptions based on limited knowledge. (For all I know, this could be an effort to decelerate the growing backlog!) The current Idea Exchanges portray meaningful divisions for separate product lines, but I think that breaking "Add-Ons" away from "LabVIEW" is only going to provide competition between the forums that stifles them both. The solution is to add a few more Labels to the LabVIEW Idea Exchange.

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Wow! Again, I actually think that you might be right. Do you think that we could make a push to get more ideas populated for a limited period of time? Do you think that we could get other leaders on the community to push it too?

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I meant more "add-on" or extensions ideas.

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@avalim wrote:

Do you think that we could make a push to get more ideas populated for a limited period of time? Do you think that we could get other leaders on the community to push it too?


I don't know exactly what you're asking here... do you mean, refunction the Idea Exchange to make Add-On Ideas more prominent, or do you mean generate more hype so that customers feel compelled to author many new Ideas for Add-Ons?

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I see big advantages to the separate add-ons/toolkits,etc. idea exchange. As I see it, it would be watched by those who write LabVIEW code as opposed to those who modify LabVIEW. I'm pretty sure these are distinct groups within NI and its an idea exchange that external individuals/companies can monitor for possible product development.

 

Pretty strongly disagree with your statement "since software is generally industry-agnostic". I think one of the best examples of industry specific software is the Biomedical Toolkit. There are many others and I think this is the sort of thing the new idea exchange is trying to encourage.

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