Releases, publishing and visibility

Dear @DavidPackouz and @BrennanSingularSound ,

I know you are doing your best to provide us with cool features. Yet you fail on something pretty basic which is your communication around release deliveries… I could link here countless messages requesting “when this or this will be available”. Not only it blurs generally the content of the topic, but those announcements are pretty sparse and difficult to aggregate…

In a recent topic, Brennan just posted this:

Very appreciated, but:

Why don’t you maintain such a list in a pinned separated topic ? You could even prevent comments on this page, to keep it clean. People willing to comment would simply create a topic to discuss about what they disagree with…

Suggestion about this page content/structure:

The next scheduled release

  • There should be a clear (the clearer possible) description of the next release. Ideally it should be so clear that it could become the changelog of the release as is when you eventually decide to release (I mean the one pushed along the device firmware).

  • Something that would be very appreciated would be to have links to certain topics as well, and if needed along with some comments to specify if the release covers what is requested, fixes or provides a work-around for, or is inspired from… The simple fact to have this link would, in the target topic, generate a backlink to this release post… Thus avoiding the usual noise you can see in every topic like “when will my stuff be available ?”…

  • An estimated release date !! I know things can slide, but you definitely can have an idea of when your next release will be issued. Even as a target, even with just week numbers… You could refine the closer you get from this target date…

Next 2 future releases

  • Content can be a bit fuzzier of course, just featuring big buckets like exactly in the post from Brennan mentioned here above.

  • Links to some topics would be cool too, but it could be of course less engaging, more something like a list of topics potentially addressed by the releases.

  • A very rough date !! The unit could be the month or quarter, whatever you choose, but don’t let your users in darkness !

Long Term Plan

  • Ideas more than content.

  • Links to some topics, but just referring topics as to be studied, or analyzing impact of.

  • No date.

History

Each Time a release is officially issued, you can create then a separated document, like you currently do, and basically cut/paste the content of the “next scheduled release” part into this new document.

Then here you reference this release document from here to keep track of the history of releases.

And you shift all releases up… next cycle…


Let me know what you think about this. I don’t feel like it’s super difficult to put in place. It would clarify a lot the topics, provide your users with the visibility they are eager of, simplify and unify your communication around new features.

Finally I have only one question… When will this be available :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: ?

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While I would love nothing more than a completely open, transparent, and well documented plan for the next few releases, I’m not sure that’s realistic. Your process is reasonable, but it’s your process…

SS has been more open than most in the industry in terms of their plans. That makes up for shipping the units with many features not complete. I think SS also gains by this approach and they get their customers feedback/ideas on what’s important before the product is locked and loaded. I’m OK with scattered tidbits of the plan here and there … and would be glad to see more.

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First of all this is not my process, but actually the process in place in most IT/software companies, for what I can talk about. The difference and it is true there is one, is that generally it is more a B2B related process than a B2C. But I tend to think that eventually a customer is a customer, and the trend is clearly to go towards that kind of practices than the opposite. That’s basically the lessons learnt from the open source processes, that a bigger and bigger number of companies are embracing.

That being said, I am a very pragmatic person, and I think that this kind of guideline/policy is a win-win process:

  • for Singular Sound:
    • consolidated information
    • less repetition in posts
    • improved communication

All of this leading eventually to less support required and more time available to actually do stuff…

  • for users
    • less uncertainty in the fact this or this has been taken in account
    • better trust in deliveries by knowing when stuff is delivered
    • better understanding/acceptance on why this or this feature has to be pushed to a later release or even the opposite why it has to be delivered earlier.
  • for future users (and there are quite a few in this forum)
    • the level of transparency is an incentive

And I am not saying that 100% transparency is needed, and there should definitely be time buckets for Singular Sound for special/secret developments etc… Yet there is clearly room for improvement between the current status and 100% transparency, and this is exactly what my proposal is trying to address while minimizing the workload implied…

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Kind of in the same vein of this thread, have the Aeros and Maestro at this point in time finally come to meet 100% of the all the advertised specifications either on Sigular’s site or vendors that were or are in place when those products were released to the public or do they still fall short. From all the posts of issued firmware fixes or add-ons it’s difficult to known at what stage either product is cumulatively at or if it’s posted somewhere I can’t find it.

How about updating the FAQ on the main site with what is done and what is planned (with or without a timeline)?

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No way !

If the FAQ was useful for anything but for commercial advertisement there would not even be the need of a forum like this !
The granularity is way higher in the FAQ, and absolutely not in line with what we are discussing here.

The Maestro is nowhere close to what was promised. There is no iOS app. The Android has never been called an “official” release. I still cannot use the unit to control anything other than the BB, and then I can only use the stock configuration.

The Aeros cannot load a track created off the Aeros. It cannot have a track longer than 2:30. That’s minutes and seconds, not hours. So, no, these products are not at the level that was promised pre-release when they were ordered and paid for.

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The problem here is not really to track what has been done or not regarding the commercial announcement (yet that would more come as a side effect), but to have a better idea on what’s on-going, when it would be available, and to have a clearer view of the evolution.

Release documents are mostly correct (still lacking references to users’ requests from the changelog as well as the long-time agreed firmware file hash…), but there is a need of a long-running document referencing each of them and keeping track of validated requests, future developments etc…

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A first step towards the right direction

Here are the updated forum tagging rules

What does not sit right with me in terms of transparency is the lack of a clear assessment of the Aeros’ present functionality and the nature of the development process on the website’s homepage. I imagine a significant amount of people (like myself) came into this not knowing Aeros was actually a product in development that doesn’t presently have the functionality required for certain types of use, i.e. freeform. I believe this should be upfront so people understand they’re buying a work-in-progress where they also have the opportunity to be a part of the development process. I’m sticking with it because I think/hope it will get where I need it to go, but I strongly believe the reality of where it is should be front & center to those seeing the website for the first time and considering a purchase.

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