h a l f b a k e r y
Not so much a thought experiment as a single neuron misfire.
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An software review site, where users vote for which features/improvements they desire the most.
The site managers can invite the developers of the bigtime programs to respond to the requests (hopefully, with promises to implement them, or with explanations why not).
(#1) Buddy Alias (57) / due: ver 3.7, May 2001 /
Developer: This feature will blah blah blah
(#2) Select which Buddies you watch (22) / due: no promises / Developer: We are still deciding whether this would be a good change to our program.
(#3) Cross-Message with Other IMs (18) / due: never /
Developer: It would destroy our business model.
I know there are plenty of such polls out there, but I know of no central source where I can easily look up the list for any famous application.
||Just let me say that what I'm suggesting could well be a discussion board for closed-source, commercial software, where users express their demands.
||In particular, this is useful because it lets you know when your feature is scheduled to arrive, if that is the case.
||UnaBubba: If you knew that the promise was coming from MS (which would probably have a negative 'truthfulness' rating, as well as a negative 'competence' rating), maybe you wouldn't have expected good results in the first place.
||I really can't think of one right now, but I'm sure some developers are pretty good at writing reliable, clean software, and be honest with their customers.
It's not very helpful to give everybody a negative rating by default.
||I think the developers deserve the benefit of the doubt. And, of course, the site can always keep a history of the companies' mistakes and deceptions, through user rating of new versions, etc.