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NeoOffice :: View topic - New Trinity feature for NeoOffice donors
New Trinity feature for NeoOffice donors
 
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pluby
The Architect
The Architect


Joined: Jun 16, 2003
Posts: 11907
Location: California, USA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:40 am    Post subject: New Trinity feature for NeoOffice donors Reply with quote

The NeoOffice project is funded entirely by the time and money donated by our users. While only about 1% of our users make a donation or volunteer their time, without the generous amounts of time and money donated by those small portion of users, many of the things that make the NeoOffice project what it is today would not exist.

During the NeoOffice 3.0 Early Access Program, we have already seen an increase in the need for support. While some of the reported problems were found to be NeoOffice bugs that we promptly fixed, most of the reported problems have been about the significant feature changes or bugs in NeoOffice's underlying OpenOffice.org 3.0.1 code. Since NeoOffice 3.0 will have all of these OpenOffice.org 3.0.1 significant feature changes and bugs, we are expecting that the number of support requests will increase significantly once we release NeoOffice 3.0 after the Early Access Program ends.

Because NeoOffice donors and volunteers are so critical to the NeoOffice project, we really want to make sure that we can continue to give all donors and volunteers the same support that we have provided during the NeoOffice 3.0 Early Access Program. We are expecting that we may be overwhelmed by support requests when NeoOffice 3.0 is released, so we have been thinking of different ways that we can continue to provide the same level of responsiveness to everyone who has contributed time or money to the NeoOffice project.

The Trinity forums are our primary support site for users, so we have made a slight change to the forums: users will see between 0 and 5 stars next to their name in forum lists, posts, and their user profile.

To ensure user privacy, only the few users that are Trinity moderators will be able to see stars for other users. No details for individual payments will be displayed.

These stars will only be used to allow Trinity moderators to more easily recognize Early Access Program members and other NeoOffice donors so that we can respond to their questions with the same responsiveness they have come to expect.

Why are we trying to answer support requests from Early Access Program members, donors and volunteers before other users?

The primary reason is that the generosity of NeoOffice donors and volunteers is what makes us able to provide free downloads and rapid support for all users for free and we feel that responding to their questions first is a way for us to thank them for their generosity.

Another important reason is that we expect a big increase in the number of support requests after NeoOffice 3.0 is released on 31 March 2009. We are preparing ourselves for the possibility that the number of support requests may far exceed the number that Fran, I, and the small group of support volunteers can respond to. We expect that this may happen because the OpenOffice.org 3.0.1 code that NeoOffice 3.0 is based on contains numerous significant changes and bugs. Those changes will likely generate many questions when NeoOffice 2.2.5 users upgrade to NeoOffice 3.0.

If the number of support questions exceeds our ability to answer them, we will answer questions from donors first. However, anything that is a problem that causes NeoOffice to crash or hang will always be taken care of immediately, even if people are experiencing other issues.

Stability is something that we consider to be very critical so fixing crashing and hanging bugs is always our first priority, regardless of who reports such bugs. If we still have time available after handling those bugs and any questions from donors, we will then try to handle any questions not answered by our volunteers or other users.

How does Trinity calculate the number of stars for a user?

In the past, NeoOffice donations have tended to be grouped around a handful of amounts so we use 0 to 5 stars as a way to get a very rough idea of a user's total donations. Specifically, we calculate the number of stars by checking if your Trinity user's e-mail matches the e-mail for any donation payments made in the last year. We then convert any matching donations to U.S. dollars, sum the converted amounts, and then find the higest number of stars for the sum of your donations in the following table:

Less than US$4 = 0 stars
US$4 or more = 1 star
US$8 or more = 2 stars
US$16 or more = 3 stars
US$32 or more = 4 stars
US$64 or more = 5 stars

Are volunteers affected by this change?

Volunteers are as important as donors to the NeoOffice project and we have always tried to respond to any questions from our volunteers as rapidly as possible. This will not change.

Any NeoOffice user is still free to post their questions on these forums and we hope that some users will continue volunteer their time to help answer questions from their fellow users. That is what so many selfless people do on these forums day in and day out, and we hope that will not change.

The only difference is that now we will be able to recognize those who have been supporting us through their donations. Up until now, we could only recognize our volunteers on this site.

While we strive to answer every question from any user, unfortunately I and Fran are only two people and our time is limited. When we do not have enough time to help everyone, I feel obligated to make sure I help those who paying for NeoOffice's infrastructure and staff. I need better tools to help us meet that obligation and I think this new feature will do that without compromising the privacy of our users.

What we hope that this new feature might do is encourage more users to join our existing volunteers. Our existing volunteers have done an amazing amount of work to make using NeoOffice as painless as possible. But at times, the sheer number of support questions is far larger than the amount of time that our volunteers can provide. It is during these times that we hope to see more users help their fellow users so that no user's questions are left unanswered.

Please feel free to post any questions that you have or bugs that you find in this new feature.

Edit: corrected time period of donations. The code has always calculated total donations over the last year, not the last two years.

Patrick


Last edited by pluby on Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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sardisson
Town Crier
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Joined: Feb 01, 2004
Posts: 4588

PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 12:12 pm    Post subject: Re: New Trinity feature for NeoOffice donors Reply with quote

pluby wrote:
Specifically, we calculate the number of stars by checking if your Trinity user's e-mail matches the e-mail for any donation payments made in the last two years.

There are no fewer than 10 users who have started topics in the NeoOffice Early Access Support forum who have no stars. While it's certainly possible that they've obtained an EA build unscrupulously (unlikely, given who a number of the users are) or have compiled it themselves (no mean feat), I also remember at least one of them commenting about donating after receiving our stellar support after arriving at trinity in the past few months.

In other words, there's going to be a group of donors who won't show up that way because their email addresses for trinity and the Early Access System don't match. Since we don't have single sign-on across the NeoOffice websites, and since people often like to use different email addresses for different types of registrations, it may be a fairly widespread issue.

I'm not sure how--or if--there's a way to handle this, so that those people basing their "order-to-respond" on stars will not be "ignoring" some actual donors.

Smokey

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pluby
The Architect
The Architect


Joined: Jun 16, 2003
Posts: 11907
Location: California, USA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 12:32 pm    Post subject: Re: New Trinity feature for NeoOffice donors Reply with quote

sardisson wrote:
I'm not sure how--or if--there's a way to handle this, so that those people basing their "order-to-respond" on stars will not be "ignoring" some actual donors.


I agree and I suspect that there will never be perfect matching. But what we can do is provide some means for users to link their Trinity user name to a PayPal e-mail address without having to change their Trinity e-mail address.

What I was thinking of doing next was to add fields in the user profile edit page that allows you to input the e-mail that you used for your PayPal donations and then we can put a notice about this new feature in a sticky in the Early Access Support forum.

Since we do not store any personal information that users gave PayPal and we only store the e-mail address, date, amount, and currency of their donation, I need to have have users input the e-mail, date, amount, and currency of one of their transactions to ensure that they are the owner.

Patrick
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Samwise
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Joined: Apr 25, 2006
Posts: 2315
Location: Montpellier, France

PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 2:33 pm    Post subject: Re: New Trinity feature for NeoOffice donors Reply with quote

pluby wrote:
Since we do not store any personal information that users gave PayPal and we only store the e-mail address, date, amount, and currency of their donation, I need to have have users input the e-mail, date, amount, and currency of one of their transactions to ensure that they are the owner.

Patrick


Couldn't this be achieved through some sort of "confirm your email" verification?
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pluby
The Architect
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Joined: Jun 16, 2003
Posts: 11907
Location: California, USA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 4:57 pm    Post subject: Re: New Trinity feature for NeoOffice donors Reply with quote

Samwise wrote:
Couldn't this be achieved through some sort of "confirm your email" verification?


I don't think so. There are two reasons for this:

1. PayPal does not require a valid e-mail for credit card payments. Since it appears that most of our donation payments are made by credit card, I suspect that a lot of the mismatches are due to invalid or temporary e-mails. In contrast, Trinity requires e-mail validation when you setup an account so having people change their Trinity e-mail to match their PayPal e-mail is would fail Trinity's existing e-mail confirmation.

2. Only 1% of our users donate so while there may be some mismatches, I suspect that the majority of the users with no donations listed have not made any donations in the last two years. So, sending all of the users an e-mail or nagging them to link their Trinity account to a PayPal e-mail is likely to cause a backlash in angry posts. Since the point of this new system is to prioritize our limited support resources, I definitely don't want to risk adding more support requests by annoying the majority of Trinity users who have not donated.

Because of the above reasons, I favor doing the following less invasive steps:

1. We continue treating all posters that are using NeoOffice 3.0 Early Access 2 as donors whether or not they are listed as donors. This is in our best interest as it is easier for us to handle NeoOffice 3.0 issues now than after the current Early Access Program ends.

2. Put links and notices in various places to tell donors how to link their Trinity account to their PayPal e-mail if they don't see any stars next to their Trinity user name.

Patrick
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pluby
The Architect
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Joined: Jun 16, 2003
Posts: 11907
Location: California, USA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FYI. I have added a new section called "Donation Preferences" in each user's Edit Profile page. In that new preferences section, I have added the following new preference:

Hide donation level from moderators - Defaults to "no". "No" means moderators will see 0 to 5 stars based on your total donation payments over the last 2 years. "Yes" means that everyone will always see 0 stars for your user (but you will still see stars for yourself when you are logged in).

Hopefully, in the next day or so I will add an additional preference for linking your Trinity user to a PayPal e-mail address for those that have a Trinity e-mail that is different than the one they used for their PayPal donation payments.

Patrick
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Samwise
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Joined: Apr 25, 2006
Posts: 2315
Location: Montpellier, France

PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Patrick, considering all the time and money you put into NeoOffice, how come you only have 4 stars? Wink
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pluby
The Architect
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Posts: 11907
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Samwise wrote:
Patrick, considering all the time and money you put into NeoOffice, how come you only have 4 stars? Wink


Mine is seeded my account and a few long-term support volunteers with fake PayPal transactions to ensure that I can tell at a glance if my new code is working OK.

BTW, I think we moderators should really refrain from noting people's number of donation stars as some people may consider this private information and I recommedn that we should err on the side of privacy.

Patrick
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pluby
The Architect
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Joined: Jun 16, 2003
Posts: 11907
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pluby wrote:
Hide donation level from moderators - Defaults to "no". "No" means moderators will see 0 to 5 stars based on your total donation payments over the last 2 years. "Yes" means that everyone will always see 0 stars for your user (but you will still see stars for yourself when you are logged in).


After implementing this new feature, I though it might be confusing for users to see stars next to their user name after they have changed their preferences to hide the stars. So, if you change this new preference to Yes, it will also hide your own stars when you are logged in.

I also added an HTML tooltip to the stars and when you click on stars next to your name, your browser will go to the new Donation Preferences section in the Edit Profile page.

Patrick
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aussie149
The Merovingian


Joined: Feb 12, 2005
Posts: 607
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:17 pm    Post subject: email address? email address? Reply with quote

Aha. This post reminded me to check the email address on my profile. I found it is actually three years out-of-date, and certainly not the one that I have for Early Access Embarassed
Peter
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pluby
The Architect
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Posts: 11907
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FYI. I have added the ability to link your Trinity account to your PayPal donation payments if you made donation payments and the e-mail address that you gave PayPal is different from the e-mail address that you use for your Trinity account.

To link your Trinity account to your PayPal donation payments, go to the Edit Profile page, go to the Donation Preferences section, and fill out the fields in the "Link account to PayPal donation payments" block.

Patrick
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jakeOSX
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Joined: Aug 12, 2003
Posts: 1373

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i checked the settings, and my paypal to trinity link worked just fine. the longest part was logging into paypal to get a transaction date.

however, as i am no longer on the council i can not comment on other users.
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pluby
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Posts: 11907
Location: California, USA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jakeOSX wrote:
i checked the settings, and my paypal to trinity link worked just fine. the longest part was logging into paypal to get a transaction date.


Excellent! I can also see that your stars have increased which means that the linkage was successful. Note that whenever you log into Trinity or successfully change any preferences in the Edit Profile page, your stars will be recalculated and visible to you and any moderators immediately.

If anyone finds any bugs when they try linking their PayPal e-mail, can you post the bugs in this forum topic?

Patrick
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djpimley
The Anomaly
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Joined: Jun 11, 2006
Posts: 481
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Patrick,

I have just registered an account for the use of my employer. I made a PayPal donation from a different email address. When I try to link the forum account to the payment address, the Donation Preferences email field will not allow me to enter enough characters - I can type only 25 chars but the email address is 28.

Can the char limit be increased?
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pluby
The Architect
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Joined: Jun 16, 2003
Posts: 11907
Location: California, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

djpimley wrote:
Hi Patrick,

I have just registered an account for the use of my employer. I made a PayPal donation from a different email address. When I try to link the forum account to the payment address, the Donation Preferences email field will not allow me to enter enough characters - I can type only 25 chars but the email address is 28.

Can the char limit be increased?


This should be fixed now and you should be able to input up to 100 characters in this field.

Patrick
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