Josh (desh) wrote in suggestions,

Provide ability to disable/opt-out of new things via console

Provide ability to disable/opt-out of new things via console

Short, concise description of the idea
Provide ability to disable/opt-out of new things via console

Full description of the idea
When new features are added to LiveJournal, an ability to disable the feature, or opt-out of it, should be provided via the console whenever possible. Generally, this would be accomplished by a console command like "set optout_feature 1". To bring up two relatively recent examples, one should be able to opt out of receiving "nudge" emails (and this opt-out was eventually provided) and of receiving vgifts. This suggestion, though, doesn't apply to any particular feature, but rather refers to all new features, whenever it is technically possible to do so.

(EDIT, since comments indicated my suggestion was unclear: I'm suggesting that each new feature be coded with an individual opt-out switch. I'm not suggesting that there be an overall "opt me out of everything new" switch.)

Additionally, a list of all of the things that can be altered by the "set" console command would be most helpful. Aside from this deficiency, the console is fully documented.

A few things I'm NOT suggesting here:

Some people might say that new features should be opt-in rather than opt-out. That's beyond the scope of this suggestion. All I'm saying here is that opt-out is better than no opt-out.

Also, some people might say that opt-outs should be provided via editinfo.bml. I agree that they sometimes should, but again that's beyond the scope of this suggestion. Occasionally the LiveJournal designers decide that adding an opt-out for something to editinfo.bml isn't worth the clutter. My suggestion is that even in these cases, the opt-out be at least added to the console.

And of course, I'm not referring to ads or security-related updates at all.

An ordered list of benefits
  • Provides advanced users with more control over their LiveJournal experience
  • In particular, enables users who aren't big fans of change to keep their LiveJournal experience as static as possible, even as the developers add new features that appeal to the majority of users
  • Avoids cluttering the editinfo.bml page, if that is deemed to be a concern in a particular case

An ordered list of problems/issues involved
  • Requires additional coding time with new features to enable them to be cleanly disabled by opt-out

An organized list, or a few short paragraphs detailing suggestions for implementation
  • When new features are written, make sure a user has not disabled them before displaying them to that user. Of course, the implementation of this will vary feature-by-feature, but it may generally involve hiding buttons or images from a user, supressing emails to that user, removing that user's name from lists, creating error messages to be displayed when another user tries to interact with that user via the new feature, and so on.
Tags: admin console, § rejected
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