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Realistic testing of innovations before their implementation

It is of essence that innovations such as those described in the October 23rd Amara Community Townhall be realistically tested before being implemented on the main Amara platform. I.e. the test should happen first on the Developers' subplatform, and involve real Amara users who'll be really collaborating in real subtitling. This is necessary because developers' and users' evaluations of a feature, and of problems it may entail, differ.

Take the developers' decision to by-pass the primary indication when an Amara page has several URL's, which was only recently pulled back. In the Townhall, Dean Jansen described it as:
"just a minor bug or hiccup in our development"
(English subs, 45:28 – 45:36)
and that is probably true from a developer's viewpoint. But for users who saw hundreds of videos that had been subtitled by them or other volunteers not working in the Amara player, for over two months (see BIG TRAP. "Make primary" doesn't work anymore), this was definitely not a minor issue.

Or take the developers' decision to impose workflowed moderation against the settings of teams that did not want it and could not have it, at the beginning of June. The developers had tested it alright since January 13, 2012, on the developers' platform in the Friday 13  (1) "no workflow" team.  And actually, almost all the issues that later hampered collaboration in the real teams came up during this testing. But they could not perceive the impact these issues would have for real, because they only made short sub sets like "one" "two" "three" "four" "five", or imported existing subtitles. So they went ahead and imposed moderation on the teams that didn't want it. When the moderation-entailed issues hit real collaboration on real subs, the effect was devastating.

So real users must be involved in testing innovations in real conditions, i.e. collaborating on real subtitling. But they must be able to download their work to re-use it elsewhere. Some time before its present disappearance (see note 1), the developers' platform stopped allowing downloads. So if it is revived or if another venue is used for testing, downloading subs must be enabled.

(1) The Friday 13 link does not work presently: actually, no URL of the Developers' platform does.

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