I've had some experiencing working on open-source software with many active users, our policy for the issue tracker was not to allow end-users to create feature-requests.
While this wasn't a popular choice among many users we did this because the scope of the application was already wide and we found it difficult to find the time to respond to regular bug reports.
Instead, there are solutions such as user-voice (and similar services), which we experimented with (and kept our issue tracker for software errors, or design-tasks assigned to design teams and developers).
This worked well for us, because every issue had a clear outcome:
- Maintainers of an area are responsible for resolving.
- Issues have a clear outcome.
Since then I've been spending some time on a project on github which is also and end-user application in the field of graphics/sound/animation (not middle-ware or server code), and many users are making random wouldn't-it-be-nice feature requests.
This would likely be the case for other productivity software (applications people use for their job, spend all day in and may be greatly impacted by available features - office/image/video-editor/animation/CAD/code-IDE's).
Since I'm not the owner of this project, I don't feel like setting policy on this topic.
And while there is some potential value in any given feature request, my impression is...
- Users ask for fancy features from their favorite application.
- Very few of the requests are likely to be implemented within the next few years.
- Developers aren't engaging with users and the requests are mostly ignored.
Basically user expectations and developer capabilities differ so much, that many requests are wishful thinking, and only loosing someones time to have to categorize, reply to, de-duplicate... etc.
But maybe I'm reading the situation incorrectly here:
So my question is, for popular end user software with many more users than developers, what is a reasonable policy for defining what is/isn't acceptable to keep open as an issue on github/gitlab and similar services.
Do many projects on github for example disallow feature requests in their issue tracker?
(would be interested in answers from anyone who's been involved with large active projects who've had to make a decision on how to handle feature requests)