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Need a road map, feature release schedule, or something that tells us what Bubble is working on and where it is headed

The Bubble users really need to know where exactly the Bubble development team is, what they are working on, and where we are headed. This could be in the form of a roadmap, a UserVoice forum for voting and seeing which features are currently being worked on, a release schedule, or something that at least gives voice to the development team plans and the pace at which work is happening. (This came up in a post regarding a change to the responsive layout engine where several of us using the engine experience changes without realizing it had been updated.)

Whatever the case, something needs to be formally shared. I think it’s great that a number of posts through the forum mention fixes and features coming down the pipeline, we need to see this in a collective organized place. If I’m to consider using Bubble in production I have to know what items are being worked on, what changes happen, and how to mitigate all of that for my users

For context, I’ve been a developer building applications for a while, and in the middle of rebuilding the next iteration of one of my applications in React.js and Meteor.js, I came across Bubble. In two weeks, I’d built a working prototype of nearly 50% of my current app and was amazed. I’m even currently paying for a subscription and would like to upgrade to a higher level, but really need to have some sense of what the developers are doing to really determine if I can move a complete application infrastructure running for nearly ten years to this platform.

Thanks.

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Are you looking for something that says, “On this day, these things will exist?” Or are you looking for a general list of what is in the pipeline? I don’t work for Bubble, just curious.

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Thanks for asking @potentialthings.
At a minimum I think it’s important to know:

  • when updates and features (even for beta features) are released into the production environment we are using
  • what bugs currently exist and how they are being managed
  • what features are currently being worked on
  • what features are the dev team committed to work on but haven’t started yet
  • a general estimate of when those features might be expected to be completed would be great, but I understand how this could be difficult
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I would like a general list in order of priority, exact dates will be pushing it a bit I think

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There has been a few threads about this and you can see our answers there. But in a nutshell:

  1. We announce every new feature on the forum (and once a month or so by email to the whole user base).
  2. We’ve been communicating about long term plans on the forum as well, for stuff like opening up the plugin system, etc. It’s unfortunately a bit hard to commit on a date for this, as you can imagine (and as you said your post). And keeping the ability to be flexible if a user needs something critical is also very valuable I think (that’s what we call sponsor a feature. it’s basically a way to change the priority list in case there is an urgent need for an investor meeting, a launch, etc)
  3. We could post something when we start a feature, and then a week later say “it’s done”, but i’m not sure that would bring much. And we actually do say sometime, when a thread requires something “let us look into it”. That basically means we’re going to work on it very soon. When we say “no timeline”, well, that means there is no timeline. In other words, it’s on the list of stuff we’d like to do, but we can’t say when.
  4. We don’t have a bug list, but we have a no bug policy. So as soon as a bug report is filled, we fix it (and move this before adding new feature). When we fix the bug we communicate this to the user that reported it.
  5. We don’t push things that break things, except for the responsive engine, but as we said in that thread, we made is very clear that it was in beta and subject to changes without notification. That is the only time we did this, and that’s why we had such a warning (and the different announcements about responsive on the forum all had this mention as well).

More reporting would be great, but it’s a bit an issue of resource allocation. We’re a very (very) small team, so we have to chose our priorities. The more time we spend reporting, the less time we spend answering other questions on the forum, and building stuff/fixing bugs. I’d be happy to hear what the community thinks, my personal feeing right now is that we have a fairly good balance. Happy to hear other people though.

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Point no 3 would be nice. Just so we can know what’s in the pipeline. It helps with our planning ahead and when we speak to clients about their app requirements.

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I came across something that i think would be amazing to have.

It is a roadmap that Aircall.io use.

All they do is setup a Trello board, and other users view what’s in the pipe, and vote accordingly.

Check it out.

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We’ve talked about this in some other threads -there is an unofficial roadmap that does exactly that on Trello:

Here is the unofficial roadmap thread:

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I am a devoted Bubble user and would love to know their future plans as much as anyone. But as an experienced software product manager, I will say that it is not realistic to expect the Bubble team to publish its roadmap in any real detail. Building a new product/platform is hard. So much changes every day, every week, every month that your priorities are always changing. They have a vision – the path to get there is winding and unpredictable for them and for us alike. But their documentation is solid and their support (and that of the community) is excellent. I applaud Emmanuel and Josh on their current level of accessibility and transparency.

In their end of year newsletter, they said:

“We’ve had a lot of growth over the past 12 months – Bubble has a lot more users, and our users has a lot more active apps, than we did before. We have many companies that entirely rely on us for their IT. We’re therefore shifting resources to prioritizing keeping what we have working and stable. That said, we don’t want to bring new features to a halt either! Our Plugin system is still at its debut, we will launch soon ways for users to add their own elements, write server code, etc. Hopefully native apps will come in 2017 as well.”

That’s the roadmap. They spell out the key priorities for 2017:

  • Platform stability/scalability
  • Plugin system enhancements
  • Custom elements
  • Server code
  • Native app support

There may be other smaller enhancements, and there may be “freebies” that come if/when bigger users sponsor a feature, but I wouldn’t expect Bubble to announce/deliver anything outside of the list above. And as a user, I’m fine with that.

To the original poster, I hope that didn’t come across the wrong way – I totally understand where you’re coming from. I’m just trying to offer a bit of “public defense” for Bubble from a pure product management perspective. They can’t and shouldn’t be in the business of publicly promising features and deadlines – it will sink them and potentially the rest of us with them. The best thing they can do is to be clear about exactly and only what the product does right now, and let us customers decide how much we’re willing to invest and trust in it.

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I’ve answered questions like in the past with answers like this. Very well said, and something we (Pivotal Labs) try to preach to our clients from day one.

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Just chiming in to provide context as I posted this in June of last year.
At that time Bubble users received no updates whenever changes were made to the application. I created this post in response to a problem with the then new responsive engine that was enabled without any notifications. Since then Bubble provides the nice little gift icon and a list of what has happened since you’ve logged in, which was essentially what I was requesting.

I totally think both of us believe the same things about helping customers understand that developers can’t always provide a pathway to every single thing, but in the case of this ticket, I was asking for anything that could let the Bubble community know what was happening behind the scenes so we wouldn’t be surprised or have breaks that we were not aware of.

What is interesting to me is how there is an “institutional memory”, if you will, inside of this forum. There are so many questions I see popping up that have been asked, engaged, and reengaged. This very issue was one of them that may have resulted in the creation of that “gift box” update. Whatever the rationale, I’m just glad that we now know what updates were loaded into the dev environment since the last time we worked.

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