Handling "feature requests" on the forum

The most common topic on this forum is, "feature request".
But ...

The vast majority of feature requests are not feature requests;
They are really help requests.

Valid feature requests are few and far between.

I am learning to translate "forum speak" into normal English.
In any post about:

  • "feature request"
  • "suggestion"
  • "Why can't KM do this like program A/B/C?"

my first thought is "translate" that as a request for help.
I suspect the poster is a relative beginner, who could benefit from some guidance.

But not always.
Plenty of topics, the poster is just too lazy to search.

So, what I'm going to do more is this:

  1. If the poster seems to be a beginner, I will provide gentle guidance, using simple actions.
  • Some who post "feature requests" are not beginners to KM.
    They simply lack imagination.
    Here, too, gentle encouragement is beneficial.
    Something like, "Have you tried the XYZ action?"

  • For those who seem genuinely lazy, I will reply with a brief comment about the search function.
    And, maybe, a suggestion of words to use in the search, like the sample below.
    But I won't provide links, because the search functions does that very well.
    I won't encourage the mentally lazy.

Thoughts and critique, please.


Example of reply to the lazies:

####"Have you tried the search function in the upper, right corner of this window?"

And optionally:

I’d add one more point: I have no problem ignoring a post and letting someone else handle it, if I know I’m just going to get frustrated or ticked off due to, well, any of the many, many reasons I might get frustrated or ticked off. :slight_smile:

It’s actually kind of freeing to know that if someone’s question is so poorly worded, badly presented, poorly formatted, etc., there’s other people on this forum who have much more patience than I do with such things, and I can just let the question go without my two-cent’s worth. :smile:


Each of us have our own style, patience, etc to responding to questions for help or feature requests. Feel free to choose what works best for you.

Having said that I have learned to not put down a "feature request", regardless of what I think about it. If I see a decent workaround, then I may post that, with a "until/IF that feature is provided" clause. :smile:

I generally leave "feature requests" for @peternlewis to respond to. He usually does, and is usually candid about the likelihood of the requested feature being implemented.

As @DanThomas mentioned, sometimes just ignoring the post is the best option. :wink:

@Mark, thanks for helping. You often bring great and unique insight into solving a problem.

Everyones replies on this have been spot on.

No one (even me!) is obligated to respond to any post, and I am sure the vast majority of the folks on this forum are as thankful as I am for all the great and varied responses on the forum.

As @JMichaelTX says, we each have our own style.

Some great posters on this forum produce absolutely fantastically details macro solutions for people and that is a great resource. Generally, my answers tend to be somewhat more along the lines of how you go about it, both because I can do that quicker (and I like to spend some time programming!) and because I think there is great value in learning how to create a macro yourself which will benefit you long term. But often novice users just need to get some immediate value out of Keyboard Maestro to make it worth continuing, so it is great to have both approaches.

And absolutely, if a post irritates you or you simply don’t feel like answers, by all means leave it. I will often leave a post that I either want to think more about or that I think others will answer well, and then come back to it a day or two later (in this, using mailing list mode in Mail helps a lot because I can simply mark it as unread and leave it for later).

The only thing I do ask is to avoid telling the OP that they are wrong, or what they want to do is a bad idea (pointing out risks is fine!) or that they should not do something. It’s generally not appropriate to tell folks what they should or shouldn’t do. Of course there is nothing wrong with “I would solve this by …”, but even “I would not do this” should be reserved for cases where there is a real danger of data loss.

Variations on style of answering can only help the forum in general, since different people are after different things. And the absolutely freedom to simply ignore a post will help avoid people getting burned out. Take a week off, skip a post because your coffee is getting cold, whatever - there is no obligation to respond, let someone else help them.


First, I totally agree with everything @peternlewis posted.

Perhaps there is a better way of wording something like this (there almost always is), but like @Mark has mentioned, we don't want to let being "politically correct" to prevent us from warning a user (or all users) about a potentially severe adverse consequence of some proposed or suggested approach.

So, IMO, if you see something that could potentially have severe adverse consequences, then so advise the poster, but, as always, be polite in doing so. This rarely occurs, and almost all posters try to be accurate in their advice, so I don't think it is much of an issue here.

We won't always all agree, but that is mostly a good thing if done respectfully. It is good to see all sides of an issue or potential approach.

1 Like