I hope I'm not referring to it using the wrong terminology. The in-game mod browser is clearly a success and should remain. But the mods.factorio.com website (where iiuc we are supposed to go to discuss mod-specific things, now, right?) is useless and clearly represents a huge setback for factorio compared to what came before it. I am assuming this will not be controversial for 99% of you out there, now that we all have some experience with the thing.
But for the handful of people who might feel otherwise: You probably only feel that way because you built it yourself. No clue who did that work and I'm sorry if this hurts your feelings but the portal thing sucks.
In case it's not obvious why:
- It's super buggy. Images are confusingly dangled before the user but the lightbox-type image browser thingy which I assume is supposed to present them doesn't work. The search does nothing. The "forums" are missing lots and lots of important features that people need to meaningfully have a successful discussion. Etc., etc., etc. Just about every implemented "feature" doesn't work, in practice; many more are not implemented.
- It's more-or-less put an end to almost all discussion pertaining to all non-grandfathered mods.
The new mods have a support "forum" filled with identical pleas to fix the same bug ("you need to fix XYZ, it's this line of code," etc). But nobody is getting the message half the time. I don't think it's (only) because mod authors are negligent. Perhaps because there is no notification system in place. Perhaps a critical-mass problem. Regardless, the portal seems to have more-or-less killed off what used to be a thriving community process where new mods were shared, discussed, supported, and so on here on the forums.
I guess it turns out that designing a custom CMS for mod-related content and discussion content is pretty hard. In retrospect, perhaps we all should have seen that coming.
But: there's no point throwing good money after bad: Just scrap it. It was a worthwhile experiment but now we know the result: phpBB was a better place for those discussions. Keep the portal as an index, if you like, but please allow mod authors to bring the mod-specific discussions back into phpBB where they were before the portal? That was working really well and this isn't.