Chen Lin

Redesign of File Exchange Review Section

Chen Lin on 15 Jul 2021
Latest activity Reply by Hollis on 4 Aug 2021

The community team is pleased to release a new design for File Exchange review section. The new design has addressed major pain points we heard from File Exchange users and improves the overall experience. Major improvements include:

1. Support editing ratings/comments

Editing is probably the most popular feature request from File Exchange users. Now, you are able to edit your ratings/comments. Simply click the ‘Edit’ link below your content.

2. Support replying to a comment

In the old design, the only way for the file author to reply to a comment is to create a new comment, which is very hard to track. With the new design, the authors can directly reply to a comment and their post has a blue background making it easier to see. Due to differences between the old and new commenting structures, replies to comments couldn't be reliably inferred, so all comments added prior to 7/14 are at the same indentation level. Replies will be indented from now on.

3. Support rich formatting and attachments

Using the new rich text editor, you are able to choose bold/italic text, insert code or image, create lists, or attach files.

4. Introduce the ‘Discussions’ tab

There is a new ‘Discussions’ tab where community users have conversations with the author or other community members for Q&As or general discussions. The discussions section supports threaded discussions to facilitate the conversations. We separate Discussions with Reviews so that different types of content are not mixed together.

This is a major change for File Exchange and we look forward to hearing from you. Simply reply to this article if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions.

Jim Hokanson
Jim Hokanson on 29 Jul 2021

Looks great, although I just responded to a question with a new entry rather than replying. Oh well.

The bigger issue I see, and perhaps I'm just missing it, is I don't see a search for the discussion section. I tried a browser based search (ctrl+f) but the discussion section is only partially loaded, which means that approach does not work.

Hollis on 4 Aug 2021

Thanks for the feedback! It seems what we gained in load times we lost in the simple ease of Ctrl-F 😞

per isakson
per isakson on 22 Jul 2021

This redesign is more than welcome. I've used it to answer a question ( m2uml, most recent entry of Discussions ) and want to make some comments

  • It's a bit confusing that some tools (e.g. Hyperlink and Image) are not identical to those of Answers. Couldn't more of the code base be shared.
  • My answer isn't in my Activity feed. How to quickly spot new entries? The @-feature of Answers might be useful.
  • A help page is needed.
  • Why limit the number of images to one? I used MsPaint to merge three images. I miss the Image dialog of Answers.
Hollis on 4 Aug 2021

Hi there,

Thanks for your feedback!!

Sorry for the trouble you experienced with images! You can insert multiple images by selecting different files and clicking "Insert Image" for each, although this is certainly more intuitive in Answers.

You'll be happy to hear that now that File Exchange uses a shared component across MATLAB Central (the same one you see here), it will be receiving regular updates from the same team that develops Answers! You can expect more features to be shared between the applications going forward. In particular, some may notice that the markup editor looks eerily like the old Answers editor...

Ciaran McAndrew
Ciaran McAndrew on 19 Jul 2021

Has the ability to view files before download been removed as I am having a hard time finding it? Being able to review source code before downloading is important for security purposes, and also allows a user to gauge the quality and usability of an application.

David on 19 Jul 2021

The ability to preview code hasn't changed, just look at the Functions tab.

Ciaran McAndrew
Ciaran McAndrew on 19 Jul 2021

Thanks David. I was looking at some examples on File Exchange that did not have this tab - perhaps I associated it with the UI changes, whereas its due to other reasons.

David on 19 Jul 2021

Often the submissions consist only of a MATLAB toolbox (.mltbx) that only contains an App installer (.mlappinstall). We don't extract functions/source code for App installers. If the projects are linked to from GitHub the source code for the App installer is usually available there.

Rik on 19 Jul 2021

Some of my submissions also lack the preview tab, but this is by design: I use the 'example' HTML to provide more documentation than I'm willing to put in an m-file.

In my case you can still review my code on GitHub. This could also be the reason for the tab missing.

DANISH SHAH on 17 Jul 2021

messages to authors should be also added

Rik on 15 Jul 2021

Excuse the all caps, but THANK YOU. This is a HUGE improvement. Especially the ability to use the new editor (and therefore use proper bulleting, links, and code).

Now the only thing left on my list of feature requests is (versioned) dependencies, meaning you can specify a submission needs a specific other submission to work properly. That would drastically reduce the size of my submissions.

Ismael Abdulrahman
Ismael Abdulrahman on 15 Jul 2021

Thanks for the new design and important changes.

Hans Scharler
Hans Scharler on 15 Jul 2021

This is a huge change! Thanks for sharing the updates to File Exchange .