Ask Fedora -> English / Non-English / Common Issues structure

Now that we actually have it live, I’d like to ask everyone’s opinion on Ask Fedora merge structure second thoughts again. That is: right now, we have Ask Fedora as a top-level category with guides and FAQs [1], and then Ask in English, Ask in Other Languages, and and Common Issues underneath that.

I like this conceptually — Ask is its own space, and the intro texts can stand out — but it also introduces some problems:

So, what if, instead, we got rid of the separate English category and just merged that into Ask Fedora directly?

We could also consider moving Common Issues up a level. I like having it where it is because, although more structured, they’re still quick end-user-help topics. And I’d prefer not to have too many categories overwhelming the front page. But on the other hand… it is a different thing.

As usual, this is a straw poll — meant to gauge opinion, not a binding referendum.

We should…
  • Leave it the way it is now
  • Merge “English” into the top level Ask
  • Merge “English” and also move Common Issues to the top
  • Something Else
  • I don’t care.

0 voters

  1. which I know need to be updated — that’s a different topic ↩︎

Why not have something like this?

  • Ask Fedora
    | - Ask Fedora in English
    | - Ask Fedora in <lang1>
    | - Ask Fedora in <lang2>
    | - Ask Fedora in <lang3>
    | - …
  • Common Issues

So, that is both taking Common Issue a level up, keeping a generic Ask Fedora top level with sublevel for English and each of other languages.

This might turn out to be a problem.

But those two should be ok with my proposal.

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We had something like this a while ago on Ask, and it just wasn’t working. The traffic in the non-English categories was very small, and it ends up adding a lot of overhead, both on users[1] and admins[2].

See This site’s categorization by language doesn’t seem to be useful for some prior discussion.

  1. Every new category is another option in the New Topic composer drop down, for example ↩︎

  2. creating (or removing!) a category is a lot more work than adding or dropping a tag ↩︎

Makes sense, probably the non-English ones should keep merged. (I don’t think it would be fun the process to add a new language that is not there if a user needed it).

IMHO, this makes sense if your consider English the default, and non-English a sub-category. So I think I would agree with that.

I still think we should move Common Issues up, it’s more of a question of if it is Troubleshooting (and therefore should be in Ask Fedora) or if it’s related to the Fedora development (and should be moved along with other categories).

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I believe with javascript or css it should be possible to make something like hide/unhide
Or create a summary

Hide | Unhide Categry Boxes

| Common Issues | Ask in English | Ask in other languages |

Unfortunately it is long since I worked with CSS and a bit Javascript, but I’m sure the Discord ppl could help with this.

I catched the <div> and the CSS class= in the html code:

I suggest merging English and Other Languages into Ask Fedora, i.e. only use tags for languages, not sub-categories.

It’s possible to understand and answer most questions in different languages using machine translation. I don’t like to separate them into a sub-category, which makes them less visible, when they are already very few (so English-only speakers do not need to be afraid of seeing too many “weird” characters :slight_smile: ).

For FAQs/guides, if pinning is not sufficient (there might eventually be too many to pin, or posts that are high-quality and worth highlighting but not to everyone all the time), then they should be moved into a sub-category for FAQs/guides. That makes them easier to search/browse separately from user questions.

We should make it as easy as possible for users (with no prior knowledge of the site structure) to post in the right place. They should be able to land on ask.fp.o and just click “New Post” and start typing.


I generally like that idea but how do users then even realize they are allowed to ask a non-English question?


I do not agree, ask and discussion where till now focusing on different audiences. The merge was made to integrate both audiences in one to be more transparent and gain more attention on both sides.

Before the integration, the discussion of structuring was made and the decision felt on what we do have now. I do find it to early to have this discussion again.

First we should get used to what we do have and second we do need to collect some experiences, where we can base on, to make the next changes.

About the mixture of languages we also said that we not want to have this in the beginning. And it also came up, that we will have a auto translation option. But for the moment this not happened yet.

As we experienced already when ask.fp.o was separate, the possibilities of using different languages was very low. As the projects origin is fiscally in the US, the decisions was made that we use this language as default.

Using a translation page as google offers, can be used as an requester and also as someone who wants to help. But it not should be a must to understand, what we talking about here.

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Actually, have we discussed how non-English speaking users will even find the Non-English category? Is it obvious to look under Ask Fedora, and then post in Other Languages?

I took a look around and here is how Gnome Discourse and Manjaro Discourse have solved the issue. They have a top-level category called “International” or “Languages”.



Yes, If someone comes from/to ask.fp.o, it is needed to select a subcategory to start a topic. Someone who has absolutely no idea of English will not come thru there, he will look for a local group to get help in his own language, or at least thru a page who translates the content.

But anyway, we really should handle this page here a bit like we do handle Fedora Linux ore any other distribution/application.

When someone makes a new distro/application the focus is on a default language and maybe on a locale where the developer speaks. The rest comes normally from the community, when they start to participate and bring in own effort.

“Versioning” would be also important. That we give a time to see how it goes, and make changes regularly in certain time frames. I propose time frames of about 6 month in the beginning.

This is a good idea to have a look what others do. I liked the topic where Manjaro is explaining how to make requests an what kind of information is needed to get an answer:

[HowTo] Request support - Tutorials - Manjaro Linux Forum (this would be an exelent template for our #new-users start here tag in the ask category)

This sums up very well how the guidelines are on Manjaro.

If we do this, we would need to do one of the following:

  • accept that non-English topics won’t actually ever be tagged with the right language, or
  • create an #english tag which people could select

In the case of #1, we could be aggressive about mods and tl3+ users tagging after the fact, but I’m not sure exactly how that works with notifications — certainly people not expecting other languages will get them (and, from experience, complain to me about it) and I’m not sure if people subscribed to the tag get notified when a tag is added to an existing topic. (I will check into that!)

Did you get a notification? I added a tag laptop to your request below.

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I got an edit notification:

But… did anyone other than the post author who is subscribed to laptop get one?

I get what you mean, the request should get unread to appear again in the list right?
If yes i guess this just happens when we write something new in the topic, changed/added language tag … etc.

And perhaps an email notification.

This you get when the tracking bell is on ?! Not really sure.

A note on this — I do plan to investigate options for integrating the DIscourse Translator plugin. I want to find someone who will give us API access for free. :classic_smiley:

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Users can also post non-English posts into the wrong categories now, no?

In fact, users post English posts into the wrong categories. Sometimes they reply to completely unrelated posts.

Anyway, I understand the other limitations/counterpoints, so I am not going to insist on my suggestion. The language divide (online and offline) is something I’m particularly interested in[1] so I perhaps spoke a little enthusiastically.

  1. I thought we would be sticking alien fishes in our ears by now, not still discussing how to divide a forum by language :smile: ↩︎

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I think mostly they go to the correct place, but of course not always. Since we just changed things around a lot, I can’t really predict — but we’ll see!

I like having it where it is too. Note that this ask page/view is currently set as the primary place for users to get help when they click on the “Help” button on the new page (it is the first link that shows up and it is labeled “General Q&A”). I think having the common issues (with the issue description text) displayed prominently there could be very helpful.

Creating a specialized view to link to from there would be fine too if you don’t want that to be the default for the ask category. But let me know if you change that and want me to update that link.

BTW, the “New Topic” button being disabled by default is a problem. I think you said you had an idea about how to fix that at some point?

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