Ask Fedora merge structure second thoughts

So, as I work on the site merge, I’m having some second thoughts about about how to structure the new Ask Fedora subcategory and its own subcategories. As of right now now, the plan is to have a top-level “Ask Fedora” category which will have FAQ and general information, and then then further actual user-question subcategories, like this:

  • Ask Fedora
    • Common Issues
      • Proposed Common Issues
      • Archived Common Issues
    • Ask In English
    • Ask in Other Languages

Non-moderator (or Common Issues / QA team) users will only be able to post to the categories in bold[1].

I’m now wondering if this should be, instead:

  • Ask Fedora
    • Common Issues
      • Proposed Common Issues
      • Archived Common Issues
    • Ask in Languages Other than English

… that is, make the top-level “Ask” category be effectively “Ask in English”.

I feel like the first way is more … orderly and sensible. It seems more satisfying to my aesthetic sense. But, it does mean that there’s a middle-level category where the “New Topic” button is grayed out[2], which might also lead to confusion and frustration.

Right now, I’m leaning towards keeping to the original plan, and figuring out some way to make the “New Post” button in the middle level work but default to the Ask in English category. But I’d like to hear your thoughts!

  1. and Ask in English will be the site default, by the way ↩︎

  2. Except for for moderators, who will be able to accidentally post there without even noticing that they shouldn’t usually ↩︎

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FWIW, I’d lean the same way – it’s probably better to change the code to fit the desired interface than the other way around. And including a small js script to override a button in the DOM doesn’t sound too difficult. But I don’t know for sure, it’s not something I’ve tried.

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I would like the first aproach, is more clever, have the first category level just for ask is look like some confusion… in the second proach it seems which we can’t ask in ENGLISH only in OTHER LENGUAGES


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Please take the option that is easier to maintain.


Six of one, half dozen of the other… :wink:

That said, I’d lean toward the second choice, i.e. Ask in Languages Other than English.

English is the default language, so IMO having a special category of “Ask in English” seems a bit redundant. Plus you don’t have to deal with the “New Post” button issue.

Part of my intention is to make it feel a bit less like that to our global community. It’s the default language for project collaboration, but it need not be the default language for using Fedora Linux and getting help.

Looking at those two options, I think the second is likely to have a lot of ‘other language’ posting in the english category since it would require an additional level selection to get to the ‘other language’ category and may reflect poorly on our support for other languages with the default english in that way…

I think the first, even with an additional level selection for the majority of users, would have less confusion because the second would not necessarily tell users with other languages that they should navigate to the sub-category; The first forces that selection. The mid-level ‘new topic’ button that leads to the english language is an idea but might cause even more confusion. I can see doing so if version one above is selected, but not otherwise.

Users like myself who log in and remain for extended times would not need to navigate that tree very much anyway.

That said, it is a fact that the great majority of users use the english language. Thus english is the defacto default language of users. We always try our best to be inclusive of all, but the english language preponderance remains

There may also be the feeling to some that going too far in trying to make the minority feel included tends to push the majority away. it can be a bit of a challenge to get the right balance.

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Yeah, agreed about the balance.

If someone posts in a non-English language to the English category, it’s easy enough to move, and users with trust level 3 can do it — doesn’t even need a mod. So I’d rather err in that direction.

We are also planning to enable a machine-translation plugin. I don’t think it would be too hard to build on that so that posts would automatically be tagged and recategorized.

I’m not the most frequent reader or contributor here, and not exactly the biggest fan of Discourse in general, so this may not be all that helpful…

With that disclaimer out of the way, based on the amount of traffic “Ask In Other Languages” seems to receive does it really make sense to partition it off at all? My Italian skills are essentially non-existent, however if I see a topic such as “Installazione Virtualbox 7.0 in Fedora 37” I might still take a peak since I do know a little bit about VirtualBox and virtualization in general. Having everything in the broader “Ask Fedora” category seems like it would get better visibility and make the overall management a bit easier as well.

Any guidance for written language and checking “Common Issues” category can be provided the same way the “Please propose potential Common Issues topics in the Proposed Common Issues subcategory.” guidance for the Common Issues category is provided today. The unified category also seems like it’s more in line with future use of the translation plug-in.

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Yeah, we’ve considered that. I think the advantage of having a separate section is that it clearly gives obvious permission to post in a different language — most of Fedora operates in English, so having a category makes it clear that this is a space where other languages are okay. We can put that in an explanatory text somewhere, but by then it’s probably too late. It’s definitely worth revisiting in the future, though — as you mention, particularly when we have the translation plugin going.

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