Considering a general reorganization of this site!

I am in the same place as Ben here too.

Related — new helpful feature for making tags more prominent:

New features in 2.8.0.beta9

Tag descriptions

Staff can now add descriptions to tags, just like categories. Descriptions are displayed when hovering over a tag in the topic list.

To add/edit a tag description, as staff, navigate to the tag page, click the wrench, and then the edit pencil.

Never mind that they’ve used another distro in the image for their example. :slight_smile:

Sorry for delayed reply.

Looks like we are going in the same direction, but there are some nuances which I want to discuss.

I am fine with removing Mindshare/Engineering subcategories. They indeed do not add much and also I generally prefer engineering folks to be more aware of what’s going on in Mindshare and the inverse as well.

But the other difference between proposals is the meaning of the tags themselves.

I think that we don’t want a forum for generic discussions about Fedora, rather we need a place to do the real work. Thus I want tags to represent not the generic topics but rather org units of Fedora which highlights that these groups actualy use the forum for regular business.

Thus in my proposal I had a more formal tag naming. I prefer #cloud-sig label over #cloud as it is not just everything which is related to the cloud topic but something which is specifically targeting the organizational structure which is Cloud SIG.

We can have additionally tags for topics, but i think we should have have dedicated tags for groups:
I’d say *-sig, *-wg and *-team tags should be reserved and kept in sync with Working Groups, SIGs and Teams as org units.

And in the same spirit, it was the reason why I had a separate Service Desk/Generic or whatever category. Because in my vision the Discussion is not just Discussion it is a coworking space. And all meta, social, off-topic tech and non-tech things while important they should happen outside in the kitchen area :slight_smile:

I think that if we are to make forum a true replacement for mailing lists we need to treat the discussion topics a bit more seriously and therefore moderate with more strict rules.

I would also have a SiteFeedback or Help category somewhere on top. Because for newcomers the tagging structure might be confusing and it would be nice to have a clear path for getting help.

So for me it would be somewhat like:

* News 
       #announce #commblog #podcast
* Site feedback and Help
* Work area/ Working Groups / Really Serious Business
       #cloud-sig, #qa-team, #ci-sig, #eln-sig, #join-sig, #council...
* Specific Workflows [muted by default]
       Fedora Magazine Article Proposals
       Projects in Copr
       Automated Meeting Invites
* Water-cooler (Tech and non-Tech fun)
       Includes #magazine (every published magazine article)
* CentOS
       [tags as determined by CentOS, in a separate tag group]
2 Likes

The main thing I’d want to see from any reorganisation is a prominent workstation category. I’d also like to see us prioritise our main editions rather than having them mixed in with other spins, initiatives, activities, etc. Otherwise there’s a danger of our main offerings getting lost.

Aside from that, the thing I really wonder about is the split between the discussion and ask Discourse instances. Personally this always seemed a bit surprising and seems to create a fair amount of awkwardness.

To me it seems like a losing battle to have two discussion sites trying to perform different functions. If you’re constantly having to direct people to one site or another, with banners everywhere saying “don’t ask questions here!” then that’s a red flag - it tells you that you’re fighting against the flow.

Despite all the “don’t ask questions here!” banners, we still end up with plenty of people asking questions on discussion.fedoraproject.org, which results in having to check and use two sites rather than one (say if you want to provide support or look for information).

(I’d also be really wary of designing the “discussion” site with only contributors in mind. Users often want to have discussions, and it’s important that we provide them with a platform to do that.)

The other issue with the “ask”/“discussion” split is that we have the oddity that ask.fedoraproject.org is a discussion site masquerading as an “ask” site. It looks a bit odd, and leaves the “ask” experience being somewhat non-optimal.

On the flip side, there could be positive impacts to combining the two sites - people who are active on the discussion side could easily help out with answering questions in a a help section, and so on.

I’m not sure I understand - why don’t we want a place for people to have discussions about Fedora?

Personally one of my main interests is how we can encourage and support a passionate user community. A platform for discussion seems like an important thing to have from that perspective.

I think we’re in general agreement here. My idea is to use a “tag group” which restricts tags to a pre-defined set which we curate intentionally — a “Fedora team tags” group, in fact. So, the -sig or -wg would be implicit. This is because:

  1. Many people find the -team, -working-group, -sig, -subproject, -etc. labels confusing, which is why we decided to officially de-emphasize the distinction in our 2018 Council face-to-face. (I had gone into that meeting with a proposal to make the name distinctions clear and formal and important, and pretty much everyone else convinced me otherwise.)
  2. As a consequence, the names are kind of fluid, and for example Cloud WG and Cloud SiG have kind of merged back and forth into each other, and teams might decided to change the designation, and I don’t want to be renaming tags all the time to match. :classic_smiley:
  3. They add to a jargony, confusing feel and I want to make this feel seamless because it’s going to be a big change.
  4. … I think they’re kind of ugly that way?

What you’re saying about site help makes sense to me, and I like the “water cooler”. We can add magazine pretty easily in that way by using the same plug-in we do for the Community Blog. (And on a technical note, that works best with a sub-category, so in News the commblog would stay that way. We could also add read-only mirrors of the announcement mailing lists to News, again using subcategories.

So, okay, yeah, I’ll put together a… Proposal F, I guess.

(Hold on, Allan — replying to your part next :classic_smiley: )

Is really dificult answer this question, because:

IMHO

  1. Combine all site in one will be very distraction for and $USER who only want’s and anwers and go and this is the general aproach of ASK, they don’t want to know about discussion TEAM and something like that and navigate the wole system and all categories to get the proper place to post their QUESTION, for example: I’ve got a question humm I think the workstation is the best place I will post my question there, and this was the orignal idea when ASK was launched.
  2. Discussion has a lot’s of Categories, if we have the problem with language categories now in ASK imagine with all this stuff.
  3. You will get to have a warning flags also if you would like to get an answer click here… or there…
  4. In a point of viewe of HUMAN taskforce, the point number 1 will be relevant to redirect wrong TOPIC to the respective category if there are any and I suppose will be MANY.
  5. Educate the $USER.

Regards.,

I can be convinced to bring the two together. I started this discussion in the “Lounge” on Ask a few months ago and people weren’t adamantly opposed (in fact, I think on the balance in favor) but there were some worries.

In short, the main concerns were — well, wait, @hhlp just enumerated them in a new reply while I was writing this one. So see that post.

My particular worry for a merge is that we’ll have a hard time convincing, e.g, the Workstation team members, to actively participate, because people are (justifiably) protective of their time and don’t necessarily want to make doing direct user support the main part of their participation, and therefore may stay away from the whole site. @aday, convince me otherwise?

I think Aleksandra’s proposal leaves pretty easy room for: “Ask Fedora / User Discussion” / “Work Area / Project Conversations” both as separate categories at the top level. (WIth actual names to be worked out.) So I think we can separate that topic out, and with some completely self-aware irony, I think we should continue the “merge?” part of this discussion on Ask Fedora site — I’ve opened a general thread in Site Feedback on that site: Considering a merge into discussion.fedoraproject.org - Ask Fedora

But also: on prioritizing the Editions, yes, I agree — that’s the entire point of that idea. Not just to “sell” them, but to make easy, prominent defaults for people who want to get going in the related area without having to make a bunch of up-front choices, and for those of us helping users to be able to make the same sort of assumptions unless given specific guidance otherwise. So, yes, I think we’ll keep that. But I don’t think they should have “categories” in the technical Discourse sense of Categories, because of… all the things Aleksandra and I have been saying.

1 Like

Ok, I see your points. I agree that suffix feels redundant when it is used repeatedly. I guess the problem for me in the combination of Category name and the tag.

If you call category “Discussion” you need to call tags -sig or -wg otherwise the newcomer will misunderstand the purpose of the tag.

Basically:

  • “Discussion” + #cloud = bad, as neither tag nor category differentiates it from generic conversations on a random user board.
  • “Discussion” + #cloud-sig = fine as tag name has the info that it is a working group conversation not a casual lazy flame about cloud hype.
  • “Working groups/Teams/SIGs” + #cloud = should be fine too, as though tag name is generic, the category explains that it is the place for the working groups, where expectations are a bit different.

There of course can be various other variants like “Work area” + #cloud and so on. I just use this name as an illustration for the idea.

Personally I enjoy participating in threads like “how I stopped using clouds and reduced amount of YAML in my life and things became awesome”, but I don’t want them to accidentally happen in Cloud SIG space :slight_smile:

Agree; can’t be just Discussion if we have a merged site.

I’m not sure I know enough about this to try and convince you one way or another! But I’m fairly confident that we don’t want members of our core teams to be providing support - the goal should be to foster a user/enthusiast community that provides the support itself.

Does the site reorganisation have that kind of community in mind? Will there be a place for the user/enthusiast community to call its own, where it can talk amongst itself?

1 Like

I think so, but I also think it’s nice if members of core teams pitch in to help, particularly on some of the more complicated issues. But they shouldn’t feel they need to.

We can definitely set up such a place. However, things like @mentions and private messages (actually… maybe it’s better to just disable personal messages except for moderators? side topic!) are shared across the sites, as are user lists (which also function as leaderboards — see Ask Fedora userlist ordered by Solutions this week ). The search default is global, as is the list of latest topics on the front page.

I’m a little bit concerned that we might have a problem with some users recognizing the accounts of experts and @mentioning them for help. We should probably officially tell people to not do that, and back it up with moderator warnings.

Okay, so… actually, after thinking about this for a day, I want to change my answer. We could set up such a place, but this is not that place. This is an official Fedora communications platform. Fedora in general does not draw strong lines between “user” and “developer” — we are all part of the community, and all are welcome here.

For users who love Fedora but want that separation and independence from the project itself, there exist a large number of other platforms and communities, from the venerable https://fedoraforum.org/ (84,783 members) to Reddit (56.0k) to Facebook (70,770), plus of course real-time groups on Telegram and Discourse and others. We shouldn’t try to be those places here.

And the other part — members of our core teams providing support… I actually think that we do. Not necessarily direct tech support [1], but the kind of support that helps actively-involved enthusiast users grow into contributors — and the next generations of our core teams.


  1. Although, honestly, like the “do you understand enough to explain to a 5th grader?” test, I think it’d be good for more engineers, leaders, managers, etc., to spend at least some time engaged with end-users in this way! ↩︎

Okay, so… thinking about all of the above, and considering that merging Ask Fedora into this site has a lot of support, here’s

Idea F [1]

  • News & Announcements [note that general news would go in the top category]
  • Ask Fedora [placeholder — will create but mark hidden until we’re ready]
    • Ask in any language! *
    • Common issues *
    • [possible Join Fedora category here] *
  • Ask Fedora Archive * [muted by default — non-pinned posts from the categories above with no activity in 13 months get moved down automatically; this category is set to a low search priority]
    • same subcategories as above, except “… Archive”
  • Project Discussion
    Fedora Project Teams tag group: #council, #commops, #iot, #cloud, #workstation, #spins, #coreos, #qa, #infra, #epel, #risc-v, #mindshare, #rust, #websites-and-apps, #magazine, #site-feedback, …
  • The Water Cooler [introductions, social, and off-topic]
    • Site help and feedback
    • The Lounge? * (trust-level 3+ … we have this on Ask but I disabled it here. Do we want it?)
    • Magazine * (using wordpress plugin?)
  • Specific Workflows [muted by default, both the top level and the individual subcategories]
    • Fedora Magazine article proposals
    • Projects in Copr
    • New topics by email
    • Automated Meeting Invites * (maybe — I have a different idea for this)
    • Poll draft area *
    • Proposed Common Bugs *
  • CentOS
    [tags as determined by CentOS, in a separate tag group, subcategories if needed]

Everything with a * is an idea for the future and won’t be created as part of the initial reorg.


  1. an auspicious letter! From now on I’m going to name refinements F₁, F₂, etc. ↩︎

1 Like

I’m feeling really reluctant to put it at the the top-level, with so many categories. Does putting it in the watercooler seem okay? We can use some of the welcome-guidance tools Discourse offers to help steer people there if they need more.

Idea F kind of looks like a lot. It’s more categories than I was hoping for. But, I think it can avoid being intimidating because a lot of it is muted by default.

I don’t know if this helps anyone else, but this is kind of a blocked-out-text diagram of the non-logged-in view of categories as one would see on the left side of the default front page as it exists right now:

███████ ██████
– – – – - -
– - – - - - -
▖… … ▖… ▖…

██████
– – – – - -
– - – - - - -
▖… ▖… ▖… ▖… …
▖…

██████ █████ ██ ████
– – – – - -
– - – - - - -
▖… ▖… … … ▖…

████████ ████████
– - - - — -
▖… … ▖… ▖…
▖… … ▖… ▖… …
▖… … ▖… ▖… … …
▖…

█████ █████ ██████
– – - - - - –
▖… ▖… ▖… … ▖… … . ▖…
▖… … … ▖… …

████
– - – - - -
████ ████████
— – — - -

and this is what “Idea F” might be:

███
– - - - - – -
▖… ▖… ▖…
▖…

██ ████
– – - – — -
– – - – —
▖… … … ▖…
▖…

███ █████
– - - - – - -
— — — – -
— — — -

██ ██████
– – - — - -
▖… ▖… ▖… …

████
– - – - - -

… so it’s at least still an overall simplification. We could also have icons for each category — see for example Samsung SmartThings or Figma Discourse sites offer a lot of flexibility , and in general we could do a lot of different things with the design. But I think in any case, starting with less to worry about is a good start!

2 Likes

I haven’t heard a lot of alternate suggestions — I think we’re basically converging on a plan. I had said I was going to do a straw poll of top suggestions, but a straw poll with one option doesn’t seem very useful. So, as is, I’m planning to implement something similar to Idea F over the holiday break.

I like this format.

What I would additionally look into is the possibility to make default Categories view to look more like this item list in the post. So that on the front page I don’t just see the top category names and a tag cloud, but I also see the suggested hierarchy and tags in each of the categories and their explanations.

But this is a topic of representation rather than the structure. So I think we should proceed with the plan.

Cool, thanks for the feedback and help in coming up with this. I’m planning on doing the work over the holiday, since it will involve some downtime.

The theme system gives a lot of flexibility for the front page so I’m sure we can come up with something useful.

Including a CommBlog post? :smiling_imp: