Considering a general reorganization of this site!

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.

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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?

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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. ↩︎

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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!

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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:

Of course! It’s in the plan!

Happy holidays!
I see you around the forums, @mattdm , and I appreciate all that you do and all that other volunteers and other contributors do.
I think the layout and direction of the site is very positive! I do however, think that the category named “the water cooler” should be aptly explained as a place to discuss general off-topic stuff, preferably as a parenthesis in the category header. The bullet point, as presented, would be okay. It took half a minute for me to understand the reference… (I’m not an office person, more of a factory floor person).

Also, “Specific workflows” is to me, pardon the pun, not specific enough. Maybe “your specific workflow(s)” would be slightly more encouraging/inviting to participation?

In any case; as society moves forward, the perfect solution of yesterday will be superseded by the perfect solution of tomorrow. I expect we will review the success of the final layout of this revision in two - three years time, and implement proven quality of life improvements which pop up in the meantime.

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Thank you! That’s always nice to hear.

Yeah, I’m torn between using something cute like “Water Cooler” and just having a boring functional description. A cute name seems more friendly and fun, but also don’t translate cross-culturally (and as you note even within people’s experiences in one culture). Hopefully the description will be sufficient… — as you say, we can always review and adjust.

Maybe “Team Workflows” or “Team Specific Workflows” or “Project Workflows”? Or “Factory Floor”? :slight_smile:

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This is now live. Let’s see how it goes — hopefully this general scheme will be good for another three years of growth at least. :slight_smile:

I already answer this in another place because I couldn’t find this one.

Yeah, I think this thread is Done and it’s time for followups to go in their own specific threads anyway. :classic_smiley: