Moderation, self-moderation, and thread "noise" (a discussion)

This is not a philosophical, life-coaching etc. forum. Fedora is a technological product and if there is a solution(perhaps a complex one) then there is clear answer, if not there is no need for nasty noise around it. Technics is a precise and practical science without it there are no products and no discussion. Sound knowledge about a product is a sound ground to find a solution. Fedora is too complex to play around with it, so it’s necessary to get precise answers and solutions for an issue otherwise it’s better to sit around and drink tea. :grinning:

I’m not sure, but that is something that can certainly be looked into.

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That is unfortunately, not correct.

Fedora is community and we make FOSS products to promote FOSS. Fedora is not merely about providing software to users—it is not a software corporation like MS or Google. It is about spreading the philosophy of FOSS using our products. So, this forum is not a corporate support forum. We don’t simply tell people what the “solution” is. They are not users, and we are not developers. We are all Fedora community members. So, we want to talk to them, we want to help them learn how to diagnose things themselves. If at all possible, we want to encourage them to contribute—with a bug or a patch, or a new documentation page, or in any other way (marketing/design/start something new!) or just by getting them to stick around to help others. You speak of “sound knowledge”. We want to help more users gain that knowledge.

Also note that finding the “complex solution” requires multiple steps: first to diagnose what the issue is, then to narrow down what particular component is causing it, only after which can one suggest a solution. All of this requires discussion—some hit, some miss, but they’re necessary. (If the issue is obvious and does not require much debugging, you will notice that people just provide the solution and that’s accepted. But this class of topics does not form the majority based on my experience).

So yes, there is a strong philosophical + pedagogical + problem solving/diagnostic component here for community development, and that requires discussion and some back and forth.

I’ll also take this opportunity to request everyone to please re-familiarise themselves with what Fedora and our 4 foundations are about:


Yes @heliosstyx. But this is a forum, not a bug tracker or a FAQ or a technical manual.
This is a forum and many of us are simply users trying to help each other. I think that a little bit of noise is pretty normal between people talking about an issue. Until such noise is kind and the intent is to be helpful.
And in my opinion, no, we are not in the field of science :slight_smile: Or maybe yes :thinking: There are many facets, a problem can be solved in various ways, everyone has an opinion and a personal way to approach issues.


I want to thank everyone for taking part constructively in this discussion! I think the fact that we have some different opinions here shows that it’s worth talking about. Personally, I think there’s a balance, and it takes us working together to find exactly what the right one is.


I agree with the idea that “Helping people help themselves” is an important part of - any community support forum, really. People’s issues often aren’t that well-defined either, so people jumping in with different approaches or even simply a note as to where else to poke around is IMO quite helpful.
Additionally, while the person who asked the question might be happy with just one specific solution to their specific question, there might be others with similar-but-not-identical problems who find the thread and benefit from the other suggestions/comments, even if those didn’t ultimately help the original poster.

There is, of course, a certain blur between “potentially helpful additional info” and “unnecessary noise”, but on the whole I think this community manages pretty well to stay on the helpful side, without additional “cleanup”. (though I freely admit that my second comment in the example thread was more noise than useful :innocent: - a “like” would have conveyed the same message)

Personally, I think that “Do X” is a less useful overall solution than “Do X because Y, and if something similar happens again, you can also try Z” but it’s perfectly valid to be only interested in things working, period.
However, I think requiring people who prefer the “Do X”-type solution to read through a few more answers that might not be strictly necessary for them, but likely make the topic more useful to people in general is an OK trade-off. Also, encouraging people to mark solutions is, I think, the best way of allowing people to skip to the “Do X” part if they want, without turning the forum into tech support.


Having this forum is very helpful and in comparison to some others it is really clean and straight forward with a community atmosphere. In the example thread I have tried to see what I could have done better to be more thorough and not required @lcts to add the lsblk part but really can’t see much except to have possibly put that as an additional “noisy” addition to my suggestions. I felt his comment was meaningful and that my response aided the OP to understand why the difference in our approach was helpful for that particular issue.

The real power of this forum is that it allows many different approaches in how to solve the same problem to be aired and the OP can pick whichever one works for him while at the same time seeing that “there are many ways to skin that cat” with the FOSS approach that linux uses and the freedom it gives us to choose instead of being boxed it like M$ or APL want us to be. With the freedom to choose comes the necessity of learning how and when and why to use different tools and since users have different experience levels and different confidence levels it all takes time. I myself have at times been reminded of things I may have forgotten or learned of a new tool that I was not aware of so I agree that the “Do X” approach is not helpful for learning. One example of that is the systemd features that I am still not fully up to speed on. Explanations of why and guiding the OP or readers to think and learn is a much better approach. That does require allowing some latitude in what is posted, although completely off-topic discussions should be nipped. Of course keeping everything friendly is a must as well.

I have always viewed this forum as a learning tool and I liken it to an old adage that rings true even now. “You can give a man a fish and he eats for a day. You can teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime”

With that in mind I see several regulars whose answers are routinely short and fit the “Do X” category and I see many more whose questions and answers are more informative and explanatory so I learn more.

I don’t feel that much should be changed since making things more regimented would make it less overall friendly as people try and make certain to not cross the line.


I’m merely a Fedora user for an extended time now. I have used the forum to post for help on issues that I’ve confronted. The replies have sometimes been a learning experience for me and at other times a source of frustration. One thing that is frustrating is when I’m referred to documentation that may be from Fedora 22 when I’m actually trying to solve a problem in Fedora 32. I’m not entirely sure if that documentation is valid for what I’m dealing with. I’ve also experienced problems of which there seems to be no fix (other that starting over from a fresh install).

As a user of the previous version of the forum my experience lends me to believe that the previous version provided superior advise, in that I was able to solve more of the issues I encountered. Whether that means I’ve grown and the nature of my problems now are largely beyond the level of support offered by the forum (don’t think I grown that much) I really don’t know.


There’s no right answer here. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. The whole OS does not change at each release, some components do while others remain largely the same. There’s an effort to have documentation for each release, but of course this cannot cover all the software packages that are included in Fedora. So, this will always remain a judgement call. In general, if it is a package in Fedora, it is best to check its version and look at upstream documentation (Fedora is downstream—we do not develop all the packages in Fedora, we only build and provide them in an integrated manner).

We’ve all been there :slight_smile: This really comes down to how much and in what depth one is tinkering/customising their system. Over the years the frequency with which I’ve needed to reinstall has fallen dramatically—to the extent where I do not even install a new release, I simply upgrade.

Yes, this is hard to analyse without comparing the actual issues that you’ve discussed on both versions of the forums. I do not personally feel that the issues you may have discussed in the previous version (Askbot) would not have been solved here. I think they’d have been solved better/quicker here because I firmly believe that Discourse is a much better platform. But this is all anecdotal evidence :slight_smile:


As a generic user forum for a complex product such as Fedora, there will always be visitors from a lot of different backgrounds.

I think a correct answer is possible only when question is well defined.

So replies that are helpful:

  • to define the question better
  • for the user to rethink their requirement / intention
  • for user to get the “job done now”
  • for the user to “do it in a proper way” in long term
  • etc
    Should all be allowed to stay.

I think in long run, it will encourage more user to ask questions, and more members trying to help by replying.