Off-topic help?

This is about — a question about open source licensing but not specificially about Fedora. That doesn’t belong in “on contributing to Fedora”, but I’m not sure how we want to handle it.

I’m definitely not okay with encouraging the pattern of “I know this post doesn’t belong here so I’ll delete once I get an answer”. I also see the value in focus — we know Fedora and can talk about Fedora.

On the other hand, allowing questions and answers on other free and open source software topics could attract more people, building a bigger community of teaching and learning. What do you think we should do?

  1. Just delete 'em?
  2. Delete these things and redirect to
  3. Create a catch all “not about Fedora” category in each language (with the topic post explaining that questions about free and open source software, content, and culture are welcome)
  4. Create off-topic categories in English only under “Community related discussions” (as on the Discussion site).
  5. Soemething else?

I think, that creation offtopic category (english only) is not bad idea, cause you can move any post here. I think that multiplying “sublangs” categories can confuse users. People must learn English :slight_smile:

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I think we tend to direct folks to the appropriate forums (Fedora and non Fedora mailing lists/stackexchange/upstream forums) and close the topic when it isn’t Fedora related.

I’m not sure if a category for “off topic” discussion is a good idea—it may encourage general non-Fedora discussion. It’s too vague/unfocused. Queries here should be related to Fedora in some way, however loosely. If they’re not, the chances of Fedora community members being able to answer them are lower—and that then results in unanswered topics (which we want to minimise). Basically, I don’t think we currently have the ability/knowledge/spread to be a general tech forum. We know Fedora well, and can therefore answer questions related to Fedora well.

Perhaps it’s best to leave the categories as they are, and we’ll move topics to the closest fitting category where appropriate, and continue to redirect people to more appropriate forums? If another category is really needed, I’d propose an “Other” sub-category in the languages—which means “Fedora related, but one that may not fit into the primary sub-categories”. However, given how we’ve defined the sub-categories to cover the release life cycle, most topics should fit into one of the existing ones.


I want to note that while this is perhaps a requirement for Fedora contributors with English as the common language, it is not compulsory for users. We spend resources on translating Fedora into local languages to ensure that non-English speakers can also use Fedora. So, in the same way, our forum should be (and is where community members are available to oversee categories) accessible to non-English speaking users.

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It’s good, but your forum havent russian language category, you can create multilang categories, but first i think it must be in “english discussions group” like experiment. Than if it will success, other langs could be added.

BTW, internet have a lot of solution like online translate services and plugins for browser.

1.- Redirect $USER to the proper site in this case stackexchange is the proper site to acomplish this task.
2.- Close the TOPIC as off-topic


Ok rly, good idea to delete offtipic post.

There is no limitation on what languages can be supported here with different categories. We only need some active community members to be able to oversee them. Please see this page for more details:

The #english category already exists. The question here is whether we want to allow non Fedora related discussion, and if yes, to what extent.

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I belief that off-topic is an important part of a community. Find everything on one place gives the users the feeling to be home. In the other hand i think multi language is important too. Just it has to be done with effort of members who know English and the specific foreign language.

As in big companies exists a cooperate language, a international forum should be managed similar.

I was quite long active in a CMS (Contao) community where off-topic got a own category. The languages got separated by URL’s. What i found most important was the clear structure of the base language where was like a template for the other languages.

A entry point where I find an overview of the community with links to other community resources would be more appreciated than deleted off-topic themes where always come up again because they not can be found anymore.

I see that fedora community so democratic, guys you are the best team, that i saw, no jokes. Separate respect for open voting and elections of leads. Yours concepts and methods are amazing.


Is mainly focused on problem solving?

If yes, then can we have some off-toipc area for non-problem solving topics?

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@SampsonF, here it is:


hmm, obviously why i desnt’t went to ‘fedora discussions forum’ and was create my topic in ‘fedora ask’. mistake, sorry.

Yes, primarily. A large number of topics here are “drive by” topics—people run into an issue, they ask a question, hopefully get a good answer, and then they move on until the next time they run into an issue.

The community discussions happen on the various mailing lists and on We kept Discussion and Ask Fedora separate on purpose to ensure that they didn’t disturb each other since they serve different functions.

I encourage all regular members on Ask Fedora to participate at discussion.fedoraproject, and all the other community channels that they may find interesting :slight_smile:


We could make a category called “off-topic” with a single post pointing out and describing the other site, and then lock that category to new posts. Maybe a silly idea, but could help with discovery.

Over on Discussion, I’ve added links directly to Ask at the top level descriptions of several categories, which makes it show up on the front page:


but I think our front page is busy enough here.

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Why fedora ask and fedora discussions have different account base and section of site? Maybe they can be merged?

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No, we explicitly decided to keep them separate. is for regular community discussion. You’ll see that many Fedora teams use it for their daily workings. The common language for community discussion is English, so Discussion.fp.o does not have different categories for different languages. On the other hand, Ask Fedora is for troubleshooting, which is mainly “drive-by”. People ask a question when they have a problem, hopefully solve it, and then don’t return until they have the next issue. So, Discussion.fp.o is ill-suited to troubleshooting—it’ll be very confusing for people not well versed with the Fedora community to use. They won’t even know what category to ask questions in. It risks disrupting both troubleshooting and community developer discussion. Ask Fedora, similarly, is not set up for daily discussions. It is set up with categories etc. to give users the simplest possible path to getting help when they run into trouble.

(On a technical note, Discourse allows only two levels of categorisation. So since the first category level is used for languages, we only have one other left for topic wise categorisation, which means we cannot add the category tree used in Discussion.fp.o here).

Should we do this? Perhaps a better method than a locked single topic category?

Ah, hrm, true. We could just let people ask their query and redirect them + close the topic (what we’re sort of doing now)? That way they get an initial response from a community member?

It might be worth cross-linking the sites Ask Fedora and Fedora Discussion using the top bar.

Yes you’re right, but askfedora top bar is busy enough with:

  • Code of conduct
  • Documentation and
  • Search

if we can implement this here:

and write a message like:

Welcome to the Community!

We're happy you're here, please search before you posting, if you would like to discuss another part of FEDORA please go to [Discussion](

As was discused here: