Practical questions for the site merge: user trust levels, categories, and tags

So… Site merge into Fedora Discussion – coming soon for real! should be soon. Hopefully before the end of the year.

When that happens, Ask Fedora will slot in on like this:

… with, of course, subcategories under that. [1]

Practical Thing One: Naming

I’m going to make this one a poll. :classic_smiley:

The category on the new site should be called…
  • Ask Fedora
  • Ask Fedora (Get Help!)
  • Ask Fedora (User Questions and Support)
  • Something else… [Please give your ideas below]
  • I don’t care, but I like to vote!

0 voters

Practical Thing Two: What to do with language subcategories?

I don’t think we really came to a complete consensus with previous discussion here: This site’s categorization by language doesn’t seem to be useful. (See the poll in particular.) So, recognizing that it is not perfect, I’d like to suggest we go ahead with merging non-english languages into one “Ask in Any Language” category.

Does anyone very strongly believe that this is the wrong move, enough that I should stop and re-evaluate? If so, please let me know here (or offline if you prefer).

After the merge, we will have access to the Discourse Translations plugin. We’ll need to find one of Google, Microsoft, Amazon, or possibly IBM to donate access to their translation API, but we can probably do that.

Also: if we’re okay with this, I’d like to go ahead and merge the categories here before merging. This will make the migration significantly less complicated.

Practical Thing Three: Other categories

Common Issues — With the Enterprise license, we can have three-level category hierarchies, so we ca move this and its existing categories wholesale. I think it makes sense to keep this as a subcategory of Ask rather than making it its own top-level. Let me know if you strongly disagree.

Announcements — made redundant with the News & Announcements - Fedora Discussion. I don’t think we need to migrate existing posts, or even have a special tag or new subcategory related to Ask. (Or do we?)

Site Feedback — ditto; other site has Site Help & Feedback - Fedora Discussion. I also don’t think we need to migrate existing posts.

Lounge and Staff — see discussion on this here. I think the way it’s going is that we’ll have a category for admins, mods, and TL3 and TL4 users, and that category should be used just for coordination and questions around moderation situations (like, what to do about a spam attack, etc.).

New Users! Start Here! — I’m unsure. I like the idea, but too many top level categories can be overwhelming, and there is overlap with Site Help & Feedback. I guess it’s poll time again!

The current New Users! Start Here! category should be…
  • Made into an equivalent new top-level category on Fedora Discussion
  • Brought over as a subcategory of Ask on Fedora Discussion
  • Dropped as redundant with Site Help & Feedback
  • Don’t care, but here’s a vote!

0 voters

Practical Thing Four: Mods and Admins

We could definitely use more mods on the merged site — and our hosting plan will allow an unlimited number. My thought is:

  • Moderators here who want to be mods on Discussion can be mods there too. [2]
  • Alternately, you can just be added as moderator for the Ask category as per-category mods
    • Or for Ask in English / Ask in Other Languages, if you prefer smaller scope
  • We could also use more moderators. Just something to think on :classic_smiley:

Practical Thing Five: Trust Levels

Should Trust Level carry over? I assume that some amount of the activity that the auto-promotion will rely on will be lost. But we could manually bump people up. Should we?

In general…
  • Clean slate! Start over for everyone.
  • Raise accounts on Discussion to at least the TL they have here.
  • Raise accounts to at least TL1, so no one is stuck at “newbie”.

0 voters

For TL4 users specifically
  • Make TL4 on Discussion automatically
  • Make TL4 on Discussion by request
  • Leave at TL3 (or whatever, if we go clean slate), re-follow normal procedure for promotion

0 voters

As always, this is a “straw poll” to get a read of what everyone is thinking, rather than a binding vote. Let me know your thoughts!

Anything else?

What else do we need to consider?

  1. I’m going to make sure that there are redirects so we won’t have the search engine loss we had last time. ↩︎

  2. same for admins, although this really only practically affects one person. You know who you are. :classic_smiley: ↩︎


A couple of things:

  • I think we should name the “ask” section to reflect what our expectations are for that section. There is a currently a mix of expectations on the existing ask site where some people treat it as a discussion forum and others as a Q&A site like stack exchange. This occasionally causes confusion and often makes it harder to help people resolve their issues.
  • If we drop all the trust levels I think we risk using losing active users. Since we don’t have an excess of active posters to begin with, I think this is something to consider.


I think that since you are suggesting that additional moderators are useful it would be appropriate to determine who of the current TL4 users might be able to do that within current guidelines and ask each of the candidates directly to join the moderators group. Some may be able to do so and some may not. Some may want to and others not.


I agree.
I think I have only seen a (very) few handfuls of threads created in all the non-english categories over the past 2 years.
It would be just as easy for non-english speakers to post here as in their own specialized language category and likely would give them a better chance of someone being able to assist. I have no way of knowing who watches or responds in each language but ISTR that it has been noted that one of the issues with having those subcategories has been the difficulty of having active moderators available for each.

I would suggest that having non-english posts automatically posted in the original language and having an english translated version included as well might be of benefit.

TL4 users
I feel that dropping current (active) TL4 users back to a lower level would be counterproductive since there seem to be few enough already and if that TL is of benefit then you may lose some due to the procedure involved in gaining TL4.


Regarding the trust levels thing;

Ideally I’d like to see TLs preserved, as it’s a way to acknowledge contributions and engagement in the community, which it would feel kinda sad to have invalidated by the merge.
However, since it’s a new community per se where we sorta need to relearn the ropes, it could cause some friction if we come over with all our rights and remold it in our image immediately. Unless that’s the intention? I think these kinds of things should happen organically over time as users and mods get used to the new layout and eachother, and regain their TL.

In short, I think we aren’t newbies, but TL 1 is alright with me…but can we please get some neat badges with the migration? Something like
“Migrant from a not-so-distant land”(TL1 Ask Fedora user),
“Protector of legacy”(TL3/4)
or similar, I think would be fun

1 Like

I think most things have been said and there is not much to add. The sole thing that might be added is about the “Make TL4 on Discussion by request”: I think that a simple “hey, I am still here” gesture should be sufficient (to have a compromise between “Make TL4 on Discussion by request” and “Make TL4 on Discussion automatically”). This would already “clean” the TL4 list. I guess there are some contained that have not been here for years. So this might be an easy way for a little “lazy clean up” without additional efforts, and to see how many TL4 we really have. Creating some transparency in the TL4 list, even if it is just a temporary condition :wink:

Concerning demoting trust levels on the merged page, I agree with the comments above: it can be counterproductive. Demotions can have a negative impact on motivations of people and should be avoided unless a user has done something that calls for such measures. And although we know from a rational point of view that it is not meant that way, it is a demotion for the individual user and can be perceived subconsciously that way.


In my opinion the whole different Fedora sites with different audience should be consolidated, different language categories should be removed and all users should give their best to write in English only.

The Ask Fedora pages often show a language mix with different categories, which made it often unreadable. The widely scattered Fedora sites should get a unified navigation system, for finding quickly the necessary information and for putting a post at the right place, where everyone can easily find and create new information. The different Fedora web-sites and their coherence are for me often too chaotic and hard to understand. I suggest to consolidate all offical Fedora sites and so they will become more handsome for more users and at the end the so called “googling” for Fedora related issues will decrease and at least the maintenance cost for administering different web-sites will also decrease. I think Fedora web-sites should reflect also the high quality of the underlying Fedora products.

Trust-levels are ambigous: who says, that postings of users has real measured and validated quality for reach a certain trust-level. They are not tested objectively against “real-life” issues. One user <> one possible solution is not really a test-case.

and now let us discuss. :grinning:

1 Like

This my one cent on this.

Just One things, talking about $USER and trust-level:

  1. Is your are going to migrate all TOPIC and POST, you should migrate all $USER from askfedora or the relation TOPICPOST will be lost, taken in common is the $USER is already there.
  2. We have in askfedora a lot of admin’s and lot’s of Moderator by language category and TL4/TL3, and IMHO it will be helpfull reorganized this altought we will have a unlimited $USER, we will have a mixed of admin, moderator and TL3/TL4, in just one site, we need to set previously, Who is going to be what?

for example: @hhlp (admin in both sites and also moderator in discussion), @ankursinha (admin backup in askfedora and also moderator there) both moderator for be a part of the Join Team on discussion, we have 23 (trust level 4) there and 23 (trust level 4) in askfedora some are common.

@jackfross is an admin there too.

  1. Another things, talking about tag’s, you reorganized the discourse instance by project to control the flow assigning a tag previously and don’t allow to create a tag’s, this means when you will added it all askfedora tags this workflow will be afected, just an image:


this come to my mind now, and I don’t know why I don’t thing in this before… :frowning:

If you’re in a workflow TEAM this structure will be dificult to get their tag’s selecting in all of the tag’s list, Is easy now because you only have TEAM tags, but just imagine with all askfedora tag’s.

I hope I can express myself in a clean manner…, so I can see here is a potential problem in How the Community TEAM will work/deal in this???..


As for the name, I think keeping “Ask Fedora” is wise for continuity of merge to the help seekers. However, if the rest of us want to change it, it certainly wouldn’t be the EOTW.

English language does seem to be the predominant choice for questions, it is logical to keep the category non-language specific with (noted) english preferred as there are some active members volunteering support I think who speak another native language.

I think of a new user, starting in the Discussion area for the first time, will in all probabilities appreciate a “New Users Start Here!” category. For those who are new to Fedora only but not new to Discourse it will make little difference either way.

I am already a moderator at Discussion and want to keep doing it, more would be better but I find everyone in the community who hang out at discussion are very reasonable people, moderation duties are pretty light. That will change once ask.fp.o is merged though. So yeah, like @mattdm says, we need more moderators.

I would like to keep trust levels, or merge if active at both sites I think. I don’t see this as affecting me personally, but some are very active at ask.fp.o and that shouldn’t be lost.
On this topic, when you refer to “clean slate for everyone” does that mean everyone at both sites or just at Discussion? Why I ask is since it is going to effectively be a new site even for discussion.fp.o members then from that perspective EVERYONE starting over makes sense.

Again, following along with my position on trust levels, I think if TL4 at ask.fp.o then promotion to TL4 at discussion.fp.o should be automatic at time of merge. It just makes sense it would be automatic.

The tags are a thing, could we just have some specific to ask category, such as the more commonly associated with support type questions. Or do you make a project team called Support that members who want to help do, and you can become a team member (under your own control, ie radio button on user preferences page) once you answered one support question (marked as a solution)? Just a thought.

Thank you @mattdm for driving this and doing all the legwork of getting these discussions going.

In reply to @hhlp
You brought up an issue I was unaware of and had not considered since I am a regular user on askfp and only sometimes on discussion.

TEAM workflow seems it should likely need to be separated from the regular users discussion, or at least read only, since allowing just any user to post into that discussion would quickly get chaotic and degrade the efficacy of that communication.

I think that the way it is currently set up with TeamWorkflow as its own category is great as I can easily then select the subcategory and see the posts, I just think that opening those up to posting from all users might present an issue.

Maybe limiting access to certain categories on discussion as is currently done for the lounge on askfp to TL3 and up would be a good idea. By the time users reach TL3 it seems assumed they have demonstrated sufficient maturity on the forum to not cause significant disruption.

That would naturally assume that all the team members on discussion (and those in any other groups selected that way) are already to be selected as TL3 with the new structure.

Merging all the tags seems a different ballgame all together. Maybe some way to group the tags according to category if that is possible?

Thanks to @mattdm for the discussion and driving this progress.

1 Like

Yes, exactly, You have the posibility to group the tag’s on Discourse by I think you can’t group the tag’s in the list…

@mattdm I forgot that thanks to drve and get this posible


1 Like

@mattdm, did you see the new burger menu in action?:

order tag’s by group:

I think this will forced to us to use it…



Yes, all topics and posts will be migrated, and mapped the the appropriate users. Since it’s the same SSO, this should be reasonably easily done. (The Discourse company will handle this as part of the migration.)

Based on the poll, I think we should:

  • Bump everyone to match their TL up to at least TL3
  • Check individually with current TL4 users here if they want to be TL4 there — or possibly an Ask Fedora category mod instead
  • Check individually with current mods here about whether they want to be full mods, category mods, or step back from the role

Does that make sense? Is that what you were asking / suggesting?

Tags can be put into tag groups — on this site see where we have “Fedora Linux Releases” as one group, and then everything else is uncategorized (“Other Tags”). On Discussion[1] there is a specific “Teams & Tags” tag group linked to the Project Discussions category[2] and a separate set for Social and Fun, etc. These categories are configured to only allow tags from the provided tag groups.

There are several possible approaches we could take:

A. Create a new “Ask Fedora” tag group. Note: tag groups can only be managed by admins, so new tags would need to be created by admins (not even moderators).

B. For the Ask Fedora category, don’t restrict by tag groups, so all of the uncategorized ones can be used. This should give an experience similar to what we have now.

C. I think this might work but I’d need to test it: first, as is the case now on Discussion, make all categories require a tag group (including Ask); and second, make a special category under Workflows where “other” tags are allowed; then, third, set the permissions to create tags down to TL2 or whatever; and finally, enable topic voting in that category. Then, tags could be created in this category, argued for, and voted up. Admins could periodically then move tags to the Ask tag group (or any other tag group, for that matter).

And, independently of this, we could do a tag cleanup. (I think this is probably a good idea anyway.) We could delete any tag that isn’t used at least N times [3]. That would make most sense with one of the approaches where we’re more controlling with the tags, but might be useful even if we make things wide open again just as a periodic “spring cleaning”.

  1. ↩︎

  2. Note that I’m going to add -team or -sig to most of these. See this topic for details. Short answer is it’ll make it easier to subscribe to, say, server and #server-wg separately. And also, I hope it will be more clear that these are team-tags. ↩︎

  3. where N is some arbitrary number. 5? ↩︎

1 Like

Yeah, this is worth looking at. On the one hand, I want to remove barriers — people should be able to easily shift from active user to team participant. But on the other, a flood of perhaps-well-meaning-but-not-really-invested commentators could be overwhelming to people trying to communicate with their team. (And worse, if there are people showing up with demands and unreasonable expectations, as we know we sometimes do get here, that might drive the real conversations to private exchanges.)

My inclination is to leave it open to start, but we have some options. Particularly, I’m working on a bridge that will sync Fedora Account group membership to Discourse[1] . This would make it possible to restrict posting in Project Discussions to folks who have agreed to the FPCA[2] or who are members of specific groups.[3] And we could include TL3 in that too. So, if it becomes problematic, we could increase the restrictions.

  1. — help wanted, actually… ↩︎

  2. although we may do away with that… ↩︎

  3. I don’t think “at least one group” is easily done, but the bridge could create a virtual group that works that way ↩︎

Regarding the language grouping;
Some impressive progress has been made in the machine-translation space as of late. Seeing as how forum topics don’t necessarily need to be translated within 15 seconds of posting, we could use some decent language models with a not-ginormously sized server to bridge the gap between english writing users and users writing in other languages.
Just a thought.

I’ve used argos-translate for a year or so now, and it provides pretty decent results (it’s no deepL in terms of quality, but still pretty good).
I also recently began using translateLocally which is an offline port of the Bergamot project (Mozilla w/ others)'s translator. It’s not as accurate as Argos-translate, but the models are small and it’s super fast.

As of now, dropping New Users! Start Here! has a slight plurality in favor — but that’s less than the combined votes for keep it (in different locations). So, here is that question again, split out:

Should we keep the separate New Users category?
  • Yes (strongly)
  • Yes (mildly)
  • Don’t care
  • No (mildly)
  • No (strongly)

0 voters

If we do keep it, where should it go? (Multiple picks allowed.)
  • Top level category
  • Subcategory under top-level Ask category
  • Subcategory of Site Help & Feedback
  • Somewhere else
  • Just voting for no reason

0 voters

Also, I thought of something we could do: when users go from tl0 (newbie) to tl1 (basic) — or to tl2 (member) — it’s possible to change the default notification level for a group. We could make it so this category shows up to new users, but then is automatically stashed out of the way once you gain site trust. This would slightly mitigate my worry about too many categories being overwhelming. (And it’s possible for anyone who wants it to un-mute it again.)

Should the New Users! Start Here! category become muted by default at higher trust levels?
  • Yes
  • Yes but only if it’s a top level category
  • This is a terrible idea and will confuse people
  • I don’t care

0 voters

If we do chose to mute-on-level-up, at what level should that be?
  • Trust Level 1
  • Trust Level 2
  • For admins only :classic_smiley:

0 voters

Happy to hear that the merge will happen soon. Thank you for everyone working for so long to make this happen.

Pre-question: Will Ask site will still be accessible (in read only mode, I hope) ?

Does that mean English is one Category, and non-English will be another? Or there will only be one Category as “Any Language”?

Common Issues is serving a specific propose - as it can be migrated without issues, should just do that.

Announcements & Site Feedback - use existing Discussion setup. Only current posts need to be migrated or reposted.

New Users! Start Here! - if it is meant for new user to the Site, then no need a separate one. If it is meant for new user to Fedora, then, there should be other better arrangement (like using Labels) then having a dedicated category.

Trust Levels - don’t let Talents go without good reason. Keep those TL3 or above as it is (let them know what they need to do to maintain it). And tell those in TL2- more about TL3+ .

As long as you are listing translation engines, what about DeepL? :smiling_face:

You could migrate them into a hidden category and move any useful one out as you find them useful? And there’s another reason:

I’d expect the jobs that look at activity to do their thing within a day. You could certainly test this on a staging site. It’s one of the reasons to carry over all the posts, even ones that you merge into a hidden category for archival purposes; they will be used for TL calculation.

There’s no option for “Discourse should just work” in your trust level post. Is it because you have done a lot of manual modifications of trust levels already that won’t be magically preserved? Have you checked what the user merge code does in practice?

Are you implementing this by taking backups of both sites, going into read-only mode, importing /merging on a staging site, backing up the staging site, and then finally restoring the backup on the combined live site?

The plan is for all of the content to be lifted from its current location to the new subcategory on Discussion. I don’t think there will be any need for a separate archive. Or am I missing something?

My plan is two categories — English and others. I’m thinking we will have language tags for the “others” in that subcategory.

The first three are the ones Discourse already supports. And we might be able to get IBM to help because of the whole “bought RH” thing.

If we can get the plugin to support it, I’m not opposed to more possiblies!