Sorry, missed this reply. Let me try to clarify:
Discussion within the community happens in English, which is our common language. So here, on Discussion, we don’t need to worry about multiple languages. We organise the forum based on the different teams/SIGs.
For troubleshooting user issues, we want users to be able to use their native languages to speak to the community—so English isn’t compulsory there. Any Fedora community member can request new language categories on Ask Fedora. We simply ask that they’re able to commit to moderating the category (Language support :: Fedora Docs). Now, there are two ways of supporting different languages on Discourse:
- have a different instance for each language,
- abuse the category system so that the top level categories split a single instance into different language based “sub-forums”.
(Askbot allowed language based “sub-sites” IIRC:
discussion.fedoraproject.org/es and so on).
The first option, of course, is expensive, not merited by the activity levels in non-English categories, and a lot more work to administer/maintain. So, on Ask Fedora, we’ve gone for the second option. Discourse is limited to two category levels (unless this has changed recently), so where top level is used to divide the forum by language, the second one is used to divide topics for some organisation—we use very simple distinctions, based on the Fedora life cycle (install/upgrade or use/customise).
If we tried to use a single Discourse instance, first the categorisation would need to be rethought. We’d still like to keep language categories for troubleshooting. So perhaps we’ll end adding a new category for support with Support > English, Spanish etc. (which would be fine by me). For users that are not well versed with the community, though, having so many top level options would be confusing. Someone has a question about installing a package. Should they go to “support”? But then, what if they are using the Fedora Server: should they then post in the “server” category? But they’re trying to install an RPM, so should they post in the “rpm packaging” sub-category?
In general, we just felt that it was risky to mix intra-community discussion with troubleshooting. The target audiences for the two use cases are very different. It’s the similar to having different -devel and -user mailing lists. We don’t want -devel to be used for end-user troubleshooting and we don’t want development discussion to leak into -user mailing lists. With mailing lists, the division is very clear since people don’t see other lists at all. With different categories on Discourse, not so much. So, our solution was to have different instances for the two, each customised to best carry out its distinct purpose.
I think this works well, and I personally don’t see a good enough reason to merge the two. Ask Fedora has always been separate: we simply moved from Askbot to Discourse. Discussion.fp.o started off as a replacement to the community discussion mailing lists and I cannot recall any discussion about it absorbing Ask Fedora when it was set up.