Should we have a pre-filled topic template for the main Ask category?

@mattdm : what do you think about a minimal post template (if it can be done)?

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There’s actually two template features we could use – first, the category “topic template” as used for Proposed Common Issues

Second, there’s a new canned-reply template feature: Discourse Templates - plugin - Discourse Meta. We could create some of these and make them available to TL3+ for cases where we find ourselves repeating a lot.

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Is it possible to have the templates of type 1 “topic Template” only pop up for a particular trust level? I would think that TL0 & TL1 may find it useful. TL2 maybe not quite so useful and TL3+ probably not at all.

I think some of the latter templates would assist many of us. I find that several of us are repeatedly asking for very similar data from users and the templates would make those requests a lot easier. Also several of the suggested fixes are similar.

Not to say we should not verify the template contains the appropriate data and is what we wish to say, but it could be beneficial.

There isn’t — the category template feature is really basic. That’d be an interesting feature request for Discourse.

Here’s a radical and possibly-terrible idea — we could a separate category for TL0 users. That could have a more-detailed template than the main Ask category.


Interesting idea.
That leads back toward my initial suggestion of a guideline on how to ask a usable question with the details needed to obtain an informed answer. A separate category like that which discourse picks as the default for TL0, might be a reasonable solution to provide a guiding template for new users.

Not terrible at all. Now we do the game to ask them the minimum of information that we can at least guess the issue. When there is one such user a day, no problem, it is quite a pain to do this 10 times a day when there are a lot new users.

Every tool who makes the Situation better is welcome.

Maybe we could also use the bot who is or was active when a new user came to ask fedora.
For example, if someone just writes “I need help!” in the title, he should get a message from the bot that the title is not useful and he should use more words to describe the problem he has etc.

Could this be set up in a way that could assist people writing bug reports?

That’s the idea, yeah.

Revisiting this. We could easily do a template if we can agree on what it would look like. We use one in Proposed Common Issues and that works reasonably well — and in fact, has gotten pretty decent results when people accidentally started there.

Rather than a template, I’d love to have a guided form, on by default for t0 users, [1], but I don’t think there is a good off-the-shelf solution for that. See this discussion Visual form entry topic templates? - feature - Discourse Meta. (There is a plugin, but that’s more invasive … a theme component would be better if possible, as that’s more lightweight.)

So, another idea: there is a theme component that can add hints like this:

… but that’s designed for a different use case (messages for people providing replies, not the first post). We could probably adapt it with a little effort, though. That could provide a little more guidance without getting in the way. What do y’all think?

  1. actually, ideally: on with no option for t0, on by default but removable for t1, and off by default but enableable for t2+ ↩︎

A guided form would be nicer if doable, but if that’s going to be too much work, just a template would do too. The usual info we ask for when we start diagnosing issues is:

  • Fedora product/version
  • application/command
  • the issue/problem
  • is the issue reproducible: if yes, what steps can we use to reproduce it

I don’t think we want to make it too detailed—it’s best to let folks discuss issues step by step and arrive at results.

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