It seems like we may now introduce sub-directories under English for Writer, Calc etc

The tags for Calc/Writer/Meta/Common/etc. seem redundant now, since Discource allows having sub-directories. We may have these directories created, and existing topics put there accordingly, with Would that be useful for contributors?

3 Likes

I do think so. Considering newcomers never understood the rationale behind flags, having these directories would clearly simplify their question classification.

However, these “domains” are not fully orthogonal: many questions are “common”, e.g. those for installation, profile issues, font access, …

But this will complicate monitoring. For instance, though I fell much more at ease with Writer, I occasionally answer to Draw or Math questions. How can I keep an eye on the latest questions independently from their “categories”?

Also, we need an “unclassified” directory where questions may be pending awaiting a better “tagging” by some moderator.

2 Likes

In user preferences, under Notifications, one can watch Categories and Tags. Watch notifications appear in the top right user notification list, which can be enlarged to a full page view with the view all notifications button, or under user tab Notifications.

Anything not fit for a single component would go in the main (unnamed) section/directory, wouldn’t it? You might visit the Apache OpenOffice users forum, it has lots of subdirectories for recognized categories, but also a Beginners directory for the clueless newcomers. Anything posted there is supposed to be moved to the directory that best fits the subject by a moderator.

Edit

The Apache OpenOffice forum Index page • Apache OpenOffice Community Forum has been running for over 14 years now, and quite comfortably. Note: I’m not saying that you should have moved to that kind of board, or adopt all of its tricks, but it’s worth a visit, so you don’t re-invent the wheel. You don’t have to register to view the forum, but that’ll be enough to see how it works.

A few points:

  • Solved topics are marked as [Solved] and get a green check mark icon for better recognition as well. Some new users will add that icon to their question, which is not desired. Quite often, tagging a question as solved has to be done by a moderator, because the visitors are just like the ones here: they often forget to accept an answer. Moderators don’t have to wait a few days to tag a topic as solved. As soon as the OP writes something that can be construed as an admission that the question was answered to their satisfaction, a moderator can tag it as solved when it’s clear that the OP doesn’t understand how to do it or doesn’t do it, anyway. Note: it’d be great if moderators or people with all modding powers don’t have to wait for days to accept an answer, regardless of how that’s implemented here.

  • You can’t mark a specific post as containing the solution, but quite often, a discussion follows, with clarifications in a new post, because edited posts don’t show that they have been edited (a downside of that forum). In the end, the solution is found in a number of posts, and a later visitor should read the entire discussion to find it.

@floris_v: no offence intended, We are faced with a new learning curve in Discourse.

AskBot used in the site previous version made a clear distinction between comments and solutions (answers). We need this discipline here too. The links under the question allow explicitly to chose between “answer” and “comment” significance. However, I feel that “answer” may be taken too literally by newcomers used to forums where posts are ordered chronologically.

I don’t know whether “answers” are sorted chronologically or are weighted according to their marks (upvotes). So we should probably think twice when choosing betwen “answer” and “comment”.

Probably the links should be reworded as “Solution” and “Comment/Discussion”.

@Mike Kaganski: what do you think of this proposal?

2 Likes

Probably the links should be reworded as “Solution” and “Comment/Discussion”.

I agree that “Solution” would be a better wording.

1 Like

@ajlittoz: How is that related to the matter of directories? I referred to the OpenOffice forums not because I think that the forum model would be better here, but simply because of it has a directory structure that may be very useful here as well. We can benefit from the time spent at that forum to configure the subdirectories here.

The matter of comments and answers is very different. We know from experience that the model of moderating the forum by users (i.e. users upvoting helpful posts) barely works. Many people who come to ask a question, can’t be bothered to read the Read me first, they mistake the ask site for a forum, and don’t know how to tell the difference between a comment and a solution. In fact, they are playing a game without knowing the rules of the game and therefore don’t respect them. You know what happens then. Years ago, Hagar Delest of the AOO forum warned all volunteers for the Eternal September, and he was right. Don’t throw in niceties that the overwhelming majority of visitors won’t even notice.

@floris_v: Alas, you are right on all points.

Wrt to directory structure, of course any inspiration model is welcome.

Answers are sorted by number of votes.

@erAck: this was the case under AskBot. Do you mean it is still the case in Discourse?

Yes it is.
(and the comments seem to be sorted in an unpredictable order…).

Or by author?
[and have a damned 20 character minimum for posting hence this senseless remark]

I also agree that “Solution” would be a better wording.

This is now set to 10 :slight_smile:

1 Like

They do, on an edited post appears a pencil icon and left of the icon is the number of edits, and if you hover the mouse over the icon it tells post last edited on … If you click on the icon you also get a diff view of what has been changed.

@erAck: My comment about edits not showing referred to the AOO forum, not to this one. On the AOO forum, you don’t get a warning that a post has been edited. I have been active on the Ask board for a few years, I know more or less how it worked, and i noticed that you get updates about edited posts. That was, in fact, one of its best features. The downside was that the delivery of e-mail notifications of new posts or edits were, how shall I put it, not very reliable.

Predictable, but confusing and arguably buggy. (This post also purposefully adds more nesting to this thread to check whether the fix works.)

One question is what to do with topics with several such tags. With AskBot each question had to be tagged with at least one tag among common ‘writer’, ‘calc’, ‘impress’, ‘base’, ‘draw’, ‘math’ and/or ‘meta’, and the migration preserved that behavior. We have the option to force new topics have a single such tag now, but I count 3787(!) existing topics with ≥2 mandatory tags, e.g., How do i copy text without changing the formate? . What to do with these?

A downside of using subcategories in lieu of tags for LO components is that it’ll probably make asking questions by email infeasible in practice. This is not a regression since our AskBot instance didn’t have that feature (nor the ability to reply by email), but right now each category has a dedicated email address one can use to post questions. It’s fine as long we don’t have so many categories, but we probably can’t expect users to choose between these sub-categories addresses. That being said, not sure how useful that feature is :-). (Also not every category needs to have a dedicated incoming address for new questions, we could for instance enable it for ‘meta’ only.)

Whatever you decide, please save yourself the trouble of untagging and re-categorizing topics, this can be scripted and I can take care of that. :slight_smile:

  1. Wrt questions having several mandatory tags: 3787 is in fact much less than I anticipated. It could be OK to keep them in the root directory; or to move to common, implying that those reflect problems affecting not a single module. IMO both would be acceptable (?).
  2. Wrt asking by email: and how do they tag their questions in that case? I suppose that would not be a useful feature. Questions (actually, answers) created in such a way would suffer from wrong quoting (put at the bottom, excessive, etc.)

I may be wrong but I think it’s not possible to follow subcategories like it is possible in your own profile for categories and tags