Forum OpenACS Q&A: Consolidation of New Forums discussions
- April 2003 which proposes "OpenACS End-users Support forum for (nontechnical) end-users." and "Implementation Forum/Deployment Forum"
- July 2002 Thread 1 and Thread 2 which propose "OpenACS Evangelism," "admin," and "new users"
- June 2001
So I'm going to beat this horse with my own two cents. I've deliberately eliminated details of charters etc because I think that if the purpose of the forum can't be explained in the title and one sentence, people won't use it correctly. Here is my proposal for new forums and adjusted descriptions of some existing forums:
- OpenACS Q&A. OpenACS technical discussion.
- OpenACS Non-technical discussion (new). For managers, business analysts, professionals, etc.
- OpenACS and dotLRN Installation Problems (new)
- Building OpenACS Sites (new) Configuring, managing, modifying, and developing on top of OpenACS.
- OpenACS Development Development of OpenACS Platform and core packages
- OpenACS CMS. Content Management System.
- OpenACS Testing. OpenACS testing process
- dotLRN Development Development dotLRN core packages.
- dotLRN Testing dotLRN testing process
- CVS Commits The automated CVS commit log.
- OpenACS Q&A: Everything which does not fit somewhere
- Marketing OpenACS
- OpenACS Deployment
- Installation of OpenACS
- OpenACS Howto: Questions about the use of OpenACS and it's packages. Not specific to deployment.
- OpenACS CMS
- OpenACS Testing
- OpenACS Developement: Everything related to the development of OpenACS and it's packages
- OpenACS core
- CVS commits
Malte, I belive we can actually have more then one category tree available per forum. Thus, if we wish, in addition to the categories you mentioned a posting user could also optionally categorize his post by package, database, etc.
I'll post a separate thread on implementing categories on openacs.org
1. The categorization allows for assigning multiple categories per message (as many message topics cross categories)
2. There will be a way to use MUA filters to filter by message category.
3. Separate categories will exist according to documenation organization, essentially end-use, administration, and development topics.
4. We don't have to wait for the categorization package to be developed further.
So, Carloline's call to get categorization working before or instead of spawning more forums strikes a real chord with me.
That said, Joel's and Malte's suggestions for top level and within forum categories do seem basically sound to me.
Malte, I bet your "Deployment" and "Howto" distinction will be ignored (or not understod) by many posters. If we're going to have distinctions like that we'd better have a cadre of folks with the ability to easily move a thread from one forum to another.
Ideally, we should also be able to rename, split, and merge top level forums and categories at will, as some forums will undoubtedly go unused, etc. - the forums and categories we want will certainly change over time.
Categorization should be very useful, but only if the categorization info is accurate and reasonably complete. Often the original poster gets it wrong, or new info in the thread merits an additional category. So we'd better have a good UI to let that same volunteer cadre (presumably the long time experienced users like all of us, basically) edit the categorizatation metadata for each post as they read it.
Yes, we can improve the way things are now. One thing that would be great is automatic categorization mentioned in this thread: https://openacs.org/forums/message-view?message_id=69646
Which new forums should be created seems to be a recurring, unresolved theme:Don, why weren't the forums created that we decided upon? I definitely don't want to argue about it, but I would like to know how it works and who is in charge.
Rafael, can automatic categorization distinguish between technical/nontechnical, manager/designer and other USER-oriented tags or categories ?
It's now been 6 weeks since the new bug-tracker was released, and that still hasn't made it to openacs.org.
So instead of waiting for this or that new piece of software, I'd advocate that we follow Joel's suggestion above. Because this is something that we can do *today* that would improve our lives *now*.
I really agree with Joel that we need an "install problems" forum. That would improve the signal/noise ratio for everybody, whether installing or not installing.
And the current "OpenACS development" forum, as Joel also points out, isn't clear. We need one forum for developing OpenACS (core), and one for developing on top of OpenACS (core).
Finally, having a non-technical forum seems like a really good idea.
So come on, let's just add those forums today. Please?
If that's too many forums, let's get rid of the ones that aren't used:
- OpenACS CMS should just be rolled into the normal OpenACS development forum. No reason for a special forum for CMS.
- .LRN testing is so small low-volume that we should probably just roll it into either .LRN development or OpenACS testing.
I was wondering if we should re-activate the CMS forum? It's strange but we might have closed it down moments before it really became useful!
I was thinking that its probably not appropriate to have a product specific forums, and definitely more eyes would see CMS related posts in the bigger forums, but the the plus side would be that we could keep alot of CMS related threads together.
For example, we could start a thread called "User experiences - the design interface", which could basically link to good suggestions of design. (Not codey design - pretty colours design) We could have one thread called "What should a CMS generally do", and another one about times and dates relating to other packages. As it builds up it could chronical the development of a CMS package. Which would be good as an example of a community working and building together.
Having threads like this all in one place would really help build a nucleus of people all working on the one thing. Whereas separated threads in a greater forum wouldn't be helpful. I have a feeling that there will be lots of CMS related stuff happening over the next few months... (can't guarantee it but I think so.) So what do you think about reactivating it for a few more months?
your wish has been granted (I'm in a generous mood today ).