Octave should create a forum

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Octave should create a forum

GoSim
Evidently it was not enough to post in the help section so I also post it
here.

A real forum, not like nabble which is more like a backup for a mailing list
and with a horrible user interface. I think it would be good for your
community and would increase activity with more questions and answers and
info in general.

There are free forums for example. It wouldn't work without dev support as
moderators.

There are free forums where you can just register and easily create a forum
online, I can do that if there is support. See it as a start, if there is
interest and activity an independent forum can be created.

A good example is FreeCAD which has an excellent forum with a lot of active
members. It really elevates the whole thing.



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Re: Octave should create a forum

edmund ronald
It’s a good suggestion. We were waited ng for you to do it đŸ˜‡

Edmund

On Tuesday, December 31, 2019, GoSim <[hidden email]> wrote:
Evidently it was not enough to post in the help section so I also post it
here.

A real forum, not like nabble which is more like a backup for a mailing list
and with a horrible user interface. I think it would be good for your
community and would increase activity with more questions and answers and
info in general.

There are free forums for example. It wouldn't work without dev support as
moderators.

There are free forums where you can just register and easily create a forum
online, I can do that if there is support. See it as a start, if there is
interest and activity an independent forum can be created.

A good example is FreeCAD which has an excellent forum with a lot of active
members. It really elevates the whole thing.



--
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Re: Octave should create a forum

Mike Miller-4
In reply to this post by GoSim
On Tue, Dec 31, 2019 at 11:02:54 -0600, GoSim wrote:
> Evidently it was not enough to post in the help section so I also post it
> here.

Thank you. For everyone else, I asked GoSim to propose this on the
maintainers list after first asking on help-octave.

> A real forum, not like nabble which is more like a backup for a mailing list
> and with a horrible user interface. I think it would be good for your
> community and would increase activity with more questions and answers and
> info in general.

I agree that nabble is just a shoddy front end for the mailing list and
I can't recommend anyone use it. I also agree that a modern discussion
forum might lower the barrier to entry for new users to participate in
the community. I am a seasoned free software participant, and even I
find mailing lists tedious and a little arcane.

I think the technical aspects are solved. This is not the kind of change
where we can say "if you are interested, go ahead and do the work, and
show us the result when it's ready".

The social aspects would need some discussion and buy in from the
community before something like this can be tested. For example, who
will administer the forum, who will moderate, who will participate, what
discussions will be in scope, what will be out of scope, how and when
will we encourage use of the forum instead of the mailing lists or IRC,
how will we evaluate success, and so on.

I would personally be happy to have a Discourse instance for Octave help
and development discussions at https://discourse.octave.org.

--
mike

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Re: Octave should create a forum

Juan Pablo Carbajal-2
I liked forums, I think they are useful and can also act better as
archives than nabble. However, with time it got hard to visit all the
forums I was involved in. So the approach doesn't seem to scale up (I
tried, e.g. using feed readers to syndicate all my forums). Mailing
lists suffer the same scalability issues, and forum can easily behave
as mailing list, just requiring once the user to subscribe to a given
room or thread, but it can be wild.

As an alternative, why not help with the Q&A sites that are already
out there, with good visibility, and overflowing with questions about
octave? If the aim here is to promote communication, should we be
restrictive as to "where" this communication should happen, as long as
the platform does not hinder anonymity and freedom? Would we be
promoting the use of non-libre software by opening a channel on those
platforms about libre software?

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Re: Octave should create a forum

edmund ronald
I think providing a link off the wikipedia page to one site woukd be a good idea.
this could be a google group
the idea is that people go there, see the current trends, activity, issues at one glance

On Thu, Jan 2, 2020 at 12:38 PM Juan Pablo Carbajal <[hidden email]> wrote:
I liked forums, I think they are useful and can also act better as
archives than nabble. However, with time it got hard to visit all the
forums I was involved in. So the approach doesn't seem to scale up (I
tried, e.g. using feed readers to syndicate all my forums). Mailing
lists suffer the same scalability issues, and forum can easily behave
as mailing list, just requiring once the user to subscribe to a given
room or thread, but it can be wild.

As an alternative, why not help with the Q&A sites that are already
out there, with good visibility, and overflowing with questions about
octave? If the aim here is to promote communication, should we be
restrictive as to "where" this communication should happen, as long as
the platform does not hinder anonymity and freedom? Would we be
promoting the use of non-libre software by opening a channel on those
platforms about libre software?

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Re: Octave should create a forum

Carnë Draug
In reply to this post by Mike Miller-4
On Tue, 31 Dec 2019 at 20:19, Mike Miller <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> On Tue, Dec 31, 2019 at 11:02:54 -0600, GoSim wrote:
> > [...]
> > A real forum, not like nabble which is more like a backup for a mailing list
> > and with a horrible user interface. I think it would be good for your
> > community and would increase activity with more questions and answers and
> > info in general.
>
> I agree that nabble is just a shoddy front end for the mailing list and
> I can't recommend anyone use it. I also agree that a modern discussion
> forum might lower the barrier to entry for new users to participate in
> the community. I am a seasoned free software participant, and even I
> find mailing lists tedious and a little arcane.
>

The point being raised here is that a forum "would increase activity
with more questions and answers" but what features in the forum would
actually enable that?  This should help in make a better choice, not
only whether we should get a forum or not, but also what type of
forum.  You mentioned discourse and GoSim mentioned phpBB (freecad
forum) which are very different.

The point also mentions "questions and answers" which for me means a
Q&A site, just like Juan already suggested.  I actually quite like
them.  There is an octave tag on StackOverflow which I check almost
daily and there's a few constant people answering questions there:

    https://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/octave

So maybe start from there?

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Re: Octave should create a forum

edmund ronald
Stack Overthrow seems to be the Silicon Valley solution; I see a lot of rules-chasers explaining why  queries or answers are not technically appropriate. we might want something more mellow, creating a collective memory.

On Saturday, January 4, 2020, Carnë Draug <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Tue, 31 Dec 2019 at 20:19, Mike Miller <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> On Tue, Dec 31, 2019 at 11:02:54 -0600, GoSim wrote:
> > [...]
> > A real forum, not like nabble which is more like a backup for a mailing list
> > and with a horrible user interface. I think it would be good for your
> > community and would increase activity with more questions and answers and
> > info in general.
>
> I agree that nabble is just a shoddy front end for the mailing list and
> I can't recommend anyone use it. I also agree that a modern discussion
> forum might lower the barrier to entry for new users to participate in
> the community. I am a seasoned free software participant, and even I
> find mailing lists tedious and a little arcane.
>

The point being raised here is that a forum "would increase activity
with more questions and answers" but what features in the forum would
actually enable that?  This should help in make a better choice, not
only whether we should get a forum or not, but also what type of
forum.  You mentioned discourse and GoSim mentioned phpBB (freecad
forum) which are very different.

The point also mentions "questions and answers" which for me means a
Q&A site, just like Juan already suggested.  I actually quite like
them.  There is an octave tag on StackOverflow which I check almost
daily and there's a few constant people answering questions there:

    https://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/octave

So maybe start from there?

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Re: Octave should create a forum

Mike Miller-4
In reply to this post by Carnë Draug
On Sat, Jan 04, 2020 at 01:07:44 +0000, Carnë Draug wrote:
> The point being raised here is that a forum "would increase activity
> with more questions and answers" but what features in the forum would
> actually enable that?

That's GoSim's claim. I think it's hopeful and not necessarily true, but
could be something that one could try to measure as a metric of success.

I claim a little more cautiously, that I think a forum may make it
easier and safer for a wider variety of users to participate than a
mailing list, may help loosen some restrictions such as large file
attachments, support formatted code blocks, and so on. These features
may end up increasing activity, but that can only be known by trying.

> The point also mentions "questions and answers" which for me means a
> Q&A site, just like Juan already suggested.  I actually quite like
> them.  There is an octave tag on StackOverflow which I check almost
> daily and there's a few constant people answering questions there:
>
>     https://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/octave
>
> So maybe start from there?

Yeah, I think Stack Exchange is perfectly fine for users who want
definitive answers to specific questions. With a Q&A site, you are
asking every user to be a contributor to a form of documentation, more
like a wiki. I still see a place for a Discourse instance as an
evolution of the discussion mailing list medium.

--
mike

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Re: Octave should create a forum

roland65
+1 for me, a forum would be very useful!

This is what new users look for when they try Octave, coming from MATLAB...



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Re: Octave should create a forum

GoSim
In reply to this post by Carnë Draug
Carnë Draug wrote
>
> The point being raised here is that a forum "would increase activity
> with more questions and answers" but what features in the forum would
> actually enable that?  This should help in make a better choice, not
> only whether we should get a forum or not, but also what type of
> forum.  You mentioned discourse and GoSim mentioned phpBB (freecad
> forum) which are very different.


phpBB, FreeCAD style forum is better than discourse, it has some graphics,
colors and more of an identity than discourse that is almost purely text and
sterile. A forum with nice colors, octave colors, maybe some Octave musical
notes as pictures, it gives the forum an identity which is good at a human
level. And the whole point is to attract humans.



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Re: Octave should create a forum

edmund ronald
Forget it. People on this list are autistic. They don’t understand that children’s books need pictures. They  I have had zero acknowledgement to my emails above, and in the same way there is no wish to accommodate overly chatty users.

Edmund

On Saturday, January 4, 2020, GoSim <[hidden email]> wrote:
Carnë Draug wrote
>
> The point being raised here is that a forum "would increase activity
> with more questions and answers" but what features in the forum would
> actually enable that?  This should help in make a better choice, not
> only whether we should get a forum or not, but also what type of
> forum.  You mentioned discourse and GoSim mentioned phpBB (freecad
> forum) which are very different.


phpBB, FreeCAD style forum is better than discourse, it has some graphics,
colors and more of an identity than discourse that is almost purely text and
sterile. A forum with nice colors, octave colors, maybe some Octave musical
notes as pictures, it gives the forum an identity which is good at a human
level. And the whole point is to attract humans.



--
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Re: Octave should create a forum

GoSim
Try to be more optimistic :-)  



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Re: Octave should create a forum

Mike Miller-4
In reply to this post by GoSim
On Sat, Jan 04, 2020 at 07:35:01 -0600, GoSim wrote:
> phpBB, FreeCAD style forum is better than discourse, it has some graphics,
> colors and more of an identity than discourse that is almost purely text and
> sterile.

I don't understand this comparison. In my opinion Discourse is vastly
superior in terms of design, identity, interaction, and navigation, as a
human user. Maybe you can explain specifically what you find better
about this

  https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=28838

compared with this

  https://meta.discourse.org/t/merge-users-plugin/114917

--
mike

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Re: Octave should create a forum

Mike Miller-4
In reply to this post by edmund ronald
On Sat, Jan 04, 2020 at 15:59:40 +0100, edmund ronald wrote:
> I have had zero acknowledgement to my
> emails above, and in the same way there is no wish to accommodate overly
> chatty users.

I didn't reply directly to you, but one of my replies definitely did
agree with your sentiments about Stack Overflow, and the different needs
served by a Q&A site vs a discussion forum.

--
mike

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Re: Octave should create a forum

edmund ronald
Mike, thanks for the reply. Yes, unfortunately by indicating you elided my name while addressing the topic, you confirm my point of view that the participants of this list avoid person-directed interactions. This is relevant here because forums are designed to be named-participant communities while tech response sites are primarily issue-solution databases. And a typical forum interaction will see a user navigate down an experience thread eg how do I install, how do I run, how do I locate the library to do X etc. And people will interact with the user along this forum thread, seeing them as a person with a goal, not as a tech issue . In a QA site each of these is a new purely tech-based interaction.

If I may be so bold as to state a view, I dont think participants of THIS list should make the forum decision based alone on discussion here. It would be preferable to inform the decision by asking more naive users for their opinion.

Edmund
PS I have pleasant memories  of our meeting and all going out for beer in Germany, and hope we will meet at a future conference.


On Sat, Jan 4, 2020 at 9:02 PM Mike Miller <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Sat, Jan 04, 2020 at 15:59:40 +0100, edmund ronald wrote:
> I have had zero acknowledgement to my
> emails above, and in the same way there is no wish to accommodate overly
> chatty users.

I didn't reply directly to you, but one of my replies definitely did
agree with your sentiments about Stack Overflow, and the different needs
served by a Q&A site vs a discussion forum.

--
mike
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Re: Octave should create a forum

Juan Pablo Carbajal-2
Hi all,

I think edmund has a point (though I find "autistic" and the
generalization quite offending). Now, the question is, who wants to do
it?
I think we can address jwe directly (is he reading this?) or anyone
with access ot the web tools and indicate how hosting can be made.
We can open a call on the mailinglist for moderators. This has a
associated work with it: setting "rules", tasks, and instructions for
moderators and for users. I guess can be adapted from other sites.

On Sat, Jan 4, 2020 at 11:19 PM edmund ronald <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Mike, thanks for the reply. Yes, unfortunately by indicating you elided my name while addressing the topic, you confirm my point of view that the participants of this list avoid person-directed interactions. This is relevant here because forums are designed to be named-participant communities while tech response sites are primarily issue-solution databases. And a typical forum interaction will see a user navigate down an experience thread eg how do I install, how do I run, how do I locate the library to do X etc. And people will interact with the user along this forum thread, seeing them as a person with a goal, not as a tech issue . In a QA site each of these is a new purely tech-based interaction.
>
> If I may be so bold as to state a view, I dont think participants of THIS list should make the forum decision based alone on discussion here. It would be preferable to inform the decision by asking more naive users for their opinion.
>
> Edmund
> PS I have pleasant memories  of our meeting and all going out for beer in Germany, and hope we will meet at a future conference.
>
>
> On Sat, Jan 4, 2020 at 9:02 PM Mike Miller <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> On Sat, Jan 04, 2020 at 15:59:40 +0100, edmund ronald wrote:
>> > I have had zero acknowledgement to my
>> > emails above, and in the same way there is no wish to accommodate overly
>> > chatty users.
>>
>> I didn't reply directly to you, but one of my replies definitely did
>> agree with your sentiments about Stack Overflow, and the different needs
>> served by a Q&A site vs a discussion forum.
>>
>> --
>> mike

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Re: Octave should create a forum

GoSim
In reply to this post by edmund ronald
edmund ronald wrote
> If I may be so bold as to state a view, I dont think participants of THIS
> list should make the forum decision based alone on discussion here. It
> would be preferable to inform the decision by asking more naive users for
> their opinion.
>
> Edmund

We can just look at forums that are successful, which forums are successful
and how do they look? My experience is that freecad style forums lead to
better communication at a human level which I like. Even though tech people
can be 'special' most people are human first and engineers/phd/whatever
second, this is particularly true among women.



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Re: Octave should create a forum

GoSim
In reply to this post by Mike Miller-4
Mike Miller-4 wrote

> On Sat, Jan 04, 2020 at 07:35:01 -0600, GoSim wrote:
>> phpBB, FreeCAD style forum is better than discourse, it has some
>> graphics,
>> colors and more of an identity than discourse that is almost purely text
>> and
>> sterile.
>
> I don't understand this comparison. In my opinion Discourse is vastly
> superior in terms of design, identity, interaction, and navigation, as a
> human user. Maybe you can explain specifically what you find better
> about this
>
>   https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=28838
>
> compared with this
>
>   https://meta.discourse.org/t/merge-users-plugin/114917
>
> --
> mike
>
>
> signature.asc (849 bytes)
> &lt;https://octave.1599824.n4.nabble.com/attachment/4695119/0/signature.asc&gt;


the phpBB has some colors, and some graphics, the buttons are not just text
but real buttons with colors, the links has some colors or pics,  the
discourse has zero graphics and basically looks like nabble but with much
better functionality. Does discourse even have smileys? I didn't see any.



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Re: Octave should create a forum

Mike Miller-4
In reply to this post by edmund ronald
On Sat, Jan 04, 2020 at 23:18:56 +0100, edmund ronald wrote:

> Mike, thanks for the reply. Yes, unfortunately by indicating you elided my
> name while addressing the topic, you confirm my point of view that the
> participants of this list avoid person-directed interactions. This is
> relevant here because forums are designed to be named-participant
> communities while tech response sites are primarily issue-solution
> databases. And a typical forum interaction will see a user navigate down an
> experience thread eg how do I install, how do I run, how do I locate the
> library to do X etc. And people will interact with the user along this
> forum thread, seeing them as a person with a goal, not as a tech issue . In
> a QA site each of these is a new purely tech-based interaction.
Fair points, yes a forum encourages conversational threads which may be
about a general topic or may be about a particular person's problem. And
I do agree that a forum probably tends to increase conversational type
interpersonal interaction, while a mailing list encourages brevity and
restraint, since every message is delivered to every other participant.

> If I may be so bold as to state a view, I dont think participants of THIS
> list should make the forum decision based alone on discussion here. It
> would be preferable to inform the decision by asking more naive users for
> their opinion.

Also a fair point. Maybe I jumped the gun a little when I asked for the
discussion to be moved here. But consider it's also important to get the
Octave maintainers and contributors to buy into this idea for it to
succeed.

If you think it's better to have a longer discussion on the help list
first, get users and contributors there to weigh in on whether they want
a forum at all and what needs it should meet, that's fair. Please feel
free to continue to have that discussion.

I have essentially assumed that it will be welcomed by newcomers, and I
think a bigger obstacle will be getting maintainers, developers, and
other contributors on board.

> PS I have pleasant memories  of our meeting and all going out for beer in
> Germany, and hope we will meet at a future conference.

Same!

--
mike

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Re: Octave should create a forum

siko1056
On 1/5/20 9:36 AM, Mike Miller wrote:

> On Sat, Jan 04, 2020 at 23:18:56 +0100, edmund ronald wrote:
>
> [...]
>
>> If I may be so bold as to state a view, I dont think participants of THIS
>> list should make the forum decision based alone on discussion here. It
>> would be preferable to inform the decision by asking more naive users for
>> their opinion.
>
> Also a fair point. Maybe I jumped the gun a little when I asked for the
> discussion to be moved here. But consider it's also important to get the
> Octave maintainers and contributors to buy into this idea for it to
> succeed.
>
> If you think it's better to have a longer discussion on the help list
> first, get users and contributors there to weigh in on whether they want
> a forum at all and what needs it should meet, that's fair. Please feel
> free to continue to have that discussion.
>
> I have essentially assumed that it will be welcomed by newcomers, and I
> think a bigger obstacle will be getting maintainers, developers, and
> other contributors on board.
>
> [...]>

From the length of this discussion topic, I think there is really a need
to remember the options and suggestions, assess their technical
realization, and finally, we should ask a wider audience what shall be
hosted on our servers (a poll).

Currently, I kind of maintain (not exclusively) some parts of Octave's
web presence (website, MediaWiki) and thought about what is possible.
See my idea to proceed the discussion here:

   https://wiki.octave.org/Forum_for_GNU_Octave

Personally, I also would love to find more "state of the art"
communication tools for collaboration with Octave maintainers and users.
 I do not mind maintaining another web presence as well, if we agree on
some forum software.

Best,
Kai

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