Proposed Forum Structure Change


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Hi Igor, I have slowly started to 'moderate' this forum. One of my first thoughts are as follows: since Armbian is all about a single software set for many, many hardware platforms. Why not structure the forum  into Hardware and Software and Projects (hard-and Software combined issues).

1. Hardware

                  1.1 Supported SBCs.

                       >> 1.11 ARMvX >> etc.

                   1.2 Unsupported SBC

                          >> 1.21 TV Boxes
                                              >> 1.21.1 TV1 >>. etc.

                   1.3 etc.

2. Software

                  2.1 User Manual & Wiki

                                 >> 2.11 Install

                                            >> 2.12 Post-Install >> etc.

2.2 Apps and Desktops >> 2.21 Install Desktops >> 2.22 Package Management >> 2.23 SDK >> 2.24 Development >> etc.

2.3 etc

3. Projects and SBC Uses

3.1 A.I. >> 3.11 Clever Home >>3.12 Hardware Linear Programmable Controls >> 3.13 Automation >> 3.14 Robotics >>etc.

3.2 Educational Projects >> 3.21 etc.

3.3 etc.

This schematic allows adding subjects ad infinitum but well located inside the big headings and sub-headings. It also permits coding and maybe creating a database for faster searching.

Your comments are welcome!

 

 

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Armbian is a community driven open source project. Do you like to contribute your code?

1 hour ago, Vanitarium said:

Hi Igor, I have slowly started to 'moderate' this forum. One of my first thoughts are as follows: since Armbian is all about a single software set for many, many hardware platforms. Why not structure the forum  into Hardware and Software and Projects (hard-and Software combined issues).

1. Hardware

                  1.1 Supported SBCs.

                       >> 1.11 ARMvX >> etc.

                   1.2 Unsupported SBC

                          >> 1.21 TV Boxes
                                              >> 1.21.1 TV1 >>. etc.

                   1.3 etc.

2. Software

                  2.1 User Manual & Wiki

                                 >> 2.11 Install

                                            >> 2.12 Post-Install >> etc.

2.2 Apps and Desktops >> 2.21 Install Desktops >> 2.22 Package Management >> 2.23 SDK >> 2.24 Development >> etc.

2.3 etc

3. Projects and SBC Uses

3.1 A.I. >> 3.11 Clever Home >>3.12 Hardware Linear Programmable Controls >> 3.13 Automation >> 3.14 Robotics >>etc.

3.2 Educational Projects >> 3.21 etc.

3.3 etc.

This schematic allows adding subjects ad infinitum but well located inside the big headings and sub-headings. It also permits coding and maybe creating a database for faster searching.

Your comments are welcome!

 

 

 

I would think that all of 2 & 3 would be out of scope for the project. Unless you are just trying to build up a broader community?

 

As for your second post, there was some discussion around the time of the last forum re-arrangement, but I couldn't find it just now... Anyway there is a method to the madness, which made sense to me at the time. I dunno if I see a burning need to re-arrange everything, but that's just like, my opinion, man. :)

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Try to find historical topics regarding forum structure. That would explain and reason current structure which doesn't need to be torn down.

I lean toward keeping forum compact but make use of prefixes and tags, deal with pinned outdated topics and then thing about changing the forum tree. Changes as such can easily be a shoot into the knee :)

 

People follow forum different way then browsing its structure which means changing this many people won't even notice.

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On 1/23/2020 at 1:31 PM, Igor said:

Eliminating confusion is the key element to lower the need for moderating.

 

I keep coming back to Igor's statement in another thread.

 

I think there is something to this.

 

Maybe not the full structure like Vanitarium outlined, but perhaps we could do some smaller tweaks.

 

I have already heard it mentioned (lanefu I think) that it has been discussed to merge "Common Issues" with "Peer to Peer Technical Support" as they seem to be covering a lot of the same ground.

 

To be honest, I never really understood the difference, until reading Guidelines. Which I think is bad UI/UX design. It should be immediately clear and the structure should have some logic to it, that is immediately apparent without needing to refer to some notes somewhere else.

 

I never saw the logic in, for example, having:

  • Reviews

  • Research guides & tutorials

  • Hardware hacks

under "Peer to Peer Technical Support"? Maybe some veteran can explain what I'm missing?

 

I do think it was a good idea the last forum reorganization, which clearly delineated between what is supported, what is not, and what is currently in Development. A really good start. But now maybe time to continue iterating on that.

 

So put those few small changes together, maybe new structure might look something like:

- Announcements & First Aid
  - (keep all same)
- Community Forums
  - Peer to Peer Technical Support
    - General Linux / Debian / Software
    - Unsupported Boards
    - Maybe Others (?) if needed
  - Reviews *
  - Hardware Hacks *
  - Research, Guides & Tutorials *
  - Feature Requests
  - TV Boxes
  - General Chit Chat
- Bug Tracker
  - (leave all as is)
- Development
  - Arch A (these will change over time)
  - Arch B
  - Board Bring Up
  - Armbian Build Framework
- Armbian Project Administration
  - Moderation

Further, we could call it "Armbian Based TV Boxes" if we decide we want to limit the discussion to that (i.e., no Android). Or put that in the sub text.

 

Optionally, I guess those marked with * could still be under "Peer to Peer"... Debatable, I suppose.

 

I have some other small suggestions to tweaks of subtexts of various sub-forum text blurbs. But I left them out for clarity.

 

Discuss. :)

 

 

Edited by TRS-80
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I also think we are missing a couple sub-forums. I added to the topic here but so far no response.

 

Now that I am beginning to know my way around, I would like to sort some things out. But I don't want to put a lot of time/effort into that, and then we add couple sub-forums later, and I have to do all that work all over again. I personally am not interested in wasting my valuable time/energy on doing things more than once (especially when it is not necessary).

 

There are also a couple related questions:

  • Are we really going to enforce the policy that "General Linux / Debian / Ubuntu questions -> www.duckduckgo.com" ?

Because if so, I think we will piss off a lot of people. And if we are not going to enforce that, IMO then we need a place to put these posts, to keep them separate from actually Supported things like Armbian scripts, etc. Hence my proposal to make separate sub-forum for that, under P2P to make it clear this is not for Dev support but community. And just to keep things organized.

 

Oh, I just noticed I did not actually add that to my post over there. But it is here on my "WIP" notes for proposed forum structure change. Which I will be happy to update, but so far there has been no discussion so I haven't bothered.

 

A similar / related question, from TV Boxes sub-forum:

 

What is/will policy be about discussing Android based boxes?

  • Anything goes (full discussion of Android alternatives OK)?
  • OK only in comparison to Armbian?
  • None allowed at all (only Armbian discussion)?

I know people are busy, and @Igor has mentioned (and I see) that things work slow. But I have some time on my hands right now and could contribute a lot to cleaning up / organizing the forums. But not, IMO, until we slightly tweak the current forum structure by adding just a couple sub-forums. Not a major change, just a slight re-organization (please see my link posted above, no need to repeat stuff I already posted -- and probably I might even merge these two posts over there anyway).

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From experience I can tell you that having many subforums for better indexing sounds good (I was thinking this way as well) but it is actually not. Too many forums confuse people and the moderation necessity will increase.

It is all about finding compromises where to put similar topics to keep it small and simple. Last but not least there are other ways to group similar topics with a specific forums, for example by using tags or prefixes.

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  • TRS-80 changed the title to Proposed Forum Structure Change

I merged @balbes150 "Section for flood." topic with this one, as they are related.

 

7 hours ago, Werner said:

Too many forums confuse people

 

I would argue the opposite is true. Maybe my arguments (see above) are more clear now since I merged the two posts.

 

7 hours ago, Werner said:

the moderation necessity will increase.

 

Possibly so. Then the questions become:

  • Do we want to moderate or not?
  • Do we want to try and get the forums in a more organized shape, to make it easier to find information, or not?

I thought that the intent behind the original request for more Moderators was (quoting Igor here):

 

Quote

Forum is getting messy and I am getting more and more complains about. Traffic is going up and we / people are always prone to seek shortcuts. Its already enough that just a few people are posting wrong content at wrong location that forum gets a bad smell. Personally I and those few active moderators can't do more than we already do. We already use all possible technical equipment to limit the spam, but merging/moving wrongly posted topics can't be done by AI. At least not today.

 

At least for me, this is exactly what I signed up to do.

 

To be honest, I am starting to get a little frustrated at how such a simple (and to me, necessary) request is barely receiving any attention. My time is valuable, I cannot stay out of work forever, the bills do not stop. I have some savings and extra time on my hands right now and so I volunteered to help clean up the forums. I know everyone is busy and maybe during a release is not the best time, but this is the time I have. My window of opportunity of having this time is going to pass and then what? Nothing will have been changed, fixed, or improved... I have tried to be patient but perhaps I need to be more clear what constraints that I am working within.

Edited by TRS-80
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more subforums add just more subforums I'll ignore.. and there are quite some atm. And it seems we have this discussion like once a year or so... And yes I started such a thread as well must be gone somewhere by one of our forum rearrangements... :ph34r:

 

we have a:
 

Quote

 

Common issues

Hardware independent troubleshooting

 

where all the not armbian related software questions can go as well..

 

and we have a

Quote

Peer to peer technical support

Armbian support ended or never existed - 3rd party boards and external hardware

and chit chat.. IMO chit chat is the place where everything goes in nobody wants to deal with.. :lol:

The more subforums you have the higher the chance that people choose the wrong one.. means after its more moderation work and as you said time is valuable..

4 hours ago, TRS-80 said:

Do we want to moderate or not?

In a perfect world I would not want to moderate at all cause people don't mess stuff up.. :lol: For me moderating is splitting/merge topics on request or when they're obviously not related to each other/connected to each other. Locking stuff down when it goes out of control... which happens from time to time when people get frustrated.. Otheerwise I see myself just a normal user/dev doing dev stuff or spaming in the chit chat about chit chat stuff:

 

that's what this subforum is for... :lol: As well as asking which TV box may or may not be a good pick can have a living there.

 

If the new structure ends in more moderating we do things wrong, if it ends in less moderating we do stuff right.. as simple as it is.. The same reason I had a iphone for years and not an android phone.. I just had to think less where I find what I need. This got better in android world but I'm not sure if it got better in the forum over time but I don't think a more fine grained forum will help here. I can be wrong on that but people tend to post fast and think less means if they don't find the topic it will fit within page one they'l post it wherever they are at this moment..  Ask yourself.. when did you last go to page 3 or page 4 on a googlesearch? The same happens on forums.. And that's why I mostly refuse to answer to posts where the solution can be found within the first two pages of a googlesearch.. or if I do, I'll use something like https://lmgtfy.com/ to remind those people that things are easy as hell if you use the right search terms. I guess this behavior is now called being toxic - I somehow missed this change in social moves from "it's being a dickmove to waste someone else' time if it can be found with a random search engine" to "every stupid question is worth an answer an how dare you are if it's not written super welcoming and inclusive to everyone"... Back to topic:

5 hours ago, TRS-80 said:

To be honest, I am starting to get a little frustrated at how such a simple (and to me, necessary) request is barely receiving any attention.

That may sound hard but: for your own sake, better learn to deal with it.

 

Users are interested in:

  • a working SBC with all the features a boardmaker claims (and mostly he sums up the capability of the SoC - mostly this features are based on what works on android and have barely something to do with what works on debian/ubuntu
  • having a recent debian/ubuntu cause nobody wants to deal with something like trusty anymore but they mostly don't care about stuff like bootloader and kernel at all as long as it has the features they need. We still have a bunch of users using the 3.4 bsp kernel on allwinner and we soon ran into the same nightmare with rockchip 4.4 (at least in rockchips case there is a chance that they forward port this to a more recent kernel once android requires a newer kernel)
  • using the most crappy powersupply they have somewhere laying around
  • getting support ASAP cause their problem is for sure the most important one on the world

Developers are interested in:

  • solving some interesting parts which didn't work before
  • dealing as less as possible with users cause their mess there nice: everything works world up and soak up the time for development
  • having a few users for testing cause testing is boring
  • bringing new boards up, cause board bring up is a way more interesting than board maintenance..

So you see your point: having a well organized forum doesn't really affect both of the mayor groups we're dealing here with.. There are only a few people interested in maintaining the forum and from those few even less are interested in reorganize stuff cause this means more maintenance work and explaining the users why things have changed and how it is supposed to work now. There is this nice little saying: Rome wasn't built in one day, I would add but Nero burned it down in one. To explain that a bit more, if a change breaks the current state may make sense but break existing behavior hence ends in more rebuilding/moderating. This may work as long as you have the fresh "spirit" of moderating things.. but can you keep this over time (means for years not only months)? Cause that's what is needed if we decide to moving around things or moderate more stuff. It's not a change things and everything will be fine, people will still post on the wrong threads and people will still have a wrong assumption what armbian is (a spare time project which tries to do it's best to support a variety of boards as good as possible with a recent kernel with flavors of ubuntu/debian with some tweaks here and there to make debian more useful on such boards e.g nand-sata-install, and tweaks around zram due to limited ram on most of this boards).

Or to summarize most of it related to your new job as moderator.. be patient and accept that changes might need their time. And right reorganization of the forum might not be on high priory during a release. Especially that this release model is something we're more or less doing "the first time". Or at least it's done the first time that way as we do/try to do it yet. There's for sure a bunch of stuff I forgot to write up.. 

 

Disclaimer: as often.. this post may contain some sarcasm, some rants etc. (I may should have this in my signature for the future)...

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10 hours ago, chwe said:

That may sound hard but: for your own sake, better learn to deal with it.

 

 

True story... you won't receive much attention or appreciation for your work. Mostly you do this for your own...well pleasure (?) or however you wanna call it. Though there ARE people that appreciate the work of moderators and if more people know they most likely would appreciate it as well. Just keep that in mind if you think your work does not make any difference. It does...

 

As for myself I already stated why I refuse to do this job anymore. I think more than ten years of monotonicity is enough for one life.

 

 

Quote

(I may should have this in my signature for the future

Attention: Random rants and sarcarsm may occur and do damage to your brain if not consumed responsible!

 

:lol:

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Somehow "request not receiving attention" got turned into "TRS-80 not receiving attention" which was not what I said. I do not need attention.

 

@Werner, I think you said something in IRC once ~ about certain aspects of Moderation only being for autistic people. :D I want you to know I got a nice grin out of that. I don't take offense, and I think I am probably on the spectrum somewhere. In fact, I think it makes me perfectly suited to the job of getting the forum in order.

 

But as it stands, this fuzziness and (to me) disorganization is driving me nuts... :wacko: REEEEEEEEE  :D

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