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Improve 'Support over Forum' situation


chwe
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6 hours ago, chwe said:

since forum theme update the 'who read this topic' button disappeared. Is this a theme issue or just not activated anymore? In 'haze old' it's still available. 

2


Haven't noticed. Thank you for pointing out. Will try to solve asap.

 

My 2 cents on the topic. One way is to make a simple but carefully picked list of 10 FAQ, which should go to the www.armbian.com starting with: 

 

1. How to prepare SD card?

2. How to login? 

3. What kind of power supply do I need

...

 

With simple answers and linking to documentation if necessary?

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When discussing a problem make sure to provide full logs!

I've been away from my rock/pine/orangepi stuff for a while whilst life, the end the uni term, and complaining against the latest political brainwave of our government... but time is clearing up again, and I can start following the forums and documentation and stuff. My 2 cents is I agree with the general view expressed by @tkaiser... I don't like deleting stuff unless it is duplicated, with a polite note to the OP to bring their attention to the forum rules. What I would do in the case of those who have not done their due diligence and are asking for support, or who are not doing what is asked, is to either just put on the broken record approach, or to simply ignore them.  And I agree with the general idea of the FAQs... but that also sounds a bit like the getting started documentation... so I'm not sure that is actually needed.... other than a bloody big arrow pointing at the documentation page... so that even a blind person couldn't miss it! :-P

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1 hour ago, pfeerick said:

And I agree with the general idea of the FAQs.. but that also sounds a bit like the getting started documentation... so I'm not sure that is actually needed..

1


Most users scan pages, seek for a button(s) and don't read much. What will they choose if they have some troubles:


- browsing and searching the documentation and then reading long chunks of text

- ask a direct question on a forum. Of course without using a search tool first.

- ask on Facebook

- check and scan FAQ (currently nonexisting) and act accordingly.
 

The idea of FAQ is to sum ~10 the most important/frequent question with short answers. Optionally with links to "read more". Problems, squeeze in the download pages must fit under FAQ. End result: a clean decluttered page with sections: Home, Download, FAQ,  (Support can be one of FAQ questions), "search for supported board", Donate + Github and Twitter icons. Nothing else. 

No confusions and like the UX people mantra says: Don't Make Me Think!


BTW. The video showing Armbian desktop is planned to go into a front page with changed content - 1 to 2-minute presentation about armbian userland.

2.png

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Small changes:

 

- friendly URLs with backward compatibility

Before:
https://forum.armbian.com/index.php/topic/3328-cubox-i-unable-to-boot-latest-test-images-with-kernel-495

After
https://forum.armbian.com/topic/3328-cubox-i-unable-to-boot-latest-test-images-with-kernel-495/

- remove "Forums" from the main page

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On 28.10.2017 at 7:53 PM, Igor said:

friendly URLs with backward compatibility

 

Unfortunately not. :(

 

I've posted outside of the forum tons of links to individual posts and they're all broken. First line in the old (and now broken) link format, 2nd line the currently used 'flavour':

https://forum.armbian.com/index.php?/topic/3953-preview-generate-omv-images-for-sbc-with-armbian/#comment-32340
https://forum.armbian.com/topic/3953-preview-generate-omv-images-for-sbc-with-armbian/?do=findComment&comment=32340

When will this be fixed?

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1 hour ago, Igor said:

This can't be browser related or?

It seems it is browser related -- sorry for the noise. Tested on 3 different platforms with 3 different browsers each and only the one I use for 'average web surfing' (Safari on macOS) shows the behaviour.

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Most questions here need a follow-up question from someone who wants to give support because the situation isn't clear. Not everyone is native english speaking (like me :P ) and there are different levels of language skills but I suggest to pin a locked post on every subforum where we give 'end-user support' (in fact we do this also quite often in the development subforums but this is not the key point of this post).  Such a post could look like...

Quote

The better the question, the bigger the chance to get a good answer. To make it easier for others to answer to your question, here are some general things which you should answer in the first.

  1. We have search engines (google customized search engine and a forum search engine, try to find a solution by your self before opening a new thread with your question. If your question fits good in the other thread, you can also ask it there.search.jpg.5549006196a9e503c95455e89ff022a5.jpg
  2. Which board are you using (e.g.  OrangePi PC plus not only orange pi)
  3. Which image do you use (e.g. Ubuntu Server - legacy kernel from:  https://www.armbian.com/orange-pi-zero/)
  4. How is your board powered (e.g. micro-usb, barrel plug, over pin-header). How is your PSU rated (e.g. 5V 2A etc). If your board is powered over micro-USB, describe your cable as best as possible (e.g. lengh and when possible AWG number written on the cable)28AWG.jpg.504c76898cdaf9162d4ea53360b1b2fd.jpg
  5. Describe your problem the best way you can and describe also what you have tried so far to solve your problem. 
  6. Provide us the link from sudo armbianmonitor -u (e.g. http://sprunge.us/YhcV )
  7. tbd
 

This list is open and it's obvious that not everybody will follow this thread, but it should help to improve the situation a little bit.

 

What do you think about it?

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I've not that much to add since we babble about this BS way too often.

 

IMO it's necessary to force users to provide 'quality information' but they refuse to do so (maybe 'armbianmonitor -u' is too long to type, maybe it needs an alias called 'selftest' or just 'help' -- no idea).

 

Providing the information from armbianmonitor -u will become soon even more important since as usual users fear everything that changes and with Stretch we will get tons of 'bug reports' complaining 'eth0 is gone, there's no network but there is network. I want it like in Debian 7 again!!!', also people editing happily /etc/network/interfaces trying to define stuff for eth0 which doesn't exist any more so NM taking care of enx001e06330005 and users telling made out stories instead of providing facts. And so on...

 

IMO basic rule to deal with support questions should be to stop supporting anyone unless the necessary information has been provided. And for people who want to support others understanding armbianmonitor output is beneficial:

 

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11 hours ago, tkaiser said:

IMO it's necessary to force users to provide 'quality information' but they refuse to do so (maybe 'armbianmonitor -u' is too long to type, maybe it needs an alias called 'selftest' or just 'help' -- no idea).

This is certainly not the problem - you should always start with yourself.

Why isn't your first question:  If you have internet access please provide 'armbianmonitor -u   -  before you write any - any - other word at all?  Try it.

ähm, in the past you couldn't resist to type at least 100 words :P

 

 

On 21.11.2017 at 12:00 AM, chwe said:

to give support because the situation isn't clear.

If you click on "Moderation Actions" (one Text-button on top and one on bottom of the page) you find standard answers - if not, you suffer the same error as I have. Igor knows about it.

Edited by Tido
ähm
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6 minutes ago, Tido said:

Why isn't your first question:  If you have internet access please provide 'armbianmonitor -u   -  before you write any - any - other word at all?  Try it.

 

I tried it already. And guess what: this got ignored all the time. Usually someone else is chiming in in the meantime and comes up with suggestions and users happily follow other suggestions just to do $something instead of providing quality information. It doesn't work if it's done by one individual. It needs to become a general policy.

 

But it's just a stupid waste of time to discuss this BS over and over again. Bye.

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On 10.12.2017 at 11:28 PM, Tido said:

I repeat myself, but same as with HW description, why do something again if it already exists ?   or just describe the special functions per board..

Documentation - a good thing I already gave a suggestion on the frist page of this thread.

just some recent forum posts...

 

 

I think we do a better job in providing software and 'personal support' than providing information to avoid such questions.... 

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9 hours ago, chwe said:

than providing information to avoid such questions.


I think we should apply some big signs/ads "answering questions is expensive - use search", "search first ask next" ... or similar?

and/or

stronger forum moderation?

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5 minutes ago, zador.blood.stained said:

to discuss and make written forum rules first

 

Some quick draft:

1. Technical support questions without supplying armbinamonitor -u where possible are ignored and moved to peer to peer section.

2. Repeated questions are locked down, user warned.

3. Asking for help on private channel might get you ban

4. Recreating questions on private channel gets you ban

5. ...

 

I think we should not make too many of them since they are not read.

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25 minutes ago, guidol said:

@Igor couldnt attach pictures because : "Drag files here to attach, or choose files... Max total size 0.04MB " = 40Kb :(

 

 

...I've run into this as well, I'm guessing there is a per-user global data size cap?  Mine is at 0.01 MB  :P

 

If that's what it is, I can go through and revise my posts with images to use smaller ones, I would have expected the forum software to do some automagic shrinking to them.

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3 minutes ago, TonyMac32 said:

If that's what it is, I can go through and revise my posts with images to use smaller ones, I would have expected the forum software to do some automagic shrinking to them.

I already pay attention to the size and resolution of my pics - mostly the are at max. 1024 pixel wide and the .jpg quality do I set to 80% .

With that I get mostly a file-size of less than 200kB for a picture.

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I guess this is the best thread for my question;

 

Would it be possible to create a sub forum where "generic" electronics questions can be discussed?  A lot of questions are posted in the forum / thread of the SBC in use, while in general most questions & answers are applicable to most (if not all) SBCs...

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As some of you noticed, I sometimes use asciinema to show people fast what's need to be done to solve something on command line immediately..  For those didn't see that, asciinema can be installed easily with 'sudo apt-get install asciinema'.  Then, by using 'asciinema rec' everything whats typed into your shell is recorded an uploaded to their page (it's also possible to save it on your own web-server or local only etc but since I never used it). I would like to use this more.. but cause at the moment there's no possibility to show this like twitter or youtube videos it's not that workable for me.. (cause most people wouldn't klick on a link, if there isn't at least a preview what you get). 

They have some APIs which could be integrated into the website. Do we have a possibility to make it workable on the forum?

 

APIs they support:

  • oEmbed
  • Open Graph
  • Twitter Card

I had a quick google look if Invision support one of these APIs but I didn't saw it. Maybe @Igor who deals more with the software is able to find a solution. Or saw what I missed.  :)

 

Edit:

A possibility is to use the provided png and use it as a link.. but it's more work to do.. :P 

 

1yFyS7p6VtLxj0BZRXOwYeAOB.png


so.. provide the link add https://asciinema.org/a/1yFyS7p6VtLxj0BZRXOwYeAOB.png (*png) and then left the original link to the picture.. 

 

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23 hours ago, chwe said:

I had a quick google look if Invision support one of these APIs but I didn't saw it.

 

Nope. Not that familiar with the forum software. If you didn't find the solution on their forums, open a topic there, perhaps you get some hints or help for implementing. I can only do that.

It's definitely a cool and useful idea. I usually record an actual video and post it to the YT which is more work.

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