[manjaro-dev] Fwd: Redesign

Jonathon Fernyhough jonathon at manjaro.org
Thu Jul 21 23:08:47 CEST 2016

There are a number of people who hate the Discourse software.
There are a number of people who love it.
There are a number of people who don't care either way.

Of the three groups, the people who hate it are the most vocal (as is
normally the case in life).

Keeping in mind there was nothing fundamentally wrong with the old forum
I can see why the change was a shock, especially given there was no
warning. I've done my best to try and get people to see the positives of
the new setup but the group of vocal users keep up the complaints. They
also keep saying they are going to leave but haven't actually done so yet.

With this said - we have to look at what the forum is there for.

If it is there as an online community then the software should be as
inclusive and "unopinionated" as possible - something Discourse is not
suitable for. The Discourse authors have a definite goal and it's not a
traditional forum.

If it is there as a discussion forum that meets the goals of the
Discourse project and its use-cases then Discourse is suitable.

If it's a community focus then I'm of a mind to fully restructure the
forum setup in a similar way to communities I've been part of in the
past (and in a way I've raised in the past). Community members run the
forum and development team members have no special rights. Members apply
for (or are nominated for) positions and then voted in. This way the
community can have no complaints as they know what they are getting.

With the correct setup, different members are responsible for moderating
different areas, so spreading the load, limiting potential damage, and
preventing any one individual from causing acrimonious situations.
Global moderators are then a select few who watch over the individual mods.

If we look to a change I suggest that it's put up to a vote. Everyone
who is interested has now had experience of three fora (old.forum,
forum, spiralinear). The change in moderation model would also be open
to vote.

However - we shouldn't be run by a vocal minority. If there was a call
for a traditional forum then why hasn't the alternative forum seen more
uptake? If the vote does not go their way, then what? Will they accept
it with good grace, or continue to say how the community has been
ruined? Do we keep voting until they get a result they want?

On the other hand, we shouldn't allow this sort of acrimony to continue
based on events predicated by the surprise snap decision of an absent
system admin.

In any event, I'm staying off the Discourse forum until a decision has
been made. I've put enough effort into it, and being disparaged and
called names because of trying to make it "work" has sickened me right off.


On 21/07/16 21:00, Philip Müller wrote:
> What do you guys think about this feedback?
> -------- Weitergeleitete Nachricht --------
> Betreff: Redesign
> Datum: Thu, 21 Jul 2016 18:44:56 +0200
> Von: R. W. Reese <aguador at openmailbox.org>
> An: support at manjaro.org
> Hi Guys,
> It's good to see that the wiki is available again and that your are
> redesigning the web site. I don't have a lot of input on the website
> redesign other than simply updating the content. What greets one now is
> fine except it is around two years out of date (RIP ManjaroOB as an
> "official" flavor).
> However, I will belatedly take this opportunity to comment on Manjaro
> and the forum here as I refuse to sign up for it. Let me explain.
> I have been with Manjaro since 0.8.10. It is my third distro and one
> where I have felt very much at home. Rob, philm, AJSlye and Oberon,
> above all, have been great, and the experience of using Manjaro equally
> as good. Before the introduction of the new forum I was making efforts
> to contribute (e.g., write up on Entrance in the wiki) that fit with my
> time and skill level.
> My heart sank the first day the new forum came online. I reacted so
> negatively that I started reading and thinking about Arch and other
> possibilities. I have since visited the forum a couple of times to see
> if my initial reaction was simply an overreaction . . . confirming that,
> for me, it is not. I will not use the forum as it is now configured,
> which means I will not be using the primary vehicle for participating in
> the Manjaro community, which inevitably leads to leaving Manjaro as I am
> not prepared to be simply a leech.
> What is wrong with the forum?
> 1) It lacks the basic user information that should be visible on every
> post. Before it was possible to see what Des/WMs, video cards, and
> branches a poster was using. When properly kept up to date it made it
> easier to respond to questions and issues. Why this information would
> have been eliminated (other than to reduce the space of posts) is
beyond me.
> 2) The the look and feel and some of the "features" of the site are
> appropriate to social media at best, and frivolous social media at that.
> I did not participate in the forum to be social, but to ask and answer
> questions or post news that came my way (especially about E). I did not
> use "+1" and saw few of them in the old forum, so not only is the little
> "heart" for "likes" is not very valuable, it is incredibly insulting.
> Furthermore the suggestion is that it be used for "thanks" as well, but
> "thanks” for what? – “a good post", "your comments", "helping solve my
> problem", "providing the best solution to my problem" . . . you get the
> point. It is, in other words, it is as vacuous – or mor so – as "+1"
> while adding making the site seem "silly" (a word used in an e-mail I
> received from another user).
> Add to the lack of useful, serious information the "brownie points"
> system related to posts and privileges, and you have a monstrous
> creation in which I cannot bring myself to participate. I am sure I have
> made my fair share of stupid comments on the old forum and, I would like
> to think, one or two intelligent ones as well. However, the design of
> the forum really makes it feel like an insult.
> I have little time to do as much as I would like in increasing my
> knowledge and skills with Linux, but the change in the forum came just
> at a point where I was making efforts to increase that knowledge -- only
> to have the community to which I intended to contribute become alien
> territory.  I know that all this must seem an over reaction, and perhaps
> I will become a crotchety Arch user mocking distros that don’t require
> going through hell to install or a curmudgeonly Slackware user
> pooh-poohing the automatic handling of dependencies (said with all due
> respect to the users of those distros, the overwhelming majority of whom
> are neither crotchety nor curmudgeonly).
> There is no need to respond to this message as it is simply the result
> of an unexpected request for input that has allowed me to comment at
> length. I wish Manjaro and the whole Manjaro team well. It is a
> fantastic distro that I know deserves to be and I am sure will be around
> for many years to come.
> Best,
> Roy

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