How can we improve the IPFire Forums?

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MichaelTremer
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Re: How can we improve the IPFire Forums?

Post by MichaelTremer » June 23rd, 2018, 2:17 pm

Hellfire wrote:
June 22nd, 2018, 3:27 pm
Speaking both, English and German (native), I still appreciate posting my issues, if any, in German language, because its still easier for me to express problems in that language. Mostly because of complex themes.
I totally agree. And to me the solution is quite simple: When signing up the forum software should ask every user what languages they speak and then hide all posts in other languages. It is very easy to detect if a post is German or English. Completely don't understand why nobody ever implements this.
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Hellfire
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Re: How can we improve the IPFire Forums?

Post by Hellfire » June 23rd, 2018, 7:55 pm

MichaelTremer wrote:
June 23rd, 2018, 2:17 pm
Hellfire wrote:
June 22nd, 2018, 3:27 pm
Speaking both, English and German (native), I still appreciate posting my issues, if any, in German language, because its still easier for me to express problems in that language. Mostly because of complex themes.
I totally agree. And to me the solution is quite simple: When signing up the forum software should ask every user what languages they speak and then hide all posts in other languages. It is very easy to detect if a post is German or English. Completely don't understand why nobody ever implements this.
Hiding posts because of local settings is not a perfect solution as well, because I would like to read English postings as well, despite of my native language.

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Re: How can we improve the IPFire Forums?

Post by Hellfire » June 23rd, 2018, 8:03 pm

To improve the forums, I first would start to think about the subforums. I don't talk about of dropping one or another but adding new ones and think about the current ones if they still fit.

Most of the time I'm not certain which forum to take. Mostly it's the General or in German language: Allgemein forum.
If the subforums would be organized like e.g. IPFire's menu items it sometimes would be much easier to choose the right one.

Just my 2ct
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MichaelTremer
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Re: How can we improve the IPFire Forums?

Post by MichaelTremer » June 24th, 2018, 8:52 am

Hellfire wrote:
June 23rd, 2018, 7:55 pm
Hiding posts because of local settings is not a perfect solution as well, because I would like to read English postings as well, despite of my native language.
I wrote "languages". People speak multiple languages.
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Re: How can we improve the IPFire Forums?

Post by zargano » June 24th, 2018, 10:03 am

Hellfire wrote:
June 23rd, 2018, 8:03 pm
To improve the forums, I first would start to think about the subforums. I don't talk about of dropping one or another but adding new ones and think about the current ones if they still fit.
This is exactly what I meant with
zargano wrote:
June 23rd, 2018, 10:43 am
From my perspective, some thoughts should be spent on the forum categories and the structure. Here I see some backlog and need for improvements.

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Re: How can we improve the IPFire Forums?

Post by Smooth » June 25th, 2018, 8:57 am

Well, if you see that forums are more and more inactive, maybe the "problem" is that IPFire more stable and robust, and people don't have problems.
Less you have posts it's because people only post problems, not ideas and similar.

What kind of posts would like to increase?

Personally, I think that you should focus on IPFire 3, have multiple WANs, VLANs, so on, those thing have already been posted on forums, and no one will post them again, just to get post number up.

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Re: How can we improve the IPFire Forums?

Post by MichaelTremer » June 25th, 2018, 9:31 am

Smooth wrote:
June 25th, 2018, 8:57 am
Well, if you see that forums are more and more inactive, maybe the "problem" is that IPFire more stable and robust, and people don't have problems.
Less you have posts it's because people only post problems, not ideas and similar.
I heard people saying that before. It certainly is a good thing. The forums have loads of beginners questions and then really weird niche things and edge case issues.
Smooth wrote:
June 25th, 2018, 8:57 am
What kind of posts would like to increase?
I didn't have any particular kind of thing in mind. I didn't even mean to say that there has been a dramatic decrease in activity. Maybe it was just a shift towards other topics that are less relevant to me.

In the bigger picture it just would be nice if IPFire would be promoted more by our community. Our "competitors" have a huge marketing budget and people hired only for responding to tweets which we obviously don't have... And therefore IPFire seems to be the "less popular" choice out there.

-Michael
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Re: How can we improve the IPFire Forums?

Post by coffeemachine » June 25th, 2018, 10:17 pm

Hi coffee lovers,

In my opinion, there exist no perfect software for a community. in this case here the phpbb is absolutely okay, as consumer i've no experience about the problems with spam and load, databases or migration. many newer solutions use so fresh and modern layouts they loose often the overview.

the best way i've seen before to switch between languages is the forum from oneplus, in the control center users choose all they favorite languages, but after that they see only this languages... but this platform does not offer the best overview about the contributions.

at long last all we user build the community, without user and no interest to help each other a forum will never work. i saw a lot of boards where member waiting more than a few weeks before the first reply was written. in this time a lot of people lost the euphoria or search for another solutions.

but a firewall is a realy specialized solution, any user had another use and special cases waste a lot of time. in many communitys i've often the feeling a lot of member not want to deal with it. one example every day a lot of user join the irc, ask a question and have no understanding for the massive idle, disconnect the channel a few minutes later, without any kind of a solution.

maybe the calm are due to the good weather? ;)


greetings coffeemachine
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Re: How can we improve the IPFire Forums?

Post by Aurien » June 26th, 2018, 3:34 am

The biggest thing I can think of off the top of my head is the ability for posters to mark question as solved. So when you're looking through the top level of a forum, you can see if a subject has already been answered/solved. Steam does this on their discussion forum.

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Then once you're in the topic, put the answer post with a link to it right under the original post, like this.

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zr1hpc
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Re: How can we improve the IPFire Forums?

Post by zr1hpc » June 26th, 2018, 7:25 am

I come from an IPCop background and one thing I really appreciated was the support forum in the form of a users mailing list ie
<ipcop-users@ipcop.org>. This would allow me to receive notification about all issues affecting the program and allow me to delete those in which I had no interest, but keep those that I might need or were interesting/obscure. This allows the user to create a more personalised knowledgebase relative to their own knowledge.

With cloud email storage areas ie iCloud and Gmail available these days a member could subscribe to both an English AND German users mailing list, and simply delete those posts in which they are not interested. When you have an issue with IPfire you search your mail for the solution either locally or via cloud service, and you get an answer quicker and more related to your query. Its a bit of work for two languages but the user doesn't have to be connected large amounts of time to search the forums for something that relates as cloud email servers provide the ability to search, and it would be searching through a smaller set of posts as opposed to the entire forum.

I would suggest te creation of lists according to language ie ipfire-users-en@ipfire.org, ipfire-users-de@ipfire.org however this could lead to much duplication. The IPCop user list although in English was every now and again 'infiltrated' by a foreigner, but allowed the members to help each other ie users who could understand Spanish helped Spaniards or translated to English for them as was the case with German speakers. I think there may have been ather language lists but am not sure.

So my take on this, as I do not have time to read forums, and provided the subjects of the emails sent are descriptive there should be no issue with establishing a ipfire-users mailing list.

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MichaelTremer
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Re: How can we improve the IPFire Forums?

Post by MichaelTremer » June 26th, 2018, 9:42 am

coffeemachine wrote:
June 25th, 2018, 10:17 pm
In my opinion, there exist no perfect software for a community. in this case here the phpbb is absolutely okay, as consumer i've no experience about the problems with spam and load, databases or migration. many newer solutions use so fresh and modern layouts they loose often the overview.

the best way i've seen before to switch between languages is the forum from oneplus, in the control center users choose all they favorite languages, but after that they see only this languages... but this platform does not offer the best overview about the contributions.
It is called XenForo and actually looks quite good. It is $140 a year in the most basic version...
Aurien wrote:
June 26th, 2018, 3:34 am
The biggest thing I can think of off the top of my head is the ability for posters to mark question as solved. So when you're looking through the top level of a forum, you can see if a subject has already been answered/solved. Steam does this on their discussion forum.

Image

Then once you're in the topic, put the answer post with a link to it right under the original post, like this.

Image
I like this idea and I think it highlights what is kind of want: It is the little things that make the forum a lot nicer to use. It is not that we need to throw phpBB out of the window and restart with something radically new.
zr1hpc wrote:
June 26th, 2018, 7:25 am
I come from an IPCop background and one thing I really appreciated was the support forum in the form of a users mailing list ie
<ipcop-users@ipcop.org>. This would allow me to receive notification about all issues affecting the program and allow me to delete those in which I had no interest, but keep those that I might need or were interesting/obscure. This allows the user to create a more personalised knowledgebase relative to their own knowledge.

With cloud email storage areas ie iCloud and Gmail available these days a member could subscribe to both an English AND German users mailing list, and simply delete those posts in which they are not interested. When you have an issue with IPfire you search your mail for the solution either locally or via cloud service, and you get an answer quicker and more related to your query. Its a bit of work for two languages but the user doesn't have to be connected large amounts of time to search the forums for something that relates as cloud email servers provide the ability to search, and it would be searching through a smaller set of posts as opposed to the entire forum.

I would suggest te creation of lists according to language ie ipfire-users-en@ipfire.org, ipfire-users-de@ipfire.org however this could lead to much duplication. The IPCop user list although in English was every now and again 'infiltrated' by a foreigner, but allowed the members to help each other ie users who could understand Spanish helped Spaniards or translated to English for them as was the case with German speakers. I think there may have been ather language lists but am not sure.

So my take on this, as I do not have time to read forums, and provided the subjects of the emails sent are descriptive there should be no issue with establishing a ipfire-users mailing list.
Hmm, mailing lists... I personally love mailing lists. They are great. You never miss a message. And that again is their problem as well. A forum has the advantage that you will only get notified about the topics you are interested in and that makes it a lot better for support I think.

I also think that having multiple spaces for support (forum AND mailing lists) and even lists in multiple languages will make it harder to find the solution to a question that has already been answered. I also don't know a single project where mailing lists in multiple languages work. People tend to use English then which makes a lot of sense, but leaves the rest quite deserted. This is the same reason why we don't have a German version of the Wiki any more. Information in there was old and outdated, incomplete and English was kept up to date because the community was a lot larger.

So, is anyone in favour of having a mailing list for support?

-Michael
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Re: How can we improve the IPFire Forums?

Post by zr1hpc » June 26th, 2018, 7:08 pm

I am definitely in support of mailing list for support. Being a forum non user and not having oodles of times to scour a forum's pages and Pages of issues, as well as poor Internet conectivity, a mailing list just WORKS for me instead of me having to work to find a solution.

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Re: How can we improve the IPFire Forums?

Post by H&M » July 2nd, 2018, 7:38 pm

Hello everybody,

I don't have a prefference on how the forum looks like.
I started to use forum for simple solutions (when I joined IPFire community) and later engaging in small customizaions and testing.
Now I don't need the forum that much - for me the solution works fine and I manage to collect al custom developments I needed.

Everybody has a different understand of the solution and special "needs" - customizations.
For me is all about usability - how easy somebody finds the information in the forum. Wiki is good, but forum is great - it offers so many deviations from standard usage, so many usage scenarios!

Having said that I would appreciate:
1. If all similar problems are combined in one thread.
2. If a thread tend to tackle several problems/debates - split the tread
3. Voting - if a post is a solution, people to vote it. Move solutions on top of threads (dynamic based on votes)
4. If a topic end up to become a bug - title should indicate that. If the bug ever gets solved - edit title adding the information from what versior (#core) is solved, etc... For this part the forum is the best - most experienced users understand what users post and relate to the existing bugzilla unresolved bugs.

Let's face it - bugzilla is not that friendly compared with the forum.
Same for wiki vs. forum.

Hope it helps,
Horace

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Re: How can we improve the IPFire Forums?

Post by MichaelTremer » July 3rd, 2018, 9:43 am

H&M wrote:
July 2nd, 2018, 7:38 pm
Let's face it - bugzilla is not that friendly compared with the forum.
True, but Bugzilla is the greatest bug tracking tool on earth. The interface does its job and I need all those checkboxes and dropdowns.

It should be possible for everyone to open an account and put a bug in. What people struggle more is that there is often not enough information available. They post bugs like "WiFi doesn't work" and "please fix". Great. That is going to be closed straight away.
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Re: How can we improve the IPFire Forums?

Post by JonM » July 5th, 2018, 3:48 am

MichaelTremer wrote:
June 18th, 2018, 2:12 pm
If we are talking about software only, one candidate is Discourse: http://discourse.org/
...
Has anyone ever used this and is happy with it?
I've used a discourse forum for the past two years and am very happy with it. I’ve been very impressed with the discourse functionality, their good customer support and lots of useful updates.

The OpenEnergyMonitor (OEM) community moved from a drupal based forum to discourse in 2016. The old forum still exists as a read-only reference. I am a moderator there and I'd be happy to answer questions or pass on any questions.

Recently Node-RED has moved from google-groups to discourse in May 2018.
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