No disaster happened.
It goes like this.
New user: How do I get my icons to go bigger in my menu.
Long time user, looks at the summery of new user, and sees new user hasn’t read a single post on the forum.
Long time user suggests that new user search and read at least one post before starting a thread.
Next post: Redundant user proceeds to detail how to make your icons honkin huge.
Kind of self defeating if there’s no solidarity of effort to reduce duplication and help vampirism.
“Do we need a “FAQ” post which we can link to when closing a thread?”
Jonothon, I believe this should be a mandatory inclusion on any site or forum. I further believe that such a FAQ would keep the thread’s direction focused and (hopefully) the enquirer would find the sought after solution/answer.
There are FAQ in a prominent place. They are a template of Discourse. What we could do is to add a link to the Forum Rules in the Manjaro Wiki to these FAQ.
I think that more often what actually happens is one person answers and another is answering at the same time and posts soon after. Which goes back to the responsiveness of the forum being too high. I support anything that does not kill the welcoming vibe. It is easy to ignore a new poster all 232 of them
I’m not sure if you are agreeing or disagreeing with me, but if you look at the ratio I suggest, it would get higher than 1 if you open more topics than the posts you read. This ratio could also be limited to some categories, as topics in some categories shouldn’t count (in ex.: OT and Artwork).
Mentioning the Arch forum, not that I’d like this forum to become that blunt, but the fact is it gets much easier to find a relevant answer.
I generally support Chrysostomus’ suggestion:
The problem is it requires every helping user to track the questioning user to check if there were previous warnings. A forum function to tag the user for these warnings would be very helpful. I also think the tag/warning should have a deadline and then disappear if the user behaves for a given amount of time (this period should be enlarged in function to the number of consecutive warnings).
I was just trying to understand what you were saying.
I meant my support of a FAQ to be something that focussed on linking to the answer and not necessarily Forum Rules as such. Sure the FR could be included but again, I was thinking that once the thread was closed then a FAQ (perhaps that’s the wrong term when you think about it) would be aimed at pointing to the resolution (assuming there was one). So, maybe it would look like this:
blah blah blah
(then) thread is closed with a “link to a (possible) solution” and that FAQ linkage to the Forum Rules/best forum practice.
@jonathon Well this old hard line Arch user totally disagrees on this.
Manjaro promotes itself as a newbie friendly distribution and forum you got it wrong you have to live with the monster you created.
Crying wolf after the fact is not the way to go,
Blaming the new users is not the way to go,
blaming the wrongly named user that needs help because they read the Manjaro “statement that was misleading” then labelling them as help vampires is wrong.
Manjaro has to live with its statement, or change it to New users not welcome, because this is the nature of this thread.
We want to be no1 on distrowatch at any cost but not have patience to help the new users we are creating by misleading statement.
YOU AND EVERYBODY HAS FORGOTTEN WHAT IT IS LIKE, to be a new user confused, panicking, totally out of your comfort zone, asking for help.
Now lets look at the search button unless the new user knows how to use the damn thing they will not get results like the user is accustomed to on Google.
In fact the search is total rubbish to a non - experienced Linux user, even a non experienced Manjaro user.
I agree that the forum should be newbie friendly, but that does not excuse users that refuse to search for any answers them self. Even if the forum had a lousy search engine, look at how many users post a help thread and have only looked at one or maybe 2 threads on the forum. No offence but the forum is not their personal Google search assistant. That is what search engines are for. The forum is for getting help with difficult technical issues not for answering questions that could return a thousand hits with a 2 second search. I think you are confusing a technical support forum for Ask Jeeves.
The same goes for help vampires. There’s only so much slack you can cut a new user. No one jumps on a newbie for asking a silly question here, but ask 20 silly questions in a mater of days and that’s a different matter.
No one wants to see this forum be like the dry technical Arch forum, but you need to strike a balance. It cant be a free for all either.
I have skimmed through the above posts, all good ideas and input. I think what needs to be said is this;
The reasons things like sending an email, stickying a post, requiring they do something like run a search and more do not work, is they can simply be ignored. Users have been taught over a long period of time to simply close, ignore or work around these things as they are all easy to avoid. For example, required to do a search and read a topic…random search, click random topic, done 2 seconds later and can post common question.
If I am being honest, I likely deleted my welcome email without reading it. The next step I likely took was turning off email notifications from the site (nothing personal, just cant have 10,000 emails a day from all the sites I go to).
I think the only effective measure is to:
- Prevent new users from posting until they agree to a short but concise dialog that directs them to the proper steps to get help. IE: Check the wiki or whatever resource we use for FAQ’s (and provide the link), search the forum (and provide instructions for how to best do this), check x, y and z resource…and if it doesnt help then ask here. If you ask a questions easily answered by these resources, we may direct you to the resource and/or close your post to prevent the same questions being asked over and over.
- Do the above for the users first x number of threads. Each time they cant claim they didnt know, hadnt read the email, didnt see the sticky, etc. Its a dialog in their face that wont let them post unless they agree to the terms.
- I do like the feature already on the forum that highlights similar threads while making a post. Maybe extend this to them needing to acknowledge that before being able to post. “Yes” it does help (discards their thread), “No” it does not help lets them continue. Until they pick, the post button isnt available/active.
We (I lumped myself into the community) have to be careful as well. There has to be a line. I get a FAQ/rule for something like “How do I make a bootable USB stick”. Its something with any effort can easily be found and something for which an explicit answer can be kept in plain sight and kept up-to-date.
However there are some questions that may be less common, but to a frequent reader may seem like a common thing. They could be questions for which there isnt a cookie cutter answer and we should not make users feel like they cant ask those things. This could be something in which the question itself is common but the answer depends on many variables like the users machine, versions of software, etc.
I would say the “line” should come down to this, if we cant be bothered to have a resource that answers the specific common question then we shouldnt hold it against a users to the degree of “you didnt read the resources, search, etc.”.
The fundamental problem as has been posted a few times, is that if you don’t have a base of Linux knowledge to begin with, it is very hard to search the forum and find an answer. Even if the answers are here, even when you can find them fairly easily, the person in question, if they are sufficiently new, might not understand that their problem is the same as another one.
This is especially true in the updates threads. Those threads tend to have rapid posting shortly after updates and it isn’t uncommon for someone to post a problem in post number 7 and the answer be in post 17. As a veteran, you recognize that those things go together but the new poster doesn’t. They are overwhelmed by all the information.
Another thing to consider when handling these types of issues is that the thread isn’t only read by the people involved, it lives on and other people read it as well. It might be obvious at the time that a thread was closed because the OP posted 284 questions that day but 6 months later when someone is searching for a similar problem all they see is question asked, thread closed. It makes the forum seem uninviting.
Lastly, in reading through these responses, it is clear that not everyone views the forum the same way. Some people see the forum as solely existing to provide technical information and support about Manjaro. I am not sure what the intention was when it was created but it certainly has evolved into something very different than that.
Wise words that fall on death ears.
You all know my stance I’m hard line.
On the other side those days a totally gone the modern user wants. a Distro to install everything to work out the box, a team of experts queuing up to give help instantly, Just look at the modern crop of reviewers that is what they demand or they trash the Distro.
The same goes for users its not their fault if the installer does not install as they want it, not their fault if software does not work, not their fault they have to use passwords, its not their fault that they have to use a terminal, this is 2018 not 1997 the reviewer told them these things.
The point is apart from to Real die-hard Distros Arch being one of them Gentoo, Slackware the other popular one, Every Distribution makes the claim as being “New user friendly” Apple does it the correct way Apple is not windows we do it our way, nothing more Linux should promote its self “This is not windows not apple”" This is Linux we do things our way"
But no Linux mimics old Ms interfaces promoting this that in a drop-in for window, Things like Cinnamon is the closest to windows, Giving the impression that Linux Mint is a drop-in replacement for win10.
Manjaro gives the exact same impression, Arch is a monster but we have tamed it to make New user user friendly a total load of crap nothing Linux has reached that stage.
So the new breed of users are armed with this great myth Linux does not need users to use a terminal, it installs perfect every time on any hardware, all software works out the box, updates are fail proof bla bla,
Then they get Manjaro it does not do what it said on the box, Remember some of these new users have little or no Windows experience let alone the monstrosity of Linux.
Then we insult them as if they are in human for asking, Is that the way we treat our children 5-8 year olds are not stop asking do we tell them to shut up no we explain to them.
Their are a least one maybe more developers maintainers of Manjaro that started as so called help vampires lets not forget what we all were when we started.
And a phrase that used to be used a lot on the Manjaro forum “Their is no stupid Questions”.
So lets start accepting that its a new dawn of users that demand others do the hard work for them that is the way they are brought up in this politically correct world, Where teachers do not teach just ask the child if it would like to learn, in between posting on media sites and the virtual world.
They are not educated to do think for themselves.
So the forums are more important than ever and must learn to accommodate these users.
Also remember nobody forces any user to help others you do it of your own free will
Then come here complaining.
I got shouted at for posting the fact an FAQ topic would help by a user who got the wrong end of the stick. Anyhow, if something could be compiled for each desktop environment, terminal and also another for common hardware problems (NVIDIA, realtek…) an FAQ section could prove invaluable.
I know I am guilty of this on occasion as well.
When someone does as @bogdancovaciu suggests above, and links the relevant thread and encourages them to look there, I would usually not simply post an answer for them.
When someone says “Search the forum instead of asking questions”, sometimes I try to search the forum and see how easy that actually is. If the answer is obvious from a search I will either link a relevant thread or not respond at all. That being said, sometimes the answer is very straightforward and it takes all of 5 seconds to provide the answer. I often provide an answer because I am too lazy to go do a forum search in those cases.
Also, those simple questions are often the hardest ones to search for. Ever try doing a search for “Update problems” or “pacman”? I think it would be educational to actually try doing a search for some of these things before telling someone to search the forum. Just because you have read the answer in three different topics this week doesn’t mean they are easy to find.
I used Linux for probably more than a dozen years before I ever made a post on a Linux forum. Not everyone is as pitiful as you’re making out. I guess self reliance is damn near dead. Pretty sad.
If they want to be full, functioning members of this community, they are allowed to start their education here. If that is what they want.
Um, NO, not if the goal is to fully integrate them into this community. You don’t keep rewarding a misbehaving child for continuing to misbehave.
Agreed. I do it because it makes me feel warm and fuzzy. Also to not completely forget the stuff that’s taken me so long to grasp. :slow_driver_ahead_warning_sign:
All that said, some sort of balance between the dry, but technically efficient Arch Forums, and where we presently are here in the Manjaro Forums.
And also remembering that the main purpose of the Arch Forums is geared towards issues not already covered in the Arch Wiki or Announcements. That is a huge, huge, very noticeable difference.
So I greatly endorse @jonathon’s FAQ suggestion for personal reasons, mostly being that I’m getting really tired of pointing towards the same solution threads over and over again. I have noticed what feels like an big increase in newcomers immediately creating a new help post topic within a minute or two of registration on common problems that have been hashed and re-hashed.
Here we go that old dumn saying we older users all did that is not the point that was last century.
You know When i started Linux Suse etc I could not get the dialup to connect nobody to ask they told me to F off on the Suse Forums after 2 years I tried that evil Monster Arch Linux it connected out the box, Would I ever use Suse again No chance.
Man you are so old school like me, but this is 2018 people have to much disposable income to mess with the joke Linux when they can waste money on other things. Then get insulted for Asking a Question.
You you teach them like I did with Carl then they become legends till they forget who taught them and poo in your face.
So don’t help them I only help a selected few as by just reading a post you can see if its worth it
I’m more selective as well, nowadays.
And I have grown to accept that newcomers can sometimes help even newer users. You wouldn’t believe the number of threads I’ve read where I wonder WTF that is replying to a help request? When the heck did they come on board?