Taking a harder line on the forum?


#85

Hi Guys,
very interesting to actually read the entire post…Different viewpoints and wonderful suggestions.

But as a relatively new user, I would like to put in a few points as well…

No question about the effectiveness and the politeness of this forum. It is really a wonderful place to learn so many things, but to a new user it is a little overwhelming as well. A tug of war really between wanting to enter the exciting world of manjaro and the fear that system is gonna be an overprized brick. Hence I believe (atleast wish to believe) that while people do search the forum, they post anyways to get that assurance that all is well. Not saying that the approach is correct, but just the possible mindset of a newbie user.

Another important issue is that the internet is filled with lots of knowledge and it takes more of it to actually understand if it still applies. Take my recent query on issues on installing multiple DEs. I did research a lot before posting, but based on the answers I got, most of the ideas I had got online (not in this forum) we very old and obsolete and did not matter at all.

So my point is that newbie user may need a little direction and confidence as I had received in this forum and who knows he may return the same favour to others.

Suggestions:

  1. It would be better to have a prominent hyperlink at the top pointing to the Manjaro Wiki (from the forums) and to the Manjaro Forums (from the wiki)

  2. Like the AUR and as many had suggested, it would be nice to have a separate section of Manjaro User Solution Repository. This can have the FAQ in simple readable form by category. (approved by a moderator of course). And as Phil had suggested, can be placed at the top.

  3. A wiki page with some of the common definitions. For example what is gtk3, qt5, latest version. I know it may be a bit of an over kill, but I a merely suggesting a small description with links to appropriate websites for further information.

  4. Another useful feature would be the known issue cheatsheet kind of entry. Like the collapsible section that Phil usually places in the Beta Build announcements (Fixed in this release). Would be nice to have this implemented at application level or a bit higher than the package level information since it may be a bit too much.

As I have already said, this is just a post from a newbie’s view point. I leave it to the wisdom of the experts.

Cheers :+1::+1:


#86

I’m not saying people don’t have a right to ask questions. I just think there needs to be a better system in place to prioritize assistance. To my mind the two most important support categories for any distro is video display drivers and networking drivers. If a new user can’t get their display or networking issues resolved they are leaving Manjaro very quickly and probably never coming back. These are make or break issues for most users.

Questions like the one about the AUR might be fine to ask, but not at the expense of the really important issues that drive people away from your distro. If they cant get their display or network running real fast then they’re gone. That is the risk here in my opinion. If the primary function of the forum is for technical support then the priority issues can’t slip between the cracks because of a glut of trivialities.


#87

IMHO tags are already powerful tool and if each topic has them properly used, then is easy to identify to what was addressed there, also there are countless solutions already marked, so those might get a special treatment and tag. An “assistant” for issues (like a search) based on user description would search only for those tags and display strictly the solutions posts, not the entire topic.
Since the posts can be wikified , then that should be used too. For instance, a solution worked half year ago, but is not the case with the newer updates, or might need an addition. As a wikified post, it would contain the version was addressed too and also the newly version after the updates, or have the mention that was addressed as permanent fix in the package.
I know that somehow is hard to predict how someone will perform that search, but the same way the Preview of the post is showing “Similar topic was created” (or something like that), in the same area would be displayed the results, then added automatically as suggestion fix to that topic, in a separate post, under the OP first comment. I think @discobot can do that … Also based on the post, to get the suggestion to post inxi, lspci, mhwd -li etc … if the OP didn’t. That way we will al know, based on the OP second reply, if he is also available to keep the conversation going, so another user might get involved if needed, and will not have the feeling of posting in vain, then get a reply a couple of days later (some of you already know what i’m referring too). Sorry for the rambling and if this sounds too much to an A.I. assistant, i was passing by and thought to share this.
Cheers!


#88

An FAQ of technical issues makes sense if you have a system with clear system borders. A linux distro with a broad focus would give a very long list of technical FAQ.

That’s why I prefer the FAQ to be only about general attitude and about how to ask questions. The list should mentions to search for information, but not just with a general search engine but rather with the forum search. It is very powerful if you use it correctly. And I can tell that there must be hundreds of users who do search, because I sometimes get notifications that one of the links I posted got clicked 50 or 100 times.

I understand that many reoccurring questions result from the need to get reassurance. But I doubt that an FAQ will give the necessary comfort. I’m probably completely wrong, therefore let’s create a draft FAQ topic in #technical-issues-and-assistance:tutorials and collect questions and answers.


#89

Exactly, and this is caused to this new forum. It was much better with the classic one. Better categorized, with top pinned solutions that stay on top, not washed away with hundreds of new posts.

Example: Newbie has a notebook with “optimus” (hybrid graphics, bumblebee). He is lost, no FAQ, no top pinned help. And 30-50% of users having this sort of hardware comming from windows.

On the other hand, there is a bunch of new users that are driving me nuts, I have to sign out and stop reading. And all the good information is washed away with this flood of fud-posts. If we don’t want to change our friedly mind, we need a good doctor with good diagnosis and a sharp knife. May the force be with him.

…yes, I agree with @mandog but sometimes it hurts and it’s hard to keep the balance.
Sorry for the simple words, but this is not my native language.


#90

This is such an important point. Today’s starter may become tomorrows contributor. There’s a fine line between bringing someone into a community and pushing them so far that they give up and never come back to Linux as a whole.

Manjaro has a well-deserved reputation for being welcoming and friendly, - I’d like it to stay that way. Giving new users a primer/resource link would help, but often an individual and personal response, for the couple of minutes it takes, can make a difference. Given we’re mostly volunteers, we may not always get it right (I know I don’t), but the combined effort shines through. As Lunix has already said, be kind.


#91

An FAQ section is a good idea so I’ve gone and added that. I’ve moved over several FAQ threads that I created in different areas. The category is restricted to posts/replies from TL2+ users and everything is moderator-approved to prevent any accumulation of crud.

https://forum.manjaro.org/c/faq


#92

BSOD on reboot after initial installation or major updates.


#93

While I do not want to see the forums go down the Arch route, I agree that something needs to be done. My thoughts on what I have read:

  1. I love the FAQ idea, but there are some concerns. Too often I see FAQ’s written that assume some prior knowledge that the reader may not have. This makes them useless for new users. I ran into this a couple of times when I was trying to repair some issues I had the first time and only time I installed Arch. The FAQ said to apply a patch. They gave the link to download the patch, but did not give any instructions on how to apply it. When I asked in the forums how to apply it, I was told to “Read the FAQ”. Not helpful at all, so I nuked the install and moved to Manjaro.

  2. Encourage the use of the Search Function. I call myself an “Advanced Linux Abuser”. Even though I have been using Linux since 1999, (SuSE Linux 6.1), there are gaps in my knowledge. I use the search function often on the forum, but it can be so unhelpful. Sometimes the search results have no correlation to what I was searching for. With how fast Manjaro updates, how old does a post have to be before it is considered obsolete? As someone who hopped here from the Ubuntu/ Mint World, I was used to thinking in release numbers, but that does not apply with Manjaro. It would be nice in the FAQ section if some sort of guideline on what makes a previous post obsolete.

On a final note, I really like the kind of help I have gotten with my issues here. Instead of just saying “Copy and Paste into the Terminal”, they also explain the why behind it. This helps me to learn more about something I love.

I hope this all made sense. Thank you all for your time!


#94

I would say users that do not know what they are doing and when they ask they are told to check other threads instead of guiding them like a forum should :heart_eyes:


#95

What did you expect? Archlinux assumes a competent user with the ability to handle such mundane tasks. :smiley: And circular logic. :wink:

Me too. Boy, howdy! :frowning:

It’s like looking up a word spelling in the dictionary when I don’t know how to spell the word to begin with. It may take a few tries, a/k/a some of us are slower than others. :wink:

Yeah. I don’t like that either. If I think a post even may be important to me in the future, I resort to bookmarking it. I have beaucomp bookmarks as a result, which can also make searching a bit difficult.

That proves that the vast storehouse of knowledge to be found here is being nicely inculcated. :smiley:


#96

FAQs need to be dynamic to keep them relevant. I’m hoping that the new #faq section will do that - new FAQs can be added, edited, and even expanded upon by replies.


The vast majority of ideas here will require work by community members. For example, if a topic comes up multiple times, someone needs to step up and create a clear, well-written, accessible, FAQ post. It’s all very well saying “this should happen” but someone has to actually do it


#97

I think your FAQ is the best idea we’ve had in quite a while, @jonathon. Simplicity…

“Just the FAQs, ma’am.”


#98

Could the forum home page be set up to emphasize the search function, like a new tab in a browser window? A side bar with links to a FAQ and forum categories… Just thinking out loud here.


#99

I really like having an FAQ section in a forum. The forums that I have seen that utilize it, I am currently thinking of the Kodi forum, the problem with duplicate questions is greatly reduced. In the grand scheme of things, I think that maybe the best way to go.

On a side note, what is a good “Rule of Thumb” for how old a post has to be before it is obsolete?


#100

Age isn’t a good guide to relevance - things from 10 years ago can easily be relevant now, whereas “known issues” from last week can already have been fixed.

Essentially, something is obsolete if it doesn’t work any more, e.g. something to do with setting up OpenRC using repo packages, or has been superseded.


#101

Thank you for the information. I will keep it in mind when I search for a solution for any issues I may have.


#102

Off the top of my head, installation and grub problems; though there are a variety of each.


#103

A unique contrasting colour might make a significant difference for all forum pages? And pretty easy to implement by our esteemed themer… @jonathon :smiley_cat:

Edit: would bright orange for the search icon be appropriate?


#104

Already mentioned, but there really needs to be prominent link visible to the wiki.