What do we want this forum to be?

I haven't logged in in a while. Fortunately, because at first I came whenever I encountered a problem or didn't know how to do something in arch because I have never used it before.

To my surprise I see how much the forum has grown, but in size. And it worries me. It does not because people are having too many issues or Manjaro is becoming buggy. It worries me because along Manjaro gaining popularity, the forum is gaining on users/visitors and it is sort of becoming a kitchen sink for all your Linux needs.

I found most of the questions are not Manjaro related, but just general Linux questions. At the beginning I found the forum really useful because it was more centered around the distribution.
I wonder if this is becoming the new "Unix Stackexchange" or the new "Ubuntu Forums". If it is then I think that is not the right direction to go. There are other places to do that, some arguably better (Arch Wiki)

Also auto closing/expiring the questions in some way collaborates towards people repeating them over and over again. Because they cannot reuse the same thread to ask for clarification or further help. That means that we keep information on the same topic scattered across the forum. That is a sin for a site with the objective to help people find solutions, it goes against the very basic principle.

This really worries me. I think the quality and usefulness of the site is decreasing. And I could come up with this two factors as somewhat responsible. You can agree or disagree or find other culprits or not, maybe you are happy with the way this is going. I would very much love to hear your thoughts.

Cheers,
GH

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Oh no, how simply dreadful! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Given the forum has a diverse category structure, & has "older" members who honour that in their posts, & active diligent Mods who monitor & correct this for "noobs", what exactly is your anxiety here?

It remains thus. That it also has various outer orbits available for other interest-areas, does not in any way shift the centre of gravity from Manjaro itself.

Has the Search function suddenly broken?

Fair enough, but i happen to disagree. Score: 1 -1.

Kind of you, thanks. I vote the latter,

Yep, i love it here. It remains technically excellent, yet also warm, fuzzy & embracing. Cake & eat it.

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It's strange that you got this impression. As someone beeing here nearly every day I still think we have a good forum. If there are questions already answered the poster get often very soon a hint to the right thread and threads are joined if needed by the moderators. The forum has grown and that way we get new users not having the forum rules in their veines. They will learn soon. Because the tone here is very friendly and this way we can teach them how to post here without sending them away. I myself don't want to transmute the forum to something similar to the cliché of the arch forum you can read about all around the net.

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I have wasted hours of my life reading old linux threads on how to fix something only to realize they no longer apply. So I disagree on this. It is good to keep discussions current, especially for a rolling distro forum.

But tutorials and wiki threads have a much longer expiration date.

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I feel the OP has some valid points. I get very annoyed by the posts for technical help that are not Manjaro related. Posts about windows topics or other distro's are simply a waste of time and support resources. We have more help requests than helpers already. Less junk from other OS's would be a welcome change IMO. General software help requests are also huge time wasters. If it is not core software that comes by default on a Manjaro install it really is not Manjaro's responsibility to fix it.

I also believe the usefulness of the forum has suffered as well. Not because of any failing of the forum, quite the opposite. It is a victim of its own success. The forum has been flooded by newbies that post on never ending trivialities that a google search could easily remedy. The sheer volume of help requests has become more than the volunteers can adequately handle.

The odds of getting your technical issue resolved has definitely dropped because of the huge influx of newbies. Posts get buried very quickly because of the volume of posts. There are only so many volunteer helpers, so as the volume increases, the odds that there will be someone available to help you decreases. The law of averages is simply loaded against you on your odds of finding a solution these days.

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For me it's a bit Catch 22. Without newbies there wouldn't be many questions getting asked, as most would be old-hands at Manjaro, and thus likely able to solve their own issues.

I really like these forums. Compared to the Arch forums (I use it in a VM at home btw :wink: ) they're a lot more welcoming and way less elitest. Hell even getting registered on the Arch forums is a fun experience all in itself - god help you if you want to post there with a new user pre-installation question :joy:

I do think questions about other OS's should be told as such though. God knows why anyone would think a Manjaro forum would be a good place to ask questions about OS's ranging from Win10 to Arch that aren't Manjaro puzzles me, but hey, takes all sorts :smiley:

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What are we talking about here? Censorship? How is that supposed to work? A moderator closes a thread with the remark: "This is not Manjaro specific. Please ask your question somewhere else." I do not want to contribute to a forum that is this restrictive.

The beauty of this forum and our community is the fact that it helps every Manjaro user with any question. And there is absolutely no issue with it.

As a Manjaro user this forum is your one-stop-place-for-help. You have an issue with ZFS? Ask here! You have an issue with NVIDIA? Ask here! You have an issue with hibernating your laptop? Ask here! There is no need to pre-investigate if it is a Manjaro related issue or a generic Linux issue. Just come here.

And to this point:

What are you annoyed about? Just ignore the thread. Ignorance is a quality humans have ahead of animals. :wink:

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It's like waking up to find dog sh@t all over your lawn when the forum is littered with Windows help requests. Go to a Windows forum for that.

Most of us left the Windows world because we were fed up with it. We don't need their garbage littering the forum.

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I strongly concur that this sh1te is undesirable & unwelcome.

Confusingly however, i also recognise that many noobs here will be Nix-curious windozers, or actual genuine migraters whose first step is the [sigh] dual-boot windoze+Manjaro phase. As such, they are going to ask questions. I for one simply choose to ignore all such posts... i wish they did not arise, but i understand why they do.

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I believe you are exaggerating.

I couldn't count the number of dual boot help requests in a week. Mostly all caused by Windoze.

So what do you recommend the user with the dual boot problem should do?

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Learn to read the wiki before you do something as potentially destructive as formatting and installing another OS. Microsoft charges $200 for a support call, but come to the Manjaro forum we'll fix your idiotic screw ups for free.

It's called battlefield triage. Self inflicted injuries get treated last.

This is coming back to my earlier point: Ignore them. But dont be annoyed and dont ask the forum to change.

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Wait till the forum gets inundated with Win7 EOL refugees in a few months. You may be whistling a different tune then.

That will take a toll on all of us.

When we get to that bridge - we will have to - kindly - pursuade the refugees to cut ties completely.

A thread on what files to copy to a removable or cloud device and how to restore.

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My 0.25 cents - (still relatively new to the forum)

I think that the solution for this might be to try and shift focus towards accumulating solutions to problems into the manjaro wiki. This will allow us to point users to relevant wiki post, not in a rtfm way, but in a way similar to the StackExchange model. Where you link to the source and quote the relevant part. This will encourage users more and more to start using the wiki and slowly let them get used to solving problems.

I also think that it makes sense for any tech support to be done in a teach a man to fish kind of way. Guide them to solving their problem instead of giving the answer or a link to a solution. Explain your thinking and provide insight in how you gone about tackling the problem. I don't know if this will decrease the volume of support requests, but it might help users to solve their own problems with the help of other folks.

I also think that there is value in discussing this for cases as they appear. If we get a lot of people asking the same thing - create a wiki post and point people to it.

Just my thoughts. Thanks for the interesting discussion.

EDIT: Creating a page for common issues on the wiki, containing links to forum posts, might be a possible way to simplify support for these issues. The page can then be expanded to contain steps and pointers when someone feels like it will add value.

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I --absolutely-- do not want to seem dismissive of your valued contribution, nor to cause you to feel peeved that your 0,25 cents was squandered :smile:. I do however just wish to remark that much in this thread, & some in your post, represents a revisit to / recycling of multiple previous navel-gazing discussions like this thread. It's a sad frustrating case that many noobs here [presumably escalating into the near future re win7] know very well how to use their keyboard for posting Help Meeeeeeeeeeeeee posts, but apparently have not yet mastered skills like, um, to be blunt, Searching the forum & reading the Wiki/s first.

Hence to your

i retort with

You can lead a noob to water but cannot legally drown them.

That's how it goes, isn't it? :crazy_face:

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Most of this would be addressed if people didn't post the same answers over and over again, and instead linked to a #faq post or wiki article.

Then, others have to avoid posting the specific steps when the link to the general solution has been posted.

The "trouble" is that if people want to help then they will do so.

I would say, though, that if

then maybe you should? :wink:

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Manjaro got popular, thus beginners come with beginner questions. Furthermore, i find quite logical to first ask something in the one place related to the system you use, when you don't know where else to ask. Though some would be nice to learn how to search a question already answered many times...

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