Will the off topic return

Hey, wait :thinking: - let’s use this sub forum for our purpose, sorta like squatting an empty builing…
What we aim for is a place to post non-technical things…here IS the space :smiling_imp:


The anti-fun polizei will kick us out and put a huge padlock so we would not crawl back in. :smiley:


They’ve already started by locking a screenshot thread someone created. :sob: :sob: :sob:

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Feedback is the new Off-Topic. :rofl:


One never knows before trying, for sure… :thinking:

Funny actually. But, I guess that depends on the question being asked, and whether the fella doing the asking really wants to have an answer… :wink:

In any case, the old forum was a gold mine of information IMO.

I was always sifting around the posts several times a day.

Shame it all came to such a terrible end. Accidents happen after all. :shushing_face:


Without the off-topic categories, there is no reason for experienced users to login except after update notifications. The incidental help (since I’m here, who can I help) will stop. The forum will become just like any other distro, where the community core consists only of the moderators, administrators and the FAQs/wiki/tutorials. A genuine inclusive community will be lost.

BTW, the former treasurer already tried the empirical experiment in the old forum when the TL3 lounge was effectively shut-down. That was not exactly the same situation, but it did have a chilling effect on the regulars who were helping with forum questions. Banishing all off-topic categories sends the message that once your install is running, there is no need to stay around to share ideas on linux or other things that could help the distro or members of the community.


Yeah, but there’s a reason for that toxicity. If you can’t solve a problem or understand a problem enough to form a question which could answer your own problem if you knew better, you have no reason to be there. I’m on my second strike [at StackExchange] because I couldn’t formulate a question in a reasonable way, asking about Microsoft batch scripting.

As you can see, it works. In that context, being a forum about Q&A. I have difficulty seeing this forum as a strictly Q&A place. But I can understand why they would want to be tone-deaf of the idea — They see how well SX does it and they want to be like SX.

We’ll see how it turns out, I am more than willing to comply with this new vision if for nothing else, to see how durable it is. But without a clear place for general inquiries, discovery and less relevant prose, I don’t see this forum being without any kind of dedicated OT category for too long. I believe that cursory users will observe this place as dry and less welcoming than otherwise.

I wonder if there is a “Mark as duplicate” plugin for Discourse?


Kind of funny, the humorist in me likes it.
But I deslike people being annoying on purpose.

I think it had an overall positive effect. The flood of pointless postings ebbed and the response time to help request haven’t increased. But I take the point that making the forum less vibrant can make it less effective in solving issues.

However, I would like to make you think about a question: What kind of topic do you like better?

  • a piece of news about something and people reply they always told you
  • or a difficult issue, black screen, user frustrated, gets help from five people, but nothing works, the sixth helper makes the right guess and bang the issue is solved!

ppl will always find a section where they can blow off steam even if it’s not the right place.


I’m not sure why there has to be a choice. That 6th guess won’t happen if the regulars stop logging in. It sounds like the assumption is that users waste their time in off-topic instead of helping. My point here is they won’t be here without off-topic, because otherwise the forum is just a continuous rerun of the following help topics {grub won’t boot, black screen, freezes, can’t suspend, no wifi, broken touchpad, screen tearing, some app won’t start, keyring, …}. Many new users are allergic to searching the forum/archive/web.

I’ve seen the same flailing on other tech-only distro forums. The expertise needed to make this example less painful or common is an experienced well-paid technical support staff or a well trained and funded SQA department that can catch more of these issues before field release. Otherwise, you need an involved experienced community to do the SQA on the non-stable branches.

This is a good reason to segregate posts in off-topic categories - It is easily skipped if you don’t care about the “news.” I’ll concede it is more work for the moderators to referee any pointless flame wars, but those flamers are probably also causing trouble elsewhere on the forum. Very few only misbehave in off-topic posts.


@eugene-b Not quite sure what you mean by the first one - can you rephrase that please?

Plus off-topic should basically be self-moderatored - moderators should only be involved if posts start getting flagged because someone is really going off the rails.


I think it’s important to note that Manjaro’s IRC channels include#manjaro-talk for general chatting and such. Therefore, I don’t see why the forum shouldn’t have a discussion area.

People mentioning sites/services like Reddit and Twitter are kind of missing the point. Those are pretty poorly structured compared to a Discourse instance and don’t fit the same role as this forum. Plus, this place is under Manjaro’s control and really makes the distribution feel like a community in some way, unlike those places.


I think the practical result of all these moves is that the Manjaro Team must be prepared to bear more of the burden of helping newcomers if fewer experienced members, who don’t actually need to visit the forums for help, are around to offer their help.

I’m surprised at that direction because that’s more work on the Team, but based on the last post of the locked General Discussion thread, that’s what they are willing to undertake.

Fair enough.

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I think I can summarize — quite succinctly — what’s been going on here.

This doesn’t seem to just be “We don’t have an off-topic so let’s bitch about it” even though that’s basically what we’ve been doing. The core issue at hand is for those who are less inclined to provide direct assistance, they feel like, without expressing as such, that there is some ongoing war between logical and creative thinkers.

For the logical, they strive for a constant signal-to-noise ratio of 100:0. They want to provide clean answers without much fuss. They would rather work with code than to pick up a digital paintbrush.

For the creative, they’d rather wax philosophy, make art and even though they may not directly provide answers for people seeking help, create answers to their own questions based on their own discovery. While not strictly those who work with code — some creatives don’t even play with code — they use tools made by logical thinkers to create their work.

The creatives are asking for culture — begging, pleading, to be the culture — in a land they’re under the impression is stifling creativity because creativity doesn’t produce quality results quickly. To many strictly-logical thinkers, they want to muck things up and make a mess of a surface they’ve worked so hard to keep clean and pristine. Why throw paint on the floor if someone behind them has to mop it up?

As for me, I’m the sorry lad who’s stuck between them both. I am not a strictly logical thinker. I can’t help as many people as I would love to due to a lack of experience with many problems people have. Though, for what I do know, I strive to make my primary art — writing and presentation — of use by developing informative and clearly-formatted prose explaining resolutions to issues I’ve encountered.

Based upon what I’ve been observing, that makes me a sub-par user here. I shouldn’t be feeling that way, but that’s the impression I’ve been receiving. And from what I had observed, I am not the only one feeling like they’re being punished for daring to even breathe on any of the currently-sanitized surfaces here.


Exactly, plus they are proprietary piece of unicorns.


The now-archived forums had some really good threads in OT. One of my personal favorites was the thread with “Lesser known apps” amongst many others. I really don’t think it is as binary as you say. Both topics have their own significance. Sometimes a relevant piece of news can lead to some really good discussions.
Sure, we have reddit, twitter and what-not for our social cravings. But it really isn’t the same. I think people’s behaviour also change as per the platform. I don’t remember the term that is used for this (hawthorne effect? I don’t remember). But the point is, this community is different, the people are awesome and off-topic is usually informative and/or fun.

(OT) I absolutely love the new dark theme on the forums than the previous dark (read gray) theme.


A few years ago, when I was a Windows User, I was just that: A user. Nothing more. Then I came to Linux, especially to Manjaro, and I became more than a user. I became a part of a community! But you have to communicate with each other in a community.
So I regularely read the old Manjaro Forum mainly Off-Topic topics and made some posts. Then I checked the New Threads section and sometimes I saw a problem where I had the feeling that I could possibly help. (I am not an expert, so I was glad when I sometimes found a solution).
But without Off-topic it will be dull to check the forum and I think that I am not alone with this feeling. People will stay away or check less often. That has also a negative effect for users searching for help.


These still exist and can give ideas to try useful new things.
IMHO just posting screenshots is irrelevant by ex. Though, tips or tutorials for tinkering (I would love to try KDE but each time, I feel overwhelmed the first minutes and come back to familiar good ol’ Cinnamon) could be useful. Dock customizations, applets/desklets review, KDE/Gnome tips… seem more useful, as it has a purpose, not just showing off the prettiest desktop.