Strip down amount of categories?

categories

#1

Hey,

it seems i somehow got a few more permissions from discourse and now got permissions to move/re-organize threads in better fitting categories.

While doing that i have noticed that the category usage is quite messy and users seems to be over-challenged to choose the right category (e.g. server issues within the development category, mobile apps questions in the “Apps” category.

Maybe stripping down the available categories could help a little? e.g. why is there a “Android” category https://central.owncloud.org/c/android with a https://central.owncloud.org/c/android/help subcategory and the same for iOS as well?

Couldn’t those just be merged into one “Mobile Client” category with a “Android-Help” and “iOS-Help” subcategories?

Similar could be for https://central.owncloud.org/c/apps as well. Why not just use “Apps” (which is really only relevant for the “Server” as a sub-category of the “Server”?

Additionally is it really required to have “GSoC”, “ownCloud.org” and “Events” as main categories? Couldn’t those just have one main category where those are just sub-categories?


We will restructure the Central Categories after next week!
#2

Something to consider as well could be to drop the https://central.owncloud.org/c/server/enhancements category completely:

During my activity since i have joined the forums one year ago i havn’t seen any suggestion here at the forums to be picked up and implemented in ownCloud.

So whats the point in providing a platform / category for feature / enhancement requests which aren’t implemented anyway? IMHO this gives false hopes to user posting there.


#3

IMHO, @tom42’s thoughts are reasonable. Maybe @lefherz or @dmitry can help us to re-organize categories.

Just, I am not sure about dropping server/enhancements. However, probably Github is more suitable for these kinds of requests.


#4

I am all for cutting down some categories in order to create more overview.

I already did so a few months ago myself. Mainly, I deleted the unnecessary sub categories, which were created to help over viewing things but had opposite effects.

From a ownCloud user’s POV I don’t see a reason for “server” and “server-help”. If you write here - you need help, so both categories are the same for the user.

Also - less categories - higher the chance that the user will choose the right one, and the others in the community will find the right solution faster by browsing the posts filtered by category.

Thanks @tom42 for taking the time and creating this post and congratulations on the new permissions.


#5

I find it useful and important to reduce the list of available categories. I’m supporting that so far.

But is it possible to avoid, that for example a 2 years old post becomes again a prominent position in the “Latest” view, just because the category was changed to a more suitable one?


#6

Hm, I think it’s not necessary to correct the categories of posts which are that old and no longer relevant. Probably doing more harm than good.

I agree that the current categories are not a good system. The process to find good categories was not very thought-through the last time. Does anyone have a good idea how to do this?

Unfortunately, mass moving topics from an old category to a new one requires messing with the db. I did this last time, and it worked kind of. But it’s messy.

It’s long overdue to rework the whole deployment of central, btw. I’m in contact with the ownCloud admin team about redeploying central reasonably. This is not related to the categories, but still wanted to mention it :slight_smile:


#7

I think we should identify the categories/subcategories which can be removed, move the posts manually and then as a quick fix delete the categories/subcategories.


#8

Have someone already changed categories? I see posts from last year on the top of the page


#9

Hi everyone,

we should all agree on which categories are redundant, then move then topics to other categories, and then remove them.

Please don’t just wildly remove categories; the ownCloud ecosystem is pretty big, and there might always be someone who needs this particular category. Let’s just find consensus on each one, then we will probably get it right. When we have consensus, we should publicly ask in central if anyone needs one of those categories, and if nobody complains for a week, we can delete them.

I think most subcategories are probably a bad idea - tags are much better suited to differ posts in the same category.

Categories we could get rid of:

  • Apps/Services -> Apps. it isn’t used how it’s supposed to anyway.
  • GSoC/GSoC17 -> GSoC. It does not make sense to have a category for each year.
  • GSoC/GSoC18 -> GSoC. It does not make sense to have a category for each year.
  • Server/Enhancements -> Server. People should put them on GitHub anyway.
    • same for Desktop Client.
  • Server/Help -> Server. Nobody respects the separation anyway. Help subcategories are useless.
    • same for marketplace, desktop client, Android, and iOS.
  • Server/Hosting Area -> Server. Basically the category is only used for Support questions.
  • Server/oCmodifications -> Apps/Themes. Weird category. How long is it around already?

Any other ideas?


#10

Not really, Android and iOS are very different. Different development teams, too.

This category may be important to app developers.

Well, they are very different; I agree we could use a “Community” head category. But are subcategories really the way to go? Posting in a subcategory is quite counter-intuitive. And tags are better suited to differentiate the posts.

All in all, I appreciate your effort to make this forum more convenient to use! Thanks for pushing this.


#11

Fully agree with that!


#12

Hey,

i think this is a valid point. As long as users would choose the correct subcategory it might work, but the real world shows that the subcategories are often not used at all.

What about a something like this:

  1. News
  2. FAQ (IMHO should be one of the upper categories)
  3. Server
  4. Desktop-Client
  5. IOS-Client
  6. Android-Client
  7. Development (could include GSoC as well)
  8. Marketplace / Apps
  9. Events (could include GSoC as well)
  10. Meta (could include ownCloud.org category as well)

Not sure about the “Other” category, there are often questions like Larger virtual box partition which are unrelated to ownCloud. What about these?


#13

I am definitely for your proposal. Reducing 25 Categories down to 10 is great


#14

so with subcategories:

  1. News
  2. FAQ
  3. Server
  4. Desktop
  5. IOS
  6. Android
  7. Development (sub: Client Development, oC internals, GSoC)
  8. Apps (sub: Marketplace, Themes, Services)
  9. Events
  10. Meta
  11. ownCloud.org
  12. Staff
  13. Other

Making ownCloud.org a subcategory does not help anything, let’s keep it a top category.

Development and Apps are now the only Categories which have subcategories; It’s mainly used by experienced community developers, we can expect them to be able to use subcategories.

In every system, you need a category like “Other”. There will always be topics which do not fit into our narrow framework. Let’s keep it, so people don’t have the feeling that their unusual concern is not welcome.

Are you okay with this proposal? It is mainly cutting off subcategories, But I think this is the more important change anyway. On the other points it’s more conservative, as I said, there is always someone in a distant corner of this community who needs an Extrawurscht. :smiley:


#15

But it is. This is an ownCloud forum not a “how do I use VirtualBox” or “How do I user DNS”.
We can’t google stuff for people they could have found on their own.

I personally don’t see the point in sub categories. We don’t have 1000 of people writing every day in the forum.

Also I think if you want to subscribe to a category it’s easier if there is only this category and not sub categories. But @michaelstingl knows best.

What is the point of the staff category? Is it mandatory?


#16

I understand that some questions are out of scope, or burden the community because the OPs made no effort at all to find a solution themselves. But: There will be topics which don’t fit into a specific category, but still can not find out with google/still aren’t out of scope.

Keeping things out of scope is okay if you do a very specific task in a small organizational unit; but if you keep track of the whole, of everything which happens and could happen in a project, like our central, then you have to deal with topics which don’t fit the scope.

tl;dr: we need a category like “Other” or “Uncategorized”.

wrt subcategories: I just found out that we can also just apply a tag to every post in a sub category, and then move it to the parent. This would keep the information intact, but make organization easier. We could also do this for the very few subcategories I wanted to keep 2 posts above, therefore eliminating all subcategories.

Staff is not mandatory I think, but hidden anyway. Our users will not be confused by it. If we wanted to delete it though, we’d have to move the hidden topics to the surface, or delete them and lose the information. I’d opt for just keeping and ignoring it, until we need it some day.


#17

why? Do you call Vodafone tech support because your washing machine is not working? :slight_smile:

wrt?


#18

wrt = with respect to.

Well, I already explained why I think we need this. I suggest we vote about it; if you think we need the category “Other”, like this post, if you think we should delete it, like dmitry’s post above.

iirc, we are 5 people in this thread? @dmitry, @alfredb, @tom42, @karakayasemi, and me, so we should have a clear majority


#19

“But: There will be topics which don’t fit into a specific category, but still can not find out with google/still aren’t out of scope.”

This is the reason. I just figured it out :smiley:

Can you name me 5 examples of this being true and making sense to be in this forum?

If you have a problem with server - server category, apps - apps category and so on. What is unrelated to any category and has to be posted in this forum?


#20

I’m not sure if it makes sense to argue about individual cases here. The point is, that we can’t predict that future cases won’t happen. If the majority thinks this is not a valid concern that’s fine, that’s why I think a vote makes sense.

Anyway, I collected a few:

I admit that I only found 4 posts this year, all others seemed to be fine on first glance. You could argue that some belong to the Meta category. Well, I still think we should keep the category for future uncategorizable stuff. I explained it above, if I’m the only one who thinks that, fine, let’s get rid of it.