Strip down amount of categories?


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 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?

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

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
  12. Staff
  13. Other

Making 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:


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?

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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.

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


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

“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?

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.

First 2 are not our problem, second 2 are “one time in a life” occasions.

In German there is a saying “wo ein trog ist sammeln sich die schweine”.

Transferred to the forum it would mean - if we have a category for people to write non ownCloud related questions then people will write non ownCloud related questions that active members of the community have to deal with.

anyway I am voting yes on removing the “other” category.

My 2 cents:

Both of you are right, @dmitry and @lefherz. OTOH, having a catchall category like ‘Other’ means we will have more work, one more category that requires to be cleaned up regularly. So the arguments of @dmitry are IMHO somewhat stronger, I’ll also support getting rid of the 'Other" category.

However, huge thanks to @lefherz for your efforts.

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In my optimistic world, I see central as an entry point for the community. People can ask a question in here and when waiting for an answer to his question, he/she can read other topics, join any discussions as well.

Because of that, it is better to get a question in terms of productivity and growth of the forum, even if it is in the wrong category. I agree with @lefherz to keeping a category for this kind of situations.

However, if central is only a support portal and if we want to reduce support tickets, removing “Other” category makes sense. That’s my two cents.

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i’m also in favor of dropping the “Others” category at all for various reasons:

  1. It is often just wrongly used (i had just moved a topic from there a few minutes ago into the correct “server” category).
  2. Opens the door for people to not make any effort to think about which category could fit. Just “dump” it into the others category.
  3. It will be used for questions not related to ownCloud

If central had hundreds of active users answering questions IMHO it could make sense to allow non-ownCloud related questions. But with the current user base of a few active users (which is very likely also not increasing by allowing non-ownCloud related questions) i would even close non-ownCloud related topics directly.


I agree in general, but…

This is IMHO far too rigid, unfortunately it’s not that simple.

If the form of a question makes clear that the questioner has absolutely no clue on linux, networking and refuses to read any documentation, most of the help we can supply is on those topics.

So who decides, when a question goes out of oc scope, has to be closed?

Example topics: raspberry, Docker and all that vm stuff etc.


in a perfect world a moderation team would be the responsible ones. :slightly_smiling_face:

Yes, of course. But then, I expect we’ll soon have a similar situation like stackoverflow.
Too much moderation disturbs.

If you don’t want to answer a question, don’t answer it. That’s fine :smiley: I don’t think there needs to be a decision on that. It could always be that someone else wants to answer a question that is out of scope. So I’d suggest not to close topics where you are not sure. If they are asking questions about ownCloud administration, it would be very rude to send all of them away - and who knows at which point you actually need ownCloud-specific knowledge to solve a problem.

Then we drop the “Other” category. I will post a proposal later and pin it for a week, so the community can veto if they really need one of the categories we want to drop, or if we didn’t think about all of the effects our restructuring could have.

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Then we have a bunch of “no reply” topics. This does not look good. This looks either like this forum is dead of no one cares. This is at least my opinion.

I understand what you mean, but IMHO this is not the case. Good questions within suitable categories are always welcome and will be answered.

Exactly! That’s why we need suitable categories = only ownCloud related categories.

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