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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
i’m also in favor of dropping the “Others” category at all for various reasons:
It is often just wrongly used (i had just moved a topic from there a few minutes ago into the correct “server” category).
Opens the door for people to not make any effort to think about which category could fit. Just “dump” it into the others category.
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.
If you don’t want to answer a question, don’t answer it. That’s fine 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.