RichardRussell
Posts: 186
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:48 am

Forum structure

Sun May 27, 2018 9:33 am

Not sure if this is the right place to post (and that's part of the problem!) but it seems to me that the forum structure is overdue for some 'maintenance'. Here are some of the issues that I've encountered:

1. It's potentially confusing that both 'Community' and 'Programming' have sections called 'Other languages' but they mean completely different things (foreign languages in one case and programming languages in the other)!

2. The 'Programming' forum contains a rather arbitrary set of sections, for example including Scratch but excluding BASIC. Surely - especially given the RPi's background and objectives - BASIC deserves its own section rather than being lumped into 'Other languages'.

3. The section 'Graphics programming' seems out of place because, unlike the other sections, it isn't a programming language. There's also some confusion over whether discussions about graphics programming should go there or at 'Projects... Graphics, sound and multimedia'.

4. 'Graphics programming' has sub-forums for OpenGLES, OpenVG and OpenMAX but not for OpenGL (supported via the 'experimental' VC4 GL driver of course)! This forces OpenGL discussions to be lumped in with OpenGLES which is unsatisfactory given the significant differences.

Could whoever has responsibility for maintaining the forum structure consider sorting these issues out please?

Heater
Posts: 10223
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: Forum structure

Sun May 27, 2018 10:49 am

This is likely a thread that will trigger a lot of useless debate and then get locked. But whilst I'm here:

1) It might be confusing but it's a hierarchy. Like a directory structure. We have:

Community->Other languages (i.e. People languages)

and

Programming->Other languages (i.e. Programming languages)

Seems clear enough.

2) No BASIC. There are a thousand dialects of BASIC. Might as well dump them in "Other Languages"

3) Certainly "Graphics Programming" is not a language. Whilst we are at it "Windows 10 for IoT" should definitely be kicked out of there.

4) Graphics Programming could as well contain sections on SDL, Qt etc.

As for myself:

How come there is no section on Javascript under "Programming"? JS is perhaps one of the most popular languages among programmers and one of the most widely deployed languages ever. If you are creating Web interfaces you need JS but more importantly JS is very capable for applications on the pi itself running under nodejs. There is a lot of support for Raspberry facilities in many node.js modules. It's simple and fun. It's even an internationally standardized language, unlike other toy languages here. JS deserves some love here.

The biggest issue for me is that there are just too many forum sections and subsections. If a post does not show up in General Discussion, Other languages, General programming discussion or Raspbian or Off topic discussion, it's likely I never see it.

Which is a shame because I will even answer Python questions despite loathing Python.
Last edited by Heater on Sun May 27, 2018 7:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.

jahboater
Posts: 3241
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:38 pm

Re: Forum structure

Sun May 27, 2018 10:53 am

Heater wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 10:49 am
The biggest issue for me is that there are just too many forum sections and subsections. If a post does not show up in General Discussion, Other languages, General programming discussion or Raspbian or Off topic discussion, it's likely I never see it.

Which is a shame because I will even answer Python questions despite loathing Python.
You can do "Subscribe Forum" in the Python section.

:) There is no "assembler" section in programming which is shocking :)

User avatar
DougieLawson
Posts: 34166
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:19 pm
Location: Basingstoke, UK
Contact: Website

Re: Forum structure

Sun May 27, 2018 11:21 am

The structure is so confused.
Why are Mathematica & Wolfram Language separate they're the same thing?

Why hasn't the dead "Pi Store" been locked or deleted?

Why are there Graphics programming, Graphics, sound and multimedia and Media centres as they overlap?

Why haven't Add-ons & B+ addons been merged, the original B+ came out years ago and there was no sense in having the new forum back then?

Why aren't Arch, RISCOS and pidora/fedora all sub-forums of Other?
Microprocessor, Raspberry Pi & Arduino Hacker
Mainframe database troubleshooter
MQTT Evangelist
Twitter: @DougieLawson

2012-18: 1B*5, 2B*2, B+, A+, Z, ZW, 3Bs*3, 3B+

Any DMs sent on Twitter will be answered next month.

k-pi
Posts: 646
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2017 1:46 pm
Location: Upper Hale, Surrey, UK.

Re: Forum structure

Sun May 27, 2018 1:28 pm

........& why haven't we got a Desktop section - separate Programming, & Projects sections - I think the answer is just the way that the site was perceived to be going to be used. 8-)

Yes, a bit of rationalisation may well help, I have limited interest in a lot of what goes on here, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be here, just needs to be easier to find what I'm looking for would be nice. :)

Presently, the easiest way to find what interests you is to use the Quick Links > New Posts. ;)

hippy
Posts: 4014
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:34 pm
Location: UK

Re: Forum structure

Sun May 27, 2018 3:51 pm

Some people tell me that suggesting the clever folk behind the Raspberry Pi don't know what they are doing and suggesting improvements or how things should be different is insulting them. So I'll sit this one out as I don't want to get banned for insulting anyone.

fruitoftheloom
Posts: 17817
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:40 pm

Re: Forum structure

Sun May 27, 2018 4:25 pm

hippy wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 3:51 pm
Some people tell me that suggesting the clever folk behind the Raspberry Pi don't know what they are doing and suggesting improvements or how things should be different is insulting them. So I'll sit this one out as I don't want to get banned for insulting anyone.

Actually it is the way it is stated :roll:

..and yes the subject of the Forum needing an overhaul has been aired many times over the last 6+ years !
Adieu

hippy
Posts: 4014
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:34 pm
Location: UK

Re: Forum structure

Sun May 27, 2018 6:32 pm

fruitoftheloom wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 4:25 pm
Actually it is the way it is stated :roll:
Which is hilarious because I recently got told I was being insulting for merely asking how one should pass comments on to the Foundation after Eben had said "We're listening to people’s comments about what they’d like to see in a new Raspberry Pi".

User avatar
DougieLawson
Posts: 34166
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:19 pm
Location: Basingstoke, UK
Contact: Website

Re: Forum structure

Sun May 27, 2018 6:43 pm

And another forum troll gets added to my ignore list.
Microprocessor, Raspberry Pi & Arduino Hacker
Mainframe database troubleshooter
MQTT Evangelist
Twitter: @DougieLawson

2012-18: 1B*5, 2B*2, B+, A+, Z, ZW, 3Bs*3, 3B+

Any DMs sent on Twitter will be answered next month.

gordon77
Posts: 3479
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:12 pm

Re: Forum structure

Sun May 27, 2018 7:12 pm

Trying to work out which forum to start a thread in is really confusing, too many seem to overlap topics.

RichardRussell
Posts: 186
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:48 am

Re: Forum structure

Sun May 27, 2018 8:05 pm

Heater wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 10:49 am
2) No BASIC. There are a thousand dialects of BASIC. Might as well dump them in "Other Languages"
OK then, so let's have a section for BBC BASIC which is the dialect that has been linked with the RPi from the start (and is still used in schools).

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 20902
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: Forum structure

Sun May 27, 2018 9:02 pm

Liz, who is in charge of the forum structure, is back from maternity leave Monday, and one of the first things to discuss is forum structure. We do plan to make changes.

However, I'm off for the next week, so won't be able to report on any progress.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Please direct all questions to the forum, I do not do support via PM.

User avatar
Imperf3kt
Posts: 1458
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:16 am
Location: Australia

Re: Forum structure

Sun May 27, 2018 9:37 pm

hippy wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 3:51 pm
Some people tell me that suggesting the clever folk behind the Raspberry Pi don't know what they are doing and suggesting improvements or how things should be different is insulting them. So I'll sit this one out as I don't want to get banned for insulting anyone.
It depends on how you say it.
I would expect one of the following to earn a warning of some sort and the other to generate a reasonable discussion. I'll leave deciding which is which, to interpretation.

Bad :
Hey, the forum sucks. I want, I want, I want, I don't want. Fix it.
Less bad:
Hey, I think this could be improved. X is confusing, y is outdated, z is missing and we have two giraffes
Stop plugging your fan directly into the GPIO 5v
https://www.electronics-tutorials.ws/power/transient-suppression.html

User avatar
davidcoton
Posts: 3252
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:37 pm
Location: Cambridge, UK

Re: Forum structure

Sun May 27, 2018 10:03 pm

Imperf3kt wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 9:37 pm
Hey, I think this could be improved. X is confusing, y is outdated, z is missing and we have two giraffes
The Unicorns would clearly want that deleted immediately. Far too much involvement of giraffes.
"Thanks for saving my life." See https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=1327656#p1327656
“Raspberry Pi is a trademark of the Raspberry Pi Foundation”

User avatar
Burngate
Posts: 5508
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:34 pm
Location: Berkshire UK
Contact: Website

Re: Forum structure

Mon May 28, 2018 5:59 pm

I tend to ignore the various sub-fora - I look through the unread posts for ones whose title looks interesting, whereever they happen to have been posted.

However, if things may change, could we have somewhere dedicated to databases?

It's an area of computing that appears to be quite popular, and there seems to be quite a few people using them, but I've never managed to get my head round them.
So if a forum magically appeared, some day, I'd be one of the first to inundate it with asinine questions - so maybe it won't appear for exactly that reason!
davidcoton wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 10:03 pm
Imperf3kt wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 9:37 pm
Hey, I think this could be improved. X is confusing, y is outdated, z is missing and we have two giraffes
The Unicorns would clearly want that deleted immediately. Far too much involvement of giraffes.
Giraffes tend to get a bad press, but not as bad as hyenas.

Heater
Posts: 10223
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: Forum structure

Mon May 28, 2018 7:46 pm

Burngate,
...could we have somewhere dedicated to databases
Why?

There are dozens, hundreds, of databases out there. SQL databases and so called NoSQL databases. If you want to know how to use them they have plenty of documentation on their web sites. They have their own discussion forums. There are many blogs, tutorials, etc out there discussing them.

Databases are so far abstracted from the hardware and OS they run on there is little to talk about that is Pi specific.

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 20902
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: Forum structure

Mon May 28, 2018 9:20 pm

I'm of the opinion that the Pi sub forums should only exist if there is a Pi specific need for them. Having a forum specifically for databases, where there are really no Raspberry Pi specific things to del with (or are there...??) wouldn't be a good use of the bandwidth
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Please direct all questions to the forum, I do not do support via PM.

User avatar
Burngate
Posts: 5508
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:34 pm
Location: Berkshire UK
Contact: Website

Re: Forum structure

Tue May 29, 2018 10:02 am

Fair enough.

k-pi
Posts: 646
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2017 1:46 pm
Location: Upper Hale, Surrey, UK.

Re: Forum structure

Tue May 29, 2018 10:09 am

Databases tend to be flat file or relational, most ordinary people use flat file, whilst businesses use relational, which can be very complex.
If you want to start to get to grips with databases, try using SQLite3, (it should be in the repos). 8-)

User avatar
Burngate
Posts: 5508
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:34 pm
Location: Berkshire UK
Contact: Website

Re: Forum structure

Tue May 29, 2018 10:41 am

Thanks for that - I'll have a look at SQLite3.

My brain seems to equate "flat file" with a .csv text file, which should be easily manipulated - add data, search, etc., - without having to use specialist software.
A relational database should be far more sophisticated and a lot more capable, and therefore far more interesting, but my brain gets confused at that point.

But we're probably straying off topic.

hippy
Posts: 4014
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:34 pm
Location: UK

Re: Forum structure

Tue May 29, 2018 12:06 pm

The first thing to decide is what purpose the forum serves and then how it can best serve that purpose.

It would be worth looking at what there currently is and how things are currently working. It is notable that half of all topics started are in General Discussion, Troubleshooting and Beginners.

That indicates to me that the current tree structure of the forum, sections and sub-sections, is incredibly unbalanced.

droleary
Posts: 174
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:45 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN USA
Contact: Website Skype

Re: Forum structure

Tue May 29, 2018 1:17 pm

hippy wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 12:06 pm
It would be worth looking at what there currently is and how things are currently working. It is notable that half of all topics started are in General Discussion, Troubleshooting and Beginners.

That indicates to me that the current tree structure of the forum, sections and sub-sections, is incredibly unbalanced.
By my measure, it's more a case of the posters being unable/unwilling to properly classify their messages. There are way too many things that get stuck in General Discussion that should better go in other subsections. I've given up flagging all but the most egregious.

hippy
Posts: 4014
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:34 pm
Location: UK

Re: Forum structure

Tue May 29, 2018 2:29 pm

droleary wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 1:17 pm
By my measure, it's more a case of the posters being unable/unwilling to properly classify their messages.
One would have to analyse why people are doing what they do to figure out if it is generally laziness, too difficult to figure out where things should be posted, or there are other issues involved.

That will require some engagement with posters to try and figure out what is going on, why they are using the forum as they do. We can all guess but without asking people we'll never really know.

Don't forget that a lot of members seeking help will be new users, not familiar with the Pi, this and maybe any forum, or any of the technology and terminology involved. They likely don't know what they are doing, are probably frustrated, just want a quick answer.

It may be that there are too many sections which overwhelm posters or they cannot see where something best fits in any of the listed sections -

Code: Select all

Community
    Announcements
    General discussion
    Other languages
    User groups and events
    The MagPi
    The Pi Store

Using the Raspberry Pi
    Beginners
    Troubleshooting
    Advanced users
    Assistive technology and accessibility

Education
    The Staffroom
    Picademy
    Teaching and learning resources
    Code Club
    Using Raspberry Pi in the classroom
    Astro Pi
    Mathematica
    High Altitude Balloon
    Weather station

Programming
    Bare metal
    C/C++
    Graphics programming
    Java
    Python
    Scratch
    Windows 10 for IoT
    Wolfram Language
    Other languages
    General programming discussion

Projects
    Automation, sensing and robotics
    Cases
    Gaming
    Graphics, sound and multimedia
    Magazines and books
    Media centres
    Networking and servers
    Other projects

Hardware and peripherals
    Camera board
    Compute Module
    Official Foundation Display
    Add-ons
    B+ addons
    Device Tree
    Interfacing (DSI, CSI, I2C, etc.)
    Gertboard classic
    GertDuino
    Recommended peripherals
    AIY Projects
 
Operating system distributions
    Raspbian
    Arch
    Pidora / Fedora
    RISCOS
    Other
    Raspberry Pi Desktop for PC and Mac

Ye Olde Pi Shoppe
    For sale
    Wanted 

Off topic
    Off topic discussion

Heater
Posts: 10223
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: Forum structure

Tue May 29, 2018 3:29 pm

I'm an beginner with the Pi and programming. I have a problem with my Java project, which interfaces to a Gertboard. My OS is Arch.

In which forum section should I post my problem?

User avatar
bensimmo
Posts: 3457
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2014 3:02 pm
Location: East Yorkshire

Re: Forum structure

Tue May 29, 2018 4:27 pm

beginners, you'll then be helped in a beginner style and probably pointed to look up these related sections, if the helper actually knows about them. Once familiar they'll post where comfortable.

I would like a Bugs/Feedback section, where bugs can be mentioned or ways to improve the softwares. The minefield that is github or who knows where, to give bugs found or feedback on Pi official stuff. It could have sections and then the maintainers of their area within RPF/T could then moderate their section, be it Python modules, Raspbian, website, Magazines, Desktop software or even the hardware.

Remove (archive) the unused sections of times gone by.
Bring up anything new.
Add sections and links for the larger official OS's forums, pages (Android Things, WindowsIOT, RetroPi, Kodi's, "PINN" and others like OctoPi/MotionEyeOS possibly)

Maybe get a section where Clubs, Dojo, Jam things can be shared (not just Code club, expand it, next to the Teaching and Learning?)

or leave it until a forum is used that can use tags to help searches and categorise sections better.

or none of it, or the easy best bits

Return to “Off topic discussion”