Is the "installing" vs "using" categorization buying us anything?

When we launched this site, we set up each language with two subcategories, one for questions about installation and one for questions about using the system once installed.

Is this actually helping us? I don’t find it useful in actually following and answering questions. For categorization, it seems like a tag could do just as well. And it has a cost in significantly increasing the complication every time a user wants to ask a question.

What do you think? Is there an advantage I’ve missed, or should we just collapse these?

Alternately, should we create more subcategories? If so, which?

What should we do about subcategories?
  • Not useful — let’s merge them
  • They’re important — please keep
  • Actually, we should add more (I’ll explain)
  • I have no opinion
  • Other (I’ll explain)

0 voters

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Just my opinion but in the past, when the post volume was lower, I thought there was not much value in the separation. Mostly because the “using” category is fairly atypical on Linux forums. However, it seems to me, anecdotally, that post volume is growing. In this situation, I think breaking “using” into a few different categories makes more sense than it may have in the past.

I’ve never found very useful forum’s hypercategorization.
It may be useful if I want to filter out categories I’m not absolutely interested in.
Support requests are support requests. It doesn’t matter if it is an hardware problem or a software one. And many times, issues are not clear at a first glance: maybe I think that the problem is with the package manager, but at the end it was a network issue, and such network issue was not a software problem, but maybe due to a faulty network card.


We could also use tagging a little more aggressively; there’s options to require one of a given set of tags, for example.

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I guess it depends what the goals for the site are. Many non-technical users find tags confusing. As more of these users find Fedora you are raising the barriers for getting help.

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IMHO, $USER usually don’t pay atention to TAG their TOPIC about using or installing this will try confusion…

Talking about statics we can make diference between using and instaling… if we decide to give the $USER decide to TAG their own post this will never happen.


Yeah I guess I should have left tagging as a separate topic. Let’s focus on the main question. :slight_smile:


As for statistics, good point (and I do love statistics), but we could also do that with keyword searches which might give us more insight anyway.

In my experience, a lot of threads are created in the wrong category.
This is specifically relevant to newbies and non-technically advanced users.
So, trusted users and moderators need to do extra work moving the threads.

Perhaps we should not bother with categories for common questions.
At the same time, we can pay some attention to actually useful threads.
Those can be renamed and tagged properly to increase search relevance.


As @dalto mentioned in a other topic, the category tree of Manjaro Linux makes more sense, especially in point of view of a new user.

I don’t know if this could partially made similar in this community?

Might be there are other Linux communities with same software ?

Other forum software but bigger volume as we do have is the Arch community. Also very nice overview.

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Uh. This is what I was talking about. What is the meaning of all that categorization apart muting the categories I’m not interested in (if I am a forum aficionado[1])?
[1] because if I am a casual user, posting on the forum only because I have an issue, if there is a single category (Support) or ten categories (GNOME, KDE, Kernel, Network, etc) between I can choose, doesn’t change too much IMHO. The difference is the additional work moderators have to do in case the post is not in the right category (and the more categories you have, the more you will find posts in the wrong category).
And I’m talking about Support (or the like) category. Having Announcements, Off topic corner, Introduce yourself, Development discussions, can make a sense.


Yeh, I agree. I don’t think fine grained categories for every DE is worth it. I don’t want an end user to think of what DE they’re using (or not using and thus be confused about the best place to post). Broad categories are the best—here we had two levels available to us in Discourse so we chose “using” vs “installing” as the broadest categories based on the Fedora life cycle, under each language. They’re not, by any means, necessary.

The goal is for someone new to the forum to be immediately be able to figure out where to post. Any categorisation that allows that is fine by me.

If we only had one category level available, I’d have suggested just have languages without “using” and “installing”.

So, no—these two don’t give us anything special IMO. We had the features, so we used them, but we’ll be fine without them too. It’ll just mean that all troubleshooting goes into one category but as long as there are enough community members monitoring this category, I think we’ll be fine. (It doesn’t matter how we talk to each other as long as we do :))


It allows people to only read the categories people they are interested in and have the capacity to answer. Many people aren’t interested in reading every post and will come for support and leave without a focused area they feel they can contribute to.

In practice, it is actually fairly insignificant. Also, TL3’s usually help with getting stuff in the right in the place.

Breaking it out by DE makes more sense for Manjaro then it would for for Fedora. Manjaro has a huge diversity of DEs commonly in use. Most Fedora users seem to use the default with those who don’t being the exception.

However, a functional breakout could be useful here. For example, putting all the network issues in a single category.

Although it is counter-intuitive, in my experience, having too few categories makes it more confusing for most people. Probably because they are expecting to see a breakdown. I have always found “using” to be fairly non-intuitive.

See this that someone just posted… "access denied" message

I think we don’t have complete agreement here, although there’s a pretty strong leaning. Folks in favor of more subdivision, are you okay if we try removing them and see how it goes? We can always change again later, and worst case you can all say “see, I told you so”. :slight_smile:




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Yeah, since the site is hosted, I’m going to make a support request for the Discourse folks to handle this for us.


Okay, so, I’ve made this request. I assume they’ll get back to me before actually just doing it, but I may be surprised. :slight_smile:


I was one to disagree but seen the result is more compat,

Look really nice :clap:



Thanks! Listening to people who disagree is an important part of making decisions in Fedora, and thank you for trusting me to try it and see how it goes!


A post was split to a new topic: Users tend to mistakenly create topics in the “Community” category