New category for Fedora's hardware compatibility

Over the time, a lot of topics have been opened about Fedora’s compatibility with specific hardware or specific notebooks, to exchange experiences and knowledge about it. One example is this.

However, although this issue remains “permanently” open (everyone needs a new machine from time to time), the related topics tend to disappear early due to the many topics we have in ask.fp. Also, if people look on their preferred search engine for hardware compatibility, such topics tend to be not good ranked due to the poor search engine optimization of individual topics.

This made me think of a dedicated category for Fedora’s hardware compatibility: user experiences/tests, links to Linux/Fedora pages about hardware compatibility, and so on. A category might optimize SEO, and avoids that topics that keep valuable information disappear after a week.

I also thought that we have already many categories and that we have to be careful with adding to much (I am a bit skeptic myself). However, I saw that some categories are inactive, and it maybe makes also sense to talk about a replacement of an existing instead of adding another category?

Anyway, I thought it is worth a discussion.

@mattdm what do you think?

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My personal feeling is that hardware compatibility is a moving target that is better served by some sort of database than a forum category.

Not only does hardware support change over time but the methods we use to get certain hardware working changes as well. Those types of posts become outdated fast and letting them fade into obscurity isn’t definitively a bad thing.

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I’m not sure. I feel like having topics disappear if they’re not updated might actually be good – hardware support can move fast, so a discussion from F33 timeframe might not be relevant now, unless someone is updating it like a wiki.

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Good and bad factors here.

Supporting software that gets developed or updated to support the hardware makes it so the posts about unsupported hardware may no longer be relevant with newer releases and the threads can easily be allowed to fade into obscurity.

However, what about the lingering hardware where it may take longer to provide support or that never gets support. In that case it may still be very relevant to have users (and potential developers) easily able to find the hardware information as to what to avoid (or what to work on for support).

Just my $0.02

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I agree with @mattdm that a forum is probably not the best format for constantly updated information. That kind of info is more suitable for a wiki. And although there are already wiki-like posts (see Common Issues category), I don’t think we’d have enough maintainers for keeping posts related to the multitude of hardware variations that are out there.

Also, we can learn some lessons from the past in that this kind of effort was already attempted but abandoned due to the amount of work it required:

https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Archive:HCL?rd=HCL

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If Fedora 35 today works properly on the Lenovo model ABC with open source drivers (nouveau and such), is it realistic that this changes soon? I have a system from 2010 and one from 2015, both still work with Fedora. Of course, I am just talking about some indication for the end users here (who want to know if the Lenovo model ABC works properly with [whatever] drivers), not a sophisticated list that claims completeness of all individual available hardware.

Ironically, that was the idea :slight_smile: I absolutely agree that such a dedicated list would be perfect. But it is not realistic to maintain it. But to know that (to stick with my example) the Lenovo model ABC works properly and with what condition is already a valuable information. My experience is that the support increases: in the beginning I might need a proprietary driver, at some point the nouveau also works properly. Any user making this experience can add the information with a simple post. If not, we still know that the proprietary driver works, and if the topic is a year old, I might derive that support could have been increased since (just an example).

Of course at some point, there is also a drop of support, but this takes a long time, and if a topic is 10 years old, a user can see the topic’s age anyway. I think we (will) have sufficiently new threads about the topic so that one thread would - even within the category - disappear much earlier. Btw, I think if there is a thread suggesting a notebook with hardware that is to be dropped soon, I expect that this notebook will no longer be available anyway, does it? So the scope is a narrow one, and not very ambitious :slight_smile: