Site categories lacking for "how to" tips, "audio production" and tags for Fedora Labs versions such as Jam

I am really finding it difficult to post to the site on occasion and suspect that there are a lot of questions and comments getting lost, because there are no “how to” tips category, nor an “audio production” category, when Fedora has a Jam Labs version for people interested in audio production, and when now is the perfect time to support the developer Erich Eickmeyer. Tags for “jam” “audio production”, etc. would be useful as well.


Only today that I have been allowed to create new tags…

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I think it would make sense if we have a new category under “discussion in English” then “Spins” and from there use tags to separate them?!

When the categories were being set up, we decided against adding categories for things like spins/labs. This is because any packages on Fedora can be installed on any spin pretty much. So I don’t have to be using the jam spin to use some software that is included there by default. In that case: where would the question go? Should it go to the jam category because this software is included in the spin by default (which users may not know), or should it go to the workstation category because it’s what I’m using? In short, it won’t help improve organisation. Additionally: spins/labs come and go—they are not primary editions. That’s why, we’ve limited the categories based on the the primary life-cycle related activities—which apply to any/all Fedora artefacts.

This is not a manual thing we do. It’s part of how the forum works. As you use it more, you get more permissions. Please read this post for more information:

Can you please elaborate what you mean by “finding it difficult to post on the site”? Also, on “questions and comments getting lost”? If you have interacted with a question, you will receive notifications about activities on that question (unless you have turned this off in your preferences).

Have you used the search function to find information? Does that not work satisfactorily?

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In my opinion, the fundamental concept of setting up language based forums and then only relying on tags for differentiating post topics doesn’t work. I fully understand trust issues about new users, but I have from day one been focused first and foremost on the Jam Labs version of Fedora, which is what brought me to Fedora in the first place. That “jam” as a tag or as a category has been missing, has proved to be a huge problem for me when wanting to post about the Jam Labs edition. This has meant that from day one, I have largely been handicapped as to what I would like to discuss and share with other Fedora users until very recently. Secondly, searching for tags simply does not provide the same user experience as being able to browse through a sub-forum in chronological order. If in doubt, take a look at the KVRaudio forum. The argumentation, that users can install elements such as the Jam Labs or the Fedora Design Suite on any Fedora edition, does not negate the likelihood that posted topics will fall into these categories, just as issues, comments or questions regarding window managers are still going to be related to what is being used. I appreciate the work that everyone is doing, so don’t misunderstand me. This is only about feedback from a user who has been deeply frustrated about the way the site functions. I hope that my feedback will be viewed as exactly what it is - suggestions to make the site more useful for all users, but particularly new users that may not feel that the site functions well for them and prevents them from doing things like creating new tags. There must be some middle ground regarding the structure of the site, and as long as tag creation is understandably restricted, there must be other ways to address those needs and my suggestion is the creation of useful, topic based sub-forums.

Can you please elaborate on this? I’m afraid I don’t see how the lack of a category/tag prevents you from posting about a particular issue. You just post in the #english:using-fedora-english category, and folks will discuss issues with you there.

I’ve already explained how and why these categories were chosen. This has been discussed again and again and we’ve always concluded that more fine grained categories would not necessarily result in an improved user experience. So, the categories will not change.

If you’d like to focus on the jam, I’d suggest you book mark this search:

https://ask.fedoraproject.org/search?q=jam

You can modify the search as you wish—the advanced search feature on Discourse is very powerful.

We still haven’t discussed what causes you frustration—you have not quite clearly mentioned what it is. Have you gone through the introductory posts in the #start-here category that explain how Discourse the platform is to be used, and how this instance is organised? (We’re not trying to simulate a classic forum here, so we’re not going to make changes to mimic how they function.)

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To add to what @FranciscoD is saying:

  • For traditional forum-style discussion, maybe it would be better to set up a category over at Special Interest Groups - Fedora Discussion? That’s more contributor-focused rather than for audio end-users, but…
  • for how-tos and guides, http://docs.fedoraproject.org would be be the best place, probably as a subset of Fedora Quick Docs :: Fedora Docs for most audio-production things, but there could be a whole Fedora Jam section if there is enough content
  • … and then if people have questions about those guides, I think the existing format here should be fine?
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In my (albeit short) experience there are no active members of Ask Fedora that use Fedora for audio production - and I have been told as much on Ask Fedora, which is part of the problem that I keep knocking my head against the wall about. I am actively advocating to use Fedora on the Linux Musicians Facebook page, and promoting Fedora Jam on both the Linux Musicians page, as well as the Distro Hoppers Facebook page, yet there is no forum of any kind to specifically discuss using Fedora / Fedora Jam for audio production issues or howtos, where as Ubuntu Studio has their own forums. I can’t speak for Erich Eickmeyer as the developer of both Ubuntu Studio and Fedora Jam, but to see the amount of resources thrown at users of Ubuntu Studio, whereas Fedora Jam gets down voted at every turn in the Fedora community because it is “just a Lab” can be quite frustrating. Linux users that do audio production, have more or less given up on Fedora and moved on either to a .deb based or an Arch based distro. I can’t speak for Arch, but between Ubuntu and Fedora, Fedora has hands down the most stable base for doing anything, including audio production, but things are slightly more complicated, particularly when installing commercial software, which is always .deb based. Throwing a little luv the way of Fedora Jam and Linux users that do audio production is a way to build the user base, also for audio production.

While I understand your frustrations, I’m unsure if you understand how community projects work. They rely on volunteers to put in their spare time to develop a product and maintain it. The Fedora Jam, like quite a few other labs (I’m part of the NeuroFedora SIG that produces the Comp-Neuro lab) has not yet reached a critical point where it has enough users that then consider contributing back. At the NeuroFedora SIG, we run open meetings twice a week, have active IRC + Telegram + Matrix channels, along with an active mailing list, and we have documentation + a blog for announcements. Even then, there’s a really small core team that maintains the lab image and our packages, and we’re only gaining users + volunteer contributors bit by bit: one or two new folks every few months.

However, none of this means that the Fedora community does not support these endeavours. On the contrary, everything we do is based on the infrastructure that the community provides. Lots of other developers have helped us fix and improve the software we package—even though Neuroscience is not particularly their area of interest/work. It just means that the number of community members that are involved in our sub-projects is currently small. Increasing the community around sub-projects and convincing people to contribute their free time is more than half the battle here. There’s no global “pot of love” from which an individual can pick out some to throw towards a particular sub-project—that may work in a corporate development model, but that’s now how volunteer communities work. (Even @mattdm , as the FPL, cannot order volunteers to work on particular tasks )

This is the forum (I’m still unclear why you say that it isn’t). How-tos go to docs as mentioned before. Someone just has to write them:

https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/quick-docs/

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This is a bit of a Catch 22 as there are no current Fedora users on Ask Fedora, as stated, that work with audio production, according to the feedback that I have received on Ask Fedora. The only way to do that is through advocacy on Facebook (among other places), to attract Linux users that already work with audio production, to try to use Fedora. Without people currently using other Linux distros migrating to Fedora and working with audio production, the project will likely never reach critical mass. You need online activists to promote Fedora within the audio production community, to get Linux users within the area to try Fedora Jam.

[quote=“FranciscoD, post:9, topic:12384”]
This is the forum (I’m still unclear why you say that it isn’t).[/quote]

When new Fedora users arrive at Ask Fedora, unless they have a specific, technical question, Ask Fedora is similar to a blank canvas, particularly regarding special interests. There is no sub-forum that they can gravitate towards, possibly read other posts within the area, to get a feel for potential technical challenges, to follow some of the popular topics within, for example, audio production. Unlike a conventionally structured forum, with sub-forums already created and where there is a possibility of creating new ones, or Facebook where it is possible to create groups according to interest, Ask Fedora has an extremely flat structure that may work for specific technical questions, but does not provide the necessary tools around which a community of like minded users can gravitate towards similar interests. If even when you ask a technical question, you can risk being told that the area that you are interested in does not have any online expertise, that is not a format that is conducive to building a community that could build into a group that as you describe, develops a critical mass to contribute back…

Again, the times that I have written howtos, I usually post to the community to get feedback, before I actually create a doc. However, again, if there were a sub-forum for howtos, the commentary would be running under the post and edits could be made before posting an actual document.

Yep, that’s what I said. We’re on the same page here.

And having sub-categories magically creates “online expertise”? Will folks here on the forum automatically start using the Jam and its tools and get into audio production because we create a sub-category? I feel like we’re trying to throw tools at a human problem here.

Have you checked how quick-docs are added at all? The community provides feedback, they review the document together before it gets added. We do not want how-tos here on the forum. We actively request people to add them to quick-docs so that the information is all in one place. They belong to documentation, not a forum. It is important to ensure that all the information a user may need is present in one place in a coherent format. Splitting howtos between forums and documentation does not help.

I think you should request a category on discussion.fp.o for the Jam or start a mailing list specifically for it. A troubleshooting forum is not well suited to community development. That’s literally why we have ask.fp.o separate from discussions.fp.o. This is for troubleshooting user issues—any issues related to a supported Fedora release irrespective of what lab/spin/edition it may be on, while discussions.fp.o is for any discussion around the development of Fedora, including community development.

The sarcasm, however misplaced is duly noted. Not conducive, nor appreciated. As I stated, yet you keep refusing to acknowledge, the opposite is the case. I was trying to attract users to Fedora and to Fedora Jam, because I thought it was worth the effort and an investment of their time. Unfortunately, it appears to be an unappreciated, uphill battle. It is amazing how little effort and few resources it would take to attract a new community and integrate them, and yet how much resistance there appears to be. I think we should end this discussion here.

The sarcasm is assumed by you. I’ve not added any. :slight_smile: You did not answer the questions in the quoted statement. How does creation of a sub-category create “online expertise”? You say it is so, yet when I ask how it is so, you do not explain.

This is greatly appreciated, but we’re not discussing this. We’re discussing a particular aspect of it: namely the re-organization of this forum and the role it plays in this endeavour.

If you’d requested the creation of a new category for the Jam SIG on discussion.fp.o, you’d have it by now. That is what discussion.fp.o is for. The resistance is not towards attracting and integrating a community. It is towards changing the organisation of this particular forum, the purpose of which is troubleshooting only: “Ask Fedora” vs “Discussion”.

Finally, you should not use project my responses on to others. If I am being “un-supportive”, it does not mean that everyone else also feels the same way. I will not respond to this topic any more. I think my views and my queries are clear enough. Please consider the suggestions here:

Thanks. I have already responded positively to mattdm over on the https://discussion.fedoraproject.org/ site. The important thing is getting this up and running so that I have a destination to guide users to with questions. Apologies for not knowing my way well enough around the Fedora sites. As you state, there would probably be something up and running now if I had a better idea of how things functioned, however even abbreviations like “discussion.fp.o” are first now starting to dawn on me…

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This is done, by the way:

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Many thanks, Matthew.

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