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Author Topic: Forum is popular and stuff gets lost  (Read 5151 times)
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I'm new to Arduino but I have programmed PICs and PCs in the past so I have reasonable experience.

In contrast to some other Forums I follow (JRuby programming and model railways) this Forum is really busy. That means that a question I asked yesterday morning is now on page 4. I did get some helpful information in response but I suspect there may be more available from some other forum readers. However I'd be very surprised if it is is ever seen again. It has been completely swamped (just like every other question) by dozens of newer different questions.

The other side of this problem is that I myself have information that may be helpful to other readers but there seems to be no easy way to find questions that I may be able to answer - short of spending hours reading the forum.

I realize that this may not be an easy problem to solve (that is, if anyone shares my view that it is a problem). One possibility might be to have a limited series of Tags that each question could be linked to. For example "stepper motor", "serial comms". Stackoverflow uses a system like that. I think it would be important that the Forum managers should control the list of Tags. If there are too many they would be no improvement on the present situation. It may be appropriate to have a different list of tags for the different Forums.

There seems to be no facility for me to see a list of all the topics I have posted to. It's easy to forget where I asked or answered a question (especially if it has slipped 3 or 4 pages) and I do like to keep in touch with topics in case I need to make a further input. www.rmweb.co.uk has this facility - though it may not be obvious unless you are logged in.

The inbuilt Forum search system seems to me to be poor to the point of being useless. I have no idea how it organizes the results. The style of the inbuilt search results is also unhelpful as it wastes screen space with excerpts from the posts whereas a list of topics would be sufficient. And there seems to be no method to get it to search for a phrase. When I put things in "quotes" it still returned examples with individual words. Searching the forum with Google was much more useful. Why not include that as an option in the forum?

Having said all that this forum is many times better than Google's own Google Groups system.

Thanks

...R
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One way is to search for yourself in Members, and review your posts there.
Or save a thread in your Browser favorites.
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Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years. Check out the ATMega1284P based Bobuino and other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  www.crossroadsfencing.com/BobuinoRev17.
Arduino for Teens available at Amazon.com.

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I would have to agree, Robin, but this is what we have.  This site has tons of information if someone is patient enough to search for it.

If you post in a thread, and there is a reply, you will get emailed and a link to the thread in the email.  That is how I keep up with the topics I am in.

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you can allways check replies in the upper right
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Rob Tillaart

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Robin2 wrote:
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One possibility might be to have a limited series of Tags that each question could be linked to. For example "stepper motor", "serial comms". Stackoverflow uses a system like that.

Yes, I like how Stackoverflow is so easy to use. The tag base approach, related links on the right hand side. Answers can be voted upon, making it easier for a newcomer to find a best approach method.

You are right, I've not come across another forum as busy as this one, refresh the main forum page, blink,refresh again and it's all new posts. A lot of the time many new posts are re-hashed old posts as a lot of people do not re-search by looking to see if their question might have been answered beforehand in another thread.

At least we are a busy bunch and you don't need to wait for days for advice if you present your question clearly and with any code in code tags. Nick Gammon has been trying to address a lot of the issues with providing a more detailed 'How to use this forum' topic.

I guess we are also stuck with this version of SFM forum software for the time being.
Hopefully when the next upgrade is performed it will relieve some of these issues.

Imagine, a forum for the Arduino community that was base on the Stackoverflow model, yum.
_____
Paul
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I agree with Robin2. Finding a way to make the forum easier to search and to apply filters would greatly improve the forum.
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I have no objection if this site were to switch to using Stackexchange technology.

Another feature that should be considered for this site is to be able to list unanswered questions.

...R
« Last Edit: April 07, 2013, 02:09:19 pm by Coding Badly » Logged

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I thought there was a post on this thread by POWTAC referring to his comments in the GENERAL section http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,158796.0.html

And I am pretty certain I replied to it.   Has somebody removed stuff or any I deluded?

...R
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you are not deluded - I too was confused for a moment.
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I thought there was a post on this thread by POWTAC...

You are not deluded.  I removed both posts (but should have left yours; which I've returned).  His original post is available in General Discussion.
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Thank you.

As far as I recall POWTAC's post was very short and was a useful cross-reference between similar discussions in two places. I don't understand why it was removed.

And I thought my own reply was rather longer and, in any case, it really only makes sense if it is seen as a response to an attempt to set up another forum for Arduino stuff.

In the long run none of anything makes any difference smiley

...R
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As far as I recall POWTAC's post was very short and was a useful cross-reference between similar discussions in two places.

He posted it more places than that.

Quote
I don't understand why it was removed.

It was removed because I got tired of trying to sift through his mess.

Quote
And I thought my own reply was rather longer...

Two sentences which essentially acknowledged the link.

Quote
...it really only makes sense if it is seen as a response to an attempt to set up another forum for Arduino stuff.

I disagree.  The post can be construed as you adding two additional ideas to the ones you have already presented.
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Have you guys heard of http://www.discourse.org/

It was started by Jeff Atwood from Stackexchange.com

I don't know much about it yet, but it does look interesting as a new take on forum software.
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Posts being tagged by topics and a main-sub topics index in the forum wouldnt hurt at all, i think !! Theres a lot to earn if individualposts could be sub indexed !! Would maximize a lot the effort of those who dont mind helping and the satisfaction level of users overall !! But, i know there are a lot of more important things in line of priority. Just passing a suggestion, anyway !!
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I have a lot of time for Jeff Atwood and I suspect there is a lot of useful "outside the box" thinking in Discourse.

However I also think (based on a very brief look) that it addresses different problems from the success that this forum "suffers" from.

The problem here is that questions get lost in the jungle before the person who really knows the answer sees them. If anything, Discourse would seem to make it easier to create an even thicker jungle. In my opinion Stackoverflow with tags and votes is a better model.

...R

Have you guys heard of http://www.discourse.org/

It was started by Jeff Atwood from Stackexchange.com

I don't know much about it yet, but it does look interesting as a new take on forum software.
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