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    • CommentRowNumber1.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeOct 16th 2009

    The n-forum's growing a little since we migrated latest changes over here and as it does a few minor irritations start getting bigger. On thing that I've noticed is easily fixable, though. That's posting in the wrong category. Most often this happens when someone intends posting in 'latest changes' but gets it wrong. Discussions can be moved, but only by the originator or a moderator. I can make it so that anyone logged in can move a discussion. Any objections?

    Are there any other minor tweaks that people can think of?

    • CommentRowNumber2.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeOct 16th 2009

    By the way, I noticed that when I choose the subject category and then start typing, apparently sometimes I hit an arrow key accidentally, and that makes the subject category switch. It seems that this happened in the cases where I posted in the wrong category.

    I's certainly still me being too hasty, but I thought I'd say this, to my defense :-)

    • CommentRowNumber3.
    • CommentAuthorTobyBartels
    • CommentTimeOct 16th 2009

    I have no objections to allowing registered users to move any discussion.

    When I notice them, I'll report here other minor tweaks that I'd like.

    • CommentRowNumber4.
    • CommentAuthorTobyBartels
    • CommentTimeOct 16th 2009

    Here's one: allow wikilinks in discussion titles.

    • CommentRowNumber5.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeOct 19th 2009

    At the moment, the discussion titles are hyperlinks to the discussions. To allow wikilinks in discussion titles would necessitate moving that functionality elsewhere. Sadly, that's not a minor tweak!

    • CommentRowNumber6.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeOct 19th 2009

    I've given people logged in the ability to create new categories, sort categories (which means that it's possible to create sub-categories), and move discussions from one category to another (without being the original author). If this doesn't work, I can easily revoke this. To muck about with the categories, go to the tab "Settings" which should have appeared at the top of the page.

    By the way, if you go to the categories list you'll see a category "Steering Committee". There's nothing in this category, it was part of an experiment exploring how to implement a steering committee (something which, to my knowledge, still hasn't been fully resolved!).

    • CommentRowNumber7.
    • CommentAuthorMike Shulman
    • CommentTimeOct 19th 2009

    Oh no! I was hoping no new categories were going to get added.

    Right now I have two RSS Feed subscriptions: one to just the "latest changes" category and one to all the others. But the URL of the other one needs to get updated whenever anyone adds new categories, and if anyone can create new ones that may be happening a lot. Is there a way to get a feed for "all categories except latest changes"?

    • CommentRowNumber8.
    • CommentAuthorJonAwbrey
    • CommentTimeOct 19th 2009
    • (edited Oct 19th 2009)

    Less Categories, More Functors.

    • CommentRowNumber9.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeOct 19th 2009

    I'm hoping that there won't be a proliferation of categories. That isn't what I intend. However, it should be possible to set up an "all but" feed which would anyway be more robust than what you have at the moment (I didn't think of having a feed like that - it's a good idea as currently I get duplicates via the all comments and latest changes feeds).

    If that's the only objection then I'd rather fix that than remove this capability. Now that the n-forum's growing a little, I'd rather my role as administrator be a little diminished. I don't think that we can ever get to the point that this particular forum is "community run" - I think that to do that we'd need to redesign it - but I wouldn't mind getting fairly close.

    • CommentRowNumber10.
    • CommentAuthorMike Shulman
    • CommentTimeOct 19th 2009

    Oh, yes, I'd much rather have an explicit "all but" feed.

    • CommentRowNumber11.
    • CommentAuthorTobyBartels
    • CommentTimeOct 19th 2009

    At the moment, the discussion titles are hyperlinks to the discussions.

    So they are! But I was thinking about the link at the top of the page after you click on it. That way I don't have to write anything in the body again.

    Although for people reading the latest changes from the list of discussions in that category, that won't really help, will it?

    • CommentRowNumber12.
    • CommentAuthorTobyBartels
    • CommentTimeOct 20th 2009

    No LaTeX in discussion titles either, it appears.

    • CommentRowNumber13.
    • CommentAuthorJonAwbrey
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2009

    I just became aware of how many substantive discussions I'm overlooking because of all the technical posts in the "General" category that are pushing them beneath my threshold of attention.

    I wouldn't want to create another category, so maybe the category currently called "n-Forum" could be expanded to include all discussion of technical issues, if you cache my drift …

    • CommentRowNumber14.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2009

    Frayed knot (good grief, you've got me at it now). The "General" category was just the generic starting one where everything was discussed. Occasionally something pertaining to this forum would arise so I created the n-Forum category for those so that they wouldn't distract from the main aim of the n-Forum which was discussing the n-Lab. Our categories have grown a little, but it may be that they're not optimal. I'm not entirely sure of the problem, though. Is it old discussions that you're reading through, or new posts to old discussions that you're missing? Could you elaborate a little, please.

    • CommentRowNumber15.
    • CommentAuthorJonAwbrey
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2009
    • (edited Oct 22nd 2009)

    I think it's just a Gestalt figure-ground attention thing — my eyes tend to glaze over when I see a lot of titles like:

    1. cache problem
    2. HTML export
    3. missing links
    4. 500 error

    It's some kind of cognitive-visual work to sort the content-oriented titles from the procedural-technical ones, and if I'm driven to the extremity of having to call on motor functions, to reach out for the scroll bar, much less click on the next page button, well …

    At any rate, I'm guessing that casual visitors looking for content-ment in our n-virons are most likely even more n-dolent than I am …

    • CommentRowNumber16.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2009

    You can always click on a category name to restrict to that particular category, so wherever you see the word "latest changes" then clicking on it brings up just entries in that category.

    I'm still not quite clear. Are you saying that we should divide the "General" category into a "Technical" category and a "Procedure" category (I'm not happy with that latter name, but it's the first thing that springs to mind). So things like bug reports go in the Technical category while more interesting discussions, like the quo vadis one, go in the other category.

    If so, sounds reasonable to me. Anyone else any thoughts?

    • CommentRowNumber17.
    • CommentAuthorJonAwbrey
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2009
    • (edited Oct 23rd 2009)

    Myself, I usually take the All Discussions default view.

    But try to think about how a casual first time viewer sees the place and whether they will ever be a second time viewer.

    When I do click on the General view, I get a mix of (1) content-oriented stuff that a random visitor or link-follower from the Cafe or Lab might find provides additional detail or discussion, plus (2) a bunch of self-referential procedural-technical nit-picking stuff that looks a lot like this thread but is running outside this n-Forum subforum.

    So I thought the easiest thing to do would simply be to broaden the purview of this staff-meeting sort of subforum to include all non-content-oriented stuff.

    • CommentRowNumber18.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2009

    Also, perhaps it's time we had a "Welcome to this Forum" page somewhere. I think that there's a way that one can add static pages to this forum. At the very least, one can make sticky discussions that always are at the top.

    • CommentRowNumber19.
    • CommentAuthorTobyBartels
    • CommentTimeOct 24th 2009

    My suggestion: No need to find a name like ‘Procedural’; keep that at ‘General’ but split off ‘Technical’.

    • CommentRowNumber20.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeOct 24th 2009

    A welcome page might be good, indeed.

    My impression is that most people have even less of an idea of what the nForum is meant to be than they have about the nLab. i.e. very little indeed.

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