View Full Version : PRObuntu: addressing the needs of advanced users and buntists?
Feb 23rd 2007, 08:33 PM
kudos, all for a well done forum. I recently started spending more time here and like what i see.....specifically cause kde is the DE where i get most of my work done. I tend to call all three or four desktops im currently running by the generic 'ubuntu' and have recently been involved on a thread in the 'official' ubuntu forum. For those interested in some of the topics raised in that discussion , please check out the following thread:
There are times i really need to utilize this forum for specific kubuntu and kde issues, but as part of a community, i think the ideas discussed in the A/M thread should be looked at. I'm the OP and recently had an unsettling and timewasting experience with nUbuntu, the pen test and very unofficial and unsupported 'buntu spinoff.....I m wondering whether folks here have similar ideas about where the Ubuntu distro and community can go, and how......or whether kubuntu forums would be more open to targeting a wider range of ubuntu users regardless of desktop. Perhaps an ' All Things Buntu / Advanced Users' section....? Preferably with a name that doesnt lead to endless debates over 'elitism' an other tangents? DE arguments tend to just cause silly flamewars, which is why, as a KDE fan i make myself check out and test the other environments under the ubuntu umbrella rather than just spew critiques of other peoples Desktops.....
Any and all feedback welcome, but more important, i think, is taking action, in order to address the growing needs of a fast growing community....and if 'ubuntu' forums wish to remain a new user space only, then maybe kubuntu might be interested in picking up the slack - no pun intended- and giving all users an official refuge for support, discussion, advocacy and offtopic thingies.....
Feb 23rd 2007, 10:20 PM
Adding an advanced forum would be nice, however I think all questions difficult and easy can be posted in the normal sections. The reason I feel this way is because I think it would be difficult to judge which questions are difficult and which are not. Also keeping all posts organized the way they are right now, is handy for searching for information. As far as picking up the slack, I do hope that the kubuntuforums.net site can be classified as the refuge for advanced support, however we are here for everyone, new and experienced. Let me know specifics of what you had in mind for changes to the site. Thanks for the comments.
Feb 23rd 2007, 11:57 PM
Thanks for the speedy response....if you saw the rather lengthy ongoing debate on the other forum, i think there are two issues......one, you're right, there are sections for most problems laid out in an easy to find manner on this site....however, there might be a section for people using their system unconventionally....whether it be for testing, or writing reviews, or remastering...that should be clearly labeled <this might bork your system, even if you know what youre doing> so people trying to work thru odd or advanced configs can head straight to that section, and people wanting to keep their production boxes safe and stable will know these are not normal tweaks and are to be tried at their own risk.
This site doesnt distinguish newb vs advanced for most of its traffic, nor is there a real need to....but now and again i find myself testing things, or encountering problems from trying unconventional hacks.....and am probably not alone in doing so. It would be nice to have a place where people know what youre trying to do and dont offer only the 'we dont do it that way' kinda answer.
Since people may start realizing the traffic here is lighter, and the range of users more varied, the second point is this......kubuntu forums could - for one section - become desktop agnostic. Its much simpler to tell someone with problems hacking their xubuntu box why they should check kubuntu forums, with four or five simple words: 'Kubuntu forums/ Tweaking 'Buntu' rather than go into the backwaters of how its more helpful but its kde based but its ubuntu under the hood , etc,etc... bearing in mind any forum sections titles are merely brainstorming atm.....but perhaps you can see how an advanced *buntu section might catch on....thanks again for your time.
Feb 24th 2007, 08:09 AM
Let me think on that, and see how we might be able to incorporate your idea of an advanced section. I think you are on to something. I am not sure if it will be very popular, however there is probably some group of users who could use that type of support and it is worth a try. I will think it through. Thanks.
Feb 25th 2007, 04:54 PM
Thank God youre back......! Hope no animals were injured during the changes to the forum......I wrote this up yesterday then the forum went......and things seem to have - to be very blunt - gone uberfascist on ubuntu forums....enough to make me question how i could run a distro if that were the representative community behind it....you might wanna check that link again,,,,,its grown up to eight pages between those of us looking for subforum space to stay with k/x/ubuntu and those who would see us as command line heretics and subversive FUDmongers and RTFMers.....I have no idea atm, what is going on over there, but .....i do have to say, patience grows thin and benefit of the doubt starts to wane......heres the post i meant to send on yesterday about an advanced tweaks, hacking buntu subforum.....a good idea, by one of the mods there was Cutting Edge Ubuntu....
I would appreciate you taking a bit of time to see how things have developed in that thread tho, and let me know if its just me or theres a whiff of fanaticism in the air???? ???
Really glad to hear that. You bring up a good point, which is why i thought having it lean towards desktop agnostic may increase traffic in the section and make it a worthy resource; after all the underpinings are debian / buntu....a bash shell is a bash shell and a lot of the parts under the hood are the same....may make people (thems that wishes to, that is) look into other desktops and tools and give a kinda of universal buntu feel, while still being able to address kde or gnome or xfce related issues as well.
If nothing else, it will make people aware of the differences between the different DE's and how the end product is put together. Still, it would prolly remain small enough not to spillover into the overall kde focus.
Ubuntu forums does have a space reserved for kubuntu, and xubuntu as well iirc. There seems to be a slight surge of interest again in the previous posting on the other forum i mentioned earlier, and ive let people know this is a good forum on many levels and they might wish to check in here and explore life from the kde / kubuntu side. Reveling in diversity and all that :-P
Looking forward to your further thoughts and ideas on the matter, or if you find it not quite feasible, what alternatives might be available for an officially supported *buntu forum/ irc combo geared for experienced users, tweakers, devs and advocates...under the *buntu banner.
Feb 26th 2007, 05:32 AM
If you don't mind me inserting a few of my thoughts in this very interesting subject as well.
I haven't read the thread from the ubuntuforums, and I don't like to read it, because I want to evaluate this idea/proposal on its own merits, and in the particular situation of the KFN and Kubuntu users community.
I like the idea of having advanced discussions. Yes, it will probably invite lots of users and traffic in this site (better get ready, Open Source :P). But I think that a separate "Advanced Users" section is probably not a good idea. It might inevitably alienate a group of people, the "non-advanced" users. Second, while there is a need, or might be a need, for advanced and DE-agnostic guides/discussions, I'm not sure that the need would warrant a special section for this. We already have a barely used/known section http://kubuntuforums.net/forums/index.php?board=6.0 for Customization/Optimization. From what I can tell, there's no indication that it's meant for KDE only. AFAIK, it's open to DE-agnostic discussion as well. But the non-KDE, DE-specific discussion would still probably be in their appropriate section.
As for the dangers of new users trying out advanced guides, we can have 2 probable solutions:
1. If we can have tags or markers to indicate advanced guides, then we would have an indication of who the guide is for primarily. Not sure if phpbb has such a feature, though. Maybe we can make use of the message icons?
2. This would really be the responsibility of the one making the guide, or probably starting the discussion, to indicate that this guide is not for new, untrained users. IMHO, a (really) good guide, one that's not sloppily done, has clear indications of who the target audience is. A discussion that is too advanced for new users would already be self-evident in the discussion itself.
Just my view of why an Advanced section is not necessary. But doesn't mean it's not a good idea. Just giving in my perspective, my US$ 0.02, so to speak.
Feb 26th 2007, 01:17 PM
Good poiints, and yeah, the word advacnced is offputting, even if we say advanced, er...for example....networking......so I see your point. I didi stumble quite by accident into the old experimental site, and left a brief post there......the title is less relevant than the idea of a section, appropriated labeled with a warning that this is not necessarily something you want to do on a stable machine......or that it deals with unusual hardware, tweaks and workarounds, testing of apps and distrobutions, etc.....probably wouldnt hurt to have a subseciton warning....nicely worded that some of this tweaks are not guranteed.
I do think its important it can discuss all the DEs since most distros used to feature two ot rhee and tho, kDE is my DE of choice, and Kubuntu's, the others are loaded up and might be interesting to discuss experimenitng with, configuring etc...any ideas for a subsection along the lines mentioned is welcome and i think could be a useful place for people wanting to take their kubuntu further or find workarounds for odd hw, emulation etc
I also think because its kbuntu forums, most would be using kde...perhaps not a big focus then on DE ...but at least an openness for someone with a gnome problem ot tweak to feel free to use the section as welll without being warned or flamed. Perhaps an unnecessary worry since this site seems to generally be quite open and less prone to flames and an endless bumping of threads to other places....
Thanks for your feedback....interested in everyone elses thoughts as well....maybe the experiimental subsection is getting its (first?) second wind?
Feb 26th 2007, 02:57 PM
I have reorganized the Documentation forum, to include experimentation and to make the How To section more obvious. Check it out, and let me know what you think.
Feb 26th 2007, 11:28 PM
Sweet! I like the blowing up warning..... ;D
I'm assuming its not a problem if someone needs a xfce fix to check in there as well? One thing that got me really curious about using other DEs was that the version of drake i installed from wasnt the authorized release but a doctored dvd from linux format, which quite beautifully just installed all three desktops from the live boot up. Maybe that will be my first question...how they did that and whether it can be duplicated. Its so nice not having to add desktops if you want to explore.
Does that make the poor lone experimetal section I posted to yesterday obsolete or redundant? I kinda feel sorry for it. Like if it vanished now I was somehow responsible for its death. But is there any diff now between the doc section optimizaions and experimental configs, or could it remain as say purely kubuntu experiments with kde, or new projects for kde?or anecdotes about what people have tried, perhaps?
I fear in the end its redundant, but (not being a forum admin) I dont know whats easier for you guys....removing it, adding a subtilte, or incorporating it.
Thanks again, I love the quick feedback and sanity on this sight and the way it tries to proactivey interact with its users.....!
Feb 27th 2007, 01:22 AM
Here's me again, with my 2 cents (or centavos in local currency).
1. That experiment forum you were referring to doesn't seem to exist anymore. That thread you replied was an announcement almost 2 years ago. So, if I'm not mistaken, it already died, and you're not responsible. ;D
2. Regarding DE-specific "advanced" topics, I'm not sure how we should proceed on this. For one, I don't think it's offensive to have a separate section for other DE-specific stuff, as it's only logical that we sort of give preference to KDE.
Maybe we can have a sort of policy, like advanced KDE and DE-agnostic topics/discussions could go to that section, and other DE-specific discussions, basic or advanced would go to the specific section?
Or maybe, all advanced, experimental, "blow your computer up" discussions, KDE or whatever, can be in the experimental/customization/optimization sectipn?
3. Isn't the title of the section too long? Experimental/Customization/Optimization... Still thinking of a better title though...
Feb 27th 2007, 03:15 AM
But experimental is still there! i posted on it! it was breathing last i saw, despite the warnng that it was old. :o
Your post made me think perhaps the experimental/ customization/ optimization section under Docs could be shortened to Experimental. Why? because many of the other words are usually found in app and kde related sections. Because not all customizations or optimizations are experimental at all, they are supported add ons , themes , scripts and extra programs.
As for DE, a section for those running kubuntu but also using others could work....like OTHER DESKTOPS. I almost said it fit in experimental, but the three main ones arent and integrate smoothly in a standard base. If someone wanted to work with enlightenment 17 however, maybe they should refer to Experimental. In other words, what is not officially supported gets bounced there which will giver users the freedom to discuss the other fully supported buntus in the DE section.
Isn't that kinda what we both just said? ??? I was initially just trying to come up with something simple to adjust and administer, but if we are going to do it, I suppose its worth going the extra yard to eliminate as much confusion as possible. I started a thread , for example, wishing to discuss the place of enabling root in kubuntu under Experimenatal, with a big warning. Clearly it is not something to be done lightly, nor is it supported. For several reasons, one of which is in the post, I explained I wanted to know the background and the under the hood workings of a sudo based system . It might even make a good sticky in that section since I'm sure an indepth look at that has been published already.
I may have erred in putting how to fix my vmplayer install i the same area though. I'll get the hang of this....eventually, heh.
Let me know if we're on the same page here......and if I can help in any way.
And it would revive the Experimental section from its comatose state. ;D
Hmn, wait, did we say the same thing in different ways? Let me summarize what i think we are saying: Other Desktop Environments to run on kubuntu, unless very beta or unsupported, get a little section for Other desktops. I agree the dominant theme here is kubuntu.
The currrent docs section Ex/cust/optimiz could be named simply Experimental, which might mean weeding out standard options already there, if any , from the non standard and experimental. Otherwise newcomers might start to link the words customize and optimize with something they cant or shouldnt do.
Adding kde themes is customizing, but so is adding an unstable desktop that has not been shown to be stable or ubuntu supported atm. The word experimental, combined with a bold face warning or read this first sticky covers the basic function of warning folks away who may be tempted to try it but dont want to hose their current working system.
DE topics arent necessarily experimental, if the thread seems dangerously so, like trying to add symphony desktop manager to ubuntu, then it gets bumped to experimental. IF its a gnome problem after adding gnome to you kubuntu that is easily answered, it goes into Other Desktops.
Feb 27th 2007, 03:56 AM
1. I was talking about your post here: http://kubuntuforums.net/forums/index.php?topic=59.0
There wasn't any Experimental section when I first came here in 2006. I'm saying that the announcement about that section is old. The "new" section we're talking about is really just the Customization/Optimization section renamed to add "Experimental". It's not a new subsection, but an old one with an added name.
2. I just noticed that the Documentation forum got a revision. Previously,the subs-sections were FAQ, Customization/Optimization, User Testimonies, and Bugs. Now, there are Howtos, Experimental/Customization/Optimization, User Testimonies, and Bugs. In light of this new arrangement, I thought of this proposal:
Howto - this subsection will contain what was previously under Customization/Optimization, those that are considered safe, stable, or tested, at least to some degree. Focus is on Kubuntu or DE-agnostic howto's (like optimizing kernels, mounting, etc.).
Experimental - any experimental topic/discussion, whatever DE (DE-agnostic or DE-specific), as long as it uses *buntu. This is somewhat like the initially proposed "Advanced Users" section, except that it's open to all, with a slight warning.
3. Other DE/WM: I think that normal (not experimental) discussion and guides should go to the "Other Desktop Support" section. Things like "how to do this in ____" or "Have you used ____". However, experimental topics (not necessarily advanced) should be in the Experimental sub-section. I don't think this will be a source of confusion, as most of the "other DE" topics are not experimental/unstable in nature.
It will be up to the author and eventually, the mods, to consider if the topic is experimental or not and move the thread to the proper place.
How does that sound? :D
Feb 27th 2007, 11:28 AM
Sounds great! ;D
Just looking at ways to cut down on admin and moderator work, and still gettig use to whats already in this forum, and the recent changes you mentioned.
Like I said, I think we were on the same page but reading with the wrong perscription lenses, lol......
I do think a 'not so little' warning on the experimental page is a good CYA clause for all involved. Should someone thnk, well thats just a polite way of saying something might go wrong, something direct and clear in CAPS would be a bit more intimidating, which i feel it should be for one reason. There are configs and tweaks and things that do make a system unstable or completely borked, and i dont apply those to production machines......but like many of us still learning, i do like to do things on a test distro or box, or one that i am dabbling with, to see how and why things work, and whether advice i ve recieved is correct. Its fairly common, the one that is already there someone on software and OSs.......it could break your system or blow up your machine.....and there is truth in that if you really push things like a monitor beyond its limits.
Its hard to predict what variants of hardware people are using with what systems and what tweaks they are trying......if an obviously experimental , clearly warning labeled tweak results in a mess for someone, that first eye catching sentence is the first link they should be referred to.
Hope this rearranging isnt giving you guys too many headaches......
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