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Author Topic: New forum section  (Read 1364 times)

Otto

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New forum section
« on: February 25, 2020, 08:50:03 pm »
Hello everyone

I would suggest introducing a new section to this forum, in case it is not already present, dedicated to beginner users.
The main aim would be to encourage new users to ask questions.
Experienced users, if they see fit this, could ask questions to guide beginners to improve their basic knowledge.
Having a dedicated section, in my opinion, the beginner would feel less intimidated.

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For beginner users I refer to who felt, at that time and for the specific topic covered, a beginner.
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In addition, by applying an appropriate change to the forum rules, this section could be used to help identify users who are primarily concerned with the goal of distracting communication.

I would like to point out that the ultimate purpose of my suggestion stems from the desire to promote the spread of the Lazarus IDE development environment and the Free Pascal Code compiler.

[I report the version in my native language (Italian) to reduce the probability of misunderstandings.]

Code: [Select]
Vorrei suggerire di introdurre una nuova sezione a questo forum, nel caso non fosse già presente, dedicata agli utenti principianti.
Lo scopo principale sarebbe quello di stimolare i nuovi utenti a fare delle domande.
Gli utenti più esperti, qualora lo ritenessero opportuno, potrebbero porre dei quesiti atti ad indirizzare i principianti a migliorare le proprie conoscenze di base.
Avendo una sezione dedicata, a mio avviso, il principiante si sentirebbe meno intimorito.
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Per utenti principianti mi riferisco a chi si sentisse, in quel momento e per lo specifico argomento trattato, un principiante.
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Inoltre, applicando una opportuna modifica alle regole del forum, questa eventuale sezione potrebbe essere utilizzata per semplificare l’individuazione di utilizzatori che hanno come principale scopo le azioni di disturbo.

Preciso che lo scopo ultimo del mio suggerimento trae origine dalla volontà di favorire la diffusione  dell’ambiente di sviluppo Lazarus IDE e del compilatore Free Pascal Code.

Otto.
Kind regards.

rvk

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Re: New forum section
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2020, 08:55:22 pm »
I would suggest introducing a new section to this forum, in case it is not already present, dedicated to beginner users.
So... Like this subforum:
Lazarus »Forum »Free Pascal »Beginners (Moderators: FPK, Tomas Hajny)
https://forum.lazarus.freepascal.org/index.php/board,61.0.html

Otto

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Re: New forum section
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2020, 10:10:13 pm »
Thank you for your interest rrvk.
What I mean is partly superimposed.
However, it should be made more visible by raising it by a level. “Lazarus »Forum »Beginners”.
Introduced a system so that "beginners" are encouraged to ask questions.
In addition, by applying an appropriate change to the forum rules, this section could be used to help identify users who are primarily concerned with the goal of distracting communication.
Used to help limit the presence of trolls.
[Of course I have a precise idea that I have already experimented effectively in other forums, aimed at just that.]
« Last Edit: February 25, 2020, 10:42:23 pm by Otto »
Kind regards.

rvk

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Re: New forum section
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2020, 12:29:04 pm »
However, it should be made more visible by raising it by a level. “Lazarus »Forum »Beginners”.
Introduced a system so that "beginners" are encouraged to ask questions.
It's already on the main forum-page https://forum.lazarus.freepascal.org/index.php
The only downside is, that it's under the header of "Free Pascal" while this might be better under "Programming" (somewhere at the top).

A beginners section won't really help against trolls unless you force first time visitors to only post to the beginners section. Anyway, moderators can also move posts to Beginners if they choose to do so.

But ultimately it's the administrator who has to look at this and see if something needs to change.

Otto

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Re: New forum section
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2020, 03:19:06 pm »
Hello rvk.

But ultimately it's the administrator who has to look at this and see if something needs to change.
Of course, mine was just a suggestion.

A beginners section won't really help against trolls unless you force first time visitors to only post to the beginners section. Anyway, moderators can also move posts to Beginners if they choose to do so.
That's the point. Also there would be many other countermeasures to use: only that it would be better not to spell out countermeasures for trolls within a post.

I would like to point out that I really appreciate this forum and my intent is certainly not to make criticism, you can check my previous posts to get an idea.
Kind regards.

Martin_fr

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Re: New forum section
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2020, 03:29:14 pm »
I do not see any advantage in creating or promoting such a board:

- I do not think, that a "beginner" board will help against spam. Spammers post to random forum-boards. Often they use bots, which do not even know the meaning of a beginner-board.

- I have no data, if such a board would indeed encourage beginners. It may as well discourage them, if they have to out themself as beginner...

- A beginner-board may not be read by all users, decreasing the chances of a good answer.

- A beginner-board is just another "general" board, meaning more uncategorised questions. Less chances of finding answers by searching a dedicated board. 

But thank you for your idea. It is always worth discussing new items. And if anything more comes out of that discussion, then there is still room to implement new boards, or whatever is required.




If people see that questions in all boards and by all levels (beginner to expert) are answered in a friendly manner, then that is a much better way of making sure  that everyone feels welcome.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2020, 04:21:50 pm by Martin_fr »

marcov

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Re: New forum section
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2020, 04:19:46 pm »
I agree with Martin

MarkMLl

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Re: New forum section
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2020, 05:45:09 pm »
While I agree, having something like "BEGINNERS START HERE" right at the top of the forum root page, and making sure that the wiki, main documentation page etc. are seeded with links to it, might be useful.

Something like https://www.eevblog.com/forum/index.php (another SimpleMachines forum) in fact, where the "Beginners" section at the top has a number of pinned topics including a prominent "NEWBIES PLEASE READ BEFORE POSTING".

MarkMLl
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dbannon

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Re: New forum section
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2020, 12:19:25 am »
Having spent many years supporting users (of HPC) with very widely varying skill and confidence levels, a few comments -

New users much prefer to find information anonymously, that is they look in the wiki first, they may search the forum and only then, if they have not given up, do they post a message asking for help. Our wiki has a heap of good, useful information but it also has a lot of stuff that is quickly identified as being grossly out of date, thats a bad message to new users !

I don't think the forum sections are very important in terms of getting a message responded to. I rarely look in individual sections, its the Recent  list that appears on the right hand side that I read and occasionally post to. I believe that list should be longer to give a new post a longer life.

My impression is that here, generally, beginner's questions are usually answered and answered very well. There may be some exceptions but I don't think having them in a new beginner's section would help.

If we want to help new users and, importantly, make a good initial impression, then its the wiki that needs attention. We need to be more aggressive in updating the wiki !  And, as Mark mentions, "beginners" signposts .....

Davo
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trev

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Re: New forum section
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2020, 02:09:52 am »
If we want to help new users and, importantly, make a good initial impression, then its the wiki that needs attention. We need to be more aggressive in updating the wiki !  And, as Mark mentions, "beginners" signposts .....

Absolutely. 100% agree.

I've somewhat "aggressively" updated and expanded the macOS and related pages over the last 6 months as they were already quite extensive and fell within my area of interest and knowledge. For FreeBSD I've also updated what existed, expanded the content and created the portal, again because it coincided with my area of interest and knowledge.

I've hardly touched other OS especially Windows and Linux because while I have some familiarity with each I'm not so interested in them. I also created the WinCE and Embedded portals.

For the last month I've been aggressively updating the pages with syntax highlighting issues, updating/creating page templates for those pages, categorising those pages where necessary and translating the odd German language page for which no English page existed. I've whittled the number of pages with issues down to fewer than 500 from a starting point of around 2,200.

Over the last 8 months, I fixed all the pages that had template loops, categorised pages that had no category, and translated most (unfinished) of Mathias' embedded microcontroller tutorials from German into English because microcontrollers (albeit PIC and not AVR or ARM) fall within my area of interest.

I live in hope that the main wiki page will eventually be updated to be far more user-friendly and helpful in pointing users (new and old) to the various operating system and thematic portals - see https://wiki.freepascal.org/Category:Portals. If anyone wishes to contribute to that endeavour, wander on over to: https://wiki.lazarus.freepascal.org/Talk:New_Main_Page and make suggestions or critique those already there.



o Lazarus v2.1.0 r63871, FPC v3.3.1 r47164, macOS 10.14.6 (with sup update), Xcode 11.3.1
o Lazarus v2.1.0 r61574, FPC v3.3.1 r42318, FreeBSD 12.1 amd64 (VMware Fusion VM)
o FPC 3.0.4, FreeBSD 12.2-STABLE r365646 amd64
o Lazarus v2.1.0 r61574, FPC v3.0.4, Ubuntu 20.04 (Parallels VM)

440bx

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Re: New forum section
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2020, 05:24:35 am »
No doubt documentation and guidance in the form of manuals and the Wiki are very helpful but, IMO, the best thing a beginner can hope for is a helpful community and, as far as a helpful community, it would be difficult to beat this one.

Ultimately, experience answers more questions than documentation and the Wiki combined and, a lot of experience is shared here by many in a welcoming manner.   Even if the documentation and the Wiki could answer every imaginable question, which is obviously not possible, a beginner would still need someone experienced to ask, _where_ to look, which is where the welcoming attitudes makes all the difference.

Improvements to the Wiki are welcome by everyone, beginners and experienced users alike.  My thank you to all who have made it what it is and keep making it better and more extensive.


FPC v3.0.4 and Lazarus 1.8.2 on Windows 7 64bit.

Otto

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Re: New forum section
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2020, 03:26:30 pm »
I thank everyone who answered me.

I carefully reread everyone's opinions and convinced myself that: making changes to the forum would be of little benefit to new users; while it would certainly be more useful to make improvements to the documentation.
I had already decided to collaborate on the Italian translation of the documentation: your opinions convinced me that this is the best way.

Is there a list of priorities in the topics to be translated or completed?


I wanted to reiterate that, in my opinion, this is the best community for software development support. (If I had not believed this would not have made sense to propose a suggestion like the one on the subject).

Otto.
Kind regards.

Handoko

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Re: New forum section
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2020, 04:01:32 pm »
Thank you for willing to spend some time to collaborate on the Italian translation of the documentation.

As far as I know there isn't any list of priorities in the topics to be translated. But I suggest you to start with 2.1 Installation:
https://wiki.freepascal.org/Lazarus_Documentation

Because I think installation is the first step to enjoy Lazarus. Lazarus installation on Windows should be easy but I heard there were some new users having problem to install Lazarus on Linux.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2020, 04:08:31 pm by Handoko »

Otto

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Re: New forum section
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2020, 09:39:47 pm »
Thank you Handoko.

I will follow your advice.
Kind regards.

 

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