Is there a way to a BIG and BOLD link in front page of the forum saying “READ ME BEFORE POSTING” where there would be basic guidelines about how to post on the forums? Like explaining which forum is more appropriate to post the users question and what info should be in the post (audacity version, operating system, source equipment, etc).
The topic should be really big and attractive so that no one misses it
It could have a small form that the user could copy and paste in his post and then fill in.
One way may be to create a locked Forum located above “International” called “How to use the Forum” with sticky topics as required. But I wouldn’t be surprised if few read it, or carried on posting in the wrong Forum.
My preference on grounds of efficiency would be to force OS and Audacity version to be supplied by user at registration time (requires mods or hacks). This information would then be visible from user’s profile. Of course the Profile could get out-of-date, but it should be up-to-date for user’s first post, which is the only post many users ever make.
We also need some way to tell users how to post a question. I get PMs nearly every day asking me this. My text is:
Click on the link for the operating system and version of Audacity you have (for example, Audacity 1.2.x for Windows)
On the page you come to, click “New Topic” top left
Type your question, use “Preview” to make sure it’s correct, then “Post Message” to post it
I have tried puting shorter text than that in the Forum body above the International Forum. It didn’t look all that good, but I didn’t try that hard. We could also add a link that says “How to post a question” to left of the link to the FAQ.
I’ve also noticed that the international forums are the ones which seem to get more spam… maybe because they show at the top of list… Maybe we should create another board/forum at the top and call it “Trash Can” or “Spammers’r’us”
I sincerely hope they can’t see the bottom board in that image?
Is your point Koz that there are too many boards, or just no signposts to “Help” or “READMEs” which this topic started off as?
Yes anything can be customised, but we’re starting to invest a lot of time tweaking the phpBB software. I’m OK with that if we are stopping with phpBB and if we can install mods.
In the absence of Audacity version information supplied by the user, the 1.2 and 1.3 sections seem very important to me. The majority of users are still on 1.2 as you can see by the post count, and 1.2 and 1.3 are very different programs.
Although it looks neater in principle, I think it could increase the number of postings to the board for the wrong version of Audacity. This was discussed in Team when the original Board was set up and the consensus was for the current structure.
Possibly not - despite the instructions, a lot of people write there about post-installation issues. I’d be amenable to removing it.
Possibly not, but the announcements in that board are “Administrivia” - if it was something of more direct user relevance it would be a “global” announcement so would appear in all Forums. I think it’s OK where it is. Despite Koz’s image, a lot of people only see the International Forum in the first scroll, so if we add a board above that for READMEs I think they have to be very relevant topics.
I think the post count is misleading… Many users that post on the 1.2 section are actually 1.3 users who didn’t realize there were two different sections for each version. I don’t have real numbers here, but if I was asked to guess I would say that maybe 1/3 (or more) of the posts in the 1.2 section are actually from 1.3 users.
I think that is probably true. Virtually all Linux users have Audacity 1.3.x, but about 1/3 of the posts are in the 1.2.x section.
Most customisations would be lost after an update, so it would be necessary to back up the customisations and reapply them. I think it would make more sense to wait until we know if we are staying with phpBB before spending a lot of time making changes. If we are sticking with phpBB, then it needs to be updated (asap imho) and we could perhaps look at customisation after it has been updated.
Re-ordering the boards should not be affected by an update, and if the forum is successfully migrated the re-ordered structure should remain the same.
I think that some reordering may be worth looking into (and it should be pretty easy to accomplish).
I sincerely hope they can’t see the bottom board in that image?
I trust with all the effort that went into making it they can’t.
My point is the idea that programmers and techies of all stripes inevitably have that that adding stuff is always good. Remember that posting I made with the Mac download page versus what’s actually called for.
It’s similar to the Forum opening page. A graphic Mulligan Stew.
…an Irish stew that includes meat, potatoes, vegetables, and whatever else can be begged, scavenged, found or stolen.
I’ll call your attention to the download page.
I can’t make a silly graphic out of that because IT’S NOT BROKEN! It’s simple. It has graceful layout and appropriate graphic elements that pull you into the right decision and it doesn’t take fifteen scrolls-down to see the whole thing. What happens after that could use work, but that page is perfect. Who designed that page? Get them a cup of good coffee. I’ll pay for it.
I agree with Koz on this one too… I’m a “techie” and the first time I went to the download page to get audacity for my mac I was struggling to find the download link… I was like “so many text I don’t want to read… where the hell is the bloody download link for the dmg? Do I have to read all this?”
It depends on how the page was created. I have no standard web development tools in either platform and it’s perfectly obvious I do everything badly by hand. but it can’t possibly be that hard to generate that page.
Maybe if it’s in wiki format, then that’s life in the fishing village. I don’t understand that at all.
This will blow your theory but I think the same person designed http://audacityteam.org/download/ as designed the individual download pages you don’t like (and it wasn’t me - it was before my time).
I agree up to a point about the individual download pages being over-complex - in particular the Windows users want a big green Download button… but Windows users are also scared of Betas so without some handholding/explanation I guarantee they would walk away. And we want them to read the links for Windows 7 and Vista first, right?
And actually, the only complaints I’ve seen about the Mac download page is that it lacks sufficiently obvious instructions “how to install Audacity” - even though it has:
Inside your Applications folder, create a folder called “Audacity”
Double-click the downloaded .dmg to mount it
Option-drag the whole of the .dmg contents (not the .dmg itself) into the “Audacity” folder you created
Double-click the Audacity icon inside the “Audacity” folder to launch the program
At best I could only make piecemeal changes - anything major would need time-consuming consultation and discussions with “powers that be” and probably no consensus in the end.
It would I think be possible to display a Forum on the board index by only a link to it (no subforums visible) and when you click that link you go to the list of subforums in the Forum. Or with more hacking you could just list links to the subforums in a Forum so no “post count/last post by” info. There may be a good case to do something like that for the International Forum and maybe some of the other Forums. I don’t see how you are going to save significant space otherwise.
What re-ordering do you have in mind, Steve?
Does everyone agree to do away with “Downloading and Failed Installation” as a separate Board?
How about something like this for the download link at the top of the download page:
Should have other non-white background inside the rounded rectangle so that it looks a bit more like a clickable button (and should be smaller too probably). But it’s just to give an idea of what I meant…