Converting forum categories to tags

@Salt: I’ve converted each of the subcategories in #shoveling and #support to tags, which are required for each post and restricted to their respective categories. I moved posts in the legal and infrastructure categories to #shoveling:semi-private, although I think most of them can be fully public. I also moved #unsure above #restricted in the category list, to preserve the order for folks who can see #restricted (personally I always forget that #unsure exists; this helps).

I have a couple new observations and outstanding niggles:

  • The tagging restrictions are not enforced for forum admins (the same as posting restrictions, where we weren’t able to prevent mods/admins from posting in top-level categories). So folks who have those permissions will just need to remember to tag their posts.

  • Tags have no description, but it seems this is planned. In the meantime, there’s a tag sidebar plug-in we could use for that.

  • I’m not sold on getting rid of the Announcements subcategories. They have very clear boundaries so I don’t feel any tension about where they go, and I think it’s useful to have them displayed in the main categories list, whereas tags aren’t shown so prominently.

  • I’m still skeptical that this will resolve my Tension about forum categories (f&s vs ctp). I don’t see any way to draw a discrete line between support, feedback, suggestions, and concrete work.

    • Support vs feedback: “How do I do X?” also means “It’s hard to figure out how to do X.”
    • Feedback vs suggestion: “I wanted to do Y but the site doesn’t let me.” is also “Would you consider adding Y?”
    • Suggestion vs concrete work: Mechanism re-proposal: Preshold and similar posts could easily be both.

    To clarify: some posts fit squarely in one category or another. My tension is that enough are that I don’t want to spend time figuring out where they belong, or moving them retroactively. Take a look in #support or #general: many of those posts, by current standards, really ought to be in #shoveling. I’m not going to move them, since they’re old enough that it doesn’t really matter, but that situation is just not one that I want to be in… and it’s caused by category boundaries that are vague enough to be fluid over time.

    One sufficiently hard distinction I could see drawing is whether the core team is working on it. That is, #shoveling topics should be tracked (linked to a GitLab issue). In that case, we’d probably restrict #shoveling so only team members can create new topics there (although anyone would be able to reply). However, we don’t need to do that (or something like it) yet; for now, I’m okay with waiting to see if these changes will help.

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Imagine this as an actual metaphor of snow shoveling when trying to consider any particular case.

Clear-the-path is the people who are actually shoveling discussing and doing their shoveling.

Support, feedback, and suggestions are all variations of people who are not shoveling coming by and talking with the shovelers (or each other). I don’t see value in overly distinguishing within support/feedback/suggestions besides tagging for category (is it about the wiki vs the forum vs main site etc).

It’s fuzzy in that the not-really-shovelers can still get in on the shoveling discussions, but still, this is the gist.

People bringing up alternative mechanisms isn’t shoveling, it’s like coming by and talking to the shovelers about whether to consider shoveling a different path.

When a non-core volunteer comes along and is discussing shoveling in an active way like they are really directly picking up a shovel and asking about how and where to shovel, that’s #shoveling still.

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tags for topics, forum for example

Something in the setup is truly broken since this topic itself cannot be labeled “forum” or “meta-forum”.

Maybe we just need to add the “forum” tag?

But I suspect this is an indication of some bigger pattern here that needs fixing.

That’s because for each subcategory that was turned into a tag, I restricted it to the category it was previously in, to make the smallest possible iteration. The current setup is almost exactly equivalent to how it was before, except that you can apply more than one within a category. It’s easy to change.

Well, I wouldn’t have put this topic in the old project-management category, I would have put it in the meta-forum category. But the whole point of tags is that they don’t have to have the limiting “which box” structure!

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I am “Watching” each and every category explicitly. Am I the only one? Did anyone else get dumped with notifications? I notice they all seem to have the “Clearing the path” category. So, I assume it has to do with this conversion. I seem to have a new “response”-type notification for every post that you converted, going back years. Just FYI.

You’re not the only one. Based on Any way to prevent notifications for post merges, moves? - #10 by tobiaseigen - support - Discourse Meta I thought it wouldn’t generate notifications, and it didn’t generate any when I tested… for me. At least there’s a handy button to dismiss all :slight_smile:

Responses in-line, but overall seems good. TYVM!


Proposal: Rename Feedback & Support to Support & Suggestions

More drive-by contributors++!!!

Yes, the forum tag should have been added.

  • [ ] add the forum tag to Support category

Do we want to have a general tag too or allow un-tagged?


Great framing!

Unsure if we NEED GL issues as a posting restriction, but seems worth adding to a suggested posting template sort of thing?


Ah, yeah that works if you were already caught up before the dump :sweat_smile:
It’s mixed in with recent stuff that I haven’t read yet either.

Anyway, nbd, been taking advantage of the opportunity to read old threads I never was around for, as well as archive some when I realize they’re long since superceded.

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