phpBB.com Tutorial forum

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Re: phpBB.com Tutorial forum

Post by Marshalrusty » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:46 am

Pony99CA wrote:
AndroidOS wrote:I agree that the KB does need revamping, however I do not think we need a forum for it. As others have said, that would encourage people to ask questions in tutorial threads, which is not the idea of a tutorial.
Really? Have you ever taken a class taught by a live person that was described as a "tutorial"? If so, did the teacher refuse to take questions?
I'm not exactly sure how this applies, unless the teacher is expected to answer questions months or years after the class is over.
Pony99CA wrote:That seems silly. Allow replies by the default and just lock the topic if you don't want replies. (If replies show up in the Atom feeds, then maybe I can understand it a little better, but I recall things being done this way before feeds were implemented.)
You answered your own question. People subscribe to the announcements forum and don't want to receive a notification each time someone posts a reply. The announcements forum is reserved for important information, and the discussion forum is used for discussion.
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Re: phpBB.com Tutorial forum

Post by Pony99CA » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:08 am

Marshalrusty wrote:
Pony99CA wrote:
AndroidOS wrote:I agree that the KB does need revamping, however I do not think we need a forum for it. As others have said, that would encourage people to ask questions in tutorial threads, which is not the idea of a tutorial.
Really? Have you ever taken a class taught by a live person that was described as a "tutorial"? If so, did the teacher refuse to take questions?
I'm not exactly sure how this applies, unless the teacher is expected to answer questions months or years after the class is over.
I thought that it was obvious. Will every KB article be maintained for years? Probably not. Are all MODs maintained forever? You know that they aren't. So why would somebody expect tutorials to be maintained forever? Putting them in a topic would allow the OP to maintain it if he wished, but nobody can require him to do so.

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Re: phpBB.com Tutorial forum

Post by Marshalrusty » Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:39 am

Pony99CA wrote:I thought that it was obvious. Will every KB article be maintained for years? Probably not. Are all MODs maintained forever? You know that they aren't. So why would somebody expect tutorials to be maintained forever? Putting them in a topic would allow the OP to maintain it if he wished, but nobody can require him to do so.
Well yes, articles should be maintained for as long as they remain active in whatever tutorial medium we have. Even in the current KB, team members will (either on their own or at the request of the author) fix things when they become outdated. So I am missing why you consider this to be an improvement over the current system. We also definitely don't want article authors to have unchecked ability to edit things without someone verifying their accuracy, particularly for KB articles that are often linked to hundreds or thousands of times in the Support Forum.

KB articles exist as an extension of the userguide. Where the userguide explains how features work, KB articles explain, perhaps, what the best way to use the feature is, or how to modify it to do something else. KB articles are decisively not like MODs, as we do assume most responsibility for their accuracy and some responsibility for their maintenance.
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Re: phpBB.com Tutorial forum

Post by Erik Frèrejean » Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:14 am

Marshalrusty wrote:We also definitely don't want article authors to have unchecked ability to edit things without someone verifying their accuracy
Permissions can quite easily be used to achieve that, it's already be done in announcements that way ;).
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Re: phpBB.com Tutorial forum

Post by tbackoff » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:22 pm

Really? Show me where you can edit a post and make it so that that post has to be re-approved.
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Re: phpBB.com Tutorial forum

Post by Paul » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:36 pm

t_backoff wrote:Really? Show me where you can edit a post and make it so that that post has to be re-approved.
Announcements forum ;)
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Re: phpBB.com Tutorial forum

Post by tbackoff » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:09 pm

EDITING? I know POSTING requires approval.
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Re: phpBB.com Tutorial forum

Post by Erik Frèrejean » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:30 pm

t_backoff wrote:EDITING? I know POSTING requires approval.
Editing is technically handled as posting, if you can't post without approval you can't edit without approval. See that forum.
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Re: phpBB.com Tutorial forum

Post by Marshalrusty » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:39 pm

Erik Frèrejean wrote:
Marshalrusty wrote:We also definitely don't want article authors to have unchecked ability to edit things without someone verifying their accuracy
Permissions can quite easily be used to achieve that, it's already be done in announcements that way ;).
You would satisfy that one goal, but consider how that would work. Firstly, whenever the author submitted a new version, the topic would simply disappear for everyone, even people who were maybe following it at the time, and simply refreshed. From the team member side of things, there would be no way to determine what was actually changed, requiring the entire tutorial to be rechecked from scratch, even for a typo.

In any case, none of these solutions are better than the new implementation of the knowledgebase, and that can be tweaked to make the workflows even more efficient later, unlike the forum, which was never designed for this sort of thing, and cannot be tweaked easily. The goal should be to finish that, and I am working on it. If you would like to help work on it, just send me a PM.

We're also going to start looking for people to work on Documentation subteam (in English only, for now), with the focus being 3.0, and then 3.1 down the road. Strong English skills are rather essential for this. If interested, also please feel free to send me a PM.
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Re: phpBB.com Tutorial forum

Post by Erik Frèrejean » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:46 pm

Marshalrusty wrote:
Erik Frèrejean wrote:
Marshalrusty wrote:We also definitely don't want article authors to have unchecked ability to edit things without someone verifying their accuracy
Permissions can quite easily be used to achieve that, it's already be done in announcements that way ;).
You would satisfy that one goal, but consider how that would work. Firstly, whenever the author submitted a new version, the topic would simply disappear for everyone, even people who were maybe following it at the time, and simply refreshed. From the team member side of things, there would be no way to determine what was actually changed, requiring the entire tutorial to be rechecked from scratch, even for a typo.
The current KB works exactly the same, so that can't be an argument against this ;).
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Re: phpBB.com Tutorial forum

Post by Pony99CA » Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:43 am

Marshalrusty wrote:
Pony99CA wrote:I thought that it was obvious. Will every KB article be maintained for years? Probably not. Are all MODs maintained forever? You know that they aren't. So why would somebody expect tutorials to be maintained forever? Putting them in a topic would allow the OP to maintain it if he wished, but nobody can require him to do so.
Well yes, articles should be maintained for as long as they remain active in whatever tutorial medium we have. Even in the current KB, team members will (either on their own or at the request of the author) fix things when they become outdated.
I didn't know that. So when a new version of phpBB comes, one or more people look through the KB articles to ensuer that they're still accurate?
Marshalrusty wrote: So I am missing why you consider this to be an improvement over the current system.
Even if you don't accept author updates (more below), there's still the searchability factor. The normal phpBB search facility would find KB articles, er, tutorial topics. There would also be the ability to subscribe to the topic. If somebody changed the tutorial, if they also posted that an update was made, everybody subscribed to that tutorial would get notified of the change. Plus, if you subscribed to the forum, you'd get notified of new articles. None of those are possible in the current system (maybe they will be in the new one, but I can't possibly know what's in it ;)).
Marshalrusty wrote:We also definitely don't want article authors to have unchecked ability to edit things without someone verifying their accuracy, particularly for KB articles that are often linked to hundreds or thousands of times in the Support Forum.
Fair enough. However, in phpBB 3.1, I believe there will be a post revision facility, so if an author makes a bad update, you could easily undo it.

However, many team members don't seem to link to KB articles when they could. How many times has a team member posted instructions on changing a board logo in the forum instead of linking to the Changing your board logo KB article? How many times has somebody posted instructions on updating a board without MODs to the latest version instead of linking to the How to update to the latest version of phpBB3 KB article?

That's not meant to criticize the team members, but to point out that this information is getting placed in the forums already. And, because it's scattered over many topics, it's unlikely to get updated if the advice becomes outdated.
Marshalrusty wrote:KB articles exist as an extension of the userguide. Where the userguide explains how features work, KB articles explain, perhaps, what the best way to use the feature is, or how to modify it to do something else. KB articles are decisively not like MODs, as we do assume most responsibility for their accuracy and some responsibility for their maintenance.
OK, but as I mentioned before, there are many tutorials and KB-like topics in the forums here. Most may be written by users and not verified for accuracy, but that's not true of all of them -- one that stands out is the anti-spam sticky post in the Support Forum. That seems exactly like what you're saying should be in the KB, but there it sits in the forums. :? (You may say that's to make it more visible to people visiting the Support Forum, thus preventing repetitive questions about preventing spam, but that could be achieved with a sticky topic that just contained a link to an anti-spam KB article.)

Plus, if you moved the KB articles to a forum, nothing would prevent you from controlling their accuracy. Certain team members would presumably have Moderator permissions for that forum and could update and correct any inaccuracies.

However, maybe if somebody would tell us what features are going to be in the new KB, that would help us understand why a forum, despite the advantages I've listed, is unnecessary. So far, the new KB seems to be a deep, dark, mysterious secret. ;)

And, oh yes, a forum has one more advantage over the new KB -- it could be done in minutes (hours at most). When will the new KB be released? (I know -- we don't have release dates. ;))

So let me ask you a question. What would you lose by putting the KB articles in a forum? As far as I can tell, you'd lose the Version/Category information column, and you could simulate that with sub-forums for each Version and Category in a main Tutorial forum. You'd might also lose the cool KB links (like I used above), but perhaps a Moderator could add that type of link at the top of the post in the forum (especially if they had to approve posts in that forum anyway). So I don't think that we'd lose much, if anything, by putting the KB articles in a forum. (Of course, that may depend on what the new KB can do, but -- well, you know. ;))

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Re: phpBB.com Tutorial forum

Post by Marshalrusty » Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:12 am

Steve, the goal at the moment is to have all documentation in a single place (a documentation section) and improve its readability. For example, the userguide is currently very difficult to navigate, which is unfortunate.

We definitely do not want to fracture documentation up even more, so placing it in a forum (away from the userguide) is just a bad idea. That is also not how people are used to looking for documentation. The lack of a search feature is a valid point, however given the way the search operates, the articles are likely to be lost in a swarm of topics asking how to do those things. It would be far better to have a search within the documentation system itself.

To answer some of your question specifically, some of the things we would lose by moving the KB to a forum are:
1) The improved usability of having all documentation in a dedicated section.
2) The ability to track changes to articles from one version to another (this exists in the new KB).
3) The ability to have multiple authors on one article (this will exist in the new KB).
4) The ability to "assign" responsibility over an article to a specific phpBB Team (exists in the current KB).
5) The ability to assign the same article to multiple versions of phpBB (say, phpBB 3.0 & 3.1).

That is just off the top of my head, but there are many more. This simply isn't going to happen as it would cause more problems than it would solve.

On the other hand, if you would like to volunteer to help with the new system (I'm not just talking about writing code; there are plenty of other opportunities to help, such as writing documentation), then that would be great.
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Re: phpBB.com Tutorial forum

Post by Pony99CA » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:11 pm

Marshalrusty wrote:Steve, the goal at the moment is to have all documentation in a single place (a documentation section) and improve its readability. For example, the userguide is currently very difficult to navigate, which is unfortunate.

We definitely do not want to fracture documentation up even more, so placing it in a forum (away from the userguide) is just a bad idea. That is also not how people are used to looking for documentation.
I suppose that it depends on how you view the current KB articles. While some of them certainly are like documentation (describing how to back up large databases or how to use Custom Profile Fields for anti-spam protection), I view many others more like MODs (creating a custom page, adding new menu items, making links open in new windows, accessing posts/topics from user scripts, etc.) -- and we do have MOD forums (not to mention all of the code hacks that get posted in other forums).
Marshalrusty wrote:The lack of a search feature is a valid point, however given the way the search operates, the articles are likely to be lost in a swarm of topics asking how to do those things. It would be far better to have a search within the documentation system itself.
That's only true if somebody uses the default search criteria. If somebody selected just the Tutorial Forum in the list of forums, they'd only get articles from there.

While that does mean they have to be a bit more advanced in searching techniques, to find the KB (or CDB or Bug Tracker), they have to check the various menus (or stumble across them while reading a post in the forums). I think that's a higher bar than actually doing a bit more of a selective search. Which leads to another issue -- fragmentation. It's easier for newbies to look in one place (the forums) than multiple places (forums, menus, pages linked to from the menus, etc.). More on that later.

I also notice that you didn't say that the new KB would have a search function, just that you think it would be better to search the KB than the forum. But maybe I'm parsing too finely. :)
Marshalrusty wrote:To answer some of your question specifically, some of the things we would lose by moving the KB to a forum are:
1) The improved usability of having all documentation in a dedicated section.
2) The ability to track changes to articles from one version to another (this exists in the new KB).
3) The ability to have multiple authors on one article (this will exist in the new KB).
4) The ability to "assign" responsibility over an article to a specific phpBB Team (exists in the current KB).
5) The ability to assign the same article to multiple versions of phpBB (say, phpBB 3.0 & 3.1).
1. That's OK for the "documentation-like" articles, but not for the MOD-like articles IMHO.
2. phpBB 3.1 will allow that via post revisions.
3. OK, but how useful is that really? You won't let those authors update the articles without review anyway (with the possible exception of the author also being a team member), so the (potential) immediacy of a forum is gone.
4. True, but if you broke the Tutorial Forum into sub-forums, you could assign team members to classes of articles (albeit not individual articles).
5. True, but you could simulate that via a move and shadow topic.
Marshalrusty wrote:That is just off the top of my head, but there are many more. This simply isn't going to happen as it would cause more problems than it would solve.
I think that I've answered most of the problems above. Also, I haven't heard anything about being able to subscribe to the KB (which is what got me onto this in the first place).

Also, these solutions aren't mutually exclusive. You could help with the fragmentation issue by having topics that just linked to the KB articles (they do something similar in the MOD forums, where topics link to the CDB). So you could have a tutorial forum with single post topics linking to the article in the new KB (and, with submit_post, you could probably do that automatically.) If an article was updated, that could generate a reply to the topic letting people who have subscribed to the topic know that the article was updated.
Marshalrusty wrote:On the other hand, if you would like to volunteer to help with the new system (I'm not just talking about writing code; there are plenty of other opportunities to help, such as writing documentation), then that would be great.
I'd be happy to critique the work for usability and maybe do some QA. How much time I can spend is the issue (I still haven't updated my boards to phpBB 3.0.11 :oops:).

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Re: phpBB.com Tutorial forum

Post by Meis2M » Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:18 am

Hello

what news of new KB system in phpBB.com?
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Re: phpBB.com Tutorial forum

Post by nextgen » Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:42 am

Meis2M wrote:Hello

what news of new KB system in phpBB.com?
I can imagine that it will be announced when upgrading to 3.1 :)
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