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I grew in to geekhood on Windows and while my experience with DOS translated pretty easily in to the Bash shell (like going from a tricycle to a motorcycle tho ) I have been having a bear of a time learning how to use the vast (tho wonderful!) number of Window Managers. I run a lot of old hardware and the tradeoff with KDE and GNOME is tho I'm pretty sure I can get them to do what I want, it takes 5 minutes to find out if I'm right or not. Leaner WMs are great and response is swift, but I usually don't know what to ask them to do. So they sit, doing nothing swifly.
I imagine a fair number of users have problems as well and frankly, XFree86 just confuses the hell out of me. With X being what Linux 'faces' the world with, why not have a forum (or subforum) for it and mebbe for some of the WMs? I realize there's a small library's worth of docs on the various WMs but a lot of it is obscure, difficult to find, assumes levels of experience, and has lots of holes in it. New Linux users' first experience I imagine is usually through X and New Computer + Linux users most certainly catch their first penguin glimpse through an X Window. I imagine it would be most comforting to have a nice spot they could come to that is specifically for their embarassing, easy, 'why can't I do this, I'm so dumb!' (that'd be me!) X Window questions.
I do think that such forum could prove to be useful. It would make finding problems related to X much easier than having to go around "fishing" them from other forums. Furthermore such a forum could also be used to discuss X configuration and X related issues in a more broad sense (maybe some tuning tips etc?).
And what would be wrong with either hardware or linux-general, depending on the nature of the question. Some common sense has to be used. These forums have many sub-forums already, and still people put their questions in the wrong place. I can guarantee that should there be a seperate X forum, people will post questions about general GUI applications there, so negating the point of having a forum dedicated to just X problems.
In short: I do not think that there is enough scope within the topic of X to warrant a seperate forum.
perhaps not a separate forum for X itself, but I would not be opposed to having a sub-forum somewhere dedicated to "the desktop" in which all manner of things are covered from getting X to work right, to getting proper video card drivers, to making your box look pretty, especially, that last one, to have a sub-forum that deals with making themes and decorations fit across the board as well as a gallery to show off your screens besides the screenshots thread would be really nice, I dont think a lot of people realize just how much eye-candy linux can give you (I also know some people cant stand it but thats why theres choice), and it would make an awesome test bed and support group for doing things such as trying X-server and xouvert I think people would be a lot more brave if they had a guide and a group of people trying beta apps along with them and this could help development of many different projects, my thoughts would be that it should end up as more of a documentation tips and tricks place than a "how do i get foo to work", on the other hand, we do end up with a lot of posts in the wrong places and this would not likely help that situation at all, in the end I really think it would be nice to have a link on the main forum navigation page dedicated to documentation, tips and tricks of either a general linux sort or a more specific bleeding edge testing or "desktop enhancement"
The goal of dividing postings to forums is to make the information easy to find. That should not be forgotten. When it comes to people posting to wrong forums, that will happen when there are more than one forum. I would think that forums with specific enough purpose make the problem much smaller than using ambiquituous forums like general.
General is sort of a "trashcan" of forums that is there, not because we like it, but because we need something to cover everything that cannot be predicted. It should be used as little as possible because otherwise we'll end up in a situation where you'll need to check it every time that you try to find information from the site. Adding to that, excessive use also makes the forum too BIG to be checked on every problem. Imagine that for example your library would be lazy in doing their classification and would instead have a vast "general" class with a bit of everything...
When the posting is first made, it works just fine to use either hardware of general. Later on however it will cause problems finding solutions to the problems that have already been discussed.
I guess one of the reasons that I am against the idea of further subdividing forums is because, in general, people are lazy. Taking the Library analogy a little further... people are fine at using a logical and methodical system when it comes to retrieving information, but putting it there in the first place is a different manner. When returning a book to the Library, would you look for a methodical system of returns, or would you just put it in the "returns" bin? As I said, people are naturally lazy.
Erm... perhaps that analogy doesn't actually work very well, but you get the idea. I just feel that if things becomes too segregated then all we will end up doing is make more work for Jeremy and the moderators... and they have plenty of work as it is.
I think that more than having seperate (sub)forums for as many eventualities as we can think of, a better idea would be an active approach to educating people how to give sensible titles to their questions. The search facility on this site is fantastic, but all too often when I'm searching, all I get is several pages of "Help... I can't do this". As you can see, that isn't going to help me decipher whether the thread is of any use to me or not. To my mind, sensible titles and detailed information (if known) in the main body of the question could all but negate the point of multiple sub-forums.
Obviously, this point can only be taken so far. It would be ludicrous to have just one forum into which all threads are put, regardless of how good the titles are. Some level of division is necessary, I just don't think this is.
Anyway, will we all be using X by this time next year? It would seem that most of the larger Linux distributors are not entirely happy with X's new license. Will we all be using Y pretty soon?
Of course, there is always the LQ Wiki.
This topic had me thinking in why I don't want to see more and more subforums on this site. Think about this, you go to the library and yet you see Fiction, Non-Fiction, Biography and so on.. There's probably no more than 2 dozen categories to find what book you want, etc.
Think of LQ in the same fashion. I'd be damned to walk into a bookstore and they got a specific section of Non-Fiction that is devided into Mystery and then maybe a section of that called Murder and so on.. That's just nonsense to me and really no need for it. With just the main categories, you don't see people trying to change every library or bookstore in the world, to have more specific sections.
I dont know though.. the more sections there are, the more confusing it will be for others and also create double posts, etc.
Unless its like one of those things that just seems totally necessary, then maybe.. but getting X to work can be software problems or hardware problems.. so having its own section, you might then have mix of hardware and software questions now when they could be separated by the existing forums already in place..
I agree that X problems aren't usually from X itself; they usually lie in other software or the hardware. But often a questioner will post something like "Linux does ____, help!" without a great deal of additional information. If the applicant doesn't know if the problem is hardware or software, where does he post? And is the problem specific to his flavor or apply to *nix in general? Window managers cross all distribution barriers and have their own experts just as there are those who are expert at specific servers, flavors, and types of hardware. I think many newer users stick with Gnome or KDE simply because of their configuration tools, finding leaner, smoother WMs too intimidating.
Personally, as soon as I become comfortable with IceWM I'd be happy to cruise for users seeking help with it because it's been hell figuring it out. But where would I look for such queries? And where would they post? To limit a user to questioning just hardware when her problem, unknowingly, lies in the software or to query Mandrake devotees when a Debian user has the answer she needs lessens the users' chances of getting a helpful answer.
Often a problem will seem to be with one thing and will turn out to be another. This means that a post will begin life in one forum and then get moved around as it becomes clear that it is because of something else. For example (and using your scenario of having an X forum) - Linux-General -->Mandrake-->Linux-Hardware-->X. IMO, this will make it no easier to find than if it were in just one of the forums.
And as far as looking for posts concerning ICEWm, that is why we have the, often under-used Search Function.
People seem to be very strongly against adding new forums because of the fear there will be "off-topic" posting and that would require moving the messages around. Actually the reverse might happen. If there would be a dedicated forum to for example X, it could collect all the X realted posts and there would actually be less moving the posts around. Also this resistance to add new forums doesn't seem to apply everywhere. We recently saw new "Enterprise linux" forum being added, which to me seems very ambiquituous (to say the very least).
It's hard, if not impossible, to predict whether X-related forum would lessen the workload of moderators or add it. The only way to find out would be to try and see, otherwise we can only keep guessing.
Furthermore, this is the internet you know... it is possible (and maybe even desirable) to make links between threads or maybe have duplicates of the threads on multiple forums (where ever they might be relevant). This would enable us to think the forums as sort of "views" to messages that discuss similar themes instead of a fixed structure. We really don't need to stick with hierarchical organization at all here.
I disagree that a perceived reluctance to add large numbers of additional subforums is due to concerns that it would lead to excessive numbers of off-topic posts, but rather that it would diminish the ability for someone to find useful information. Keep in mind the slogan of the site: "Where Linux users come for help" and keep in mind that many of the LQ community are newbies.
If there were literally hundreds of possible forums and subforums, it would most likely be overwhelming to a lot of people, and it would only complicate both posting and finding information, for example, consider the situation where a video card doesn't seem to work as well as it should. In reallity this could be due to a hardware problem, or a kernel misconfiguration, or a missing package, or a missing module, or even an incorrect specification in XF86Config. It's hard to say, and if you were trying to do research in order to solve it, would you really want to have to look in all those difference places to try to find an answer? I wouldn't. My point and/or my 2 cents is just that sometimes having too many choices is just as bad (if not worse) than having too few choices. -- J.W.