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Misty Community Forum

Should the Community Web Site Design/Funcitionality Be a First Level Subject

#1

Hi,

This is my first try at posting. I have no idea how others will view it … and no certainty it’s an appropriate comment for this section … but Time will tell. Always does. So here goes.

It seems to me that a universal problem with “communities” dedicated to complex subjects, like Wildfly, Oracal’s docs for enterprise level Java, et. al., is that they begin as, and remain, the exclusive playground of people who are already very familiar with, if not have advanced knowledge about, the subject.

And, those who could best help add new members to the community seldom remember their own first steps. And that often means they begin their “answers” at a level the beginner, who is still struggling with simple starting details, hasn’t reached yet. (If the grey beards aren’t obviously offended that someone who didn’t know the answer dared ask questions “everyone” is supposed to know already – I guess from birth?.)

Therefore, I write as a Robotics virgin (although not without other skills from enterprise Java to JavaScript that’s rapidly replacing it.) to suggest a new first level topic dedicated to how the community web site should be designed and work … With the goal of building an ever growing community … not just serving the existing one.

So for what it’s worth, here is a first question … or maybe plea. What about a first level topic dedicated to the design and functionality of the community forum
– dedicated to recording the path of new beginners
– by those still in the process of progressing to the point they too forget how they came to know so much?

I mean “succession planning” is a big problem faced by corporate boards. I.e. How to make current executives accept they won’t live forever, but the company will. And therefore, their job includes the a responsibility to develop their own replacements. Which no earthling ever sees a need to do. More often resists doing so.

I mean this is an implacable rule of our universe: A thing is always growing and advancing … or it is declining to be replaced. There is no such thing as a Goldie Locks option of staying “just right”. Or more correctly that only exists till the founders age and die, and are replaced by something else.

Anyway, here are my observations about the current state of the community forum web site page:

a) It provides no indication that it realizes when I’m logged in. (Most other’s promenently display a menu like like “My Accout”

b) I mean even when logged on, the page still encourages me to “Create and Account”. (It may be trivial, but it still begs the question of why the heck is it asking me to “Create and Account” when I already thought I had one?), and

c) The create process mentioned that some kind of awards have a significance, but there is no obvious link on the community home page to a “MyAccount” section where I can do things like update my password. Some day look up my award count. etc. (It may be there, but finding it has so far eluded me … and most similar communities promenently off something like “MyAccount” in the banner line.

Again, it may have just eluded me to date, but there is no full discussion of the logical basis for this community’s design, administratoin of awards, etc. I remember seeing a reference to some rules during account creation … but well … I don’t want to have to open a new account everytime I want to find them again…

And while I’m not sure anyone else agrees with me … I’m not a fan of the “Just point and click till you find something you are looking for” approachs works (sorry … wish I had a better metaphore, but to me it seems too much like chimps being taught some incredibly complex code sequences to find what they are looking for (food mostly).
… I’m more a fan of learning that begins by planting a knowledge tree on which a beginner can then hang each new thing learned.

Not sure what anyone else thinks … but for me I know that just poking around till you get it to work … well … works. But only for a single specific need. Sort of like being a master of Trivial Pursuit.

But it fails to provide a well ordered knowledge tree that is essential to mastering any subject, let alone permit learning to proceed to insight and advancement.

So, I wish there was an obvious well thought out explanation of the logical structure that underlies the design of Misty’s community web site.

Regardless. It isn’t often users of any community today get to actually affect and mold it’s design. But this is one such time.

So would it be a good idea to add a first level topic dedicated to that … the design of the web site itself? Maybe some day find a better indexing system than the typical do a random word search that dredges up an undifferentiated bunch of the Good, the Bad and the ugly of posts.

OK. Too much for routine posts. But this interests me a lot, and the forum is not yet overwhelmed with discussion. So, I thought I’d sneak this in anyway.

Grin … Most all earthlings tell me
“Experience is the Best Teacher”
What they never seem to tell anyone is that it is Bad Experience that teaches the most.

So if this ends up being a bad experience
… it will only mean it was a most efficient way to learn.

Onward!

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#2

unless I missed something in your post, many of your comments and questions are addressed by observing that this forum is a deployment of Discourse, an independent project:


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#3

You missed nothing.
I wasn’t aware it was Discourse.
Therefore, thank you for straightening me out.

I guess with all that’s going on, being tenants on Discourse is/seems efficient to begin with. But it doesn’t mean we need to be Discourse thralls forever.

And I’m not sure, but I suspect there is a way to manipulate Discourse to serve Misty as I’d like. Which of course means I’m off to learn more about Discourse (at least until my Misty arrives),

I just hate being dependent … which means controlled by others. Often necessary. Never preferable.

And maybe the people who have driven Misty to this point may someday have the time to take back control, in which case I have time to help once they establish a framework.

But even a journey of 1,000 leagues begins with a single step. So onward.

Regardless, thanks again for pointing that out and not mentioning whether it should have been obvious… (Red face of embarrassment … Which of course in hindsight it should have been)

#4

And there is a topic here on this forum for discussing things pertinent to it’s function and purpose. (I’ve even moved this post there :slight_smile:

https://community.mistyrobotics.com/c/site-feedback

#5

Thank you for info and the move.

But one little quibble if I may.

Having struggled through the awful documentation of JBoss, Then Wildfly. With Glassfish (pre and post Oracle), and now Oracle’s horrible web site, I became accustomed to “Meta” being a file used to things that were not constant, but were definitely an integral part of the main programming effort. E.g. various codes used by multiple different web server developers needed to deploy the program on their particular server.

Not as it’s used in this context to represent a place for info about things unrelated to Misty’s programming, or functionality.

But that’s just me. So I’ll leave my vote for making the design of the forum discussion web site it’s very own 1st level topic, and move on to writing my first skill.

Which I hope to be instilling a background “Fear of Falling” routine active whenever Misty moves. Picked because, I read that humans are born with only one instinctive fear … the fear of falling.

Only in Misty’s context I think that fear will have to be of seeing a yellow/black stripped tape in it’s path. (The distinctive yellow/black tape frequently used to mark the forward edge of an unexpected step. )

I Hope to post a start under the Skills Topic in a few days once I figure out what I mean by that goal. Although I assume it will have to do with Misty’s maximum speed … minimum stopping distance … and the fact that only the on-board API will be fast enough to make this feasible.

Grin … and of course not discounting the possible embarrassment of finding someone has already done that … although I assume if they had, the Docs would not have had to warn developers about letting Misty run off of a table. But who knows.

Thanks again for you help.

PS: I haven’t given up on learning enough about Discourse to figure out how to make the #@%!! “Create Account” link disappear when I’m already logged in with an obviously already “Created Account”. But there is no reason to waste time at your level on that. I’ll just bug you when I have the solution.

Onward

1 Like