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 What boards/forums should we have 
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Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:33 am
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Garth wrote:
BigEd wrote:
That's what Brad did on his forum at http://bradsprojects.com/forum/index.php which ChuckT mentioned after we started this forum. I would be in favor of that method, even though it does add another category. The goal for it here is not the same as it was on 6502.org.


Avrfeaks is a very successful board and I think it is because they have a lot of professional users. They weren't accepting new user registrations the last time I checked. It could be for a number of reasons because they might grow too big to handle a large forum of users. I might look to them as an example on how to run a board.

Basically, you grow a board as there is interest. Having forums without anyone to post in them won't necessarily work. It is basically a democratic process where the user likes what he or she is posting and takes some ownership or responsibility or oversight of what they want or expect here and they grow the forum by posting there. If a product is popular, it will sell itself and there will be interest.

I think that people come to electronic forums to (1) get help and learn, (2) tutorials, (3) share (and show off).

Adafruit is successful in that they sell products by giving people the recipe and people come to get support and there are nice people who give support.

I was also watching how successful Hackaday is. They are basically a show and tell sight and the downside I feel is there are users who would leave if it became a site like Instructables.


Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:10 am
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BigEd wrote:
I do recommend an "Introduce yourself" forum. It works better as a forum than as a thread. I recommend we do allow people to go through the getting-to-know you and talk about their backgrounds and projects. The stricter approach at 6502.org is in my view a mistake. See the stardot forums for a good example. People do get to know each other and it is much more friendly - even though it's very big.
Garth wrote:
That's what Brad did on his forum at http://bradsprojects.com/forum/index.php which ChuckT mentioned after we started this forum. I would be in favor of that method, even though it does add another category. The goal for it here is not the same as it was on 6502.org.
I'm not convinced that 6502.org benefits from putting everyone's introduction in the same thread. Am I missing something? What's the down side to letting each person have an individual thread? It avoids the mixed message of telling folks, "Introduce yourself but don't get to talking about stuff." Plus it seems just plain unfriendly to greet a newcomer then immediately warn them there's something they're not supposed to do.

Garth, I think you said a goal for 6502.org was that the nature and scope of our membership could be readily gleaned by someone scanning the entries. Would this be impeded or aided by allowing each person a thread? Is there another goal I've overlooked? I hope we can find a win-win scenario.

Quick (unrelated) comment, about anycpu.org: I feel as Ed does; namely, "Really not liking this forum/subforum/subsubforum structure." I know we're still in flux here, and I do appreciate that all this stuff demands a lot of effort! But I hope this is one of the things that gets fine tuned. I think a simple forum/subforum structure would serve us better and avoid bewilderment for new visitors (and ourselves :D ).

cheers,
Jeff

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Thu Feb 07, 2013 4:20 pm
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Quote:
I'm not convinced that 6502.org benefits from putting everyone's introduction in the same thread. Am I missing something? What's the down side to letting each person have an individual thread? It avoids the mixed message of telling folks, "Introduce yourself but don't get to talking about stuff." Plus it seems just plain unfriendly to greet a newcomer then immediately warn them there's something they're not supposed to do.

Garth, I think you said a goal for 6502.org was that the nature and scope of our membership could be readily gleaned by someone scanning the entries. Would this be impeded or aided by allowing each person a thread? Is there another goal I've overlooked? I hope we can find a win-win scenario.

Some aspects of internet forums are things we are learning as we go. We can't go on the experience we had 20 years ago, because there simply wasn't any. I now think the the separate topic for each person might be best. If it's even possible (I don't know) to pick apart 6502.org's "Introduce yourself" topic into separate people's introductions, it would be an awful lot of work, and unfortunately some of the best ones would be so far down the list that no one would see them. I'm thinking of a few that nearly take my breath away. Part of the original intention there was to give credibility when someone like WDC comes to read; and having a lot of welcomes and pats on the back stands in the way of that. It's kind of like being at a gathering and there are a bunch of presentations and the audience is asked to hold their applause until the end. WDC seemed to be keeping its distance, not wanting to be associated with hobbyists doing piddly, very unprofessional projects; but 6502.org has increased tremendously in expertise, and we wanted the introductions to reflect that. There's no such credibility goal here on AnyCPU, although I think Dajgoro just copied something I wrote at the beginning of the 6502.org one.

Quote:
Quick (unrelated) comment, about anycpu.org: I feel as Ed does; namely, "Really not liking this forum/subforum/subsubforum structure." I know we're still in flux here, and I do appreciate that all this stuff demands a lot of effort! But I hope this is one of the things that gets fine tuned. I think a simple forum/subforum structure would serve us better and avoid bewilderment for new visitors (and ourselves :D ).

I'm starting to think that might have been a mistake too, although I still don't know any better way to accommodate so many subject areas as we envision. Someone who is interested in 6809 assembly language for example is not going to want to wade through a lot of topics on the design of OSs used with much larger processors, even though they're both programming. SparkFun has subforums but with all their traffic volume, it's still a pain. I don't like the subforums, but OTOH I kind of wish the things I'm interested in were in their own sub-subforums I could go to and not be bothered with so much irrelevant stuff mixed in. I have not wanted to bother Dajgoro in the last month as I understand he was having a lot of testing, but Dajgoro, if you're reading, maybe it would be good to reconsider some of this before there's much material posted.

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Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:26 pm
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Quote:
but Dajgoro, if you're reading, maybe it would be good to reconsider some of this before there's much material posted.

What do you suggest?
The phpbb forum system is limited in its own way, so if you want some specific things, phpbb won't be enough.


Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:00 pm
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Dajgoro wrote:
Quote:
but Dajgoro, if you're reading, maybe it would be good to reconsider some of this before there's much material posted.

What do you suggest?
The phpbb forum system is limited in its own way, so if you want some specific things, phpbb won't be enough.


Facebook can't really compete so much with electronic forums because there is no alternative and Facebook doesn't have forums. You are safe in that regard.

One thing you might want to add are blogs if phpbb supports it.


Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:34 pm
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Garth wrote:
If it's even possible (I don't know) to pick apart 6502.org's "Introduce yourself" topic into separate people's introductions, it would be an awful lot of work, and unfortunately some of the best ones would be so far down the list that no one would see them. [...] It's kind of like being at a gathering and there are a bunch of presentations and the audience is asked to hold their applause until the end.
I share Garth's wish that 6502.org gets the credit it deserves. There's nothing wrong with putting our best foot forward; in fact it would be a dis-service if we under-represented our expertise. The question is how to best present ourselves -- and IMO the best compromise is to have a separate "Introduce Yourself" thread for each person. It would take some work (FWIW I'm willing to help), and might take more mouse clicks to navigate, but here's the up side: for each person introduced, the reader would start at that individual's lead post, where presumably the juiciest details are. If there's a lot of OT yacking afterward, no worries -- one mouse click will skip over that and take you to the next individual's introduction.

However, something I'm uncertain about is the notion that some introductions are more impressive than others, and need to be presented first or otherwise made more prominent. I hope I'm not mis-reading your drift, so bear with me. Of course some introductions will be more impressive -- that's entirely natural; we have everyone from seasoned professionals to wet-behind-the-ears newbies. Two things: if it's important to have the introductions in a certain order, does that have a bearing on the question of whether all the introductions must go in one thread? Is "all in one thread" the only way to guide the order of introductions seen by the reader?

The other thing is, who's going to rate the impressiveness of these introductions so they can be sorted? And how does it change our group if suddenly we have ranks, so to speak? I'm more than a little queasy about this. We don't want anyone left with a sour taste in their mouth, but that could easily happen if someone feels their own (or another individual's) rank is inappropriate. I hope I haven't gotten the wrong idea or blown this out of proportion.

Quote:
WDC seemed to be keeping its distance, not wanting to be associated with hobbyists doing piddly, very unprofessional projects
What about their Facebook page? Isn't that at least partially aimed at hobbyists? (I'm not on FB myself; I hope someone can fill me in please.)

cheers,
Jeff

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Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:42 am
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Quote:
What about their Facebook page? Isn't that at least partially aimed at hobbyists? (I'm not on FB myself; I hope someone can fill me in please.)

I dind't know they had one. I haven't seen anything about it on their website, so I just looked them up on facebook, and what I find seems to be rather pointless unless you want to friend someone who put WDC down for employer. There's really nothing there. Strange. I wonder if they plan to put something up.

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Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:20 am
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quick response to points raised from my perspective:
- please do simplify and flatten the forum structure. We need no more than 6502.org has, but different ones. Flat. You can always add structure later, if it's needed.
- to find things which appeal, and skip things which don't, visitors will use searching and rely on informative titles
- if Dajgoro can implement a tagging system, that would be a huge leap forward. I'm pretty sure it's possible.
- single thread per individual introduction is a must, for all the reasons given. Sorting them or headlining them would be unnecessary and wrong.

There's certainly some work involved, but that's necessary for a quality product!

Cheers
Ed


Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:53 pm
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So your wishes are:
- Flatten the forum structure
- Tag system, I was looking into that a while ago, but I didn't find much, so If you found a plugin, please post a link.
- Individual introductions

I will be free in a week.


Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:13 pm
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I'm wth BigEd, and also see my post on the previous page. I believe it's better to start out with a simplistic layout instead, and then add / adjust as and when the forum and its content develop.

-Tor


Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:47 pm
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I'd suggest using slightly longer forum names as necessary, instead of subforums in a hierarchy:

Minimal set:
- Other on-topic discussions
- Software
- Hardware

Could be expanded if necessary to:
- Other on-topic discussions
- Software - Operating Systems
- Software - Tools (Assemblers, Compilers, Monitors, etc)
- Software - Applications
- Hardware - Systems
- Hardware - CPUs (commercial and homebuilt)
- Hardware - Implementation Techniques
- Anycpu.org Announcements, Requests and Complaints

Other forums use 'sticky posts' and 'locked threads' to set apart particular posts, which often removes the need for a whole new forum.

Cheers
Ed


Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:08 pm
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As for the software part, everything is clear, but on the hardware site it is not so clear to me.

- Hardware - Systems
- Hardware - CPUs (commercial and homebuilt)
- Hardware - Implementation Techniques

What exactly goes under cpu?
Where do topics like baud rate generators, calculating baud rate, or topics that ask for help about a certain ic go?


Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:27 am
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Can we make it kind of like SparkFun's front page? Others can pipe up to confirm, but I think the problem is not the titles of the various forums but rather that getting lost in the tree is a little disorienting. SparkFun still has various forums under different categories, but they can all be seen on the front page.

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Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:09 am
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Dajgoro wrote:
As for the software part, everything is clear, but on the hardware site it is not so clear to me.

- Hardware - Systems
- Hardware - CPUs (commercial and homebuilt)
- Hardware - Implementation Techniques

What exactly goes under cpu?
Where do topics like baud rate generators, calculating baud rate, or topics that ask for help about a certain ic go?

A good question. Perhaps the decomposition I suggest is poor, but perhaps we can clarify...
- Hardware - Systems and Peripherals
- Hardware - CPU choices and designs (commercial and homebuilt)
- Hardware - Implementation and Construction: Tools and Techniques

Is there space for each forum to get a sentence or two of description as well as a title?


Sat Feb 16, 2013 8:24 am
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Garth wrote:
I think the problem is not the titles of the various forums but rather that getting lost in the tree is a little disorienting.
A simpler tree will benefit us; I'm glad that's being pursued. Even if we over-correct the problem (ending up with rather broad categories) that's harmless at present since we have such a small amount of content. Branches can be added to the tree later -- at which time it'll be easier to look at the accumulated content and identify categories. (Optionally, some of the prior posts could be relocated if that's not too onerous a task).

As for titles, we had some ambiguity about "homebuilt CPUs." That's a term perhaps easily mistaken to mean homebuilt microcomputers. In contrast we have the subject of actual processor design -- original architectures, I mean.

cheers,
Jeff

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Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:29 pm
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