[impdev] What to do with the forums?

Jacek Antonelli jacek at kokuaviewer.org
Mon Apr 11 13:48:43 PDT 2011

As you know, I've been working on redefining and documenting our
communications policy, including the purposes of our many
communications channels (issue tracker, wiki, etc.). Now I'm
contemplating the forums, and trying to decide what their purpose is
(or should be), and what to do with them. I would very much appreciate
your thoughts and feedback about this topic.

Consider that right now we have 5 forum sections (not counting "Off
Topic"), and 4 of them are pretty much obsolete:

* Viewer: This is where people would post ideas, feature requests,
etc. But we're now using only the issue tracker for feature requests.
* Problems & Troubleshooting (previously "Bug Reports &
Troubleshooting"): This is where people would post bug reports,
problems they are having, and provide feedback about releases. But
we're now using only the issue tracker for bug reports, and blog posts
for general feedback about releases.
* Development: This is where people would discuss development-related
stuff, technical discussions of features, get help compiling the
viewer, etc. But we're now encouraging use of the mailing list and IRC
for those things.
* Project: This is where people would discuss project organization
issues and report problems with the website. But we're now using the
issue tracker for website issues, and project organization discussion
is done via the mailing list and meetups.
* General: All other discussion. The only reason this isn't obsolete
too is because its purpose is so vague.

My instinct is to archive (lock to prevent new posts) all the current
forum sections and create new sections with new purposes. But, I'm
having a hard time thinking of what those purposes would be.

In the past, I've argued that the forums are useful as a social hub
for the community (see e.g. http://www.plurk.com/p/amzlet ). If that's
true, then the new sections would be social-oriented. But aside from a
section for general Kokua/Imp-related discussion, the only things I
can think of are a place for people to introduce themselves, and
possibly a place to ask for help from other users. (But for the
latter, we already have inworld groups and a Q&A site

So, my question is: do the forums provide any real use or value in the
new organization? Should we keep them, or archive them completely? If
keep them, for what purpose(s)? What sections should there be?

- Jacek

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