Does OpenSCAD deserve a modern Forum platform?

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Re: Does OpenSCAD deserve a modern Forum platform?

jon_bondy
Doug:

Are you suggesting a trial run of a Discourse forum, to see how it goes,
and then maybe switching over?  Or a parallel Discourse forum that
people could use.

I personally am a fan of function over form.  Which means email over
"modern".  I have a young friend who recently said that she had
forgotten that she even had an email account.  She texted someone to
give me a message rather than emailing me directly, even though she and
I have emailed at times.  I wonder if that generation will survive.

Jon

On 1/23/2021 4:03 PM, Doug Moen wrote:
> This discussion thread, and the "modern forum" discussion thread from December, both began with a request to switch to Discourse. Some OpenSCAD users want a forum that "looks and feels modern", and while I don't know what that means, it seems that Discourse satisfies the requirement. So let's consider Discourse.
>
> Somebody could create a Discourse forum with a read-write "General" category, plus a read-only "Mailing-List" category that is synced with the mailing list. This would satisfy the needs of two groups of people: those who won't use a mailing list, and those who won't use a forum. Mirroring the mailing list in Discourse provides a nicer web UI for browsing the archives than what we currently have.
>
> Although this is a compromise, I feel it is better than getting rid of the mailing list, which is what some people are suggesting.
>
>

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Re: Does OpenSCAD deserve a modern Forum platform?

nophead
I take part in a few Discourse fora which send me an email when somebody adds to a thread and then I have to click on a link to go to the forum to read it. So basically more effort to read but just as many emails. So what does that achieve? Better to get an email with the message in it and not have to go visit the forum. The only use I find for the OpenSCAD forum is to find an old post when I have deleted the email. So it is a good archive.


On Sat, 23 Jan 2021 at 21:20, jon <[hidden email]> wrote:
Doug:

Are you suggesting a trial run of a Discourse forum, to see how it goes,
and then maybe switching over?  Or a parallel Discourse forum that
people could use.

I personally am a fan of function over form.  Which means email over
"modern".  I have a young friend who recently said that she had
forgotten that she even had an email account.  She texted someone to
give me a message rather than emailing me directly, even though she and
I have emailed at times.  I wonder if that generation will survive.

Jon

On 1/23/2021 4:03 PM, Doug Moen wrote:
> This discussion thread, and the "modern forum" discussion thread from December, both began with a request to switch to Discourse. Some OpenSCAD users want a forum that "looks and feels modern", and while I don't know what that means, it seems that Discourse satisfies the requirement. So let's consider Discourse.
>
> Somebody could create a Discourse forum with a read-write "General" category, plus a read-only "Mailing-List" category that is synced with the mailing list. This would satisfy the needs of two groups of people: those who won't use a mailing list, and those who won't use a forum. Mirroring the mailing list in Discourse provides a nicer web UI for browsing the archives than what we currently have.
>
> Although this is a compromise, I feel it is better than getting rid of the mailing list, which is what some people are suggesting.
>
>

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Re: Does OpenSCAD deserve a modern Forum platform?

Michele Denber
In reply to this post by doug.moen
On 01-23-2021 4:03 PM, Doug Moen wrote:
> ...
>
> Somebody could create a Discourse forum with a read-write "General" category, plus a read-only "Mailing-List" category that is synced with the mailing list. This would satisfy the needs of two groups of people: those who won't use a mailing list, and those who won't use a forum.
Unless the mailing-list people want to write something.  Personally, I
like things just the way they are..  Just because something is "modern"
doesn't necessarily make it better (IMNSHO).

             - Michele



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Re: Does OpenSCAD deserve a modern Forum platform?

jon_bondy
In reply to this post by nophead

I agree.  The web hosted folks want us to go to their servers, while there is no need if the content is in the email itself.  The Discourse approach sounds like it takes a lot more time than the current system.  So much for "modern".

Is there any up side to those systems?  I mean, other than that they are "modern"?

On 1/23/2021 4:32 PM, nop head wrote:
I take part in a few Discourse fora which send me an email when somebody adds to a thread and then I have to click on a link to go to the forum to read it. So basically more effort to read but just as many emails. So what does that achieve? Better to get an email with the message in it and not have to go visit the forum. The only use I find for the OpenSCAD forum is to find an old post when I have deleted the email. So it is a good archive.


On Sat, 23 Jan 2021 at 21:20, jon <[hidden email]> wrote:
Doug:

Are you suggesting a trial run of a Discourse forum, to see how it goes,
and then maybe switching over?  Or a parallel Discourse forum that
people could use.

I personally am a fan of function over form.  Which means email over
"modern".  I have a young friend who recently said that she had
forgotten that she even had an email account.  She texted someone to
give me a message rather than emailing me directly, even though she and
I have emailed at times.  I wonder if that generation will survive.

Jon

On 1/23/2021 4:03 PM, Doug Moen wrote:
> This discussion thread, and the "modern forum" discussion thread from December, both began with a request to switch to Discourse. Some OpenSCAD users want a forum that "looks and feels modern", and while I don't know what that means, it seems that Discourse satisfies the requirement. So let's consider Discourse.
>
> Somebody could create a Discourse forum with a read-write "General" category, plus a read-only "Mailing-List" category that is synced with the mailing list. This would satisfy the needs of two groups of people: those who won't use a mailing list, and those who won't use a forum. Mirroring the mailing list in Discourse provides a nicer web UI for browsing the archives than what we currently have.
>
> Although this is a compromise, I feel it is better than getting rid of the mailing list, which is what some people are suggesting.
>
>

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Re: Does OpenSCAD deserve a modern Forum platform?

adrianv
In reply to this post by Michele Denber
I believe part of the concern about the future of this mailing list / forum
is that the existing forum platform is expected to go away, so keeping
things "just the way they are" is probably impossible.  We will have to
migrate to an alternative at some point.  


Michele Denber wrote

> On 01-23-2021 4:03 PM, Doug Moen wrote:
>> ...
>>
>> Somebody could create a Discourse forum with a read-write "General"
>> category, plus a read-only "Mailing-List" category that is synced with
>> the mailing list. This would satisfy the needs of two groups of people:
>> those who won't use a mailing list, and those who won't use a forum.
> Unless the mailing-list people want to write something.  Personally, I
> like things just the way they are..  Just because something is "modern"
> doesn't necessarily make it better (IMNSHO).
>
>              - Michele
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> OpenSCAD mailing list

> Discuss@.openscad

> http://lists.openscad.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss_lists.openscad.org





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Re: Does OpenSCAD deserve a modern Forum platform?

doug.moen
In reply to this post by jon_bondy
I am suggesting to run the Discourse forum and the mailing list in parallel indefinitely, and see how it goes. Use Discourse as the web interface for reading and searching both discussion lists. Keep the mailing list running until nobody uses it anymore, but then still keep the archives online. And if nobody uses the Discourse forum, or it falls into disuse, then we didn't actually need it.

It's not my first choice. I'd prefer a forum that is better than Nabble and has excellent mailing list integration, so that we don't split our participants into two different universes. The forum should be isomorphic to the mailing list, just two different interfaces to the same data. However, I don't know if such a solution would satisfy the people who want a "modern" forum. For example, Discourse has social features: if your posts get enough "likes" then you earn "badges". I think this is horrible, and anyway it won't work over a mailing list. But maybe this kind of thing is part of what the people requesting a "modern" forum are asking for?

It's hard to find an open source solution that is both an excellent forum and an excellent mailing list. Maybe there is a shortage of developers who value both interfaces, to work on such a thing? The people who develop Discourse are upfront about their hatred of email, and lack of interest in spending developer time on better mailing list integration. The people who develop Mailman characterize HyperKitty as "awesome" and "highly recommended" but even I can see that it sucks compared to Discourse.

So I'm suggesting a hybrid solution.

On Sat, Jan 23, 2021, at 4:19 PM, jon wrote:

> Doug:
>
> Are you suggesting a trial run of a Discourse forum, to see how it goes,
> and then maybe switching over?  Or a parallel Discourse forum that
> people could use.
>
> I personally am a fan of function over form.  Which means email over
> "modern".  I have a young friend who recently said that she had
> forgotten that she even had an email account.  She texted someone to
> give me a message rather than emailing me directly, even though she and
> I have emailed at times.  I wonder if that generation will survive.
>
> Jon
>
> On 1/23/2021 4:03 PM, Doug Moen wrote:
> > This discussion thread, and the "modern forum" discussion thread from December, both began with a request to switch to Discourse. Some OpenSCAD users want a forum that "looks and feels modern", and while I don't know what that means, it seems that Discourse satisfies the requirement. So let's consider Discourse.
> >
> > Somebody could create a Discourse forum with a read-write "General" category, plus a read-only "Mailing-List" category that is synced with the mailing list. This would satisfy the needs of two groups of people: those who won't use a mailing list, and those who won't use a forum. Mirroring the mailing list in Discourse provides a nicer web UI for browsing the archives than what we currently have.
> >
> > Although this is a compromise, I feel it is better than getting rid of the mailing list, which is what some people are suggesting.
> >
> >
>

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Re: Does OpenSCAD deserve a modern Forum platform?

Vigardo
In reply to this post by Troberg
Troberg wrote
> Face it, mailing lists, while they do work, they aren't really modern,
> and,
> most importantly, they don't feel modern. I can promise you that if I
> asked
> my kids (26 and 24) what a mailing list is, they wouldn't know. When a new
> potential user pops in to see what OpenSCAD is, if he/she doesn't
> understand
> what a mailing list is, chances are that we've lost him/her before even
> trying the program.

This perfectly illustrates why I decided to post this thread. In my opinion,
OpenSCAD needs to capture the attention of new users... which would mainly
be "millennials" or even younger. I´m pretty sure they would identify this
forum as old. For example, there may be tons of young people (students of
engineering, applied sciences, informatics, etc) that buy their new 3D
printers and want to create new stuff. OpenSCAD should be as amenable to
them as possible, don´t you think?

In addition, there may be many users that do not interact just because of
the more than 10 steps one has to follow to configure current mailing list
and forum. Also they may think this would become soon obsolete in favor of
other non-coding approaches to create parametric objects.


doug.moen wrote
> This discussion thread, and the "modern forum" discussion thread from
> December, both began with a request to switch to Discourse. Some OpenSCAD
> users want a forum that "looks and feels modern", and while I don't know
> what that means, it seems that Discourse satisfies the requirement. So
> let's consider Discourse.

You´re right... what is modern forum? This is not a very clear concept :-)
Perhaps this example would help to illustrate what it looks like:
https://discourse.mcneel.com/t/angular-cross-sections-in-karamba/102476/2 As
you can see, images are seamlessly integrated within the posts and shared
links have a counter that indicates how many times it has been accessed, and
some other fancy things that facilitate the communication (which as you know
it is not that easy using plain email text).

In this respect, I think that McNeel company has taken their time to
carefully select Discourse as their Forums platform. Note that thousands of
users of Rhinoceros, Grasshopper, and many FEA and CAD plugins for
parametric engineering and architecture actively contribute via such forum
platform. I think this is a quite clear indicative about where to go next.
But of course, this is just my minority opinion.

But please, do not misunderstand me. I fully respect the preferences and
opinion of the majority, which undoubtedly prefers a mailing list
https://www.surveymonkey.com/results/SM-LK6WQBX57/ (thanks
a lot JordanBrown!). However, these results may be biased by the fact that
only votes who reads this mailing list and forum. We do not know what
potential and long-term users would prefer. Only a detailed survey, that it
is out of our scope, would adequately answer this question.

An important thing to take into account in this discussion are OpenSCAD
alternatives. The competence interest, for example in FreeCAD is raising
compared to OpenSCAD, at least as judged by Google Trends:
<http://forum.openscad.org/file/t3088/Interest_Trends_in_OpenSCAD_vs_FreeCAD.png>

Are the OpenSCAD number of downloads and/or the number of new
forum/mail-list users also decreasing? If so, improving community
interaction would contribute favorably to increase usage and participation.
Perhaps some monthly or yearly figures about this would shed some light to
select the best way to go.



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Re: Does OpenSCAD deserve a modern Forum platform?

jon_bondy
If having a "modern" place for the younger folks and an email place for
the older folks is feasible, then I think that would be great.

Jon

On 1/23/2021 5:38 PM, Vigardo wrote:

> Troberg wrote
>> Face it, mailing lists, while they do work, they aren't really modern,
>> and,
>> most importantly, they don't feel modern. I can promise you that if I
>> asked
>> my kids (26 and 24) what a mailing list is, they wouldn't know. When a new
>> potential user pops in to see what OpenSCAD is, if he/she doesn't
>> understand
>> what a mailing list is, chances are that we've lost him/her before even
>> trying the program.
> This perfectly illustrates why I decided to post this thread. In my opinion,
> OpenSCAD needs to capture the attention of new users... which would mainly
> be "millennials" or even younger. I´m pretty sure they would identify this
> forum as old. For example, there may be tons of young people (students of
> engineering, applied sciences, informatics, etc) that buy their new 3D
> printers and want to create new stuff. OpenSCAD should be as amenable to
> them as possible, don´t you think?
>
> In addition, there may be many users that do not interact just because of
> the more than 10 steps one has to follow to configure current mailing list
> and forum. Also they may think this would become soon obsolete in favor of
> other non-coding approaches to create parametric objects.
>
>
> doug.moen wrote
>> This discussion thread, and the "modern forum" discussion thread from
>> December, both began with a request to switch to Discourse. Some OpenSCAD
>> users want a forum that "looks and feels modern", and while I don't know
>> what that means, it seems that Discourse satisfies the requirement. So
>> let's consider Discourse.
> You´re right... what is modern forum? This is not a very clear concept :-)
> Perhaps this example would help to illustrate what it looks like:
> https://discourse.mcneel.com/t/angular-cross-sections-in-karamba/102476/2 As
> you can see, images are seamlessly integrated within the posts and shared
> links have a counter that indicates how many times it has been accessed, and
> some other fancy things that facilitate the communication (which as you know
> it is not that easy using plain email text).
>
> In this respect, I think that McNeel company has taken their time to
> carefully select Discourse as their Forums platform. Note that thousands of
> users of Rhinoceros, Grasshopper, and many FEA and CAD plugins for
> parametric engineering and architecture actively contribute via such forum
> platform. I think this is a quite clear indicative about where to go next.
> But of course, this is just my minority opinion.
>
> But please, do not misunderstand me. I fully respect the preferences and
> opinion of the majority, which undoubtedly prefers a mailing list
> https://www.surveymonkey.com/results/SM-LK6WQBX57/ (thanks
> a lot JordanBrown!). However, these results may be biased by the fact that
> only votes who reads this mailing list and forum. We do not know what
> potential and long-term users would prefer. Only a detailed survey, that it
> is out of our scope, would adequately answer this question.
>
> An important thing to take into account in this discussion are OpenSCAD
> alternatives. The competence interest, for example in FreeCAD is raising
> compared to OpenSCAD, at least as judged by Google Trends:
> <http://forum.openscad.org/file/t3088/Interest_Trends_in_OpenSCAD_vs_FreeCAD.png>
>
> Are the OpenSCAD number of downloads and/or the number of new
> forum/mail-list users also decreasing? If so, improving community
> interaction would contribute favorably to increase usage and participation.
> Perhaps some monthly or yearly figures about this would shed some light to
> select the best way to go.
>
>
>
> --
> Sent from: http://forum.openscad.org/
>
> _______________________________________________
> OpenSCAD mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://lists.openscad.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss_lists.openscad.org

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Re: Does OpenSCAD deserve a modern Forum platform?

Vigardo
In reply to this post by doug.moen
doug.moen wrote
> I am suggesting to run the Discourse forum and the mailing list in
> parallel indefinitely, and see how it goes. Use Discourse as the web
> interface for reading and searching both discussion lists. Keep the
> mailing list running until nobody uses it anymore, but then still keep the
> archives online. And if nobody uses the Discourse forum, or it falls into
> disuse, then we didn't actually need it.

I think this is more or less what happened with Grasshopper forum before it
was integrated into McNeel´s Discourse. This is the old version that remains
as source of knowledge: https://www.grasshopper3d.com/forum



doug.moen wrote
> Discourse has social features: if your posts get enough "likes" then you
> earn "badges". I think this is horrible, and anyway it won't work over a
> mailing list. But maybe this kind of thing is part of what the people
> requesting a "modern" forum are asking for?

You´re right, but a "modern" forum also offers other much more useful stuff.
For example, as you type a new subject in a new post, it automatically
searches for coincidences in the database to avoid duplicates (as I did
creating a new thread that overlapped the December´s discussion :-) It also
alerts you when you´ve unread messages and keeps everything tidy without any
effort.



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Re: Does OpenSCAD deserve a modern Forum platform?

doug.moen
In reply to this post by Michele Denber
On Sat, Jan 23, 2021, at 4:44 PM, Michele Denber wrote:
> On 01-23-2021 4:03 PM, Doug Moen wrote:
> > Somebody could create a Discourse forum with a read-write "General" category, plus a read-only "Mailing-List" category that is synced with the mailing list. This would satisfy the needs of two groups of people: those who won't use a mailing list, and those who won't use a forum.
> Unless the mailing-list people want to write something.

No, the proposal is to leave the mailing list in place exactly as it is, and *mirror* the content onto the Discourse server. The Discourse server can be ignored by people who only want to interact with the mailing list.

There would, in addition, be a Discourse forum that is separate from the mailing list. So you won't see that content on the mailing list, just as you don't see the OpenSCAD discussions on Reddit or Thingiverse unless you visit those web forums (or use RSS I guess).

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Re: Does OpenSCAD deserve a modern Forum platform?

MichaelAtOz
Administrator
In reply to this post by JordanBrown

> I have no idea how many members the mailing list and its associated forum have (Michael?), but it seems clear that it's far more active than either of the others.

 

Mailing-list 830 subscribers, the hard-core ;)

Forum 1785 Members (tho since a Nabble change ~2y ago, those not on the Mailing-list can't post)

and 2448 Registered users (confirmed emails), and 'all users' 2907.

 

I doubt many people bother to remove their accounts on the Forum.

I see intermittent Mailing-list unsubscribes.

 

Mailing-list posts:

Dec 561

Nov 365

Oct 340

Sep  98

Aug 228

Jul 260

 

Avg 309 ~10/d

 

 

Forum, started 20091201, 4072 days, 3806 topics (no easy way to count posts), 597427 views (avg 146 views/d)

 


From: Discuss [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Jordan Brown
Sent: Sun, 24 Jan 2021 04:46
To: OpenSCAD general discussion; Vigardo
Subject: Re: [OpenSCAD] Does OpenSCAD deserve a modern Forum platform?

 

On the IRC chat, user ali1234 notes that the OpenSCAD forum on Thingiverse has over 6000 members and the subreddit has 1500.

The Thingiverse group has about 30 posts in 2021.  (That's across three topics.)

It's harder to measure the reddit traffic (because it doesn't say at the top level when the most recent comment on a thread was), but it looks like there's in the neighborhood of 100 there.

My mailbox says that this mailing list has had 305 messages.

I have no idea how many members the mailing list and its associated forum have (Michael?), but it seems clear that it's far more active than either of the others.


Virus-free. www.avg.com

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Re: Does OpenSCAD deserve a modern Forum platform?

CasaDelGato
Another possibility is to use something like Groups.IO.
I have a Sparrow EV group there:  https://groups.io/g/SparrowEV/topics
Most members use it as a Email list, but some use the web interface.


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Re: Does OpenSCAD deserve a modern Forum platform?

doug.moen
The problem with Groups.IO is the cost. Michael said 3000 users.
At the Premium tier (30GB storage), that is $150/month.
At the Enterprise tier (1TB storage), that is $600/month.

On Sat, Jan 23, 2021, at 6:42 PM, John Lussmyer wrote:
Another possibility is to use something like Groups.IO.
I have a Sparrow EV group there:  https://groups.io/g/SparrowEV/topics
Most members use it as a Email list, but some use the web interface.


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Re: Does OpenSCAD deserve a modern Forum platform?

CasaDelGato
On Sat Jan 23 17:04:21 PST 2021 [hidden email] said:
>The problem with Groups.IO is the cost. Michael said 3000 users.
>At the Premium tier (30GB storage), that is $150/month.
>At the Enterprise tier (1TB storage), that is $600/month.
>Reference: https://beta.groups.io/g/main/message/27191
>
>On Sat, Jan 23, 2021, at 6:42 PM, John Lussmyer wrote:
>> Another possibility is to use something like Groups.IO.
>> I have a Sparrow EV group there:  https://groups.io/g/SparrowEV/topics
>> Most members use it as a Email list, but some use the web interface.

Admittedly, SparrowEV is small, and I paid for 1 year to get it transfered from Yahoo.
Now running on the Free offering.


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Re: Does OpenSCAD deserve a modern Forum platform?

RobWLakes
In reply to this post by Vigardo
That was an interesting graph. I suspect it is probably roughly in
parallel with the rise and fall of numbers of 3-D printing machines
leaving China. In other words the decline in OpenSCAD queries or
searches may be because the number of naive users are declining and
other alternative software emerges.

However the the other point that Vigardo makes was about revitalising
the interest in OpenSCAD and is quite relevant from my point of view.
The big question is "why look for a modern interface?" in the first
place. Are there any huge advantages we may have overlooked?

Let me preface my comments below with a thank you to all the people who
have worked so hard to make openSCAD what it is. I appreciate it greatly
and do not want to offend people with might seem like an opportunistic
and off-topic comment, but my cynical mind works like this.

For a language that can't do X=X+1, and remains in the mind-set of
functional languages, then I would suggest an old fashioned email based
communication is quite appropriate. I have seen many times people asking
the experts if there is a command that can find a bounding box for an
object they have designed, and requesting other features that require
almost a total rewrite of OpenSCAD's underlying code and structure to
achieve those features (especially how it handles variables). I don't
think that is likely to be forthcoming soon as the people who are
currently working on it have probably already expired their enormous
energies required to take on such a huge task, just to get us where we
are now. Plus the people who know OpenSCAD best will also be the ones
that have invested the most time in its current form and would not want
to break a lot of their code and designs.

Where is this energy to redesign the OpenSCAD engine going to come from?
Most likely from new recruits who could take OpenSCAD through a major
Python style redesign from 2.X to 3.X. Will an email platform attract
these people (I find it much more convenient myself than the Forum
(being a grumpy old man, though this is not an essential trait))?

If we are interested in keeping OpenSCAD a vital, evolving language,
then taking note and listening to the younger contributors should be
given more weight. being able to transfer their skills directly to a
Discorse style forum may just help them constructively join in. (Who'd
have thought thumb typing would have ever become mainstream?).

Accommodating their interests is in our best interest in the long run. A
modern interface to this extremely valuable resource could be a major
upgrade, and lead to others later on eg major revisions.

Cheers, Rob
On 24/1/21 9:38 am, Vigardo wrote:
Troberg wrote
Face it, mailing lists, while they do work, they aren't really modern,
and,
most importantly, they don't feel modern. I can promise you that if I
asked
my kids (26 and 24) what a mailing list is, they wouldn't know. When a new
potential user pops in to see what OpenSCAD is, if he/she doesn't
understand
what a mailing list is, chances are that we've lost him/her before even
trying the program.
This perfectly illustrates why I decided to post this thread. In my opinion,
OpenSCAD needs to capture the attention of new users... which would mainly
be "millennials" or even younger. I´m pretty sure they would identify this
forum as old. For example, there may be tons of young people (students of
engineering, applied sciences, informatics, etc) that buy their new 3D
printers and want to create new stuff. OpenSCAD should be as amenable to
them as possible, don´t you think?

In addition, there may be many users that do not interact just because of
the more than 10 steps one has to follow to configure current mailing list
and forum. Also they may think this would become soon obsolete in favor of
other non-coding approaches to create parametric objects.


doug.moen wrote
This discussion thread, and the "modern forum" discussion thread from
December, both began with a request to switch to Discourse. Some OpenSCAD
users want a forum that "looks and feels modern", and while I don't know
what that means, it seems that Discourse satisfies the requirement. So
let's consider Discourse.
You´re right... what is modern forum? This is not a very clear concept :-)
Perhaps this example would help to illustrate what it looks like:
https://discourse.mcneel.com/t/angular-cross-sections-in-karamba/102476/2 As
you can see, images are seamlessly integrated within the posts and shared
links have a counter that indicates how many times it has been accessed, and
some other fancy things that facilitate the communication (which as you know
it is not that easy using plain email text).

In this respect, I think that McNeel company has taken their time to
carefully select Discourse as their Forums platform. Note that thousands of
users of Rhinoceros, Grasshopper, and many FEA and CAD plugins for
parametric engineering and architecture actively contribute via such forum
platform. I think this is a quite clear indicative about where to go next.
But of course, this is just my minority opinion.

But please, do not misunderstand me. I fully respect the preferences and
opinion of the majority, which undoubtedly prefers a mailing list
https://www.surveymonkey.com/results/SM-LK6WQBX57/ (thanks 
a lot JordanBrown!). However, these results may be biased by the fact that
only votes who reads this mailing list and forum. We do not know what
potential and long-term users would prefer. Only a detailed survey, that it
is out of our scope, would adequately answer this question. 

An important thing to take into account in this discussion are OpenSCAD
alternatives. The competence interest, for example in FreeCAD is raising
compared to OpenSCAD, at least as judged by Google Trends:
<http://forum.openscad.org/file/t3088/Interest_Trends_in_OpenSCAD_vs_FreeCAD.png> 

Are the OpenSCAD number of downloads and/or the number of new
forum/mail-list users also decreasing? If so, improving community
interaction would contribute favorably to increase usage and participation.
Perhaps some monthly or yearly figures about this would shed some light to
select the best way to go.



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Re: Does OpenSCAD deserve a modern Forum platform?

Troberg
In reply to this post by Troberg
Troberg wrote
> Also, realistically, who many active users do we have on the mailing list?
> 20? 50? We may very well be looking at survivor bias, ie a skewed result
> because we are only asking the people who bothered to stay. Kind of like
> how
> they in WW2 checked where the bullet holes were in aircraft after missions
> to see which parts to harden with more armor, which, oddly enough were
> non-vital parts, because they were checking the aircraft that got home,
> not
> the ones that didn't make it home.

Just for to test this hypothesis, I'll ask people on the OpenSCAD why they
are there instead of the mailing list. It would be interesting to hear their
opinion.



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Re: Does OpenSCAD deserve a modern Forum platform?

Troberg
In reply to this post by Troberg
Troberg wrote
> Also, realistically, who many active users do we have on the mailing list?
> 20? 50? We may very well be looking at survivor bias, ie a skewed result
> because we are only asking the people who bothered to stay. Kind of like
> how
> they in WW2 checked where the bullet holes were in aircraft after missions
> to see which parts to harden with more armor, which, oddly enough were
> non-vital parts, because they were checking the aircraft that got home,
> not
> the ones that didn't make it home.

Just for to test this hypothesis, I'll ask people on the OpenSCAD subreddit
why they are there instead of the mailing list. It would be interesting to
hear their opinion.



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Re: Does OpenSCAD deserve a modern Forum platform?

MichaelAtOz
Administrator
So to be clear.
Somebody put your hand up to:
a. Find the alternate design.
b. Setup a prototype
c. Unit test
d. Invite a test subset of users to test
e. Some form of transition planning
f. Find Admins if necessary, train them
g. If appropriate transfer history.
h. that is my 23:30 red wine brain dump
i. ...

Any one??? If not it is just venting...



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Unless specifically shown otherwise above, my contribution is in the Public Domain; to the extent possible under law, I have waived all copyright and related or neighbouring rights to this work. Obviously inclusion of works of previous authors is not included in the above.

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Unless specifically shown otherwise above, my contribution is in the Public Domain;
to the extent possible under law, I have waived all copyright and related or neighbouring rights to this work.
Obviously inclusion of works of previous authors is not included in the above.
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Re: Does OpenSCAD deserve a modern Forum platform?

xgarb
I'm not sure a to e are necessary.

It would be something like:

A) Get $5 droplet at Digital Ocean
B) Click button to install Discourse
https://marketplace.digitalocean.com/apps/discourse
C) Complete install for SSL and your SMTP server
D) Create 2 admins
E) Copy someone else's forum structure (ie
https://discourse.threejs.org/categories)
F) Set up incoming 'mailing list' functionality
https://meta.discourse.org/t/straightforward-direct-delivery-incoming-mail/49487
G) Throw open to the community to test
H) Check server stats to see if $10 droplet needed.

Take a look here at the advantages of the system:
https://www.discourse.org/features It has in-built moderation so could be
mostly self-administrating.

Also see this for a list of possible plugins:
https://www.literatecomputing.com/discourse-installation-packages/

You might be able to get a sponsor to cover costs if the forum proves to be
popular.






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Re: Does OpenSCAD deserve a modern Forum platform?

JordanBrown
In reply to this post by Vigardo
On 1/23/2021 2:38 PM, Vigardo wrote:
In addition, there may be many users that do not interact just because of the more than 10 steps one has to follow to configure current mailing list and forum.

That postulates that it's necessary to "configure the forum".  As far as I know, I've never touched the forum.  (Well, until today :-)  Subscribing to the mailing list is (from openscad.org) three clicks, typing your e-mail address, and another click.  Then click on the link in the registration message.

Also they may think this would become soon obsolete in favor of other non-coding approaches to create parametric objects.

A very real possibility.  (But not this thread.)

As you can see, images are seamlessly integrated within the posts

I believe that for most mail users, images are seamlessly integrated.  What doesn't end up seamlessly integrated in the e-mail feed is, I believe, the images that originate at the forum software.  (I just checked, and one of the messages I recently sent with an image in it is shown properly on the forum.)


So I have a different-ish question.  There are at least three alternative OpenSCAD fora:  the Thingiverse group, the subreddit, and the Facebook page.  Why do forum-lovers not find those to be acceptable?



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