I think I understand the motivation for creating them. But the way this forum engine works, unless they are converted to sub-catagories, I think they will actually create a less helpful user experience. It will feel more akin to the chat rooms because even if you do reply directly to a post, it is still stacked with every other reply. They will quickly become cumbersome and hard to follow–especially popular ones–and people will not be able to get the easy to follow direct personal help that is the strength of this format. In addition, the “latest” view will become uninformative and same-y" just saying “discuss your X.”
I get your point. The Let’s Discuss… topics have been created to organize and list similar projects. A couple benefits of that are:-
Decreasing (not eliminating) number of individual topics made by campers for Project review. Everyone wants their projects reviewed and end up making a topic which eventually gets a couple replies before getting dormant. So, instead of making similar individual topics (Please review my XYZ project), campers can now post to a dedicated topic. People who want to review can visit these topics and review the latest posts.
These topics would be a great place for anyone who wants to checkout a variety of similar projects and their differences in design and implementation.
Campers can their favorite project posts in a topic and find them later quickly by searching inside these topics with
Replies to a specific post in a topic are alerted to it’s author and works the same way as replying with new posts to a topic.
These topics will serve as an Archive of sorts for all projects built by the FCC community.
Now, to address your concerns:-
New sub-categories have been created for Front-end, Back-end and Data-vis projects under the FreeCodeCamp category. The Latest view shows the latest posts from All Categories by default. It can be changed to any category to view latest topics in that category. As the forum grows, the Latest view for All categories will be too difficult to follow anyway. Topics will flood faster than one can blink (or so I’d like to believe). Eventually, one has to select a relevant category to streamline the feeds.
Besides, the topics are popping at the top because they are getting attention and people are posting to them. Doesn’t that make them beneficial? If enough people think they are cumbersome, they’ll stop posting to them and these topics will fall into oblivion anyways. Think of each of these topics in your Latest feed as several topics for review of similar projects. Wouldn’t that clutter the view even more?
Bottom line, it’s always good to consolidate posts in a forum and reduce redundancy. That way, in future, when someone searches for something, they will get limited useful Topics with good amount of posts, instead of numerous similar topics with a couple or no replies.
That being said, this is just an initiative. If things go sideways, we can always get rid of them or take whatever steps necessary. And don’t worry, the topics might seem to clutter the front-page now because everybody is posting their past and present projects. Once that’s done, only newly developed projects will be posted. That’ll slow the posting frequency to these topics and scatter them across the feed.
Your remarks ties in to the conversation here:
Continuing the discussion from Notice anything about our forum that seems broken or suboptimal?:
I agree with @ChadKreutzer. A single, ever-growing thread that has a multitude of topics in it (even if those topics are all related) is essentially recreating the Gitter experience, and I don’t believe this forum should be doing that. I actually seek out posts asking for feedback that have few or no replies as those are the most in need of attention, but that becomes virtually impossible in a continuous running thread. I fail to see how this format will benefit the community.
And? Isn’t that sort of the point? People post a topic, get some feedback, and move on.
Better categories would be a better solution here.
Except I see very few people doing this. Even @santakmishra [forgets] (http://forum.freecodecamp.com/t/lets-discuss-your-random-quote-machine/5985/4)
No, because I get less information. All I know is that someone has posted something in a long-running thread. I have to go and look inside there to see if it’s something I care about.
As Wikipedia would say,  Sure, consolidation and reducing redundancy are useful when it’s all the same information. But in this case it’s not, because the feedback will be different for every project.
But, I’m totally happy to let meritocracy rule on this. If people like the new format, so be it. Just to be clear, though: is this format official (@santakmishra I don’t know if you’re a moderator or some other admin associated with FCC)? If not, it might be worth pointing out that participation in these threads is optional and that folks are free to submit a new topic if they prefer.
Just a fellow camper. I’m not a moderator and of course participation in these topics is optional.
I just put it out there to either flourish or sink into oblivion depending on other campers’ choice.
P.S. I am not much of a Discourse fan either. I am a phpBB/Invision guy who is trying to make head and tails of this new format. So, go easy on me
I have to agree with @ChadKreutzer on this one. The Let’s discuss topics are giving me a bad user experience because it almost feels closterfobic and crowded when I am looking to help others,etc. In my opinion, the main purpose of a topic is to exploit a question and in return gain a knowledgable reply that hopefully helps or encourages the originnal poster. Any user who searches the forum should be able to find a topic that corresponds to their search and receive the information they need. I feel that lets discuss topics cause a lot of off topic conversation and a cluster of unorganized information. From a SEO standpoint and personal user experience standpoint, I do not feel this is beneficial. This is only my opinion and since you guys were talking about it I decided to express it. Also, @santakmishra, if you are pushing for Let’s Discuss to be a category of its own, check out the wiki and read the section on how to contribute. Thanks and happy coding
Thank you, @stewartmurrie and @michaelhenderson. Like I said above, @santakmishra I admire your intent. And it is good that you are trying to improve the forums for everyone. I think you could look into getting them (or something simpler like “Portfolio Zipline”) made into sub categories of the appropriate pre-existing categories. Although considering the topic title most people chose for their posts requesting aid or review it would probably be redundant. And I tend to think that with this particular forum format a flatter tree is more desirable and easier to use than a deep one.
Please don’t take this as piling on, @santakmishra. A lot of people just complain and don’t take steps to try to improve things and you did. And not every experiment is a success, that’s why they are experiments. So keep on trying things and keep on helping to make the community better. We need more people like you who are willing to get involved.
Based on the feedback I’ve heard here, and the fact that campers seem to be overlooking his threads and posting their own projects elsewhere, I think it makes more sense for us to create subcategories as you all have suggested.
This has the benefits of:
- It’s automatic. There’s no need to periodically update the top submissions list.
- Threads will be much smaller, and though it’s likely that many of the posts will not get responses, it’s probably less likely than if all responses were on large threads.
- If someone posts in the wrong place, instead of having to message them and ask them to delete their post and repost it on a thread (a conversation that will be inconvenient for all parties involved) we can just change the post’s category.
I’ve created 30 subcategories - one for each project - under the Free Code Camp category. Each of them has a topic that links to the challenge on Free Code Camp.
I will coordinate with @santakmishra to close the existing threads and move them over to their respective categories.
Thank you everyone for your feedback, and especially thank you for @santakmishra for taking the initiative and creating the threaded project discussions yesterday.
Thanks @QuincyLarson and everyone on this thread for your valuable input. I have moved the “Let’s discuss” threads to their respective project sub-categories.
I had noticed @QuincyLarson creating all those categories yesterday and I thought, “well look at that.” I didn’t even realize it was a direct result of our conversation here. I’m glad I could be a part of this and thanks again, @santakmishra for getting the ball rolling.
I think I just had my first look at one of these “Let’s discuss your…” threads yesterday. When I did finally check it out, I was a bit surprised by what I saw, but it was a pleasant surprise. I don’t know what I was expecting, exactly. To me, the title sounded like someone offer to code review your work. I guess I was thinking, “why? If I want code review, there’s a section for that and I can make my own thread.”
But what I saw wasn’t really that. It was a ton of people showing everyone else what their project ended up looking like. It was nice to have them all in one place like that! And of course, with links to pens, you can check out the code too if you want, which is awesome. (I just discovered HOW awesome that is by playing on Code Wars and seeing other people’s code – there are dozens of different ways to solve the same problem.) I LIKED the fact that it wasn’t cluttered with questions and suggestions. With so many people posting in the same thread, that would be horrendously messy. But it’s a great way for everyone to showcase their apps all in one place. Makes it much easier for the reader to look at a dozen or so to see how others are doing things.
OK, I should get to my point. haha
I’m a bit confused as to why this is a sub-category of “Free Code Camp”. I would have expected this to be placed under “Projects”!
I just finished the Smallest Common Multiple algorithm and while I was able to do it, it felt clunky. I am sure there is a better way to do it and I would like to see how others did theirs. Yes, I know I can ask for someone to review my code, and maybe I will, but I really get off on seeing how diverse the solutions can be. LOL. So I would love to see a category for people to share their algorithms both good and bad.
As I mentioned up top, I found the title a bit misleading (or vague?) and had the wrong idea. Maybe the original intention WAS to “discuss” everyone’s work, but it’s clear that the format is much better served to be a “showcase” all in one thread showing dozens of versions of the same app. Maybe consider changing the titles to “Show us your XYZ app!” (and “show us your algorithm” if that category is created.)
I think it would be great if people posted screenshots along with the link to Code Pen to give a quick visual of the site while scrolling down through the dozens that are there. In fact, I’m going to go do that with mine right now on the random quotes thread. LOL