Improve Drupal.org's support tools

Idea#19

Stage: In Review

Campaign: Drupal.org

Move from forum discussions to Q&A format, with ability to vote up/down comments. Ability to seamlessly move from a support request to issue and back would be hugely beneficial.

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Related *.drupal.org issue/discussion: http://groups.drupal.org/node/133494

Feedback Score

89 votes
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Idea Details

Vote Activity (latest 20 votes)

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(latest 20 votes)

Events

  1. Status Changed from Active to In Review
  2. The idea was posted

Assessment

Comments

  1. Comment
    mike

    Absolutely... we need to get people off of stack exchange and back on to D.O!

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment
      Sean Bannister

      I totally agree, one of the reasons Drupal has been so strong is the community is centralised, yet we're seeing a large number of users move to stackexchange and it'd be beneficial to get them back.

    2. Comment
      Mark West

      Thing is, IMO stack exchange does a better job. Why not adopt it as another means of Drupal communication? It really works well for simple question answers...

    3. Comment
      xjm

      People on SE aren't "lost" and we don't need to get them "back"--they're still members of the community who continue to contribute on Drupal.org as well.

  2. Comment
    xjm

    I actually think stackexchange seems to be working well.

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment
      michelle

      Sure, it works well at what it does, but it means we can't handle support with our own software and we have to send our community some place else to get help. Ick.

    2. Comment
      Mark West

      Michelle makes a good point but I am sure we could make Stack Exchange an official Drupal resource for Q&A type content...

  3. Comment
    michelle

    Can I agree 1000 times? :)

  4. Comment
    Sean Bannister

    I'd also like to add that each project should get its own Q&A, that'd REALLY improve support.

  5. Comment
    gideon

    Could this be tied into the mentoring ideas as well?

  6. Comment
    jerrac

    Stack Exchange is a great example of what we need. Frankly, it's great that we have one to use now. I'd love to see the forums turned off and all forum posts redirected to the stack exchange.

    It would be great to see a Drupal based version, though. Something that can integrate and replace both the forums and issue queues.

    The forums always failed me, I'd either get no answer, or useless answers. Issue queues are also problematic. Often times I'm not sure I'm even posting in the right queue. There's also a lot of overlapping functionality between the queues and the forums. That makes life confusing.

    The problem is that creating a Drupal system that mimics Stack Exchange could take a long time, and would likely be best to put off until D8 comes around. I'd rather work on some kind of integration between the issue queues and http://drupal.stackexchange.com/ so that people can get their questions answered faster. As well as turn off most of the forums.

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment
      michelle

      SE is not a forum. Turning the forums off and sending everyone away would be like ripping off a leg and replacing it with an artificial arm because it has a broken bone. Arms can do a lot of things better than legs but you can't easily walk on it. I'd rather see us heal and improve what we have then give up and settle for letting someone else do part if it better and another part not at all.

    2. Comment
      jerrac

      @michelle Just suddenly turning them off would be very jarring. So, I agree that we shouldn't do that.

      That said, do the forums provide real value to our community? When I first started learning Drupal, I posted a ton of topics. I scoured the forums for help. And I seldom found it. Eventually I stopped even looking at them, and I only post in issue queues now. Basically, from my personal experience, the forums are worthless.

      I could be wrong. Perhaps I was just unlucky. If my experience is atypical, and people do find lots of value in the forums, then we should keep them, or a form of them.

    3. Comment
      michelle

      A lot of people got their start in the forums. Plus, the forums aren't all about Q/A. What about the showcase? Or general discussion? None of that is allowed in the "Just the facts ma'am" atmosphere of SE.

    4. Comment
      jerrac

      Hmm... You have a point about those forums. In my posts replace "forums" with "support forums".

      The main reason I'd like to phase them out, is that support for Drupal is very scattered. For a new user, Drupal (as with anything) can be hard to learn, not being able to figure out where to get help just makes it worse.

    5. Comment
      gideon

      Take a look at "Improve the About Section", this may address the difficulty everyone has, and give a base to point people in the right direction. Coupled with a mentoring program that promotes self learning, but also provides much needed one on one support and direction would be wonderful and take a lot of pressure off of maintainers as well. There is also the "Solutions Directory" idea which I personally love, and the "Enable Group Functionality" idea, which could use the group functionality to link to existing resources and mentorship on a project level as well; as discussed in the "Mentorship for all levels" idea.

      I apologize if I am jumping all over the place with all that, it just seems like there are so many really great ideas that actually address a lot of the points in the discussion going on here. And although my comments and references have nothing to do with SE or no SE, It seems so many people would like to see the same types of changes and improvements. And I do think Drupal can do it all better. This issue title seems like a more generic one where maybe all these ideas can be discussed and considered. Any thoughts?

  7. Comment
    gideon

    Okay,

    Just to sum up(based on my understanding):

    1. Most can agree stack exchange works well, people like it alot

    2.Consideration: using outside systems instead of Drupal, what impression is it giving people who are considering using Drupal.

    3.Reality: "the problem is that creating a Drupal system that mimics Stack exchange could take along time and would be best put off until D8.."-jerrac

    As I have said in other topics in and on gdo, my personal take on this is that sometimes you have to do what you have to do for the immediate need, and that maybe exposing the Drupal community to other systems may not be a totally bad thing because it does widen our perspectives and gives us a way to see what is liked and what is not and how Drupal can do it better in the future. With this said, I also strongly agree with Michelle on the topic of just all of a sudden turning off forums, I think that's a bit drastic, and I do think the main focus when using other systems is to eventually do it with Drupal and do it better. And I am not sure if this would be true or not, but would it be a bad thing for people to see Drupal looking at and using other systems, if it was presented in way that showed people we are not just stuck in our own world and that improving and growing not only within the realm of Drupal, but in the world of CMS's and systems as a whole is a constant focus. It may also intrigue people who are coming from different systems and environments and provide a way to get their input, ideas, contributions, and perspectives.

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment
      michelle

      I disagree that there is an immediate need here. We have had forums as our support for the life of Drupal. They may not be the best, but that doesn't mean that we must right this second immediately switch to something different. Improving support is a great goal and one I agree with. But I don't agree that we _must_ use something else because building our own solution will take a while. And by "a while" I certainly don't mean until D8. drupal.org isn't even on D7 yet. Getting something working by the time it's ported to D7 is certainly doable.

  8. Comment
    gideon

    Michelle, I totally see your point, and am sure you know much more than I do overall so I apologize if I categorized waiting for D8 as a "reality". If it's doable with D7, that's great:). I just still think it's not such a bad thing to keep it as an option, and use it as a learning tool. And I am personally in no position to say what's needed and what's not, it just seems a lot of people really like it.

  9. Comment
    webchick ( Idea Submitter )

    So who here wants to come up with a spec?

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment
      michelle

      I thought the maintainer of the Answers module was already on this? I sort of lost track recently... Did that fall through?