Kobymaru

Should we have more Sub-Forums?

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I suggest, that we merge all threads in the "General KSP discussion" into one single thread. It will be great, that way, there will only be one single thread, everything will be in one place. Because of that, every new Member will immediately find all the Information about KSP, since there is only one place to look at, anyway.

Sounds right? No? Well, I didn't think so either.

Merging all threads into one thing is a terrible idea, because threads become cluttered, it becomes impossible to follow conversations about different topics. The threads become effectively unsearchable, because every search will turn up an overwhelming amount of seemingly related posts. 

But for some reason, what is pretty obvious for things like "General KSP Discussion" or "Suggestions and Development Discussion" doesn't count for the Mods section. I suggest that you look at the following threads:

http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/index.php?/topic/37449-105-tac-life-support-v01121-12dec/ - 3100 posts

http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/index.php?/topic/51142-1051-05-4-dec-3-2015-environmentalvisualenhancements/ - 5400 posts.

http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/index.php?/topic/19321-105-ferram-aerospace-research-v01554-hoerner-12115/ - 12000 posts

and the winner, with staggering 13700 posts:

http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/index.php?/topic/72032-105-usi-kolonization-systems-mksoks-03112-20151109/

 

All of these threads contain an incredible amount of posts. They have a lot of users, and people have a lot of questions. And the problem is: they have different questions. Often enough, those questions are absolutely independent from each other - but still, they have to be posted in one thread, because the only thing they might have in common is that they use e.g. FAR.

This leads to interleaved discussions where topics can get left behind, an unnaturally active "main thread" that someone has to follow, and worst of all: a completely and utterly unsearchable thread where new users are being reprimanded for asking a question again, that was asked 58 pages back, where a search would have turned up a flood of unrelated posts.

 

So what is my real suggestion? 

  • Ask the thread owners of the biggest threads, if they want to make a subforum from the thread.
  • Make subforums for them
  • "purge" subforums with little activity, by hiding them from the default views and instead moving them to some sort of "subforum for old subforums".
  • Modders with "Mod-suites" like Nerteas NearFuture or RoverDudes MKS/USI should have a subforum for themselves.


Question 1: Would this be feasible?
Question 2: Do people agree that this is a good idea?
Question 3: Are the Moderators willing?
Question 4: Are the Mod-developeres willing?

Edited by Kobymaru

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I'm all for more sub-forums because I think they provide an easy and quick 'coarse filter' to let people find the kinds of topics that interest them most on the forum. And actually, I would take the opposite approach - it's not the big popular threads that need to be hived off into a sub-forum, it's the relatively niche threads that otherwise get lost in the noise. For both those reasons, I don't like the way the forum migration got rid of some of the sub-forums but no doubt there were good reasons related to maintenance, moderator coverage or whatever.

Admittedly, I have a personal bias on that point. :) My main forum 'thing' is writing, which I think it's fair to say as a bit of a niche (compared to say, cinematic videos or artwork) within a niche (Fan Works in general). Hence I wasn't terribly happy when two of the old Fan Works forums got rolled together. But I digress.

However, I'm not sure that creating the number of sub-forums that you're suggesting is a good idea. Somehow it just seems a step too far. What would help is a better search function (which is being worked on), so that searching those 50+ pages of a thread isn't quite such a chore.

One thing that I would also very much like is to bring back a standard set of thread tags. In the old Fan Works forum, there were a set of tags you could apply to your thread title: writing, art, inventions, video... etc. They made it very easy to quickly flick through the forum and pick out the kinds of Fan Work that you were especially interested in.

I think the current tagging system, whilst more flexible is a step backwards because of that flexibility and also because the tags are smaller and harder to read. Assuming that people bother to tag their threads in the first place, there's a lot more variation in the tags they're using, which sort of defeats their point. An indexing system is great - but it doesn't work very well if anyone can add new entries to the index at random. :)

Edited by KSK

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Currently there's a lot of subforums already, adding more is not something I'm a big fan of. I can certainly understand that some mod threads are huge, but another alternative if the threads become too big is to simply start a new one. Most of the information posted in those threads is over a year old, related to versions of the mods and KSP that are no longer available. I'd also like to add that I can't recall a single time a mod maker has requested a sub-forum for his or her mod. Perhaps that means they don't see the need for it, and perhaps they just never asked.

You suggest we purge forums with less activity, and that's guaranteed to lead to many complaints about lost content, as it did with arguably perhaps less informative threads such as those in the now-gone Rocket Builders forum.

I don't feel it's our place to play favorites and give some developers more spotlight than others, and as KSK mentioned creating a large amount of subforums for popular mods is likely to further decrease the amount of oversight people have when they visit the add-ons forum. I can't think of a perfect solution here, and adding subforums for specific mods definitely isn't that either.

To answer your question: it's feasible, but presents its own set of problems, therefore I don't agree it's a good idea, speaking on behalf of the of the moderators I'm not willing to implement this and I can't recall any request from a moddder to have this implemented.

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For what it's worth and in my opinion, we should have less.  Nobody goes into the sub-sub-forums.  Take tools and applications for example.  So many people don't know about all the goodies in there because it's nested.

The lack of knowledge of its existence results in more Gameplay Questions and Mod Requests.

Edited by Alshain

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If you created a bunch of sub-sub-forums for individual mods or mod creators, you'd just get a bunch of repeat threads. IMO, having people watch a video or read a tutorial about how to install mods, read logs to find out what went wrong, and how to write up a bug report would be a much better solution, how one would go about enacting and enforcing this policy would be the difficult part.

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a perma link to a translator meta engine would be great ; ) there so much baby lone languages amongst earth and Kerbin ; ) this and more caracter set per default ... i hate missing some especially the artistic derivative ones

Edited by WinkAllKerb''

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