48

It is not really a question, but an FYI that there is a discussion about it on the new Drupal Association "idea" website, where users can vote about officially adopting Drupal Answers on Drupal.org.

Having followed a 300+ year long discussion on drupal.org it seems that the Drupal community is a bit afraid of "outsourcing" some of the support on Stack Exchange.

I think it would be beneficial for us if we weigh in on the discussion, and vote the proposal.

  • I would really like this to happen... (Voted!) – aendrew Mar 28 '12 at 22:54
  • 1
    Don't use this question to post your thoughts: Comment on the idea page, instead. This post is just to let users know there is a proposal to vote, on another site. – kiamlaluno Apr 2 '12 at 14:28
  • 3
    :) I love the irony that a SE post about not forking away from Drupal.org is itself forking discussion of that very idea away from Drupal.org... – user568458 Apr 4 '12 at 1:35
26

Thought I'd add the list of pros and cons from the original discussion here for visibility. They make for interesting reading.

PROS

  • Very good Q&A platform, good experience for support seekers as well as support givers
  • We don't maintain it
  • Available now
  • Free
  • We gain visibility from other sites of the stackexchange network (?)

CONS

  • Not in drupal.org : risk of losing contribution means killing drupal.org forums (when they're still used)
  • Trademark issues
  • Corporate, we don't know how it will turn in the future
  • No integration with drupal.org
  • Data will not belong to d.o, though it is CC licensed and available
  • No 1:1 feature match with the current forums
  • No single sign on, although OpenID is an option
  • Possible future migration concerns if we do ever decide to bring it back "in house", although we likely wont.
  • Division of user accesses looking for support. Some would go to issue queues, some would go to mailing archives, some would go to SE.
  • 4
    Regarding the Single Sign On, I've noticed some of the other SE sites have bespoke signin options (AskUbuntu.com supports using your LaunchPad ID to log in; Gaming.SE supports using your Steam ID). There's no intrinsic reason we couldn't work to get Drupal.org logins supported on Drupal.SE. – Owen Blacker Mar 23 '12 at 15:36
  • 2
    On the division of users looking for support, there's already that — I've had issues I've crossposted between here, Drupal.org and IRC. Fwiw, here is the only place I've even had an acknowledgement that I said something. Now I know some of my questions might be quite basic, but I'm not used to geeks failing even to give me a lmgtfy.com link ;o) – Owen Blacker Mar 23 '12 at 15:44
  • 1
    The Pro "We don't maintain it" should actually be split into a Pro "We don't need to maintain it" and a Con "We can't maintain it". – Oswald Mar 28 '12 at 18:50
  • 3
    In my experience, the only thing Drupal.org's forums are good for is finding that someone had the same problem as me, 7 months ago, and never got a reply to their question. So I'd argue that no 1:1 features match is a good thing... – user568458 Apr 4 '12 at 1:23
  • More seriously though, division of user accesses just needs clear moderation guidelines. Tell people when their .SE question should be a bug report on the issue queue and integrate issue queue support requests (which <10% of maintainers seem to answer anyway) to .SE with appropriate RSS feeds and tags to keep the maintainers involved. Most of the other cons are questions: "How much can we integrate d.o with .SE? How much control will Drupal have over the data?". These are factual questions: someone at SE will be able to answer them, and its in SE's corporate interest to answer them well. – user568458 Apr 4 '12 at 1:28
17

I don't know the stats, but matter of fact, the fork is already happening, or even has happened.

I discovered this website recently, and must say the experience is way above what I ever had on d.o, where the confusion is so high that anything you say is lost in the gap between the almighty devs, who have more important things to do than answering beginners or half-breed devs like me, and the basic users who struggle with their own problems.

Here, you know alomst instantly if something you say is of any interest, or if you're out of the matter. And I must say I'm very impressed with the quality of the posters here, and the system's efficiency to filter good advice.

So, IMHO, maybe this question is just pointless (not to say useless : I actually think it's very sound): I think many people already deserted d.o for support and came here, and if nothing happens on d.o, the flux will not recede.

But well, just sayin'.

  • 6
    +1 I used to go on the d.o forums for support (and to help out where possible) and I found it a pretty unsatisfying experience. SE sites are perfect for this sort of thing; Ubuntu have shifted their support to an SE site and it's working great for them, I can't imagine why it wouldn't work for Drupal – Clive Mar 27 '12 at 17:22
5

[IMHO] Having used both, I think its possibly the worst idea ever. I like to think of SE as more than a step above the drupal.org forums. Some may say this is the exact reason to have SE be the goto forum. Features like reputation points, in theory, would prevent the more snarky trolls from maintaining traction in the forum. I know of no proof. In fact, there are some reputation sites who have very high users who are equally argumentative and snarky as they like. The best anyone can say is the quality of the forum is determined by those who spends the most time on the site answering questions. In other words its the people and not the cause or the technology.

Drupal.org should have its own forum, because the first place to start a discussion is at the source. Now, if its a constant messages to participants to "go to SE", SE should be happy for doing a good job and leave it at that. SE is not facebook. We don't need the masses, we need knowledgeable users.[/IMHO]

4

While this site is excellent at addressing immediate questions, it is not good at building a knowledge base that compiles and organizes resources for fully supporting user needs. A good support site would have both extensive resource information and responsive QA. An extensive documentation resource requires a much better organizational framework for the information than either DA or Drupal.org have. Questions here are encouraged to be very specific and they do not fit into a large context very well. In contrast, Drupal.org has a documentation framework that allows users to provide information covering broader subjects but handles questions and answers poorly.

It appears to be a stackexchange policy to limit the sites to Q/A (what they know best) so expanding this site to incorporate the expanded documentation support does not appear to be a realistic option. If we used DA as the official question site, I am concerned that the documentation efforts at Drupal would be forgotten more than they are now. The current system is not well structured, hard to find, and often out of date. I would love to see documentation support at Drupal work a bit more like DA with incentives and recognition for contributing serious documentation information just as users contribute here. Ideally both parts of the support system should be combined in a single site, but unless the documentation process is enhanced I see little benefit from any change. Simply changing the status of Drupal Answers does not address the larger problem.

1

I believe we can, and need to resolve the issue eventually in drupal. The functionality is not too dissimilar to drupal's core offering otherwise I may have thought different.

If we do that, it improves the software we build and many others can make use of it too. Otherwise we lose a lof of data and introduce fragmentation and single points of failure which are beyond our control.

  • +1 for re-implement stackexchange in Drupal. :-) – paul-m Mar 28 '12 at 18:43
  • Good point Steve, don't know why you were down-voted. – Danny Englander Apr 2 '12 at 20:02
0

I believe cross-posting e.g. "Share On Drupal Answers" is the best "solution"

The proposal to use this as a Primary method of support is effectively abandoning the problems with drupal.org. On the other hand this is a fantastic platform that should be encouraged.

Social media sharing is very common ("post to facebook", "share on twitter", etc.) why not implement that capability on drupal.org and on stack-exchange to allow for cross-pollination.

I've been involved with the https://civicrm.stackexchange.com and it is very confusing if one should use the forums, or stackexchange but it has been a fantastic way to get exposure and involvement.

I also think that drupal.org should learn from stackexchange and consider making user-generated meta data much more useful.

-1

I'd like to echo what a few of the posts above have said and to add support for the idea that Drupal Answers is kept on Stackexchange rather than being shifted to Drupal.org or becoming part of the official Drupal brand in some other way. I've used the various support options on Drupal.org - the forums, mailing lists, IRC, etc - for a number of years, and while they are all useful in their own way I've found Drupal Answers to be far, far superior to the Drupal.org forums.

Yes, new users will arrive at Drupal.org first, but I don't see why that is a reason for switching the functionality of Drupal Answers from Stackexchange to Drupal.org. Surely advertising Drupal Answers on Drupal.org would be sufficient.

Furthermore, I don't see why Drupal Answers has to be seen to be evolving to solve the long-running Drupal documentation problem. I don't think that was what it was intended to do at the outset, and writing or collating documentation is a highly-skilled and highly-specific task that requires specific thinking and specific tool sets. It shouldn't be seen as being an offshoot of whatever solutions we've got at the moment, especially when those solutions were never designed to solve the documentation problem. Drupal Answers provides a great service in terms of providing answers to questions, and I'd hate for that to be lost.

In short, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. That doesn't mean that a new project couldn't be started on Drupal.org to run in parallel to or in competition with Drupal Answers, integrating some of the features that have made Drupal Answers work as well as it has worked up until now.

  • You misunderstood: Drupal Answers is not being moved from Stack Exchange, as it developed from Stack Exchange. Drupal Answers doesn't run on Drupal. – kiamlaluno Apr 23 '12 at 3:53
  • No, I didn't. While I appreciate both of your points, and the fact that the original post and the discussion to which it refers don't make specific mention of the functionality of Drupal Answers switching to Drupal.org, the general spirit of the discussion suggested that I should make the point that I made. To clarify, I think things should be kept as they are, with Drupal.org linking to Drupal Answers, just like it links to other websites: i.e., no "adoption", "sponsorship", etc. – Jim Apr 24 '12 at 13:35
  • Drupal Answers is not "being shifted to Drupal.org" as you wrote. – kiamlaluno Apr 24 '12 at 13:42
  • As I've already stated, the general spirit of the discussion was starting to move towards this: see Steve's comment above. I was replying to the discussion as a whole, rather than the original post, and attempting to deal with points that are likely to arise in the future. Apologies if this has caused you any offence or inconvenience. – Jim Apr 25 '12 at 15:33

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