What’s cooking at the KDE Community Forums?

In the past weeks and days, the KDE Community Forums staff has been working to bring new features to improve even more the user experience. A few months ago, the staff was discussing the idea of finding a way to guide users to the most appropriate forum to post their questions or discussions. Now, thanks also to the return in service of one of our admins (welcome back, sayakb!) the feature is now being implemented, as the screenshots below will show.

Bear in mind that everything for now is running on a testing server, to make sure it doesn’t break anything. Once the tests and the implementation are complete, we’ll integrate the feature in the forums. How soon we are not sure, but it won’t be too long.

"Help me post a topic"

Upon logging in, you will be greeted by a new "New Post" button:

You can either click on the arrow to quickly post an idea for Brainstorm, a new discussion, access the "getting started" forum or contact the staff:

Or if you just click on the button itself, you access the guided post section:

The "Share an idea" and "Chat and discuss" buttosn will bring you to the relevant forums (Brainstorm and Discussions and Opinions), while "Ask a question" will bring about an additional screen:

You’ll be able to select your favorite application and you’ll be able to post directly in the relevant forum.

Open Collaboration Services

But that’s not all. Thanks to the hard work of Ben Cooksley (fellow admin and System Settings maintainer) there is also an implementation of the Open Collaboration Services (OCS), the same system that powers the well-known Get Hot New Stuff connected to OpenDesktop.org. This will mean, in principle, that you could access forum posts and discussions in a programmatic way, using a REST API. This opens up possibilities like Brainstorm plasmoids, other means to access the forum (like an Akonadi resource – there’s some ongoing work in KDE SVN). If you’re interested in testing the OCS for the forum (or if you want to develop some kind of application that ties to the forums themselves), let us know on IRC (#kde-forum on freenode).

6 thoughts on “What’s cooking at the KDE Community Forums?”

  1. I’ve gotta say: this is the best designed and well thought out forum I’ve ever seen!

    Great work guys (and gals)

    :)

  2. Quote: I’ve gotta say: this is the best designed and well thought out forum I’ve ever seen!

    Really kind words. :)
    We’re hoping to roll it out soon.

  3. The idea for a wizard who guides you to the correct forum is really great. But to be honest: As user I still would be lost, because I would not know the differences between the menu topics.

    “New idea”: This is ok. I have a good idea for a KDE SC component and would like to offer and discuss this.

    “New discussion”: Well, what do you expect here? Isn’t every post a starting of a discussion?

    “Getting started”: I do not know what I want here? Should I ask for help regarding KDE SC here? Or is it for help for the forum software? Is it for help at all?

    “Contact us”: Who is “us”? The forum admins or the KDE developers?

    Further on I think it is difficult to understand that it is a difference to click the arrow or the button. I would suggest to make it both the same. Also the different menu that is offered when clicking the button is not clear to me. Where is the difference to the other drop down menu? Isn’t it the same just with other words?

    So my opinion for the menu:
    * Make the both menus the same.
    * Choose menu items that are more clear to the user. Perhaps:
    a) “Help me. I have a problem”.
    b) “I have an idea for KDE SC”.
    c) “Contact the forum admins”.

    In case of a) and b) you then offer the “Select your application” menu. But I think there should be a topic “other”, too.

    Greetings.

  4. Quote: So my opinion for the menu:
    * Make the both menus the same.
    * Choose menu items that are more clear to the user. Perhaps:
    a) “Help me. I have a problem”.
    b) “I have an idea for KDE SC”.
    c) “Contact the forum admins”.

    1. “New discussion” can be changed to “Chat & discuss” like the other menu.
    2. About “Contact the admins”, I’ll make it “Contact the staff” or something, but agreed.
    3. Getting started is totally different. It’s actually a guide about “How to post”.. probably we can call it that or something else, but we cannot purge it. Notice that “Getting started” is also on the page with the three big buttons.

    Quote: Where is the difference to the other drop down menu? Isn’t it the same just with other words?

    You wouldn’t see the difference until you see the actual thing ;)
    Ping us at #kde-forum if you wish to see a dev copy of this live on our test server.

  5. Very nice.

    When will bugs.kde.org start to receive some of these really amazing usability and beauty improvements that kde.org and forum.kde.org have been receiving during the last few months?

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