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#1
SUBMarcos

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Dear users and mods;

The organization in this forum is bad. There are a lot of post in the success section that has nothing to do with success. Users are coming with such posts like... - Do you like this case I am plannig to buy?? or I cannot install OS X help me.

If we want to have an organized project we need to take care of it. In my case, as a user, I can only contribute to the database of succesful installs and how to install OSx86. It is meaningless if my posts are hidden somehwere and not in the correct forum.

In my prespective, this prject is similar to Linux equivalents in which many problem solving are only available in certain forums. If the forum is neatly organized I can browse to find the situation that mostly satisfy my needs.

Please, this is not hard to maintain organized. This is only possible if we all want it and d it.

Thank you

#2
Swad

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Well, I reorganized a few of the forums today.

Are you saying we need better watching of the posts or that we need a total overhaul?

#3
MetaBYte

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Dear users and mods;

> The organization in this forum is bad. There are a lot of post in the success section that has nothing to do >with success. Users are coming with such posts like... - Do you like this case I am plannig to buy?? or I >cannot install OS X help me.

The organization off this forum is NOT bad...
Keep in mind that visitors and users of MAC OS X86 are mostly skilled users....
They DON'T need to post messages/expieriences together.

If we want to have an organized project we need to take care of it. In my case, as a user, I can only contribute to the database of succesful installs and how to install OSx86. It is meaningless if my posts are hidden somehwere and not in the correct forum.


Your're right. I don't see many contributions to the database, butt...you know skilled PC users are lazy?? :-)


In my prespective, this prject is similar to Linux equivalents in which many problem solving are only available in certain forums. If the forum is neatly organized I can browse to find the situation that mostly satisfy my needs.


Don't forget, this stuff is still ILLIGALL...(sorry, forget the correct spelling..)
For that many probs/solutions you will find on other "not so legal channels"
If you do know what i'm meaning :-)

Please, this is not hard to maintain organized. This is only possible if we all want it and d it.


Think, i know what you mean, butt you can run MAC OS X86 don't you?

cheers


Thank you



#4
Big Kahuna

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#5
MLS

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To get back on topic, I believe that categories must have been planned before people actually started to post here - when that happens, you often end up with a lot of forums, and nobody quite know where to post. I find that forums where the admin started with a few forums and the splitted up after some forums got too big tend to be more organised.

Really, you should consider moving/merging more stuff ;)

#6
Swad

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MLS -
Thanks for your comments, and I'm open for suggestions. What do you think the forum structure should be? I've got some ideas for some revisions, but I want to hear what everyone else thinks as well.

Please try to be as detailed as possible in your suggested changes!

#7
MLS

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From my perspective (I know about managing websites but don't know much about the project), I think it's a little difficult to find info here, but still quite good compared to other sites that deal with making neat hacks work while having IP lawyers looking over your shoulder itching to C&D you to death B)

When you are merely curious about the project you'll ask yourself "Just how badly does it works ? How much bang for the time invested would I have from attempting to install OSx86 ?". I think the site works well for those people, with things like the HCL and the "Successes" forum, even if some of them will never get the "It works much better than you expect" message before trying :)

Now, when you actually start gathering info before trying it, it gets ugly. Good info goes stale in like, 1 week, since new solutions come out blazingly fast, but a lot of legacy info stays quite alive, since it seems like that a lot of HOWTOS posted on the forum get wikified with little modification, and a lot of credit given, which defeats the purposes of the wiki since people won't dare to modify ideas, only improve clarity and grammar.
The forum could really use some sticky somewhere obvious that basically says what are the latest non-experimental methods to get it to work. It's not like this info is unavailable, far from it, only that there's no way to know what's outdated.

And that brings me to another problem : sticky profileration. Every time a sticky is added, it competes with every other, and since I'm sure admins tend to browse using "View New Posts", they never get destickified. They are 4 stickies in the announcements sections, and not even one sticky spelling out the rules and where to find info in the most popular forums.

Regarding the large numbers of unused forums, I think that when you use a forum that is as visually bloated as an IPB, it can be very intimidating to see a very large number of forums when you're not a web forum addict. The result is that you may not bother to find the best forum to post your question, and won't bother to browse the old topics for very long before posting since you will consider a few different half-relevant forums.

I believe from the descriptions that some forums could be merged, but I don't think my opinion would be good since I don't know much about this site or the advanced topics some people talk about here.
For example, I think they are 6 general discussion forums - the 5 off-topics and the "Opinions & commentaries" one. Maybe there could be some way to make them fit in only one or two forums ? Like, one about the project and the opinions, maybe moving some topics from the Apple section, and the other 100% offtopic ?
Porting & Collaborate seem like good candidates for merging, and it may also be a good idea to move Betas as a subforum of Applications .
The "Aqua", "Benchmarks" and "Darwin" subforums of OS don't get much use (and having a big stickified "Post Xbench results" in another forum doesn't help the benchmarks one).

A lot of topics can intersect with a few forums in the Technical Work section, but trying to think how it could be any different, taking a large body of already existing topics into account, is quite the puzzle...

I think it'd be a good idea to go with something that only reflects the 3 big things of this forum - "Ask for help with the install", "Document your successes", "Get software to work" - but I don't know if that's a good idea since I have a limited perspective about the whole thing.


Well, got a little offtopic and overly long, but then you requested details ;)

#8
Swad

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MLS -
Thank you so much for your comments! If you - or anyone else reading this thread - would like to join our moderators staff to put those suggestions into place, we'd love to have you.

I've been working on a final structure for this forum, one that will fit this site in the months and years to come. Also, we want to broaden the scope of the forum, while still focusing on OSx86, to include places for people to talk about Windows, Unix/Linux, etc. Here is the forum structure that I've been working on - let me know what you think...

Discuss.
The Genius Bar (for HowTo's)
Overclocking and PC Modding
The Net (Browsers, Internet Apps, Websites, etc)
Personal Reviews

Apple.
OS X
---OSx86 Installation
---Patches, Fixes, and Tweaks
Applications
Customizing your Mac
Apple Computers and General Hardware
---Drivers
Apple Help and Support

Windows.
Windows XP
Windows Vista
Customizing Windows
Windows Help and Support

*nix.
Linux/Unix Discussion
Linux/Unix Support
Customizing Linux/Unix

Develop.
General Mac Development
---Porting PPC Applications
General Windows Development
Betas

Random.
Collaborate ("Meet, greet, work together on a project")
Thunderdome
Laughs

#9
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Also, we want to broaden the scope of the forum, while still focusing on OSx86, to include places for people to talk about Windows, Unix/Linux, etc.

Mashugly,

from my personal point of view, this is a very, very bad idea and only adds up to clutter. Concentrate on your main topics and try to improve quality rather than broaden your focus and get lost. What you're intending to do will IMO eventually water down the forum.

Discuss.
The Genius Bar (for HowTo's)

Sorry, I don't understand the meaning of "genius bar". Please stick to descriptive headlines anyone can understand, and don't just try to be "kewl".

Overclocking and PC Modding
The Net (Browsers, Internet Apps, Websites, etc)
Personal Reviews

I don't understand at all how all this pertains to the overall topic of Mac OS X on Intel. If you really consider ambiguous extensions to the forum, why not also add a politics or, perhaps even better, a hardcore porn section, for that matter? "Pimp my 'puter" and "Pimp my whore" might fit nicely under the same "red light district" category.

Windows.
Windows XP
Windows Vista
Customizing Windows
Windows Help and Support

*nix.
Linux/Unix Discussion
Linux/Unix Support
Customizing Linux/Unix

I don't think it will be any good to include others OSes here in this forum. It is still called the OSX86 Project, isn't it? Or do you want to increase hits and traffic on your site at all costs?

Develop.
General Windows Development

Huh? B)

Random.
Collaborate ("Meet, greet, work together on a project")

I think the last one would rather fit under the "develop" category.

Anyway, the plans you're proposing here send shivers down my spine. :huh:

Total chaos. Watch out not to turn this forum into a junkyard for pointless postings.

#10
Swad

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Terry-
Well, thanks for your comments - we'll wait and see what others think before we make any decision, but thanks for voicing your opinion.

The forum expansion is not because we're losing sight of the OSx86 topic at hand - we'll just be giving people other areas to discuss and debate. Variety is the spice of life, as we say, and making it easier for people to talk about Linux and Windows will make our forum better overall.

Notice that Neowin, one of the largest forums on the net, started out just talking about Windows betas, but as more people came, they realized that it was important to discuss more things than just Windows. After all, you can only spend so much time on an operating system like that... B) Kidding. The point is that our forums had very similar missions at our beginnings, and users have asked that we expand the forum to encompass more.

We want to be a Mac site where people feel free and enjoy talking about other issues, people who might not want to post at a forum as large as Neowin but still want to get many different opinions.

Oh, and we are working to increase the quality of the forum while still increasing it's breadth. I think that opening up new areas of discussion will do so. If you have any other ways to increase the quality, let me know.

So, what does everyone else think?

#11
39thRonin

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MLS -
Thank you so much for your comments! If you - or anyone else reading this thread - would like to join our moderators staff to put those suggestions into place, we'd love to have you.

I've been working on a final structure for this forum, one that will fit this site in the months and years to come. Also, we want to broaden the scope of the forum, while still focusing on OSx86, to include places for people to talk about Windows, Unix/Linux, etc. Here is the forum structure that I've been working on - let me know what you think...

Discuss.
The Genius Bar (for HowTo's)
Overclocking and PC Modding
The Net (Browsers, Internet Apps, Websites, etc)
Personal Reviews

Apple.
OS X
---OSx86 Installation
---Patches, Fixes, and Tweaks
Applications
Customizing your Mac
Apple Computers and General Hardware
---Drivers
Apple Help and Support

Windows.
Windows XP
Windows Vista
Customizing Windows
Windows Help and Support

*nix.
Linux/Unix Discussion
Linux/Unix Support
Customizing Linux/Unix

Develop.
General Mac Development
---Porting PPC Applications
General Windows Development
Betas

Random.
Collaborate ("Meet, greet, work together on a project")
Thunderdome
Laughs


Mashugly;

I like this approach, as it would certainly help to categorize the data here in a much more useable fashion. Having said that, I'm certain we'll still see people posting into the wrong thread - it sortof come with the turf. While you're thinking about strusture, I'd add a couple - NetBSD (the underlying OS for OS X) and X11. Also, something about security would be useful - for example, which AV program works well under x86, etc.

jbacko

#12
MetaBYte

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In my opinion... concentrate on MAC OS X86...

It's here, and it's here to stay, if you focus on other aspect you will lose overall qualiy off the forum.
What can be aproved, the wiki, overall quality off the posts etc.

It's amazing how many people are struggling with installing the whole thing, like partitioning your hardrive and things like that.

To be true, i've read a lot of topics and the quality is very low, due to the fact that there's is not a real good howto to setting up the whole stuff, on the other hand, expieriend users now what they are doing, they don't need a real wiki or things like that.

For me, i would like to see progress on writing drivers, what programs are working etc. the rest i KNOW, i found out myself.


To be short, admin, do something, the quality must be of a higher level...



cheers


(forget the bad englilsh, just a stupid dutch guy...)

#13
MLS

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I think I'll pass on the mod offer for now.

I don't believe your plans would be successful as they stand now, people really only come here to learn more about running OSX on x86. The name of the site itself will make it very hard to change its direction.

Creating new categories does not mean people will post there, and it means that much less people will read the topic lists of those new categories.
What you're doing is not creating new categories, really, but creating new groups of topics that won't generate much interest. (Not sure if I made myself clear on this one :( )
What I mean is that one great topic in the offtopic section is much better than an empty category that'd be difficult to launch, and once a few related topics have been made in a direction that you'd like to make the whole forum go, you can always create a new category.

Well, good luck for you expansion project. The forum may have the popularity to make it workable, but as soon as Apple changes the rules of the game, it can drop to zero. If you want to reap the benefits of this popularity, I think it'd be better to make it the big #1 priority to make it easy for some random guy to find out the following in less than 10 minutes :
- "Yes, it really works and it will perform well"
- "Your hardware is probably already in the compability list"
- "Here's the method that works for most computers"


If you manage that, you'll probably get more people to stick around and get interested in other topics.

#14
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I think we have one problem that is causing others. We, at least I, haven't been good enough at getting the recurring issues (FAQ's, literally) stickied or properly written into the wiki.

This causes them to be asked again & again. This annoys the seasoned users who had the answers months ago and have to wade through the repeat questions, and causing them to give annoyed answers, which pi**es off the newbies..

My only suggestion would be to start sticky threads on the obvious candidates, such as:
"waiting for root device"
"resizing 6gb partition"
"enabling PS/2"
"dual/multibooting"
"enabling ac97 audio"
and add more as they arise.
The idea would be to heavily edit these threads to include only truly useful stuff.

I realise that this may duplicate the wiki, perhaps in some cases all that is required is a link to it in the sticky, but something like this might help improve the signal-to-noise ratio?

I realise I am probaly at least as guilty of the above problems as anyone, and this has probably been suggested before... [/disclaimer]

[edit] & re-reading the thread, I am probably off topic. again. even. oh dear :( [/edit]

#15
Swad

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Thanks for your input, everyone - keep it coming!

One problem that I see is that it seems some of us might have a different view of this forum and what it is/should be. If the goal of this forum were to encourage people to install OSx86 illegally, then we would obviously have every guide quickly available, etc. And I would be spending more of my time writing guides instead of posting news.

However, my vision for this forum is for it to be a place for people to talk. Do you see the difference? There is a difference between providing a forum for people to talk/discuss, and instead being a place that tells people exactly how to set up OS X on their PC. For legal reasons, we can't be the latter - encouraging people to do illegal things and spelling out exactly how to do it would certainly draw the ire of Apple.

I think this might explain a few of your concerns mentioned in this thread. It might be hard to find an easy guide, but that's because I haven't written one, and really can't. If someone else does, we'll sticky it, but my job is to facilitate discussion, not help people install something.

Thus, a forum expansion would simply allow more people to talk about more things, which would make this forum more enjoyable for everyone.

But if some of you are concerned that information is hard to find, feel free to write an "ultimate" FAQ with answers or links to those answers on the wiki. Simplifing installation is not my goal, but if it's something you feel is necessary, write a post and I'll sticky it. Does that make sense? This is your forum - it's what you make it! I'm just here to help guide that process.

Let me know what you think about all of this. I'll also have a revised forum structure soon! Also, I added thread here for Sticky candidates - if you see a great thread on something important like Hagar mentioned, then post a link for us!

#16
Swad

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Ok, here's a revised forum structure.

It's considerably more focused and expands the Apple side of things, which is what all of us come here for anyway!

Discuss.
The Genius Bar of Guides and Reviews
PC Mods and Overclocking
The Net (Browsers, Internet Apps, Websites, etc)

Apple.
General Apple Discussion (About the company, rumors, etc)
OS X
---OSx86 Installation
---Patches, Fixes, and Tweaks
Mac Applications
Mac Gaming
Customizing your Mac
Apple Computers and General Hardware
---Drivers
Apple Help and Support
Classic Operating Systems and Betas

Windows.
Windows XP & Older Operating Systems
Windows Vista
Customizing Windows

*nix.
Linux/Unix Discussion
Customizing Linux/Unix

Develop.
General Mac Development
----Porting PPC Applications
Betas
Collaborate ("Meet, greet, work together on a project")

Random.
Thunderdome
Laughs (Jokes, etc)
Deals (For cheap prices found, coupons)

#17
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If you have any other ways to increase the quality, let me know.

Ban commercial spam. I don't know how others respond to this, but I get very annoyed anytime I see such "please help me get this, please help me get that" stuff:

http://forum.osx86pr...?showtopic=3292

http://forum.osx86pr...?showtopic=2715

In my view, it doesn't help the reputation of this board that also at least one of the moderators engages in such practice (=> joelogic, "You all know by now that they really are giving out these Mac Minis. In case you haven't started your account yet, what are you waiting for?"):

http://forum.osx86pr...?showtopic=1550

Well, yes, it's only my personal opinion, and I don't want to pressure you into anything, but I would appreciate it very much if there were a strict no-spam policy on this board.

I know this is only a minor gripe, but nevertheless, I'd like to know how other people think about that, i.e., whether this kind of spamming for the financial benefit of some few indiviuals on this board seems acceptable to them.

#18
Metrogirl

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First - "My, how we've grown!" This forum has become a shining example of how a lot of dedicated, interested and interesting people have developed into a community which is generally well-disciplined, well organized and above all informative. Congratulations to you, Mashugly, and the team of moderators and dedicated posters. And thanks!

Now the less palatable bit. I think we're dealing with a bunch of issues which are not unique to this forum but apply to any organization with exponential growth. I bet no-one really anticipated the volume of interest or membership at the outset. I also bet that no-one appreciated just how much sheer hard work would be involved in keeping it all tidy and logical. Nevertheless a good job has been done trying to make it all work and keep it fairly legal.

The primary problem I see is that there are so many similar threads. That's not easy to rectify because a post discussing drivers might equally relate to software, hardware or specific configurations. I've seen discussions on hardware switch to software when someone points out that the problem is not where it was originally perceived to be.

I can't see any solution to this other than dedicated admininstration - moving posts where they truly belong, judicious use of sticky tags, even collation of posts into related sets. That's a whole lot of work!

As for including Windows, Unix/Linux topics and so on, I'm in two minds about this. I ask myself why you'd want to do that? If it's to grow the forum into an even bigger repository of knowledge and experience that's fine - as long as you appreciate the extra work that will bring. Personally I like this forum over others and would prefer to discuss Windows/*ix issues in this environment than some other fora I use. The converse is that it would be a big switch away from the original concept of OSX on the 86 processor, and I'm not at all sure that's a good move. It would dilute the community, alienate some, and abandon the comfortable feeling of shared experience which is actually quite nice. "We are all trying to get OSx86 to work and help each other to do this" versus "Come and discuss any aspect of personal computing here..."

My vote is to retain the OSx86 core of interest and include other topics only where they have some relevance to OSx86. To broaden the scope will introduce the risk of the forum running out of control, and then it might become just another so-so board with a bunch of die-hards and trolls who reside on it without any real aim.

Whatever you decide, keep up the good work. This is a good group, and long may it remain so.

Sarah

#19
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And thanks!

Ok, I'm always quick with criticism and inappropriately harsh in my wording, but I'd like to second that. Thanks Mashugly, thanks the rest of your staff, for creating and maintaining this site and dedicating your precious time and energy to this forum.





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