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I would suggest setting up a pilot Area 51 site on Stack Exchange to gauge interest in a dedicated Fedora Project site. The software that runs the current Ask Fedora is a copycat of Stack Exchange, but one that I find lacking. Migrating to Stack Exchange would take the pressure off the Fedora Infrastructure Team in maintaining this site and would give Fedora users the same best-in-class Q&A site resources available to competitors like Ubuntu.

Having a dedicated Fedora site on Stack Exchange would give the Fedora community the ability to set its own rules while moving the technical obligations to the Stack Exchange, Inc. It would also expose Fedora's questions to a massive community of users who I believe value the gamification benefits of a Stack Exchange site over those offered here (I certainly do).

I'll go through some of the options and points of concern:

Discourse: While Discourse is a highly innovative forum system, it is hardly easy to run. If you're having trouble maintaining this site, something like Discourse will not be easier. Moreover, Discourse is not a pure Q&A site and there are many UI decisions that, while innovative, are not common and can be frustrating to new users.

Mailing Lists: Mailing lists are a great tool and have their place in the development world. However, that place is not end-user support. Mailing lists are great for a smaller group of core stakeholders who want the intimate integration of email communication in their work. To get support from a mailing list on one-off questions is difficult and requires many steps. I believe the steps and commitment required by mailing lists and their prevalence in open source communities is a core reason for the success of Stack Exchange. Mailing lists may also be viewed as arcane to younger and less experienced users who are more used to social media for their communication. I don't think mailing lists are an appropriate replacement.

The Current Software: I only recently started using Ask Fedora. I asked a question and answered a question. As a long-time Stack Exchange user and contributor, this software feels much less refined to me and with misplaced features. For example, my Markdown recently took upwards of 30 seconds to render. On Stack Exchange Markdown renders (practically) instantly. This software also has features that encourage poor practices. For example, after signing up, Ask Fedora requires a certain point level to simply up-vote an answer. To me this policy feels Draconian. On Stack Exchange, decisions on how best to set the technical details on community administration have been well tested and refined to provide the best possible end-user experience. While I'm sure Ask Fedora administrators mean well, they simply will not have the experience to know the best mix of community administration rules to guarantee the best user experience

The Closed Nature of Stack Exchange: The most difficult aspect of Stack Exchange to accept is its closed nature. It is proprietary, hosted software, plain and simple. However, even as such I believe the sites are run in the public interest and that the open nature of governance at Stack Exchange provides safeguards against abuse. Stack Exchange does have a monetization model (related to job postings) that works for them and does not interfere in any way with the core Q&A functionality. In fact, some might argue it encourages participation.

So again, I would recommend trying to set up a dedicated site on Stack Exchange. I think that would be the best mix of brining the best available system to Fedora users while lowering the burden on the team in maintaining that system. I also think a dedicated site on Stack Exchange would expand the users base of an official Q&A site and might even help to expand the popularity of Fedora.

Thanks for your consideration.

I would suggest setting up a pilot Area 51 site on Stack Exchange to gauge interest in a dedicated Fedora Project site. The software that runs the current Ask Fedora is a copycat of Stack Exchange, but one that I find lacking. Migrating to Stack Exchange would take the pressure off the Fedora Infrastructure Team in maintaining this site and would give Fedora users the same best-in-class Q&A site resources available to competitors like Ubuntu.

Having a dedicated Fedora site on Stack Exchange would give the Fedora community the ability to set its own rules while moving the technical obligations to the Stack Exchange, Inc. It would also expose Fedora's questions to a massive community of users who I believe value the gamification benefits of a Stack Exchange site over those offered here (I certainly do).do, no offense -- it's just more recognizable).

I'll go through some of the options and points of concern:

Discourse: While Discourse is a highly innovative forum system, it is hardly easy to run. If you're having trouble maintaining this site, something like Discourse will not be easier. Moreover, Discourse is not a pure Q&A site and there are many UI decisions that, while innovative, are not common and can be frustrating to new users.users. Discourse is built by some extremely intelligent people, but those people have opinions and they may not want to make adjustments to the Ask Fedora use-case.

Mailing Lists: Mailing lists are a great tool and have their place in the development world. However, that place is not end-user support. Mailing lists are great for a smaller group of core stakeholders who want the intimate integration of email communication in their work. To get support from a mailing list on one-off questions is difficult and requires many steps. The same is true for giving support. I believe the steps and commitment required by mailing lists and their prevalence in open source communities is a core reason for the success of Stack Exchange. Mailing lists may also be viewed as arcane to younger and less experienced users who are more used to social media for their communication. I don't think mailing lists are an appropriate replacement.

The Current Software: I only recently started using Ask Fedora. I successfully asked a question and successfully answered a question. As a long-time Stack Exchange user and contributor, this software feels much less refined to me and with misplaced features. For example, my Markdown recently took upwards of 30 seconds to render. On Stack Exchange Markdown renders (practically) instantly. This software also has features that encourage poor practices. For example, after signing up, Ask Fedora requires a certain point level to simply up-vote an answer. To me this policy feels Draconian. On Stack Exchange, decisions on how best to set the technical details on community administration have been well tested and refined to provide the best possible end-user experience. While I'm sure Ask Fedora administrators mean well, they simply will not have the statistics and experience to know the best mix of community administration rules to guarantee the best a great user experienceexperience as do the developers and community organizers who build Stack Exchange.

The Closed Nature of Stack Exchange: The most difficult aspect of Stack Exchange to accept is its closed nature. It is proprietary, hosted software, plain and simple. However, even as such I believe the sites are run in the public interest and that the open nature of governance at Stack Exchange provides safeguards against abuse. Stack Exchange does have a monetization model (related to job postings) that works for them and does not interfere in any way with the core Q&A functionality. In fact, some might argue it encourages participation.

So again, I would recommend trying to set up a dedicated site on Stack Exchange. I think that would be the best mix of brining the best available system to Fedora users while lowering the burden on the team in maintaining that system. I also think a dedicated site on Stack Exchange would expand the users user base of an the official Fedora Q&A site and might even help to expand the popularity of Fedora.

Thanks for your consideration.