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Ask Fedora: What features / changes do we need in Askbot to make this site *really* work?

asked 2016-12-14 15:02:59 -0500

mattdm gravatar image

updated 2016-12-16 11:38:06 -0500

This is a followup of sorts to Ask Fedora: Is it working, and what's the future?, where as of this writing the top-voted answer comes from the upstream author of Askbot, asking us to keep up with Askbot and to wait for improvements (with which he is willing to help).

I have a list of things I think are important, and I'm going to add those as answers. Please vote up the ones you like, and add suggestions of your own. And, of course, feel free to answer as well.

To be clear, this isn't meant as a list of demands — it should be a useful, prioritized list of things we need which we will try to get help with — from upstream, from the infrastructure team, from the community of people who have worked on Ask Fedora, and from the open source world at large.

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@mattdm: May I ask you what the status with this question and all 33 answers submitted by the user community is? Is there any active development on the Askbot software?

florian gravatar imageflorian ( 2017-08-29 09:41:10 -0500 )edit

@florian the askbot application has been slowly developed since they only have around 1-2 devs fully submitting code. It has been harder to work with and keep things updated. Specially with everything being changed to python3 and askbot only supports python2. I recommend we continue looking into using discourse since its a fully developed forum application that its maintained by tons of devs.

jlozadad gravatar imagejlozadad ( 2017-08-29 11:59:21 -0500 )edit

Whatever you come up with, it need to be intuitive to those logging into the site, not scurried away in some obscure location

toddandmargo gravatar imagetoddandmargo ( 2017-08-31 14:05:59 -0500 )edit

44 Answers

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answered 2016-12-14 22:40:52 -0500

florian gravatar image

updated 2016-12-19 23:56:13 -0500

Integrate karma/badges with FAS

Link karma and or badges with FAS badges

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Agreed — in fact, I'd like disable the site's own badges and just integrate the Fedora system.

mattdm gravatar imagemattdm ( 2016-12-17 15:20:29 -0500 )edit

answered 2016-12-19 23:54:52 -0500

florian gravatar image

Improve search functionality

The integrated search is actually not working well, and results are not sorted by a clever logic (relevance or date, or combination of both). Sometimes there are results that are completely irrelevant.

That may be a reason why the site experiences a lot of duplicate questions. Maybe people don't even bother to search for an answer but if they search they may not find what they are looking for.

If I am looking for something I am usually more lucky using google (or other search engines) and append a to my search term.

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answered 2017-03-03 15:39:31 -0500

florian gravatar image

updated 2018-10-13 09:04:18 -0500

Evgeny gravatar image

Change markdown so that links are displayed correctly.

When a user pastes a link that contains on or two underscore(s), the link is not displayed correctly: Example: Instead the _ is read as markdown command to display text _italic_. It would be sufficient to use * as the trigger for italic. Why have two control commands for the same thing?

( Unmodified link )

_Test_ 1

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This was a matter of changing a setting in the markdown configuration, should be fixed now. Perhaps it will be enabled by default in the future.

Evgeny gravatar imageEvgeny ( 2018-10-13 09:01:21 -0500 )edit

answered 2017-05-20 03:32:57 -0500

Glenn gravatar image

updated 2017-05-20 03:38:30 -0500

Move to another proven platform.


Get rid of flags all together. Only then can we all stop being offended by everything.

Get rid of karma and badges. What's that all about? Status? Does it matter?

Use the whole screen, not just the middle 60%.

And what is it with flagging posts as "possible duplicate". Are we out of disk space or something? Who cares if a post is a "possible duplicate"?

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I myself prefer discourse for this type of thing. Although it does not have karma, it has badges. I think discourse provides more features and is actively developed. This platform barely gets any updates at all. If you go to their github page, it has tickets opened from over 3 years ago. I think we should look into moving to discourse.

jlozadad gravatar imagejlozadad ( 2017-05-21 13:58:39 -0500 )edit

I'm possibly interested in moving to Discourse. Are there enough core people interested in doing an experiment that it'd be worth setting it up?

mattdm gravatar imagemattdm ( 2017-05-22 09:53:29 -0500 )edit

Duplicates are important because there are some questions which come up over and over again, and it's nice to be able to collapse the answers to one really good canonical one. Support can be a thankless chore with a lot of burnout, and tools like good duplicate handling helps answers manage the ongoing flood of questions. To me, at least, features like this are the key distinction between a help forum or mailing list and a question and answer site.

mattdm gravatar imagemattdm ( 2017-05-22 09:56:23 -0500 )edit

But, maybe we don't really need a question and answer site. We're working on revamping documentation; possibly what we need is a workflow where great answers can be promoted into that system, and we can make a way to refer to those easily rather than trying to build a knowledge base here.

mattdm gravatar imagemattdm ( 2017-05-22 09:57:18 -0500 )edit

@mattdm Discourse handles all the things you mentioned pretty well. Sticky, wiki type responses and mod features. You should look at and I manage a small discourse forum for examples. This is deployed using docker since is their recommended way ( not sure if you guys want go that route). I'm not sure how many ppl would be interested in moving to discourse. Something we can bring up in #fedora-admin or ask the community in large.

jlozadad gravatar imagejlozadad ( 2017-05-22 10:03:39 -0500 )edit

answered 2016-12-16 10:13:35 -0500

florian gravatar image

updated 2016-12-19 23:56:53 -0500

Improve responsiveness of websites

I have the feeling the page sometimes takes forever to load, and up/downvoting takes to be rendered.

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Possibly-related Fedora Infrastructure request: enable task queueing on ask.fpo, but I'm sure there are other things that could be done. This falls under "we need systems administration / SRE help!"

mattdm gravatar imagemattdm ( 2016-12-16 11:29:21 -0500 )edit

answered 2016-12-14 15:08:26 -0500

mattdm gravatar image

updated 2016-12-14 15:16:31 -0500

We need help with getting Askbot updated to the latest version of the code

This is particularly problematic because Fedora 25 has Django 1.9, while EPEL7 has Django 1.6, but from , I see

  • Branch 0.7.x - is the latest version supporting Django 1.5

  • Branch 0.8.x - transitional version for the upgrade of the database to Django 1.7

  • Branch 0.9.x - supports Django 1.7

  • Branch master supports Django 1.8

... which rules both of those out. And it looks like EPEL6 has 1.4, so... looks like there's _no current code base which will work on any of the options we have at all_.

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answered 2016-12-14 15:39:37 -0500

mattdm gravatar image

updated 2016-12-16 11:36:34 -0500

A non-cheating way to provide multiple answers. Fixed with configuration option I had overlooked

In order to make my initial list here, I had to cheat. There's no real reason I should have to do that; sometimes, there's a good reason for one person to provide multiple options to be voted on separately.

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answered 2017-08-18 04:03:13 -0500

hedayat gravatar image

Auto Cleanup

Remove too old questions without any answers and recent activity (e.g. upvote). Other criteria might be also suitable, but it should be quite safe.

My suggestion should be safe, unless a question is answered in comments. We should either make sure that we won't have such answers, or probably the to-be-deleted questions with comments can be flagged/queued somehow few days before removal so that people can review them and convert a comment to answer if appropriate.

What about removing old questions with answers but with no activity? I'm not sure if it is safe. But they might be 'marked' automatically, so that people can decide if they should be deleted manually (or they'll be deleted automatically if no one removes them from delete queue).

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answered 2017-08-29 09:09:37 -0500

Sardathrion gravatar image

Mark answers with deprecated versions as closed.

Nobody wants (or at least should want) to configure a Fedora 12 machine. We can safely get ride of those questions: mark them as closed "Version expired" or some such. Maybe allow for a grace period of a few months after end of life, but that might not be necessary.

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Can also be used to hide implemented answers in this topic.

abitrolly gravatar imageabitrolly ( 2018-10-20 03:22:37 -0500 )edit

answered 2018-07-21 20:36:55 -0500

abitrolly gravatar image

Track next karma privilege lists what privileges karma provides, but they are not visible in profile, so people don't know that they would be able to edit and retag posts.

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Asked: 2016-12-14 15:02:59 -0500

Seen: 6,518 times

Last updated: Oct 13 '18