WinBatch Technical Support Forum

All Things WinBatch => WinBatch => Topic started by: stanl on June 04, 2013, 05:59:51 am

Title: Board Topics
Post by: stanl on June 04, 2013, 05:59:51 am
Just .02, but the COM/dotNet may be a little broad.
 
I know there will be replies based on 'experience' that users will tend to disregard discrete topics when they post, but I would like to suggest that you consider while this new forum is in it's infancy separate topics for
 
dotNET/WB2013 and beyond
COM
Network/Remote applications
64-bit specific
 
 
Title: Re: Board Topics
Post by: snowsnowsnow on June 04, 2013, 07:50:42 am
Curiously, I would argue exactly the opposite.

In general, I think these support boards go *WAY* overboard in creating millions of "sub-forums".  I participate in several of these forums and this is what I've (almost) always observed.  I don't see the benefit.

Here's a real world example:

Another forum that I participate in, has 45 (!) sub-forums.  I mean, they really went all-out to create a subforum for every possible area of interest with respect to their product.  But this just creates a mess for me, since nearly all of the posts are "It doesn't work; help me!".  It doesn't matter what the specific area is, it all boils down to "It doesn't work; help me!" and, in fact, the answers are almost always the same - again, regardless of what specific area the poster happened to post in.  (This is a new product, with a bunch of super-newbies; the answers usually boil down to "Is it plugged in?")

As a helper on that board, I try to at least read (and usually respond to) every "Help me!" post, but (obviously) I can't really monitor all 45 forums individually for all the "Help me!" posts.  Luckily, there is a feature on the board that selects all "Unread" posts, ignoring forum boundaries.  So, this is how I always read that particular board - with the effect that I usually don't know (or care) what sub-forum I am actually reading/posting-to.  And it works well, except that every once in a while, someone will chide me that my response wasn't quite appropriate because "This is the XXX sub-forum and your response didn't take that into account."  Minor annoyance, but it does happen.

Having said all that, the thing that does bug me on this board is foreign language posts (this is a very international product, although most of the posts are in English).  Not, of course, because I have anything against people speaking or posting in other languages, but I can, unfortunately, be of no help to them.  So, if I were king, I'd throw out the 45 forums there and replace it will just 3:

1) Help (English)
2) Help (non-English)
3) Off-topic (everything except "Help me!").

If this were done, I'd only follow the first one.  Again, not saying there's anything wrong with the other 2, but they just don't interest me.

==========================================================
Needless to say, I believe that my little tale of woe has something relevant to say about the direction that I think we ought to take here on this board.
Title: Re: Board Topics
Post by: Deana on June 04, 2013, 08:18:14 am
Thank you both for your input. You have both been long time supporters of WinBatch and good contributors to the WinBatch forums. I agree that too many separate boards can be overwhelming to some and that too few doesn't allow users to ignore topics that they may not be interested in. We believe that we have found a good balance between the two options. However if over time we see the need to introduce new boards or remove stale boards, we will.

Again, thanks for the input on the new forums and thank you for your continued support of WinBatch
Title: Re: Board Topics
Post by: stanl on June 04, 2013, 12:59:08 pm
I wasn't suggesting 45 sub-topics, but a more general way to differentiate requests. How many times do we see a thread that proceeds along 6-7 posts... then an 'O By The Way, I'm using Win7 64-bit'. or the 'Which version do you have'.
WB2013 is a significant change to the product, and separating COM from .NET doesn't seem to be that large a request.
This is also supposed to be a Technical Support Board and apart from the witty repartee that sometimes ensues, users should be able to place their posts in the correct forum similar to parking their car in the correct driveway...
 
Title: Re: Board Topics
Post by: snowsnowsnow on June 05, 2013, 09:08:44 am
A few comments...

1) Of course I wasn't suggesting that we'd get up to 45 sub-forums - I think it is entirely clear that the folks running that other board just went way, way, beyond the pale.  But of course, add-a-forum-here, add-a-forum-there, and pretty soon, you're into double digits, and then so it goes.

2) Here's another cautionary tale.  Another forum that I was on (but no longer; I quit it about a year ago) went through pretty much exactly the transition that this (WB) forum is going through.  That is, they started out on a simple (primitive) board software that worked just fine.  There were a few "conferences", but nobody paid any attention to that and we just all posted and read everything that anyone else posted.  Much like the "old" WB board.  Then, someone got the hot idea that we needed to "upgrade" to something fancier (and, FWIW, I think the something fancier was the SMF software that I am typing into right now) and started setting up about a dozen sub-forums (*).  And, of course, this just made it hard for everyone to read everything, because you pretty much had to go into each sub-forum and look around for new items.  FWIW, we did, eventually, figure out how to do "read all unread" (regardless of forum boundaries) thing, and we all ended up using that pretty much exclusively.  IIRC, this functionality didn't work at the start and seemed to always be a bit flaky thereafter.  It never seemed to be a particularly good solution...

(*) And given that the subject matter was an old soap opera - that hadn't been on the air for over a decade - it really was silly to have more than one posting area.

3) Could I respectfully suggest that a sub-forum be added specifically to discuss the WaitForKeyEx() function?  I very much believe that this is the most interesting and powerful function in the WB language.  I look forward to many high-level discussions about this wonderful WinBatch function.
Title: Re: Board Topics
Post by: DAG_P6 on June 05, 2013, 06:25:52 pm
3) Could I respectfully suggest that a sub-forum be added specifically to discuss the WaitForKeyEx() function?  I very much believe that this is the most interesting and powerful function in the WB language.  I look forward to many high-level discussions about this wonderful WinBatch function.

Tongue deeply embedded in cheek, right?  ;)
Title: Re: Board Topics
Post by: snowsnowsnow on June 05, 2013, 08:44:36 pm
3) Could I respectfully suggest that a sub-forum be added specifically to discuss the WaitForKeyEx() function?  I very much believe that this is the most interesting and powerful function in the WB language.  I look forward to many high-level discussions about this wonderful WinBatch function.

Tongue deeply embedded in cheek, right?  ;)

Yes.  Although it is is true that it is my favorite function - and if I were going to request a new forum, that would be it.
Title: Re: Board Topics
Post by: DAG_P6 on June 06, 2013, 09:50:56 pm
I thought so. Although I know that WaitForKeyEx exists, I don't think I've ever needed it. That is probably because the majority of my WB scripts run unattended, often as part of a much more involved batch process, usually involving many programs, with a large shell script in the driver's seat.