Featured phpBB for August 2009: KDE Community Forums!

This is a great honour for me and my mates in the forums team. See this:
Quote for why sites are chosen:

They are the standard in which phpBBs should be measured by. The pride of phpBB.

Wow, that is far beyond my expectations.
And that reminds me of something i should have said even earlier in public:
Thanks to all the team members to form it, and also to all the users using it. The atmosphere overall is a really nice place, what else can you wish as an admin for a forum.

New Idea again…

Most of you know behindkde.org. I always enjoyed reading about the persons behind KDE.
That made us think we could do something like that on the forum. And Nightrose extended this idea a bit (thanks for that).
Maybe some of you know about digg dialogg. It is a place where you can submit/vote on questions that will be asked to an important person. So it is basically a community driven interview. I really like that aspect.

So what is it technically? It is a threaded display of all possible interviews, where commenters can be voted.
We are a forum, so we have the threaded display. Also, thanks to Brainstorm we already have a voting system in place. All we would need to do is change the topic voting to a post voting.

So, if we find a KDE contributor that is willing to be interviewed we could set up a new topic in this new area and the users can post their questions to this person. After a (yet undefined) time period we close this topic and the 10-20 (?) most popular questions will be handed over to person that will be interviewed.

That’s about it. Oh, i forgot, we found a possible name for this new Area: “KDialog *gearhead = new KDialog;” 😀

So, my question: Users, would you like such thing on the forums? And Contributors, would be willing to get interviewed in such a way?

Please tell me your opinions.

5 years old KDE user computer abilities

We just got a nice success story on the forum from user miguelbranco that i’d like to share with you. The original story can be found here.


I’ll introduce the story a bit. About 4 to 5 years ago I really got bored of dealing with Windows so I looked for alternatives. I found Linux and I happily migrated. As I’m the only computer geek at home, out of 8 people!, I progressively moved every computer at home to Linux with KDE. The rest of my family just moved with me and eventually loved the change. This is not to say that they haven’t had issues from time to time but they can always get help from me. With Windows it was just the same, so no change here. They felt the change was for good, they found KDE easier, prettier and less intrusive. Seriously. In fact right now the only Windows installation at home it’s my sister’s dual boot that has a Vista… and it’s there because I told my sister not to deleted it, just in case she might needed it. She really hates Vista (something I don’t). She wanted to have it deleted but I insisted (I completely deleted Vista 15 days after having bought the laptop, by the way).

So, the story is that my nephew, who’s 5 y.o right now, has been using Linux and Windows since always and can explain you what’s the difference between them and how to select one or the other in GRUB’s menu…. The first day he had computer classes at school teachers simply got amazed of his computer abilities. The kid asked – Teacher, don’t you use Linux here? – as he saw XP on the screens. I don’t even think the poor teacher knew what Linux was. As you can imagine, he can’t read yet. He knows the numbers and letters and he’s just started learning how to pronounce groups of letters (Galician and Spanish have regular orthographies so one grapheme nearly always equates to one phoneme). To brief up, very basic reading skills. While still a baby we’d let him play with mouse, then with two y.o we opened a web browser and have him playing simple games at BBC kids web page and so on. Progressively I taught him to switch on and off the PC and to select the OS in the GRUB menu (he couldn’t read but knew that windows was third), I taught him how to select a user and write the password in KDM (yes, his mother has passworded login 😉 ) and how to open firefox (the fox ball, he calls it) and use bookmarks (which I set up for him). I think you get ti, he knows that kind if things. Some times he even tells me – hey, look what trick I know! – and changes the virtual desktop or something alike.

But the other day I just perceive how much his “computing” skills had advanced and how pathetic some people, that has been using computers since they had been invented, seem in comparison. He switch on the laptop as always, typed in the password, and went on to launch a web browser. He basically uses the laptop for playing flash games. He launched kickoff (yes, kickoff); for some mysterious reason he ignored Firefox, which is bookmarked as a favorite, move to the ‘recently used’ tab, looked for Opera and launched it. Then, he moved to the direction bar, or whatever you call it, pressed the button that shows the recently typed web pages (that small triangle) and scrolled through the list until the found the one he likes. I’ve no clue how he recognized the domain, by the way. (Shape recognition?). The page loaded and then he clicked in a game which triggered the opening of a background tab, to where he immediately moved to happily start playing. It is not that he knows how to do all that things individually, it’s that he has discovered them through use and now uses all them routinely without doubting about what he has to do next. Oh, he said Opera was better than Firefox for games 🙂 . Don’t ask me why.

Besides that my nephew might be brighter than the average, to my head came all that futile debated about kickoff, how bad it was, people counting clicks and so on. It suites the need of my nephew and It’s just right for most of people. My experience is that average users don’t care about learning applications names and don’t even know or care about what applications are installed. It isn’t different if the user has gone to the university or not. Most user simply don’t care about anything computer related. The question type I’ve been made the most is ‘what do I use for …?’ and ‘where do I find my….?’. Kickoff does well at helping people finding applications and folders. I might not be a perfect tool but does the job well. I have the impression that users most opposed to changes are long term users that simply don’t want things to change because if they change they have to learn a new series of habits. But new users easily adapt, especially 5 y.o KDE users 🙂 .

Nice, isn’t it?

KDE Forums – Something big is about to happen

>Lately there has been a lot of activity in the KDE Forums IRC channel, #kde-forum on freenode. neverendingo, one of the forum admins, also said something interesting this evening:

neverendingo: finally… nightmares from conditional html code…
neverendingo: and bubbles, i see them everywhere…

Now you might wonder, what has bubbles to do with the forum? Unfortunately I can’t give you an answer, but it seems to be related to this picture that has been floating around:

One thing is for sure though: we will find out more in the not-so-distant future.

KDE Forums – News and what to expect

>The forum is now nearly one year old. And after some discussions in the team (and the not so far away release of KDE 4.3) we decided to do some major changes. The most obvious one will be a layout change. The old one served us very well, right, but as time goes, i would like to have a new one. And along with the really great looking AIR theme from the oxygen team i invested some time to do a new design. I can’t post screenshots yet, as i have no internet connection (at an internet cafe right now) but these will follow soon. Just stay tuned 😉

Right after our major upgrade we want to introduce the “KDE Forums house kleaning day”. This will also happen shortly before the 4.3 release in July.

What does this mean?
We invite every user of the forums to discuss with us
The forum structure
Maybe you are not sure if the structure of the forum is really good enough. Suggest something else.
Unanswered posts
Yes, unfortunately there are still posts that weren’t answered. And we’d like to have an answer on nearly every question. So this is your chance to get involved and help people with their problems. The “Solved” button is there for a reason 😉 .
Topics not in the right place/already solved etc
Sometimes it happens that topics land in the wrong place. This is no big problem, but to give new users the chance to find what they need we should have them in the right place. Find these topics and give us a hint to where they should belong. Also, some topics could already be solved but aren’t marked as such. Tell us. Same for the brainstorm area. Maybe some of the items are already in bugzilla, or already implemented.

The day in question will be shortly before the 4.3 release and we will announce it in time to give everybody the chance to get involved. Discussion can take part in the “Feedback” area, and also in our irc team channel at freenode, #kde-forum.

So for everybody who would like to give a helping hand, join us.

>forum.kde.org release party – success?

>After our record attempt our 24 hours lasting thread about congratulations to the KDE 4.2 release is slowly coming to an end. Did we meet our target of 2000 posts? No… As of now we are at 370 posts… Well, we still have it open to finally come to 420 posts, that would be cool.

But let me sum up:

– When i first time entered the forum yesterday, i noticed people already trying to do posts in this particular forum… (it was ~10:00 UTC). Luckily we decided to wait with opening it till the official release announcement arrives. 🙂
– Unfortunately we found out that the new Dot is hosted right on the same server with us… That made us a bit worried about server load etc, since the new Dot as well as our Release Party was meant to arrive at the same time. And both are known for high traffic on such days. Well, as most of you probably saw… it put the server to it’s knees. Some issues were tested out before by us: First, we really need a better caching system for the forum! Second, we also found some possible performance issues on the Dot, that also gets the server to its knees. This will be examined.
– Our normal user visit statistics were ~50 users on the forum. Since the beginning of the day it kept increasing and was already twice the normal when the release announcement came out.

So how did it go:
– Overall impressive, there really was not much need for moderation since all comments were very positive (actually i remember only one comment that was more some sort of a trolling than constructive). And I swear, we didn’t cheat Wink We have logs to prove that! So developers, visit the thread and feel warmly thanked by the users.
– Some users even stated they waited the whole day just to be the first one to congratulate… Nice, i love this community!
– Although we set up the congrats thread to allow posts from guests, we noticed a slight increase in user registrations.
– But we topped it all when someone from our forum team finally wanted to “stress test” our poor server so OhReally slashdotted this event… 😀 That was the point where the server REALLY went on it’s bloody knees… Happened to be the moment when i just restarted my DE on my main account to the shiny new release, what took me about 2 minutes. And returning to the forum showed me 200 users online… short after that 500 (~150 before being slashdotted). Finally we hit a new milestone with 651 users simultaneously online.
– Did i mention that this thread needed only 1 hour to have over 500 visits?
– Now after the day we have topped every other thread so far. Most replies (370 in 24 hours), most visits (>24 000 since it started), and user load still higher than normal. Really really nice.
– Putting that on Slashdot also gave us more than 380 comments over there.

Ok, we are far from our supposed number of 2000 posts but it was worth a try. And after it now settled down, we should again concentrate on the Klassrooms. New contributors are waiting.

I am wondering what we can do for the KDE 4.3 Release… 😉

>KDE 4.2 release event

>Maybe everybody already heard about the shiny new 4.2 release, and maybe even more people are already using it in the RC version, like myself.

But this event needs to be celebrated even more! Unfortunately not everybody of us can attend one of the release parties all over the globe. So we, the team of the KDE forum, decided to add something to the release parties…

We believe that this release is a milestone in KDE development, so we decided to open the forum (at least in a part) to the whole world. Yes, you read it right, not even a registration is needed. We will open a thread just the day 4.2 will be released and it will be open for 24 hours. And there you can write whatever you want to write about the new release.

Of course, to overcome some sort of trolling, we will moderate very new post, but of course every constructive criticism is welcome.

NOTE: This thread will be ONLY about the 4.2 release, no talk about present releases.

And along with that we want to crack a milestone: Can it be possible to have 2000 posts in one thread in 24 hours on this forum?
We believe it is possible 😉
So please stay with us and show us it is really possible, that this release will be the most talked about release ever!