Is this forum dying and is that a bad thing?

Any feedback to improve the content of this site is appreciated!

Is this forum dying and is that a bad thing?

Postby gloomyandy » 04 Jan 2014, 19:16

There seems to have been a big reduction in posts on the forum over the last few months (which is a little strange given the EV3). At the same time the Mindstorms EV3 facebook group has become a pretty busy place. Personally I'm not sure it is a good thing as a forum seems to be much better organized for finding topics that are more than a few days old (things quickly disappear from the facebook pages and are not easy to find without searching which people seem to be reluctant to do). I guess things always change, but it seems a pity to me. Does anyone else have any thoughts?
User avatar
gloomyandy
 
Posts: 323
Joined: 29 Sep 2010, 05:03

Re: Is this forum dying and is that a bad thing?

Postby mightor » 05 Jan 2014, 20:54

The problem is, people need to create an account for this and they usually already have one for FB. Personally, I am not a fan of the FB groups because they're hard to search, but I guess it's how things go.

= Xander
| My Blog: I'd Rather Be Building Robots (http://botbench.com)
| RobotC 3rd Party Driver Suite: (http://rdpartyrobotcdr.sourceforge.net)
| Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use threads,"
| and then two they hav erpoblesms. (@nedbat)
User avatar
mightor
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1079
Joined: 25 Sep 2010, 15:02
Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands

Re: Is this forum dying and is that a bad thing?

Postby h-g-t » 06 Jan 2014, 10:58

Could be that people are put off because sourceforge can be very slow a lot of the time, or that have just not heard of the Mindboards site?

Would it be considered spam to drop hints in Facebook about Mindsensors?

Have to say I tried searching it for 'Mindstorms EV3' and found incredible chaos!

Lots of threads with the same title but some little more than blank pages.
A sophistical rhetorician, inebriated with the exuberance of his own verbosity, and gifted with an egotistical imagination that can at all times command an interminable and inconsistent series of arguments to malign an opponent and to glorify himself.
h-g-t
 
Posts: 552
Joined: 07 Jan 2011, 08:59
Location: Albania

Re: Is this forum dying and is that a bad thing?

Postby HaWe » 07 Jan 2014, 00:07

for G languages this forum was never highly frequented,
the same it's about Java (->Lejos forum),
and the same it's about RobotC (-> RobotC forum), and there also is currently no EV3 support yet by RobotC.
A NXC-like VM-based language for beginners with a simple IDE is not available at all,
and gpp C is rudimentary.
The gpp C compiler (and makefile) based on BCC is for beginners quite hard to handle and to overlook, some people abandoned it after the first tries, and for the few people who are left there is no good and quick support for BCC/C issues and lot of bugs and issues keep unfixed and incompleted (e.g., button handling, string handling and lcd display, no elaborated motor and sensor and daisy chaining API, multitasking is not integrated, pthread is complicated and shaky, and you have to #include and dynamically link a million libs to get it finally at least running).

Professional and very advanced programmers do their own stuff, but everyone is working on different rudiments and vestigial construction sites (Debian Linux, direct C file I/O for sensors and motors, MonoBrick,...). Then the new sensors are incompatible to the NXT sensors, sensors and multiplexers can't be accessed, professionals don't even use BCC/C at all, so what can one build or talk about?
The same issue once was about nxtOSEK: A great idea, but no good support, no further development, and so the whole thing extincted.

RobotC seems to become the only option for C-based (C-like) EV3 programmers as it seems, provided that it's featuring daisy chaining - but then it will again be more a RobotC forums thing.
User avatar
HaWe
 
Posts: 2500
Joined: 04 Nov 2014, 19:00

Re: Is this forum dying and is that a bad thing?

Postby mightor » 07 Jan 2014, 06:29

h-g-t wrote:Would it be considered spam to drop hints in Facebook about Mindsensors?

No, it's about helping people and if people can get better help there, then by all means.

I have noticed that the forums can be quite slow at time, I am not sure why that is. Migrating to yet another forum is not going to help either at keeping the community together. Things evolve over time, it's just how it is.

Doc is right in saying that a lot of the communities have their own forums. I know that LEGO has one for the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 platform, too: http://www.us.lego.com/en-us/mindstorms/community/, it's heavily moderated and very kid friendly. I can see why parents would prefer their child go there.

= Xander
| My Blog: I'd Rather Be Building Robots (http://botbench.com)
| RobotC 3rd Party Driver Suite: (http://rdpartyrobotcdr.sourceforge.net)
| Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use threads,"
| and then two they hav erpoblesms. (@nedbat)
User avatar
mightor
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1079
Joined: 25 Sep 2010, 15:02
Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands

Re: Is this forum dying and is that a bad thing?

Postby HaWe » 07 Jan 2014, 06:41

BTW,
for G programmers a simple jpg or png file upload is an essential requirement which had been previously thwarted by the forum's software
(regardless of the effing lame forum's server)
User avatar
HaWe
 
Posts: 2500
Joined: 04 Nov 2014, 19:00

Re: Is this forum dying and is that a bad thing?

Postby haydenstudios » 11 Jan 2014, 03:27

It indeed does appear that this forum is dying.

To be fair, it was never very active to begin with. At least, compared to a lot of other forums out there. We've always been a very small community. Still, it's plain to see that this place isn't as lively as it was back in 2011. And yes, very ironic given that it should be anything but dying given the newly released EV3. Perhaps it's just that this community represents the RIS and NXT generations of MINDSTORMS fans. We don't seem to be attracting any new fans. And since the NXT generation is phasing out, some people are doing the same with MINDSTORMS altogether, myself included.

Over on the LEGO Message Boards, some of the old NXT veterans have begun talking about their imminent retirements, and the RCX veterans are nearly extinct. But there are new EV3 fans rising up to take their places and become the new faces of the community. But for some reason we're not getting that new legacy here.

It's a bit sad when you think about it. I guess the prolonged life of the Mindboards just wasn't meant to be.
-Hayden
User avatar
haydenstudios
 
Posts: 252
Joined: 22 Oct 2010, 20:05
Location: The United States of America

Re: Is this forum dying and is that a bad thing?

Postby bungeshea » 04 May 2014, 00:30

I think that there are some core issues with how this site is presented that could potentially drive people away from joining Mindboards.

Many of these issues stems from the fact that Mindboards has very close ties with SourceForge, even though they are completely unreleated, which can be unsettling for a new user. For example, did you know that SourceForge only allow people to register if they are 13 years or older, and they must have parents permission if they are under 18 via their terms of use. Obviously that isn't an issue for this particular site, which is generally pretty child-friendly, but we are forced to inherit SF's own TOS as we use their accounts. Other parts of the SF registration form, such as the Job Title and Number of Employees sections, and the completely unrelated newsletter section, are another element that adds to the confusing process.

The main page found at mindboards.net could also do with a bit of work. It looks temporary and unfinished, and has been that way for as far as I can remember. In the main gateway the link to the forums is broken, and our blog has been down for who knows how long. Of course the forums are still accessible from other links, but how is a first-time user going to know this?

I am in no way trying to poke holes in what the organizers of this site have done to build it up; I'm just trying to suggest ways that the feel of this site could be improved to make it more welcoming to first time users.
User avatar
bungeshea
 
Posts: 207
Joined: 14 Aug 2011, 08:45
Location: Australia


Return to Site Comments/Complaints/Suggestions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

cron