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#1 2008-09-16 00:44:43

Connor
Former Developer
Registered: 2008-04-27
Posts: 1,127

International support

I'm making this post to try to outline my ideas for how we can implement international support on this site, and get some feedback from the potential users of it, if they like the ideas, or if they have improvements or suggestions.

We have touched on the idea of hosting support pages for multiple languages from the beginning of FluxBB and we already host many languages on our wiki, however, I think we should expand on this and I want to describe my ideas on how.

For international support I see the following options:

  1. Ignore international support completely, not that I really think this is a viable option wink

  2. List links to international support sites, this is what has been done in the past on PunBB, however the quality of the sites varies greatly and many of the sites disappear or are out of date

  3. Offer hosting of sites and give ownership to a specific person, this gives us a bit more control over the site, and would hopefully make it more reliable, however, how do we choose who to run the site, and it still doesn't ensure the site is kept up to date

  4. Create and host the support sites and allow them to be translated and moderated by users who speak that language

The 4th option is the one I think is best and what I am going to discuss.

The basic idea is that each site will have a subdomain (for example the German support site would be de.fluxbb.org). The mainly static pages of the site would simply be translations of the English site (Home (except feeds), About and Downloads), the wiki would simply start on the German start page of the wiki rather than the English, and the forum would be separate from the main forum. I am not sure if it will be possible to do much internationalisation of Trac.

The main point to discuss is how to run the forum. I think all the forums (and the wiki) should share the same set of users, with a single login for them all. There is still the issue of quality of support, and I don't believe there is a way to completely deal with this. However, I suggest each forum will be created by the Devs, and then assigned moderators who we believe we can trust. Each forum can also display a warning that no official support is given in them. If a moderator does not look after their forum properly, we can hope someone will inform the devs and we can deal with it. We are still open to suggestions if anyone has any ideas for improving how the forums could be run.

I think thats about it, please feel free to comment, nothing has been decided yet, this is just an outline of my ideas, hopefully you can add something to it smile

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#2 2008-09-16 02:00:06

Reines
Administrator
From: Scotland
Registered: 2008-05-11
Posts: 3,197
Website

Re: International support

I'd have to agree that 4 is the best option, though personally I'd be tempted to go for 1 tongue I don't like 2/3 because as you said in the past these have not always been kept up-to-date and it can reflect poorly on FluxBB if they are mismanaged or exploited etc.

Though, what languages should we aim to create support sites for?

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#3 2008-09-16 02:01:45

Connor
Former Developer
Registered: 2008-04-27
Posts: 1,127

Re: International support

Reines wrote:

Though, what languages should we aim to create support sites for?

I think we should start with a beta run of a couple of the languages that have large userbases (french, german, russian?). Then if it works out create new forums on demand.

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#4 2008-09-16 09:02:09

Aabaz
Member
From: Paris, France
Registered: 2008-05-11
Posts: 36

Re: International support

Tell me if i am wrong but the English forums will always be the official support forums (obviously because the devs speaks english) so none of the information displayed on other support forums would be 100% accurate (in a worst case scenarion because of course i know that there are very competent fluxbb users that speaks other languages than english).

The second point is that a lot of fluxbb users (at least those around here) speaks more than one language and are able to browse information in english and in other languages so maybe the support forums being separated would make that difficult.

My conclusion is that there may be a way to keep the support forums together with categories for each language supported (or any other solution that would keep the forums from being separated).

I don't know if i'm making any sense to you, excuse my bad english.

Last edited by Aabaz (2008-09-16 09:03:37)

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#5 2008-09-16 09:09:30

elbekko
Former Developer
From: Leuven, Belgium
Registered: 2008-04-30
Posts: 1,132
Website

Re: International support

The problem with the categories for each language is that the forum will become huge, and hard to moderate.
It'd probably be best if we appoint one or two moderators per forum that we know are knowledgeable and won't abuse our trust in them.

If a user on a localised support forum doesn't get a correct answer, he/she can always come to the main support forum.


Ben
SVN repository for my extensions - The thread
Quickmarks 0.5
“Question: How does a large software project get to be one year late? Answer: One day at a time!” - Fred Brooks

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#6 2008-09-16 09:13:19

Christian
Member
From: Vienna, Austria
Registered: 2008-05-10
Posts: 463
Website

Re: International support

Do you think your server can stand the traffic of a couple of international communities, when FluxBB becomes more popular with version 1.3? - I don't know how well your financial plan is, but having other people running local communities on their own servers means you would not have to care about their costs.

Don't get me wrong, if you decide to go for international subdomains, I would redirect my top level domain to the subdomain.


https://www.stationista.com - Business podcast hosting

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#7 2008-09-16 09:14:49

elbekko
Former Developer
From: Leuven, Belgium
Registered: 2008-04-30
Posts: 1,132
Website

Re: International support

Well, as far as I know, Slicehost is pretty good at scaling. And we're still only on the most basic package, so upgrading could always be done (but that'd start costing us a tad more wink).


Ben
SVN repository for my extensions - The thread
Quickmarks 0.5
“Question: How does a large software project get to be one year late? Answer: One day at a time!” - Fred Brooks

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#8 2008-09-16 09:59:56

Franz
Lead developer
From: Germany
Registered: 2008-05-13
Posts: 6,742
Website

Re: International support

I like the idea 4, too.

Always happy to help with the German one...


fluxbb.de | develoPHP

"As code is more often read than written it's really important to write clean code."

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#9 2008-09-16 10:06:07

Jérémie
Member
From: France
Registered: 2008-04-30
Posts: 629
Website

Re: International support

4th option, and Unified Login seems of course the best.

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#10 2008-09-16 10:23:20

Franz
Lead developer
From: Germany
Registered: 2008-05-13
Posts: 6,742
Website

Re: International support

I would simply do the same sitebar with a language switcher on the side and basicly the same pages. (On the local main pages, recent posts from the local language and the English forum, though)

Honestly, if somebody wants to look at the code (Trac), he needs to know English anyways...


fluxbb.de | develoPHP

"As code is more often read than written it's really important to write clean code."

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#11 2008-09-16 10:31:27

Paul
Developer
From: Wales, UK
Registered: 2008-04-27
Posts: 1,653

Re: International support

I couldn't quite see the point of cloning the static pages. Wouldn't it make more sense to put the content of the site in langauge files and then use a langauge switcher (as lie2815 seems to be suggesting). It also makes it significantly easier to maintain the site.

As a side note, I'm not that thrilled about being legally responsbile for content I don't understand.


The only thing worse than finding a bug is knowing I created it in the first place.

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#12 2008-09-16 10:37:10

Christian
Member
From: Vienna, Austria
Registered: 2008-05-10
Posts: 463
Website

Re: International support

Paul wrote:

As a side note, I'm not that thrilled about being legally responsbile for content I don't understand.

I read the same argument by connor some month ago. Seems like he forgot that over the time...


https://www.stationista.com - Business podcast hosting

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#13 2008-09-16 10:38:30

elbekko
Former Developer
From: Leuven, Belgium
Registered: 2008-04-30
Posts: 1,132
Website

Re: International support

That's why we need trusted moderators. But that's still a risk I guess.


Ben
SVN repository for my extensions - The thread
Quickmarks 0.5
“Question: How does a large software project get to be one year late? Answer: One day at a time!” - Fred Brooks

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#14 2008-09-16 10:45:09

Christian
Member
From: Vienna, Austria
Registered: 2008-05-10
Posts: 463
Website

Re: International support

elbekko wrote:

That's why we need trusted moderators. But that's still a risk I guess.

In germany the operator of a website is legally liable for all the content on the website. E.g. that means if someone posts a commercial image on the forum, Connor is legally liable, if the owner of that image decides to go to court.

I don't know how this is handled in the other EU states, but I think it won't be any different.


https://www.stationista.com - Business podcast hosting

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#15 2008-09-16 10:50:14

Jérémie
Member
From: France
Registered: 2008-04-30
Posts: 629
Website

Re: International support

It's different in France. If the site clearly states (it helps) that it host user generated content, then the site owner is only liable if he was properly (there's a protocol) asked to remove it and didn't comply.

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#16 2008-09-16 10:51:33

elbekko
Former Developer
From: Leuven, Belgium
Registered: 2008-04-30
Posts: 1,132
Website

Re: International support

I know that, but the point is that such things should be moderated.

But still, on the dev team, only me and Kristoffer aren't English. Technically we could keep an extra eye on some of the languages we do understand, but that would again mean quite a bit of extra work.

Paul is the lawyer here, he'll know best I guess tongue


Ben
SVN repository for my extensions - The thread
Quickmarks 0.5
“Question: How does a large software project get to be one year late? Answer: One day at a time!” - Fred Brooks

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#17 2008-09-16 10:52:34

Strofanto
Member
From: Italy
Registered: 2008-05-14
Posts: 288

Re: International support

I think that the wiki is more than enough of an internation support. After all everything related to computer is in english. I would be shocked if a compiler understood "mentre" opposed as "while". I think, and it's surely not up to me, that the idea of the an internation support should be dropped. Althought if any italian user needs help and can't speak english I'll be more than happy to help. In any case, if the dev team is going to make any international support like Connor's options 3 and 4, I'm willing to help. Option 2 just doesn't work and I've seen it with the italian support sites for PunBB, they were two: one went offline after a few months and the other one is just a generic forum with a small category dedicated to PunBB.

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#18 2008-09-16 11:22:08

Jérémie
Member
From: France
Registered: 2008-04-30
Posts: 629
Website

Re: International support

Strofanto wrote:

I think that the wiki is more than enough of an internation support. After all everything related to computer is in english. I would be shocked if a compiler understood "mentre" opposed as "while". I think, and it's surely not up to me, that the idea of the an internation support should be dropped.

There's far more people not speaking English than people speaking it. Having to speak English to admin a web forum is a dumb requirement.

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#19 2008-09-16 11:41:16

Strofanto
Member
From: Italy
Registered: 2008-05-14
Posts: 288

Re: International support

Jérémie wrote:

Having to speak English to admin a web forum is a dumb requirement.

It is, that's why the admin panel is localized. But the installation procedure, installing skins, upgrading from older version is (or will be) explained in the wiki. Other advanced stuff, like editing the code, or writing an extension require way more than speaking a foreign language. That's why I think the wiki serves all the purposes of an international support. Just my two cents.

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#20 2008-09-16 12:03:58

Jérémie
Member
From: France
Registered: 2008-04-30
Posts: 629
Website

Re: International support

A front page about FluxBB, what is it, etc. needs to be localized for newcomers.

And community forums, of course. People need to be able to ask question or explain a problem they have in their own language.

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#21 2008-09-16 12:05:14

liquidat0r
Member
From: London, England
Registered: 2008-05-22
Posts: 418
Website

Re: International support

Connor wrote:

Each forum can also display a warning that no official support is given in them.

However, if a developer speaks that language, then official support can be given. Also, if in the future FluxBB expands and moderation tasks are delegated to people other than the lead developers, then there is a chance that those moderators may be able to speak other languages and can therefore offer official support in said language.

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#22 2008-09-16 12:11:29

Felix
Member
Registered: 2008-05-13
Posts: 352

Re: International support

I like the 4th possibility, tho I doubt that there won't spread any "pure" foreign language boards.

Strofanto wrote:

But the installation procedure, installing skins, upgrading from older version is (or will be) explained in the wiki. Other advanced stuff, like editing the code, or writing an extension require way more than speaking a foreign language. That's why I think the wiki serves all the purposes of an international support. Just my two cents.

What about people having problems with extensions, but can't speak any English at all?
Having one extension topic and 5 different languages in there would be more confusing than several categories in the forum.

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#23 2008-09-16 12:22:20

Strofanto
Member
From: Italy
Registered: 2008-05-14
Posts: 288

Re: International support

Very well, you made good points. I still believe that option 2 is useless though.

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#24 2008-09-16 12:45:57

horus
Member
From: Italy
Registered: 2008-05-13
Posts: 59

Re: International support

I think that today many people with absolutely no IT knowledge want to create and manage sites (for example in Italy a host company offers a CMS together with domain so people can start to insert contents immediatly) then intenational support is essential.
About the way to do it in a first time I like the idea of a subdomain but perhaps it's too much, Wiki (as said by Strofanto) and static page translation (as said by Paul) will be enough. On the forum it will be possible to create an official category with official (understanded and moderated by devs) forums and a community category with unofficial localized forums moderated by somone that devs have confidence in.

When a user needs help he looks at forums before search on site or on the wiki. If he knows english he can search all forums and there is no problem, otherwise he can search in his localised forum and if he has no luck he can ask in his mother language.

For example, I speak english a little but for complicate situations it's hard to cleary explain what I have in mind (like in this post wink).

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#25 2008-09-16 13:28:10

Felix
Member
Registered: 2008-05-13
Posts: 352

Re: International support

Strofanto wrote:

Very well, you made good points. I still believe that option 2 is useless though.

I agree with that one, because of the mentioned flaws about quality, etc.

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