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DevNet v2

There's a discussion that started here about possibly establishing a community-owned version of a forum for IWOV (DevNet, but with usability). I'm starting this thread to see if there's any actual interest in making this happen. I'm certainly open to the idea, but there's a lot of things that would have to be figured out.

Forgetting the logistics and technical details for now, step 1 is to understand who would support the idea, and additionally, who would actually offer their time to moderate/support the technology. (Feel free to offer up ideas, but don't forget to answer that question)

Comments

  • I am in. I have a domain hosted by godaddy we could use. Not certain what it would take to get it running
  • Not certain what it would take to get it running
    Depends on the technology we'd end up picking, but it's basically just installing (copying) the forum code, connecting to a DB (MySQL usually) and then tinkering with the forum config for half a week. In the case of vBulletin (totally NOT suggesting we keep using that one), it's a folder structure of PHP files to copy into your docroot tree.
  • I am in and I think we should do it. Priceless amount of data and information entered in this site everyday and none of it is being maintained, also I can see Autonomy shutting this down any day without notice. I am open to help in any way I can.
  • Depends on the technology we'd end up picking, but it's basically just installing (copying) the forum code, connecting to a DB (MySQL usually) and then tinkering with the forum config for half a week. In the case of vBulletin (totally NOT suggesting we keep using that one), it's a folder structure of PHP files to copy into your docroot tree.
    we probably shouldn't discuss any plans on this site just in case.
  • Agree and I support.
  • Pros:
    • Usability (not guaranteed)
    • #1 post count will be up for grabs again (at least for the first few days before Adam pulls away again =))
    Cons:
    • Divide community
    • Lose a decade of forum post data (yes, I know search is terrible on here, but the old posts probably answer 90% of people's questions)
    • Autonomy has a vested interest in keeping this forum alive, if the user(s) hosting the other site move on to something else or get hit by a bus, the forum could die.
    Why divide the community and lose all of the post history for the chance that the forum software may be governed better?

    Just my $.02.

    ~Jeff
  • Pros:
    • Usability (not guaranteed)
    • #1 post count will be up for grabs again (at least for the first few days before Adam pulls away again =))
    Adam will automatically get #1 post , it just makes sense to acknowledge his skills in using postscount++, but Andy can easily afford buying it from him if he wants to.
    Cons:
    • Divide community
    • Lose a decade of forum post data (yes, I know search is terrible on here, but the old posts probably answer 90% of people's questions)
    • Autonomy has a vested interest in keeping this forum alive, if the user(s) hosting the other site move on to something else or get hit by a bus, the forum could die.
    Why divide the community and lose all of the post history for the chance that the forum software may be governed better?

    Just my $.02.

    ~Jeff
    In one hand, I agree, we will loose massive amount of information and history. the problem with this site is that we don't have access to that amount of information and history right now. it impossible to make any use of that information unless you are willing to browse all posts pages one by one. In the other hand, most of questions are repeated over and over because users can't find them. also the questions these days are less relevant to 6.x and more about 7.x and probably 80% of the posts on here are about 6.x.

    For period of up to a year, yes, users will come here first. But eventually the new site will build its own library. and by redirecting users (with a reply to their posts) from this site to the new site, you will eventually build traffic and data in the new site. also by making the site available to google and other search engine, you will get a lot more traffic than devnet does today.

    I don't think there will be division in community. Everyone (without exceptions) agrees that this site is missing basic functionality to get it anywhere close to its real level of usefulness. i don't think anyone on here will refuse to get a better functioning devnet just because they are attached to this one. they will always get their questions answered in the new site just like they do in this broken site. Questions get asked repeatedly because they cant search for it on here, and it s just one more but the last repetition that they have to do in the new site.
    The new site won't be owned by one or two folks. it will be a community site just like all other public online community sites that are managed and maintained by the community. there should be organized in a way that will insure there is always a group of members who are maintaining it and interest in keeping it alive. the last piece that might cause division is the distinction some of the contributors earned with their handwork and time on here. the accomplishment of the contributors on here will be carried over to the new site, there is no reason not to.

    My personal goal, from this conversation and idea, is that I think this is an extremely useful and valuable site that Autonomy doesn't value enough to maintain or acknowledge the effort some of the members on here make to keep it alive and to keep Interwoven software alive. This also a site that is at risk to shutdown without notice. It used to be worth it to spend time on here helping others because Interwoven knew the value of it and acknowledged every year the efforts and time the members put into it. Does any of Autonomy's other products have this kind of community site? so why not have an independent site where members can put time and effort into it without the risk of Autonomy shutting it down and loose it all because Autonomy has no interested in keep it? maybe the new site will grow enough to be able to have gear-ups again and other community development activities.
  • Pros/Cons
    I think everybody on these forums can attest to the fact that migrations of any kind are never easy and seamless, but here's my take on the points you brought up:
    • Usability (not guaranteed) True, but I'd hope that with the wealth of web and WCM expertise around here, we can come up with something better AND, and this is key, keep improving it over time.
    • #1 post count will be up for grabs again There was a comment on the other thread about starting off migrated users with their DevNet v1 post count and join date. I'd support that because I think we don't want to lose the fact that certain users have contributed a LOT to this community over many years, and that should continue to be recognized. That said, if Adam feels like starting over at 0, that's up to him. Smiley Tongue
    Cons:
    • Divide community Yep, that's the big worry in my mind too. Someone made the argument that people will go find the answer wherever they need to. If they can't search DevNet properly, option #2 is Google and hopefully DevNet v2 shows up at the top of those rankings. Gradually, people may just adopt the new one as the go-to place.
    • Lose a decade of forum post data (yes, I know search is terrible on here, but the old posts probably answer 90% of people's questions) Well, what's the use of having all those answers if you can't find them? Yeah, there's a wealth of information here and it's not impossible to scrape it. The challenge is making it available again in a way that's actually useful, and I think that would be a large part of the discussion IF the community even buys in to this migration idea.
    • Autonomy has a vested interest in keeping this forum alive, if the user(s) hosting the other site move on to something else or get hit by a bus, the forum could die. They have a vested interest, but they're sure not showing it -- I'd be incredibly happy if someone from Autonomy came on this thread and said "hey, we recognize we need to do better, but we need help and ideas". That hasn't been the case in ages. For the hosting piece, part of the discussion would have to focus on distributing the ownership of the new solution specifically to avoid that "hit by a bus" scenario. Maybe that means mirroring the DB across hosting providers, I don't know yet.
  • I'll second Jeff on this one - waste of efforts IMO. Sure, we have semi-functional Forum here.
    Whether something else will be better (and when) is questionable at best.
  • I'll second Jeff on this one - waste of efforts IMO. Sure, we have semi-functional Forum here.
    Whether something else will be better (and when) is questionable at best.
    I guess my question primarily was, if a group of people from this community stood up a forum that you find more usable, would you consider using it. Whether you want to invest your own time in the logistics of getting it running is secondary.
  • I guess my question primarily was, if a group of people from this community stood up a forum that you find more usable, would you consider using it. Whether you want to invest your own time in the logistics of getting it running is secondary.
    No, I would not use another forum.

    There are enough of us customers who use this forum that we should get together and come up with a list of needs/wants and present them to the forum admins and see if we can get them implemented. As customers, we are paying for support and even though this forum is open to non-customers I think of it as part of the support plan.
  • I guess my question primarily was, if a group of people from this community stood up a forum that you find more usable, would you consider using it. Whether you want to invest your own time in the logistics of getting it running is secondary.
    I'm not picky. If something is better I will use it, contribute to it and whatnot.

    Unfortunately, I'm somewhat pessimistic about our ability to make it better.
    How many active contributors do we have left on the Forum, less than a dozen?
  • I haven't looked in a while, but I'm in the top 20 of posters!!! Well.... actually I am number 20.
  • No,
    As customers, we are paying for support and even though this forum is open to non-customers I think of it as part of the support plan.
    Autonomy doesnt not include devnet in their support contract with you. this can go offline for weeks and they wont have to do anything about it.
    No, I would not use another forum.

    There are enough of us customers who use this forum that we should get together and come up with a list of needs/wants and present them to the forum admins and see if we can get them implemented.
    there are no admins for this forum. Check with autonomy on the main issue with this forum, Search, many customers have complained and put in requests years ago and nothing has changed. let us know when you hear back from them thou about Search issues Smiley Happy.
  • I'm in the top 20 of posters!!!
    We really need to get a life, you and I Smiley Happy
    Now check how many of the contributors between you and Adam are still active...
  • ... Autonomy doesnt not include devnet in their support contract with you...
    It is true that devnet is not part of the support contract. But Sales touts the 20,000+ "active" members on devnet to support their argument that resources are 'cheap' and 'easily' available.
  • Could be that we're going about this the wrong way. Is the only significant complaint the search feature?

    Aside from that, I've only heard about a concern that the forums might just one day not be available anymore. I don't see why Autonomy would intentionally kill them, since it basically costs them nothing to host this, but they may not put much effort into restoring them if a DB dies or something...

    I'm now thinking maybe we could suggest and/or work with them to put an alternate search engine in place, and keep the forums as-is.
  • No one wants a parallel forum and split/divide the community.
    Everyone is happy if this site goes on as it is but the fear of losing the valuable content is forcing us to think differently.
    There are several points which are valid.
    1. If this site goes down one morning and there is a major time and cost involved at that point of time to make it up and running, then I don't think Interwoven will look into it.
    2. Its always good to have a backup.
    3. Its not good to split the community.

    I seriously think that Interwoven guys should comment on this which they have not done yet.
  • We really need to get a life, you and I Smiley Happy
    Now check how many of the contributors between you and Adam are still active...

    If I counted correctly there were over 600 different users who posted on this forum since Jan 1 of this year. Not all of them come back regularly, but all in all, that isn't too bad.
  • I'd be more interested in working with Autonomy on fixing DevNet rather than trying to duplicate the effort and potentially split the streams of information.

    Autonomy (Interwoven) let go of a number of people who worked hard in the early days to make DevNet a solid forum (I believe it started with Lissa Martin-Sessek and "ended" with Will Anglin). I believe that Autonomy finally assigned someone to be responsible for DevNet again but it isn't clear how much that responsibility is a percentage of their total responsibility and/or what amount of support they get internally for trying to improve things.

    Maybe things will get better. Maybe we (for some definition of "we") could help.
  • I'd be more interested in working with Autonomy on fixing DevNet rather than trying to duplicate the effort and potentially split the streams of information.
    ...
    I look forward to seeing how much effort Autonomy will put into this forum by next year.
  • I look forward to seeing how much effort Autonomy will put into this forum by next year.
    What are you alluding to when you say "next year"?
  • I wouldn't mind using another forum as long as its good. For my Java development that's what I do anyway. Come to think of it I don't use much of Sun(Oracle) forums at all. Its mostly the other forums that help me with issues.
  • I have talked to the VP of Marketing about DevNet. He seems to like it a great deal and asked a bunch of questions about its usage. Of course that has not changed the internal activity. A big part of the problem is that almost all the active A/I members are no longer with the company. There are one or two LS developers who still post.
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