Proposal - Language and location based content and categories

I agree with regional categories.

Local communities are good for OSM discussions, as they very often gyrate around how to map / handle tricky local pecularities. And laws as well as customs are very regional. A good example is Germany and Austria, with the same language but often different answers to the same legal/custom question.

Usually a country implies the preferred language. If a country is multi-lingual like Switzerland, then people in the region are used to handling that. And at least in the German forum, if someone posts in English today in lieu of the local language, users are cooperative.

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Yes, you are right - I should better write “…and mostly you get german or english topics.”

With the translation option it is much easier and in many more languages possible - a great perspective! :grinning:

Im not sure how it would work here, maybe in similar way.
In the old one i liked that each country had their own subgroup.

EDIT: What Spaanse wrote below is a great idea, to avoid cluttering and confusion.

Apparently there is a setting to enable three category levels See meta.discourse.org .
Then you can have
Local chapter / The Netherlands / BAG import requests
This is currently a megathread on the old forum
Larger countries could use the second level for it’s states:
Local chapter / Germany / Nordrhein-Westphalia
And if necessary this becomes a second-level category with subthreads
Local chapter / Germany - Nordrhein-Westphalia / ...
Local chapter / USA - California / ...

This would give local chapters more freedom to have subcategories without cluttering the top-level.

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Update from Friday’s meeting notes:

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Yes, I fully agree! Three category levels would suit our needs much better then two, but three levels are not officially supported - see Sub-sub-categories - #13 by awesomerobot - support - Discourse Meta

This statement is from 06.01.2021 - maybe this has changed in the meantime, but there are also issue reports about this feature in the mentioned topic.

I think, detailed testing is needed, bevor it can be used. Maybe, it’s possible with the migration test instance. 🚧 Forum migration test instance (forum/fluxBB > community/Discourse)

There’s always the option of artificially introducing an extra level by having one server per language. It has the additional advantage that users can easily select what languages (what servers) they subscribe to.

After proposing a “Deutsch” Category, and getting a bit of a resistance, I have an idea, that I want to share:

I imagine the site to feature a customizable landing page, where I see posts, that match criteria, that I have set in my preferences. The criteria are:

  • Languages I can read
  • Locations that I am interested in

These two criteria will act as an AND filter on ALL posts to the site, no matter which category. The landing page will be a news feed, so to say, with stuff I am interested in and in a language I can understand.

This way, there is no need for machine translation, but there is still need for language detection, as this should be automatic, as most users will not tag this.

Probably, additional filters, for categories or tags, that will be ORed with language and location might make sense?

This feed will not have three moderators? I have a hard time imagining how any number of moderators will handle site/world/wide categories with posts in tens of languages anyway…

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You mean something like this?

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No, that is not what I mean. I do not want to drill, I want to browse.

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Yes, me too I guess. Based on the above, I check the list of unread threads in English and French and pick the ones I’m interested in. And from there I can start browsing other threads I might have missed earlier.

Doing so I’m protected from messages in languages I can’t read, except when someone hijacks a thread with another language.

After thinking a bit more about it, I guess a scalable way of handling multi-language, multi-location conversations, is a special category, that behaves a bit like an issue tracker.

When someone has a question, they do not browse the hierarchy of categories, to find the best fit, but they start a questionnaire, where they get shown tags to choose from.

When the post gets published, people that subscribe to those tags will see it.

Conversation can start.

Bingo :slight_smile:

In the ongoing discussion, I have noticed that it isn’t an easy task to integrate big country forums, like those of France, because Discourse currently supports only two category levels.

I would suggest to introduce namespaces for sub-category names, as they are used in programming languages (e.g. Java).

The idea is, to use main-categories only as container for sub-categories. And the sub-categories contain country main-forums as well as sub-forums at the same category level (2). The virtual hierarchical structure is a result of the namespace conventions, if the sub-categories are sorted by name.

In the following visualisation, I use the Windows File Explorer - folders represent (sub)categories (except “Discourse”) and files topics.
.

.
Another point in this context is the layout of the platform’s main-page.

Due to the large number of countries and their sub-forums, it’s problematic to show all the sub-categories on the platforms main-page, because the place there is limited - and I thing, this will probably increase in future.

So, I suggest that the main-page of the platform does not show sub-categories. This makes the surface clean and clearly arranged and the users should be able to easily find the right place for their needs.

For advanced users, it could also be very useful to see shortcuts of their “Watched” and “Tracked” categories at the top of the main-page, to quickly access them.

Surely, the biggest disadvantage of this concept is the long sub-category name, but perhaps this can be a starting point for further discussions.

ps: Above I used “platform” instead of “site”, because I think this project is much more than a (web)site… :slightly_smiling_face:

Hi all,

Thanks for the suggestions about sub-categories. As described in the approved proposal, countries that need sub-categories will be moved to a top level category to allow them to have subcategories. Other alternatives can be tested if this ends up not working well.

Cheers.

Thanks for the reply!

Sorry, the top level category approval escaped me - and yes, maybe a suggestion for later… :slightly_smiling_face:

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Is there already a way to contribute to the translation of pinned messages as well as categories and descriptions? Right now, when clicking on a button in another language, the dropdown list content gets displayed in English.

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AFAIK there is no way to translate category descriptions to be shown there. Once there are country and/or language categories, that should not be a problem because those will be the English speaking ones, so no need for translation.

If you want to provide translation to a pinned message that might be relevant to everyone, just post it on the topic and a mod can edit the initial message to include it as we have done with the governance ones.

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From what I can gather, with the progress made on the imports of the current forum, that statement amounts to confirm this platform here becoming an almost seamless continuation of what is there right now. Eg. people looking for “Help and support” either post to the international, English language category, or, in their local language, to the local chapter (sub-) category?

Communities will have to see what’s working best for them, some might decide a language-based category works better to unify help and support in a given language.

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