Discussion about Categories

I see 2 new Categories have already been created, GSOC and Infrastructure?

I was thinking about it more as I was trying to sleep last night, I’m thinking the whole users/dev/infra divide on the mailing list is confusing, so lets make it clear the breakdown?

Just a rough idea for now though may be way too many categories:

  • Community
    • Announcements
    • Events
  • Using
    • Support
    • Showing off
  • Contributing
    • Special Interests Groups
      • Advocacy and Outreach
      • Documentation
    • Plugin Development
    • Infrastructure
    • Governance
      * Language Groups
      * ZH
      * ES
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for the sake of badges, gonna ping @olblak and @brucellino on this

I did some quick experimentation to create the gsoc and infrastructure catégorie. I think we should prepare in advance a tree of catégories


On Wed, May 26, 2021, at 8:06 PM, Gavin Mogan via Jenkins wrote:p0

some french snuck in there :smiley:
but yea, thats why i’m suggesting this grouping so far

Twitter has announcements default emailing people out which is cool. Consolidating the oEmbed functionality - Announcements - Twitter Developers is an example announcement they just did.

I def like having all the things in one place, and then people can subscribe to what they want, instead of having 20 email lists.

aha, so googling, you can do small announcements via a global notice, or pinned topics in various categories, or like I saw in twitter said, you can subscribe users by default like https://community.jenkins.io/admin/site_settings/category/all_results?filter=watch

Badges are one of the great ways of recognising the ways in which members of the community engage with it. At a first approximation, they are a proxy for “privilege”: if you have this privilege then you get this badge. This is useful because it can help folks interacting on the forum to give relevant weight to comments, etc.

However, the badge system is based no StackOverflow’s, and is really designed as a gamification to drive behaviour. If there is a badge that people can get for, e.g. cleaning up posts, then they will spend more time cleaning up post. If there is a badge for providing quality solutions to questions, they will get that one, etc.

So, although it’s a bit harder to initially come up with a list of “desired behaviours”, this is really the key thing. the default badges are “good” in the sense that they have been shown to help communities get started and promote healthy behaviour. Each community has its own goals and internal structure though, so a few extra badges helps people identify and commit to the community. There is always the risk of falling afoul of the Law of unintended consequences… so badges for behaviour should be created with care.

However a simpler issue to address is badges assigned to individuals. Put another way: not all moderators are the same. One may consider e.g. giving a SIG badge to those who have been voted as SIG leaders.

I would try to keep in mind what a given badge is supposed to communicate. Is it a goal or reward for specific actions or behaviours? Is it recognition of something which has value in the community? Is it a sign of authority?

This might make it easier to conceive of which badges to create.

well this discussion is about categories not badges, I’m not super worried about having badges setup before launch. And I’m super aware of gamification/badges techniques. In this case it was more of a light joke cause there’s only 3 people on it and I want as much feedback as possible, so instead of waiting for days i’m just going to ping people.

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Ah! my apologies, I’m still getting to know who all is involved here, trying not to make too many assumptions :slight_smile:

Until olblak or maybe myself get linux foundation SSO setup its just us, poking around and evaluating.

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Are you thinking about having like separate parts of the forum for different languages? This doesn’t seem like a good idea to me, since it might lead to ghettos and repetition. One can imagine the same question asked in two different languages - this would be easier to find it it were in the same category, but translated via a linked response.

honestly that was the latest additions to my list. I was thinking of Mailing Lists which has a couple other user groups. I know the chinese user group was very busy at least for a while. And I’ve seen many other discords have a social area for it. But at the same time, I’m not sure we have the moderators for that.

wholeheartedly agree! Since one can subscribe at different levels to specific tags, categories or sub-categories, this is one of the biggest advantages that discourse has over a mailing list. I’m not sure of all the existing jenkins mailing lists, but I presume that there are several, perhaps there is a sprawl. At a first glance, one might map mailing list to category - but this can also be a mailing list to tag mapping, to reduce the number of categories.

If I remember correctly there is only one level of category nesting - this might have changed since the last time I deployed an instance.

In my experience the thing to consider is how much traffic is being sent to people who subscribe to a particular category or tag, rather than how to organise things. One can always move posts later, re-categorise them etc, but one cannot un-send an email.

I still think the broad categorisation of “user, dev, infra” is a good one, perhaps I’d also decompose “user” into “pipeline author” and “instance admin”.

Let focus on categories in this thread and then talk about badges later on.

I agree that I initially thought to copy the mailing list structure but it wouldn’t make sense in the context of Discourse.

In my understanding, the way we organize categories just affects how people find them because once they identify a topic inside a category then they can subscribe to it. Anyway, categories can be reorganized later, at least that’s my understanding. So let’s just agree on the structure

I had a similar view as Gavin in mind. I would just from time to time highlight specific initiatives like Gsoc.
Also, I would avoid going deeper than three levels.

  • Gsoc
    • Current project 1
    • Current project 2
    • 2020 // Once a season is over, we archive the project discussion under the year
    • 2019

I am against duplicating every categories for every languages instead I am in favor to keep a space for specific communities to discuss in their own language if they are interested but that can come later as long as we have contributors interested to moderate them.

Globally I think Gavin idea is a good starting point

Hello there, I’m sharing a few insights I already gave privately to @olblak .
These insights come from the decisions made while starting https://community.traefik.io/ (which is also a Discourse instance) and from my individual point of view.

  • When using too muche categories, it can be cumbersome for users to choose the “correct” one. Discourse provide a default Category, which is really cool because it makes it a nobrainer by default to choose a category.
  • We can have tags per categories or forum wide, which is really useful to help categorizing.
  • Don’t forget that a given post can only have 1 category (that can be a sub-categorie of course), but can have multi tags
  • I really like the draft of categories structure proposed by @halkeye . Some comments:
    • What is the goal of “Showing off” sub category on users? I understand it as “user stories sharing”: wouldn’t it be interesting (if it is) to have under the contribution? I see this case as “contribute by sharing” WDYT?
    • I propose to have support as a root level and default category, as it would be where most of the activity would happen, WDYT?
    • Would you be OK to have a main Category “Jenkins Sub-Projects”? Where the sub-categories would be “Jenkins Operator”, “Jenkins X”, “Infra”, etc.? So it would avoid the “Full Jenkins centered” focus?


I kinda added it as a discussion point. The esphome discord has it and I love it, just seeing the cool things people have come up with. In this case its a good thing we could use to populate social media if we wanted. Lots of people make graphs, or clis, or whatever else.

Share your Projects! - Home Assistant Community would be another one. I don’t know how useful it is in our case, i just love the idea of people being excited and sharing.

Yea that makes sense. Maybe flatten “Using” then.


Did a quick test. Categories have parents, so one can have multiple sub categories. I don’t know how far down you can nest.


The sub categories are not super visible, so I suspect most people would just post under “Using Jenkins” not “Ask a question”. I’d love for someone to try posting in them to see what the experience is like.

I am seriously wondering the need for the default staff and lounge categories considering that most discussion happen publicly anyway.
Are you fine for me removing them?

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I think the site feedback category is quite important

After additional thought, I think the specific language channel should go under community

Agree on this. If the need to have per-category moderator/admins arise, we can discuss and implement it later, but there is no need for now +1