I’ve only recently heard of the discussions site. Thus far it seems to have been in beta mode. I suppose most traffic we see now is redirected from Unity answers?
I do wonder where are current users coming from and why are there a lot more low quality or absolute beginner questions compared to the forum? Did anyone have the same observation?
It seems the high quality, challenging, well-explained questions simply do not appear here, or very rarely. That kind of content seems to prefer the forum or stackoverflow. I worry that this will substantially change towards low-quality “discussions” once the forums are migrated into Discussions.
It is just an observation for now. But I would like to raise a red flag early on because as it stands, Discussions is not the place I see myself taking part in for long. I get way too much noise (low quality) notifications in my email and open very few of these topics compared to the email notifications I get from the forum for which I open every second or third email I get, and frequently find interesting topics I keep watching because I want to know the answers myself.
But here, for some particularly obnoxious OPs I actually get furious at the well-meaning users trying to come up with all variations the OP may want to know about to an otherwise unanswerable (and sometimes no-question) topic. – There should be a red line drawn, if the OP clearly did not spend much effort explaining the request it should be ignored or commented on how to improve it (like stackoverflow does). Clearly we shouldn’t endorse low quality posts by answering them because then this will be a vicious cycle towards ever more low quality!
Anyhow, it would be a shame if we lost sight of the experienced devs that participate in the forum and the overall topic quality to a crowd of anonymous users with syntax errors, RTFM issues and neeeeed heeeeeeelp requests. I don’t blame them, but someone needs to instruct some of them first and foremost on how to ask a question and perform due diligence.
I’ve already noticed that on the forums some of these posts actually get deleted outright. Perhaps it’s simply a matter of raising the bar for standard quality post by redirecting low quality topics / OPs to a common FAQ entry on how to write good/better topics.
I’m thinking stackoverflow for the most part where they managed to manage the post quality rather well while educating their users. Which I tend to believe was one cornerstone to their success.
Well said. This forum is currently a steady drip of extremely low effort, pre-beginner requests for others to do the poster’s homework for them. It’s tedious and uninteresting and unorganized and it belies the title of the site because there are virtually no “discussions” here at all.
Discussions is the replacement for Unity Answers launched a little while ago you can see the announcement post here in the Forums.
The goal for both Answers and now Discussions is to provide a place for all Unity users to get help. A place to help foster a sense of community were we all help each other, be that helping new users in how to ask a question to providing guidance on where in the manual to find the answer.
We are looking at ways to help beginners both in how to formulate a good question and at ways to provide answers to them. Your feedback will help us with that, thanks.
Currently this is a replacement for Answers, we have not migrated the forum content as yet, that might be one of the reasons why there isn’t more forum like content. We are going to be doing a lot of user research around the requirements/ user journeys of all forum users so we can make the migration as successful as possible.
Note that you can mute a tag, which helps you never see the legacy topics bubble back up because they were edited (or whatever other reason they jump to the top):
Slightly annoyed it took me this long to figure out I could do this.
I guess there will always be a percentage of beginners who behave like this - yet it is nice that there is no barrier or too many hoops to jump through before one can ask questions - but could there be some automation which could be helpful to prevent negative effects related to this?
When you start writing a new question, on the right side of the panel there is a list “Your topic is similar to…” - could there be more similar nudging of user to right direction with their question?
Like could it be possible to integrate some compact information about question content next to question? Like a very condensed “this is how you write a good question” kind of a short description when writing a question very first time. Like did you do a search if a similar topic already exists, how to be specific with your question, or did you provide enough information so that others will know what you are talking about, and if it is hard to explain your problem, provide images and screen captures, and so on. It seems nowadays no-one will read “rules” and “how to ask questions” info, if it is buried somewhere in the depths of the forum software.
Also, could there be some automatic beginner’s guide/tutorial that one has to go through? I don’t know if there is such as I already had an account, but I think some forum, could it be Blender Artists (can’t remember) had really nice walk through of basic features and how to ask questions before you could ask questions or add comments and answers. Like you are “forced” to do some things to validate you at least got familiar with the very basics. Of course it might end setting bar too high for people to ask questions (absolute beginners that are not very computer savvy and young people).
And could there be a spell checker? Answers had a ton of these low effort questions that don’t have a proper title, don’t begin a sentense with a capital letter, no punctuation and a lots of spelling errors. Also, I’m not a native English speaker, and I too would like to see red squiggly lines when I wrote something incorrectly, at least very basic check would be nice.
Edit - also some validation for pasted code would be nice, I wonder how it happens but I’ve already seen that people somehow manage to paste the code but then it is partially as text and partially as a code block.
Good idea but no one reads rules when they have a question. In particular not the kind of people that the guide is supposed to target.
I would instead opt for the solution implemented by Stackoverflow: question gets closed (by user vote) and the close reason message contains a link on how to improve the question. That way, users learn the hard way what it takes to ask for help, while proactive users will not waste time trying to answer.
+1 for spell checking, although many will ignore it, some do welcome it.
Code validation: I noticed that too. Must have something to do with characters in the code that end/interrupt the escape sequence or switch back to HTML formatting possibly. If I see such a broken code format post I’ll link it here.
UPDATE: found this post with “broken” code formatting.
Thank you - I have fixed that code snippet, please continue to call out broken code formatting by adding the
broken-code-format tag to the OP.
I’m going to very carefully avoid making a promise I can’t keep but please keep the ideas coming, we’re listening!
From what can be read here people want some kind of separation of serious developers from all the beginners and poor communicators.
Correct me if I am wrong but coexistence of Unity Forum & Answers served this very purpose. Unity Forum is a place where all the serious talk happens and Answers was a place where everything… else happened.
It is important to underline that Answers was vital in Unity ecosystem as a place with absolutely the lowest entry threshold; it was a place where learners from ALL walks of life could talk in half-broken english (russian and chinesse occassionally as well) and receive disproportionally kinder reception than what StackOverflow is known for.
Imo, no Answers-like place (little messy but relatively kind & willing community) = less Unity developers in the future.
I wasn’t aware that Unity answers had that much traffic and new posts still. You don’t realize that because there wasn’t a stream to follow, I came to Answers only through google searching for a topic.
But if both places are supposed to merge, then they need to support both use cases where it’s easy to filter out the relative experience level of the OPs. I’ve set the Beginner-Question tag on my ignore list today, I tend to think that already helped reduce some of the noise.
Can anyone do this? Because I couldn’t figure out how to add tags.
Ah, this is my mistake - to do this you’d need to be a moderator and you’d edit the original post to add additional tags.
Are you able to reply to this topic? New Tags to mark Content - more cases can be called out there.
No, it says it’s “Closed Jun 15”.
These tags were set for moderators if you need a new tag added please let me know and I’ll raise it with the team.
At the moment only we ( admins) can create a new tag
Actually the problem is a little different; the tags are fine but in order to add a tag to the OP you need to have elevated privileges. That means that regular users (not admin and not moderator) cannot call out a broken code example, missing image, etc.
For now I have re-opened the New Tags to mark Content post so that @CodeSmile and others can add comments here as they find more examples of code formatting issues.
Where did you find those settings with tag muting? I would like to try that out but can’t find it (maybe because I’m confined to mobile for now).
I agree. But i would like Discussions to remind or even urge OPs to accept or somehow give feedback to answers, suggestions or inquiries to their questions. The thing about Answers for me was that people put effort into answers and way too often did not get any reaction from the OP to this at all, even when more information regarding the question was requested. This is somehow disturbing. When answering a question, i would at least like to know if it was of any help. Did it work? Or Not? Was the answer not clear? Are there other issues? Has the OP even tried the solution? Or given up? Is she/he ashamed? Has the OP passed away? Is the question just a prank? Does the OP even care?
These are questions that often popped up in my mind and this keeps me from being motivated on answering questions.
Discussions and Forum were two different beasts. You are right to identify that Answers attracted many newcomers and it was frustrating at times to have to navigate them.
However, I - and others - were always happy to help newbies with advice on etiquette, forum posting protocols and, of course, Unity-related answers. No, I’m not painting myself as a saint but I teach Unity at university level and I find the newbie questions enlightening for my teaching. OK, this is an edge case but it’s why I contribute.
I don’t have an immediate answer on filtering, but I wonder if it might be possible to view only those contributors who have, say, 5 or more posts. That would hide the vast majority of the posts you describe. It would also hide many good questions from new posters who are far from being newbies to Unity.
I have a route to the Unity staff and I’ll see if it’s possible.