Suggestions to make the forum more active and popular

Hi

I think in the F# community we don’t provide good support for beginners
Many other programming languages, Rust, Clojure, Julia, Go … (almost any fairly popular language)
have an active forum where beginners and experts can get help and answers to their questions

In F#, we have few Slack rooms, but the biggest drawback for me, is that

  • you cannot use them to search if your question or concern was asked and got answered before
  • you cannot just ask the question and come back later for look if someone answers, you will need to scroll through the chat history and hope that who ever replied include your name in the reply
  • if you are shy asking silly or dumb question in a chat room can be intimidating and even stressful

I think the F# community will benefit from making this forum more popular and active
Please share your ideas on how to make this Forum more popular and active

My suggestions

  1. Don Syme and other key contributors to F# need to make posts in this forum every now then, they can either make announcements, share link to interesting article about F# and if at all possible answer questions and reply to posts
  2. In the redesign of fsharp.org move the link to the forum under support or community (currently its the second link under Contribute)

Regards
Ali

6 Likes

I’d also like this forum to be much more active as I find Slack to be too noisy and disorganised. The fsharp.org front page already features this forum quite prominenty and not Slack, and yet a lot more people are using Slack, so there must be a strong preference for it.

Why do you think so? I see no arguments to your statement.

Well, that’s another story. Don’t hesitate to ask Qs here to bring more popularity. I’m sure if question is formulated properly the answer will be provided.

100%. It might be complicated to someone to find the right place to ask questions.

Let me try. The F# (nonexistent) community isn’t actively unfriendly, but passively. This forum is the F# community. This fact seems to have been missed by (all?) “community” leaders as, for example, important announcements are made elsewhere, discussions are done in a different client altogether, experienced people prefer to push their own content (there are blogs after all) instead of engaging actively here. It’s just all over the place, minor bits and pieces here and there. Even the people running for positions on the F# Foundation just posted a single message, looking like they ticked off a work item rather than engaging with the community.

90% of community members are lurkers. Look at said forums, Elm being a great example. It uses exactly the same technology as this one and is vibrant, with lots of announcements and active participation from the founder itself. Lurking there for a while gives you a good sense of what goes on. In contrast, this place is derelict and feels abandoned. Perhaps this is the true state of F# today?

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Well, I disagree with this. I count forum only as part of F# community that is splitted among various resources. If someone didn’t get help here but received it on another place then it’s success still.

True, true. Let’s try to bring the topic to the #fssf channel to collect more opinions. Maybe there is something we can do.

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To be honest the F# content being produced in other platforms seems to be small it just reflects the level of overall output.

A challenge here is that the F# community is quite distributed, and made up of different sub-communities. I don’t think this place will ever be a central hub for F# community-related things; it just doesn’t appear to be the nature of the language’s users. The growth of the FSSF slack indicates a lot of folks like the chat-oriented approach, and it’s good that it’s available to them.

My main thought here is that it will take regular, long-term active posting by people to develop a sub-community here. It took a while (and a change in leadership) before things like the “What are you working on?” threads in the F# subreddit saw any more than a single reply. Posting isn’t also enough, those posts need to get promoted. There are a lot of F# developers on twitter, so you can promote a post here with the #fsharp tag on twitter and typically get a lot of engagement.

While having Don or myself or “rockstar community members” post here semi-regularly can help, it takes active promotion to see an influx of users.

Separately, this forum was initially started mostly to support the elections cycle and offer a basic alternative to folks who wanted a more permanent record of things than what the FSSF slack could offer. I think it could be repurposed to be its own thing and be opened up to having more tags to differentiate discussion.

2 Likes

I am starting in the FSharp ecosystem and I realized that for a user who does not know anything about the Dotnet ecosystem it has been a very frustrating experience. At first, I came across many projects transitioning to Dotnet Core. It complicated my mind a lot.
After a certain period, I could start to understand these things, but there are still some specific things from FSharp that bother me a lot:

  • There are many projects on Github simply abandoned, you see unanswered issues as well as PR open for a long time. You can even see popular pages publicizing these repositories (Ex: http://fsprojects.github.io/)
    I think the biggest contribution that these projects can make at the moment is to archive because they hinder more than help people who have been looking for solutions

  • Documentation for many active projects is very weak. We often have to resort to source code and it ends up being very frustrating. When you get langs like Go or Javascript you can see a lot of difference in the quality of the documentation.

  • The forum is very little used and it makes it very difficult for people to join the community.

Count on me to help with whatever is necessary. I loved the language a lot as well as the people I was able to observe.

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@joshuapassos On the short term and until the forum situation improves
I recommend you use the slack channels or rooms

https://fsharp.org/guides/slack/

slack is surely more active than the forum

also if I may, ask here and share the link to your question on twitter :slight_smile:

2 Likes

I have found that the immediacy of the Slack channel has made it a preferable platform for communication over the forum. Yes, it is unfortunate that the information there is not durable but the speed of feedback seems to trump that. The Slack also facilitates 1 on 1 chat in the same tool which is incredibly valuable. The F# community seems to be pretty independent but very friendly. We appear to be these nomadic tribes of developers who are working in different spaces.

I do essentially zero web development and focus almost exclusively on optimization and data science. That puts me in an incredibly narrow niche. I’m happy here so I guess it is okay :slight_smile:

If I was told by the community that we wanted to make this forum the place we wanted to field questions, then I would turn on alerts and check on it every day. I happily field peoples questions when they reach out to me on Twitter and Slack.

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