locked
Home sweet Home

    Question

  • Anybody else had fun clicking "forums" (or "Forums Home" under Quick Access)?

    Like many other aspects of the site its bewildering.

    There seems to be a weird terminology here - I wonder what "Forum" actually means here because there is also a "Forum Category" (seen when one asks a question).

    Now here is the "Forum Category" (seems to be a forum root actually) for SQL Sever:

    and here is the forum category (root) for Visual Studio Languages

    Why does Visual Studio Languages have a dedicated page heading/style titled "Visual Studio" but SQL Server does not? Why is the forum called "Visual Studio Languages" but the page title just "Visual Studio"?

    Hugh


    Hugh Moran - http://www.morantex.com

    Thursday, September 26, 2013 6:54 PM

All replies

  • There seems to be a weird terminology here - I wonder what "Forum" actually means here because there is also a "Forum Category" (seen when one asks a question).

    Now here is the "Forum Category" (seems to be a forum root actually) for SQL Sever:

    I'd say it's fairly standard terminology that you'd find used on most forums.

    A "Forum" is an individual section / discussion on a single topic, for instance "Forums Redesign - Q&A / Discussions" is a forum. All posts / questions / discussions with a forum relate to that specific topic.

    "Forums" is the collective term for all of the forums that are available, as such unless you're referring to a specific topic you don't generally refer to the TechNet Forum, you refer to the TechNet forums, since it contains multiple.

    "Categories" are simply a way of trying to bring a little order to the forums when there are a lot of them available. Rather than having a massive list of forums, grouping them in categories makes it easier to find specific forums, and of course in the case of the current design, for those interested in posts related to SQL Server in general for instance, rather than say SQL Server Security, they can view all posts within a category rather a specific one, and easily find other similar forums which might be a better match for a question you might want to ask.

    As for Visual Studio v SQL Server... my guess would be that the VS guys are the ones who wrote the site so they have more clout to add their own graphics! :-)

    Thursday, September 26, 2013 7:19 PM
  • As for Visual Studio v SQL Server... my guess would be that the VS guys are the ones who wrote the site so they have more clout to add their own graphics! :-)

    You may be right but if that's true - petty narrow minded internal politics - then Microsoft may well be in serious trouble going forward.

    A consistent look-n-feel is perhaps one of the most basic principles of modern website design but here we have one technology being singled out (Visual Studio) which only leads to confusion because it suggests there may actually be TWO forums sites and that raises questions of whether one is using the "right" one and so on.

    Also as I point out elsewhere the Visual Studio forum has TWO appearances depending on the URL used to access it - this is appalling and does not inspire confidence.

    Hugh


    Hugh Moran - http://www.morantex.com


    • Edited by Morantex Thursday, September 26, 2013 7:32 PM
    Thursday, September 26, 2013 7:30 PM
  • That's nothing... don't forget that IIS has its own forums completely separate to the rest of TechNet at http://forums.iis.net/

    And of course some forums refer to themselves as being part of TechNet, while others (though linked to from the TechNet forums) refer to themselves as being part of MSDN.

    Thursday, September 26, 2013 7:52 PM
  • That's nothing... don't forget that IIS has its own forums completely separate to the rest of TechNet at http://forums.iis.net/

    And of course some forums refer to themselves as being part of TechNet, while others (though linked to from the TechNet forums) refer to themselves as being part of MSDN.

    How utterly strange that is - so we have a dedicated IIS forum (that supports its own user-id) and of course we have the dedicated ASP.NET forum (that also supports its own different user-id).

    I don't think I'm the only person who perceives IIS and ASP.NET as at least slightly related and I for one see no reason why these two technologies can't be sub areas of the main MSDN forum like so many other technologies are, I mean why don't they have a dedicated SQL Server forum or a dedicated Visual Studio forum.

    I just visited the ASP.NET login page and clicked the option to use my Live ID (the one I'm logged into this MSDN forum with).

    Here is what I was presented with:

    So despite what it appears to say the site actually does require you to setup a distinct user account even if you have a Live ID that is fine for accessing the MSDN forums.

    As for the IIS forum this is no better, I clicked to use my Live ID, it asked for permission for the "IIS Sites" (there's more than one???) to access my contact list etc - I granted that then it shows me a page that still wants me to again setup another account!!

    Is there anyone at Microsoft who feels just a teeny bit embarrassed that this huge software company has its developer forums so messed up and chaotic like this?

    And they claim to value developers so much too !! Well how about you stop wasting our valuable time and money and get your act together Microsoft? - this has been brewing for several years and there is just no excuse for not sorting this all out and striving to create the absolute best software development support forum on the planet!

    This is exactly the kind of stuff that can confuse and bewilder even the most patient and determined people, it's frankly a mess and if the world's leading software company can't setup a single MSDN forum that's capable of servicing all member needs across all Microsoft technologies then perhaps it's time to pass the baton after all...

    Hugh


    Hugh Moran - http://www.morantex.com







    • Edited by Morantex Sunday, September 29, 2013 8:33 PM
    Sunday, September 29, 2013 8:08 PM
  • Yeah I think you're right. If nothing else, the number of people on here who've posted IIS related questions on say the General forum who I've tried to help and suggested posting on the iis.net forum... none of them even knew it existed. Not sure how that helps anyone, on here or the IIS forum.

    I remember seeing the questioned asked some time ago on the IIS forum. Apparently it came first, and when the current TechNet/msdn forum was created it lacked some of the functionality they needed so the IIS forum stayed separate. While that sounds like an odd reason, what I really don't understand is why when the current forum was re-written recently it wasn't setup such that the current external forums could be merged into the main community. Hell, if nothing else add a link to it or something so people know it's there!

    Sunday, September 29, 2013 8:34 PM
  • Yeah I think you're right. If nothing else, the number of people on here who've posted IIS related questions on say the General forum who I've tried to help and suggested posting on the iis.net forum... none of them even knew it existed. Not sure how that helps anyone, on here or the IIS forum.

    I remember seeing the questioned asked some time ago on the IIS forum. Apparently it came first, and when the current TechNet/msdn forum was created it lacked some of the functionality they needed so the IIS forum stayed separate. While that sounds like an odd reason, what I really don't understand is why when the current forum was re-written recently it wasn't setup such that the current external forums could be merged into the main community. Hell, if nothing else add a link to it or something so people know it's there!

    Indeed - adding a simple link "Our other forums" or something would help people - low hanging fruit.

    As you implied, someone (whoever it actually is that heads up these projects) could have examined all of the existing forums - MSDN, IIS, ASP.NET (and who knows what others might exist) and then said "OK, we're gonna base our new forum on forum X and we're gonna press to have all forums merged into a single new MSDN forum".

    I get the impression there is little or lax leadership on these things if the don't have some clear commercial target, so I guess their led from the back by groups or teams who just do their own thing and never get interfered with by outside forces.

    Or the desired leadership is so absent that these teams have little choice but to lead from the back and do their own thing, either way its down to leadership and for Microsoft to want developers to aid them in making their new platforms popular (Phone, Surface) yet pay just lip service to a critical aspect of that (forums) strikes me as pretty poor leadership somewhere up the chain anyway.

    If I was anywhere in that area - developer resources etc. - I'd be making a great deal of noise about this disparity because a slipshod forum system undermines efforts to engage and encourage developers.

    Hugh


    Hugh Moran - http://www.morantex.com



    • Edited by Morantex Monday, September 30, 2013 3:42 PM
    Monday, September 30, 2013 3:37 PM