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Request new forum category for "Forum Post Assistant" topics and discussions

Post by sozzled » Sun Oct 14, 2018 6:06 pm

Following my post in the "Forum Post Assistant" topic in which, among other things, I commented about the "mis-categorisation" of that topic in the Security in Joomla! 2.5 forum category, I would like to request the forum/board manager to create a new forum category for general FPA topics, feedback, help and discussions.

We have other categories for "discussing" or seeking help with "non CMS" problems, for example:among others.

Over the years, people have posted questions, commented and sought help with the FPA tool. In my opinion, I think it's unfortunate that these people only have one or two topics in which to place their comments. I suggest that we have a whole forum category for these things.

The FPA tool is Joomla version-agnostic; that is to say, the FPA tool can be used with J! 1.5, J! 1.6, J! 1.7, J! 2.5, J! 3.x and J! 4. Further, the FPA tool can be used on websites that don't even have Joomla installed (not that it may be useful but it still can be used if people want to do that kind of thing).

In addition, the FPA tool is not specifically forum category-dependent; that is to say, the tool isn't just for "security" issues (whether we're talking about J! 2.5 or any other version of Joomla). The FPA tool can be used to diagnose/analyse any number of things, from installation problems, migration, templating, extension matters, etc.

I think it will help if we have a dedicated forum category for discussing general FPA matters. I can't see why it would hurt to have a new category for them.

I realise that it takes time for questions like this one to receive attention so I'm asking (patiently) for someone to read this topic and consider the request. Thank you in anticipation of a favourable response.
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Re: Request new forum category for "Forum Post Assistant" topics and discussions

Post by ooffick » Sun Oct 28, 2018 6:59 pm

Thanks, let me think about this a bit more and discuss it with the team.

Kind regards
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Re: Request new forum category for "Forum Post Assistant" topics and discussions

Post by sozzled » Sun Oct 28, 2018 7:08 pm

Thanks, Olaf, and cheers. In any case, the topic viewtopic.php?f=621&t=656394 (located in the Security in Joomla! 2.5 forum category) is misplaced in my opinion; the topic applies equally to all versions of J! and is not merely "security-related". :)
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Re: Request new forum category for "Forum Post Assistant" topics and discussions

Post by sozzled » Sun Nov 25, 2018 6:25 pm

Hmmm ... I see that this matter has been forgotten. A month ago, we read
ooffick wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 6:59 pm
... let me think about this a bit more and discuss it with the team.
I would like to quietly point out three ongoing issues:

1) Every day, when I visit the forum and see other charitable members of the community suggest to newcomers that it would be in their interests to use the Forum Post Assistant tool, continual reference is made to viewtopic.php?f=714&t=793531 (also note that this topic was created as a "sticky" in the Security in J! 3.x forum category).
  1. Has anyone actually read this and tried to follow what it's saying? I could well understand the reaction is TL;DR.
  2. The usual response (when people write "viewtopic.php?f=714&t=793531 please" is for the respondant to post images or the FPA BBcode as an attachment. This is often followed by a "Please follow the instructions" post.
  3. The topic viewtopic.php?f=714&t=793531 states
    Forum Post Assistant wrote: Detailed instructions for installation and usage are available here: http://forum.joomla.org/viewtopic.php?f=621&t=656394 and in the downloaded package.
    Has anyone visited http://forum.joomla.org/viewtopic.php?f=621&t=656394 (note, that topic was created as a "sticky" in the Security in J! 2.5 forum category) and tried to follow what that topic is saying?
2) We're asking newcomers to the forum to play link-leapfrog-to-nowhere by firstly telling people to go to one topic, that refers to a second topic, that results in people still getting confused and posting the FPA report in an usuable way. Furthermore, when people read the first topic (that points to the second topic) some people think that they're supposed to use the second topic as the place to post the FPA output!

3) The key words in the FPA topic(s) are
Forum Post Assistant wrote: Detailed instructions for installation and usage are ... [included as a PDF file] in the downloaded package.
Most of the other "detailed instructions" (while they are factually correct, for the most part) are unnecessary and extremely confusing to follow.

So, while I appreciate the forum management team pausing to think about this matter, life goes on and newcomers to the forum continue to be confronted with a barrage of difficult-to-follow "instructions".
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Re: Request new forum category for "Forum Post Assistant" topics and discussions

Post by sozzled » Sat Dec 08, 2018 5:59 pm

A couple of weeks since my last post was written and I see no follow-up on the issues I've raised. I would like to know what is happening, please. Cheers. :)
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Re: Request new forum category for "Forum Post Assistant" topics and discussions

Post by gws » Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:13 pm

Too many Xmas staff parties perhaps? :pop

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Re: Request new forum category for "Forum Post Assistant" topics and discussions

Post by mandville » Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:56 pm

are you saying you want viewtopic.php?f=621&p=2371873#p2371873 as the main post? or perhaps a janet and john version?
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Re: Request new forum category for "Forum Post Assistant" topics and discussions

Post by sozzled » Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:09 am

Thank you for your reply. I'm asking that there is be one simple and easy-to-follow sticky topic that applies to all forum categories (at the moment there are several) and that "discussions" (such as they may be required) on how to use the FPA and problems that people seem to have with it are located within a forum category for that purpose.

The sticky topic shouldn't require discussion.

The instructions for use seem to be too complicated for the average user. I think we can simplify the instructions down to a paragraph or two.

Please read again my earlier posts that explain the current difficulties.
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Re: Request new forum category for "Forum Post Assistant" topics and discussions

Post by Webdongle » Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:25 am

sozzled wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:09 am
...

The instructions for use seem to be too complicated for the average user. I think we can simplify the instructions down to a paragraph or two...
Yep ... many newbies appear to look at it and their eyes glaze over. But is there an easier way to explain how to use this version of the fpa ?
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Re: Request new forum category for "Forum Post Assistant" topics and discussions

Post by sozzled » Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:31 am

@Webdongle: yes, there is an easier way to explain how to use the FPA. I can write a simple explanation of how to use it (give me 5 or 10 minutes to come up with a first draft which I'll post here). The point that I'm trying to make is that when someone writes "viewtopic.php?f=714&t=793531 please" have you looked at what they're being asked to do?

I know that I love to write long forum post when I probably should just cut to the chase and be concise to the point of being taciturn.

"viewtopic.php?f=714&t=793531 please" doesn't work for me; doesn't work for most people. Concise enough?
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Draft "sticky post" for FPA

Post by sozzled » Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:52 am

The Forum Post Assistant (FPA) script has been developed to assist assist people to self-assess their websites. It is also used to provide basic information about the website environment as a pre-formatted forum post for troubleshooting purposes. This can save many hours of posting back and forth, asking for (and explaining how to obtain) relevant information in order for other forum users to help with problems. The process also means that information is gathered and presented in a consistent manner enabling helpers to quickly target information relevant to the specific problem observed by the user.

Usage

Download:

Use these links to download the FPA:
Download the .zip version or Download .tar.gz version.
NOTE: Do not download the FPA from any other website or links found on the Internet.

Detailed Instructions:
For first time users, extract the file FPA First Time User.pdf from the /Documentation folder in that file. The instructions are contained in the PDF document.

Disclaimer:
USE AT YOUR OWN RISK
Accuracy and completeness of this script and documentation is not assured and no responsibility will be accepted for any damage, issues or confusion caused by using any FPA versions contained within these branches.

After use:
Please remove the FPA script from your website or otherwise change the filename name after you have used it. This is so outsiders can't take misuse the script to examine the site structure and possibly exploit any weaknesses that may be present.
Last edited by sozzled on Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:09 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Request new forum category for "Forum Post Assistant" topics and discussions

Post by sozzled » Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:54 am

The rest of the guff about compatibility with Apache, PHP, J! versions, doo-dah doo-dah is superfluous and could be put into a "readme.txt" within the kit.
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Re: Request new forum category for "Forum Post Assistant" topics and discussions

Post by Webdongle » Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:59 am

Uuuuuuuuummmmmmmmmmm yes but (there is always a but). The detail pdf will be just as lengthy and added to the fact that they have to click to read it elsewhere.
Perhaps
1. Download
2. Unzip
3. Upload fpa-en.php to the root of the site
4. Point your browser at yoursite.com/fpa-en.php
5. Follow the on-screen instructions

The problem is that newbies often don't know how to Unzip, upload or know what the root of the site is.
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Re: Request new forum category for "Forum Post Assistant" topics and discussions

Post by sozzled » Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:04 pm

No. The "simple" text instructions you've written (e.g. "Follow the on-screen instructions") are ignored or even those instructions are too fpdiificult to follow. Basically, my amended text is straightforward and will require little or no change for a long time.

The instructions in the PDF are really good.

I don't believe that novices don't know how to unzip. If they have to unzip to read the manual then they're halfway there.

Anyway, we're debating detail. The current sticky post instructions are too complicated. The current sticky post contains information that's unnecessary. The current sticky post doesn't get straight to the point. The current sticky post is confusing and tells people to read another sticky post to in order to figure out how to use the FPA.

KEEP IT SIMPLE.
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Re: Request new forum category for "Forum Post Assistant" topics and discussions

Post by mandville » Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:13 pm

should we include a pictogram or a simple text document in the zip?
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Re: Request new forum category for "Forum Post Assistant" topics and discussions

Post by sozzled » Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:25 pm

Does anyone agree with me that the sticky post (viewtopic.php?f=714&t=793531) is not working for us? If no-one agrees with me on this fundamental issue then the other ideas (e.g. "adding pictures to the .ZIP" or "following the on-screen discussions" is pretty much making an already bad situation no better, IMO.

There are two points I'm trying to make: the sticky post in its present form (actually there are three different stickies, depending on which forum category you're looking at) is not working for us; (the second point is to ask for a forum sub-category where people can discuss the FPA).
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Re: Request new forum category for "Forum Post Assistant" topics and discussions

Post by gws » Sun Dec 09, 2018 4:16 pm

I think you have a point Sozzled,not sure many people care though.

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Re: Request new forum category for "Forum Post Assistant" topics and discussions

Post by Webdongle » Sun Dec 09, 2018 5:48 pm

I do see the point but you are making but what you suggest are not instructions. My list (of instructions) were 'tounge in cheek' to point out the futility of trying to simplify the instructions. Hopefully when the next generation of the fpa is complete then things will be easier ... but until then it looks like we have manage with the current instructions.
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Re: Request new forum category for "Forum Post Assistant" topics and discussions

Post by sozzled » Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:21 pm

@Webdongle: you didn't answer my earlier question. What do you think?
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Re: Request new forum category for "Forum Post Assistant" topics and discussions

Post by Webdongle » Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:07 pm

I think that the current instructions are sometimes off-putting but your suggestion is not a set of instructions. I think that trying to simplify the instructions (for the current version of the fpa) is futile. And Hopefully when the next generation of the fpa is complete then things will be easier ... but until then it looks like we have manage with the current instructions.
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Re: Request new forum category for "Forum Post Assistant" topics and discussions

Post by sozzled » Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:14 pm

Do you mean that you agree with me (that the three different sticky posts are not working for us)? Leave aside for the moment what else I have suggested. This is the core question.

As far as the "next generation of the FPA" is concerned, we both know that this several months away. The implied follow up question is what should we do to alleviate the confusion (and the distress it causes) with the current instructions.

I would like to know your thoughts in relation to the core question. Do you agree with me?
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Re: Request new forum category for "Forum Post Assistant" topics and discussions

Post by Webdongle » Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:51 pm

I agree 3 sticky posts are not the best and should have its own forum.
I agree that the instructions appear to make some newbies faint at the thought.
But I disagree that your suggestion for simplifying will work.
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Re: Request new forum category for "Forum Post Assistant" topics and discussions

Post by sozzled » Sun Dec 09, 2018 10:59 pm

Thanks. At least I've made progress. :)
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Re: Request new forum category for "Forum Post Assistant" topics and discussions

Post by sozzled » Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:29 pm

I notice that some people still continue to advise novice users to "viewtopic.php?f=714&t=793531 please". As we have seen, this advice does not work and confuses novice users.

I've also noticed that @toivo and a couple of others are now writing
Download FPA from viewtopic.php?f=714&t=793531. Expand the file, locate the Documentation folder and follow the instructions in the user guide 'FPA First Time User.pdf'.
This is much clearer and more helpful.

I would like to see a new sticky topic created (in a forum category devoted FPA-related matters) along the lines I recommended earlier (viewtopic.php?f=7&t=966324#p3550995). Even though @Webdongle thinks my draft is "wrong", and didn't propose anything more "right", I have been using this reference in many topics recently and it's been almost 100% effective.

The matter—the confusion with having several topics sprinkled around in different parts of the whole forum—with information that's complicated or, in some cases, causes alarm and fear among novice users, is not resolved. I had hoped that this topic may have encouraged more interaction from the forum moderator team. I'm a little disappointed that there hasn't yet been any improvement in the overall situation. :(
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Re: Request new forum category for "Forum Post Assistant" topics and discussions

Post by ooffick » Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:08 am

Hi Guys

If we were to create a forum board, in which forum category would you place it?

Kind regards
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Re: Request new forum category for "Forum Post Assistant" topics and discussions

Post by Webdongle » Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:24 am

It's own forum board after 'Joomla! Announcements' and before 'Joomla! 3.x - Ask Support Questions Here'. It could have it's own sub forums


Joomla! Announcements
- Forum
- Announcements Discussions

Forum Post Assistant
- Forum (sticky explaining use)
- fpa questions
- fpa v2 test ( viewforum.php?f=804 )

Joomla! 3.x - Ask Support Questions Here
- Forum
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Re: Request new forum category for "Forum Post Assistant" topics and discussions

Post by sozzled » Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:29 pm

I agree, in general, with @Webdongle's ideas that a separate category—placed either before or somewhere after the "support" categories—would be the way to go. To extend beyond his suggestion, the new Forum Post Assistant forum could look like this:
fpaForum_design.png
Within this new forum category there would be one sticky post. I still recommend the wording I used earlier (viewtopic.php?f=7&p=3557479#p3550995) and for the reasons that I've gone into length to explain here and elsewhere.

This new forum category would allow all members of the community to (a) obtain information about how to use the FPA, (b) discuss issues/problems/concerns that they have with the FPA, and (c) allow the FPA development group to test and discuss changes to the FPA tool(s).

It may be a case of add the new forum, place it before the "support" categories (as @Webdongle suggested) and see if it discourages people using the "support" categories, or place it after the "support" categories and see if the placement discourages people using the FPA tool (or using it properly). I can't say where we should place the new FPA forum category; that's a "market research" question. :D
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Re: Request new forum category for "Forum Post Assistant" topics and discussions

Post by Webdongle » Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:22 pm

The description of the fpa should be locked and separate in the fpa forum and the users threads in a separate sub forum imho. Like sozzled image but one more sub forum for the discussion.

But generally yes to what sozzled says.
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Re: Request new forum category for "Forum Post Assistant" topics and discussions

Post by mandville » Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:37 pm

would it help if i moved the old (2.5 etc) fpa topics from public view
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Re: Request new forum category for "Forum Post Assistant" topics and discussions

Post by sozzled » Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:41 pm

I don't want to prolong the torture. This discussion been ineffectual for four months (probably because of differences of personal opinion). My preference is for a locked sticky post contained within an open forum category. I can't see the benefit of having discussions within a sub-forum but that's just a personal view and we can debate the merits or demerits after the forum category has been created.

The main sticking point (from the board managers) has been about the necessity the forum category (as we have advocated since October last year). The other sticking point (within the broader community) has been about the choice of words, images (or videos, even) to promote what the FPA is about. I can't do anything about the first-mentioned of these two sticking points; it's not within my power to undertake that activity. As far as the form that the new the sticky post will take, only time will tell.
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