Norns technical discussions on lines (& moderation)

I’d prefer if there was a Norns category, which I could mute if needed (i.e. if it takes too much bandwidth for me) rather than using the Development category for Norns, as I’m really interested in all the Teletype dev threads for example.

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You can mute the norns tag.

If you need advice on how to maintain or contribute to an open source software project, Karl Fogel’s book “Producing OSS Software” is always a good source. He was part of the Subversion team for a long time, which was maintained by a company - but had a large volunteer contributor community. His advice is mostly geared towards much much larger projects, but it never hurts to page through it when you’re not sure what to try.

Here’s the chapter on forums, where he talks about what goes into the ticket tracker v. what goes into an open discussion forum.

Your mileage may vary.


Some forums have a culture of keeping the first post of a thread updated to reflect the contents of the thread, especially as related to newsworthy things. A hand-curated thread summary, if you will.

I feel that the Discourse feature of wikifying the first post is intended to support this kind of culture. If this policy was “enforced” a bit more here I feel it would go a long way towards solving the signal/noise issues that we have here.


could we relax the preference not to use tags for the development category specifically? we already have 2, norns and teletype. if we want to avoid mega threads it would help navigating multiple topics.

we could still limit it to mod curated tags only. i think something like toolchain, release discussion, feature request, issue, documentation, but could also be more device specific, norns on pi, for instance.

a good start would be for the OPs to turn their original post into a wiki so that others can keep it updated too (say, Ansible Earthsea topic is a good example that would benefit from it as it would give me the opportunity to update the first post with the link to the firmware/documentation).


yeah, just watch out for the wiki post multi-user issue I mentioned above… it can lead to a lot of confusion
(where your sure you updated something, but then come back and find its gone)
… its ok, for fairly static posts, but not if you have a few eager users updating it.

I think the proposal, is only for development related norns posts… other norns posts would remain in monome.

another possibility used on the C&G forum, is to use sub-categories , they are pretty good.
(esp. if you colour code their icons nicely)


Yeah, it would be best if new topics were always started with the implied responsibility of the topic author to curate the original post. Under some special circumstances (original author gone/disinterested/etc) the post could be wikified. But, just to be clear, does Discourse lose the concurrent edits, or just save them as older versions, like most wikis do? If it’s the latter one, I don’t see it as a huge problem. If making a longer edit, just put a notice up top or something.

I was not aware this was a discourse feature. Sounds useful!

yes, let’s be clear what we’re talking about:

development is different than basic use of norns, which includes making your own scripts (studies) and just playing scripts (bug reports, questions, etc). the latter posts should go in the monome thread.

work on the ecosystem itself (matron, maiden, etc) should go in the development category.

i do not think development should be muted by default. i’d suggest that collaborative coding is part of the core principle of lines.

i’m skeptical that we need tags for navigation. a category seems fine. forum posts should be relatively ephemeral, and when they escalate to action, a git issue should be created. the forum is perhaps a good place to pursue an early idea, or point out a design change.

i’m also skeptical that wiki pages in discourse are the best route, unless they’re treated as scratchpads for collaboration which will eventually get committed to READMEs in a repository.

the reason i say this is the more structure imposed, the less likely it’ll be adopted. i believe we should make small incremental changes.

so, the change proposed:

  • use the development category for more atomic norns development issues

It’s pretty basic forum functionality that I feel should be in the hands of end-users. Don’t try to structure it. Tags are “folksonomy” (look it up, it has a history).

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Well… away I go…

I figure the topic can be moved / re-categorised / closed / burnt once we know what we’re doing.


Pretty much.

As a co-worker of mine once channelled Coleridge back in the dotcom boom days:

“Process, process everywhere–
But not a drop to drink!”