Moodle community sites
"Windows-based servers" Gone missing?
The forum was closed as part of of our Using Moodle forums tidy-up, with forum subscribers notified beforehand.
I remember when the Windows-based servers forum was set up, there was debate about whether such a forum was necessary. There was a particularly helpful Moodler though, who was very keen to have a Windows-based servers forum and who volunteered to moderate it. After some time, the particularly helpful Moodler moved on, and the forum was left with many unanswered discussions and posts which would have been better posted elsewhere. Thus, it seemed the most sensible course of action to close the forum.
"forum subscribers notified beforehand"
When? At the end of December when most people are on holiday?
I thought I am the only one (as usual) to be astonished by your "procedure", therefore wanted to look away, As it is not the case, I'll explain why I was astonished:
We went through all this once, https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=211864#p937301, haven't we?
Then you've introduced this strategy: https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=217481. Though it was cumbersome to follow two tracker items and two Google doc spread sheets, it was at least a procedure. And now we have yet another procedure: Windows-bases server was scrapped without any reference to it in the tracker! Yes, now I see the comment "Yellow highlighting indicates a forum to be scrapped" in the line corr. to Windows-based servers, if I scroll https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AmamVlPpCnn4dGtUY0ZTTkRYb2QxSS1EMnJPY3ZqbWc&pli=1#gid=1 sideways far enough. Is there a time-line? Do you really expect the community to watch such corners? Or is that spread sheet just a reminder for yourself (community is not consulted)?
I found your warning of the change: https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=218354, originally posted in the "Windows-bases servers" forum - dated 2012-12-19 16:39 UTC. And this is the message with which I got trapped https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=218411 2012-12-20 11:04 AM. So less than 19 h after the warning the forum was gone!
Further questions: What criteria must a forum satisfy to survive? If my memory is right "Windows-based servers" had more that 1000 threads. If one go by such a (measurable) criteria the "Future major features" and "Moodle partners" forums should have gone earlier!
From the warning in your post I understand that all the discussions in "Windows-based servers" were shifted to "General questions". What about the discussions on installation, performance, etc. in that forum?
What are the substitues for the future? Where should performance problems in Windows should go? I will not be happy if they come back to "Hardware and Performance". In fact I was carefully moving posts like the one now trapped (see above) to "Windows-bases servers". Should I now take them back?
The fundamental question is, does the community opinion matter? If not, say so, subject closed.
You can blame me for the forum being removed 19 hours after the announcement, Helen and I have been working through a number of these forum closures, talking with moderators and working through the planned closures. Perhaps I was a bit quick off the mark closing that forum so soon after the announcement. However, there would be an eternal question of how long to wait. The forum subscription mails with the announcement should've been sent out so subscribers should all have been notified.
The Windows servers forum was scheduled for closure since August, discussed in MDLSITE-1888 and that plan came from the overall ideas which were discussed in the forum thread Ideas needed: moodle.org improvements nearly a year ago.
I'm sorry that you don't think the process was taking into account the community opinion, I disagree with you on that. The community is the very focus of this work and was discussed on the tracker items and forum threads. Having said that, IMO at some point we have to decide the details and get on with doing the work, getting the communities input on every minute detail would lead to us to discussing a lot and not achieving very much. It is inevitable with a large and vibrant community that any change is going to always upset some people.
I'm also sad to see some forums go, but then when counted that there were over 90 forums then I can only see the moodle.org community improving without them.
Just two questions:
1. Where should the new questions on performance under Windows servers go?
2. If it is the "Hardware and Performance" form, who is going to move such discussions now landed in "General Problems" back to "H&P"? (I've moved most of them myself in the other direction, I am definitely not going to move them back.)
As far as I know, the old Windows-based servers forum was intended only for installation questions.
I can't see anything in the Hardware and Performance forum description to suggest that it's not the place for performance under Windows servers.
General problems forum moderators are of course welcome to move discussions to other forums as they see fit. I don't think it's the end of the world though for General problems to include some more specific discussions, since the easiest way to find a discussion is by searching rather than looking into a particular forum.
> As far as I know, the old Windows-based servers forum was intended only for installation questions.
Wrong! I repeat, I was personally moving topics related to performance on Windows-based servers from "Hardware and Performance" forum to "Windows-based servers". (You will find them immediately through your favorite searching method.)
> I can't see anything in the Hardware and Performance forum description to suggest that it's not the place for performance under Windows servers.
You are right. But I am not talking of what the description says _now_, I'm trying to get at a definition for _future_. Read my previous post carefully.
Or, are you telling me that the current reorganization of the forums is based on what the descriptions already say?
> General problems forum moderators are of course welcome to move discussions to other forums as they see fit.
They are free of course! But I'm sure they too will be happy if there is some guide line on where the discussion should go. I believe the whole purpose of having many forums will be lost if the guide line is "anything goes".
> I don't think it's the end of the world though for General problems to include some more specific discussions,
> since the easiest way to find a discussion is by searching rather than looking into a particular forum.
You might not believe, there is a dying species which still search selectively rather than typing what they think in staccato and then listening to what the gooracle has to say. Unfortunately moodle.org attract them by putting this thing called '"Using Moodle" Advanced Search' facility https://moodle.org/mod/forum/search.php?search=&id=5 online.
I hope that you still remember me as we met in the Moodle Moot Ireland 2012.
I am a Windows server administer and I personally think that there should be a forum for Windows servers (installations and administration of the servers).
Like many Moodle admins, I can from a Linux background and I have had to adapt myself to a Windows environment. I did not choose Windows as this is a decision that many Moodle admins have to put up with, not having executive power to influence in the decision-making process.
I find the Microsoft official documentation totally irrelevant to my needs and excesivelly complicate to apprehend.
Since Moodle use a LAMP environment as a native language, it is likely to have performance issues/database misfunctions while using Windows servers. The information that we can gather from other Moodle members using the same dependencies is absolutely crucial.
By removing that forum, there is now way that we can get any help from general forums, as Windows servers are a minority.
I can give you an example:
No body has replied to that thread and it is unlikely that they will do it in the next weeks.
I am just an educational technologist who is also undertaking the tasks of level 3 support (server maintanance and administration).
Since we have our own Moodle platform for the delivery of our Msc course at the University of Dundee, there is no one at the University I can ask, because the University uses Blackboard and our server is not located at the University.
Like ourselves, many universities in Scotland are setting up their own Moodle sites, independely of the central VLE of their university, in order to run postgraduate online courses. However, the Universities also fail to provide with the right support, such as qualified network and service technicians.
Educational/learning technologists have become a sort of 'one-man-band'
Thanks for your feedback, and yes I remember you from the Ireland and UK MoodleMoot last year. I hope to see you at the Dublin Moot next month!
Sorry I can't help you at all with your Windows server problems.
Unfortunately it seems there are not many Using Moodle participants these days with expertise in Windows servers. Prior to the Windows-based servers forum being closed, the majority of questions posted in it were left unanswered. There were quite a few questions asked, though some posters appeared to misunderstand the reference to 'servers' in the forum name and posted because they were using a Windows computer to access Moodle.
If in future, any Moodlers with Windows-servers expertise start answering questions and are willing to moderate a dedicated forum, then the Windows-based servers forum can be recreated. Until such a time, posts with informative subject lines, such as yours, stand the best chance of being answered.
Can we (Windows server users) agree to prefix posts with "WINDOWS SERVER: " so they are more easily identifiable in the remaining forums?
I am not sure of how efficient it is going to be, but I am happy giving it a try.
In the UK, we have the JISC List Moodle-Technical UK (which I founded) and you can ask technical questions regarding Windows servers there are there are a significant percentage of instutituis in the UK which use Windows.
I agree with Hellen: proportianlly, we are a minority within the Moodle community and that is why it is so difficult to find and network with people who have the right expertise.
> proportianlly, we are a minority within the Moodle community and that is why it is so difficult to find and network with people who have the right expertise.
That is exactly the reason why there should be _one_ Windows forum so that the available Windows expertise is concentrated in once place rather than scattered all over.
Sorry, there was a third one which I missed:
3. Were the moderators of "Windows-based servers" forum involved in the process?
The forum moderator had moved on i.e. he was no longer enrolled in the course. Thus, the forum was left with no moderators.
I try to be of help in forums like "Installation help" or "General help". I know beforehand that I have no chance if the problem is in a Windows server. Earlier they were nicely filtered in to the "Windows servers" forum. Now I have to open the posts to find out whether they are about Windows or Unix.