Poll: Migrate DevForum to Main Forum (CLOSED)

While I personally like the idea of it all being in one forum I agree with @happybeing and think that this should just be an decision on the part of the devs – IMO this should be a poll on the dev forum not this forum.

But otherwise, would be easier to participate in the dev process for sure.


IMO the current system is ideal and combining the two would be a mistake. a) Too much noise would get injected into actual code related topics/questions in the dev forum. b) any casual reader who isn’t interested enough to get a dev forum account probably won’t read those topics anyway here. c) the current scheme offers a nice separation of interface vs implementation. Pure brainstorming is easier here, whereas discussion about nitty gritty details is easier on the dev forum.

Recall that there is also a third forum, ie github. That’s where the real core interaction is at and the two outer levels of user forums complement it nicely.

p.s. echo everything @happybeing said


@DGeddes I think you missed my point wrt to holding the poll on the Dev forum. I’m saying polling the whole community about something that I think should be decided by developers is wrong.

For example, it would not be right for the people of the UK and Iceland to have a single vote to merge with Iceland with the UK, rather than Icelanders alone deciding their fate.

To add to my earlier concerns, we need to try to imagine how much developer discussions might be affected, not just now, but when numbers grow dramatically and we have a lot of enthusiastic newcomers, and no doubt much more interest from trolls and disrupters of various kinds.

It will I expect be easier to moderate a smaller forum to ensure development discussion and support can survive that as part of a much larger forum, because I think there will be much less disruption to deal with if we keep the Dev forum separate.

To reiterate, I don’t see any benefits from a developer’s point of view for a single forum, though I can see how it might seem better from those in the larger community.

I’ve not seen any developers comment in favour of the change yet, so if there are any in favour please speak up!

Oops, noticed I missed @whiteoutmashups’ post and I think this is a fair point to consider:

I don’t think this will be a big factor though, and not worth the cost to those of us wanting the support of a Dev focused space.

As a Dev you are either interested in helping others when you can or not. I’m someone who enjoys doing that and I don’t find the split forums get in the way - I post to both, and and what I post reflects who I’m posting to.


There are developers that just agree with the OP pros without any further comments.

PersonnaIly I would add:

  • Technical discussions can interest anybody because behind technicalities there are implications that impact all network users.
  • Sometimes it’s not obvious in which forum a topic should be created
  • There are many cross references between the two forums
  • I don’t find them, but I am almost sure there are duplicate posts between the 2 forums (I mean done voluntarily for a larger audience). Edit: There is this example created 10 days ago.

I do not disagree about it working, but a single forum could work equally well. I see no difference between a front-page-hidden category and a separate forum. safenetforum.org/c/development and forum.safedev.org can be used exactly in the same way. If so, then I opt for a single forum.

Categories exist for this use-case.


Hi Mark,

I think you missed my point wrt to holding the poll on the Dev forum. I’m saying polling the whole community about something that I think should be decided by developers is wrong.

Yeah I get that motivation and I certainly considered it as an option. Perhaps I should explain my thinking about posting to the main forum. I was a little concerned that there could be:

  • Devs that only monitor the development category on the main forum (perhaps not currently working on active projects)
  • Devs that do not know about the devforum and only have a main forum account (I realise that’s not very likely but it is possible)
  • Non-devs who didn’t realise that the could get involved in coding for the network that might well get inspired to do so when they see the dev-chat.

Rightly or wrongly, that was my thinking.


It’s not as much devs clogging up the main chat
but the regular folks distracting devs with chatter,
effectively clogging up their minds more than not.

Devs are humans; keep their minds undistracted
for they will find all by themselves a way to do it.


@bzee one thing I think will be harder is search.

I also think it is easier to compartmentalise my activity. Some days I’m just on the Dev forum, and I’m not convinced about categories. I have hardly every used them to browse or find stuff even though I generally try to post in the most appropriate category.

I’m am pretty sure there will be significantly more clutter and distraction in Dev topics if we combine though, and that is a big concern. At the moment we only get posts from people who have enough interest in contributing to sign up, and that’s a really effective filter. The quality of contributions on the Dev forum uniformly of a good and helpful standard. We hardly ever get chit chat there and things very rarely go off topic. It’s a very different experience, and I’m concerned we would lose that with a single forum.


True, but navigating to a category on this forum might have a similar barrier effect. With the right category I don’t think a topic would go off-topic any quicker.

Searching should be as easy as you can filter your search by category. About compartmentalising: I agree, but I think I could get used to it.

Anyway, because it works well as it is right now, I don’t think we should change ‘just because we can’. No one can guarantee it will work at least equally well. All in all I share your worries; I’m a bit split about it, to be honest.


What about using https://stackoverflow.com/ for detailed development questions? So we can grow a knowledge db there as well, it may help in adoption. I saw already 1 SAFE Network question there :wink:

Highlevel bigger tech discussions then on the main forum?


I don’t really care too much one way or the other, but I think if the forums are combined @neo’s idea of keeping the dev topics off the main page would be a good idea to minimize non-technical chatter in dev topics. Mods would also need to be diligent in splitting off topic comments into separate threads etc


One is not always more efficient, or convenient than two. Bilateral symmetry anyone? Try to tie your shoes with one hand to see if it is a simpler process. The human brain is partitioned into two major sections for a reason…


Is there an objective way to test these and measure results?

Perhaps taking the data we already have from the dev forum, like number of posts, questions, repos that began from it, etc, and then closing it and starting the combined forum, and track it for a few months to compare the activity results?

Then we would have unbiased answers on which is objectively better, towards the goal of creating an active community that converses and creates things

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As an alternative, why not just have a thread here that describes/advertises the dev forum to newcomers and encourages them to visit. Its only a click away. This would be far less disruptive.

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Also we are pre-launch, we must consider the situation where there are many more interested non techie people and many more techie people.


I think it can easily be done.

Not sure how many options Discourse offers, but I am pretty sure for the forums it is only categories and tag options which seems limiting until you consider design.

With a good design you can make the developer section POP but not take too much away and not force it down non-developers throats.

Check out the way some of these other discourse forums designed their category links:


Maybe good for the main forum, I’m not sure about for a developer forum - less is more works for me. Interesting though.


I think I’ll draw my, unwittingly devisive, poll to a close at 17:00 (UTC) on Wednesday so that it doesn’t drag on forever.
Two more days to get your votes in!



Is the current system of two forums really broken? If not, don’t fix it. It sounds like both the pros and cons aren’t much more than minor inconveniences. So unless running the separate DEV forum costs MaidSafe a lot of money I’d say keep things the way they are. As @dirvine said there’s a good chance things will get a bit messier once more people start finding this forum (assuming that is what he meant :slight_smile:).


We can now have our say on the Dev forum, this poll is open until Monday evening GMT: