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For redesigning something, it helps to write things down. The question is: Do we want to redesign? Or do we want to add more and more stuff, so the forums would grow organically on demand?

Do we need any "growth rules"? Or do we simply do what looks promising right now?

To contribute only need to login here and press the "Edit" link. All changes are logged, so if you mess up something that's not a problem at all.

This page isn't linked from anywhere but the phpWebSite Support Moderators-Forums.


To redesign something, one must understand the current way things are. Let's have a look.

We have 6 main Categories:

  • General
  • Getting Started with phpWebSite
  • phpWebSite versions 0.10.x-x
  • phpWebSite versions 0.9.x-x
  • phpWebSite versions 0.8.x-x
  • Forum Development

Currently, the phpWebSite version the poster is using is differentiated through a forum category. People using phpWebSite 0.10 for example would post into the "phpWebSite versions 0.10.x-x" forum.

General Category

The General forum is basically a mix-up of all kind of things that aren't really related:

  • Security Alerts (newest posting from 2004)
  • Announcements
  • Off-Topic Forum
  • New Mod Announcements
  • Designer's Gallery

The Off-Topic Forum and the Designer's Gallery are very busy, whereas the Security Alerts, Announcements and New Mod Announcements are mainly used by moderators.

Getting Started with phpWebSite

Contains a forum called "phpWebSite FAQs" and a forum called "Installation / Configuration Support". The first one is locked, moderators move usefull stuff in there.

The second is rather busy and used by people who can't get phpWebSite running in the first place.

phpWebSite versions 0.10.x-x

Just by reading the categories, one could think that "phpWebSite versions 0.10.x-x", "phpWebSite versions 0.9.x-x" and "phpWebSite versions 0.8.x-x" have the same content. This is not the case.

this category has three forums:

  • Help 0.10.x-x
  • Modules 0.10.x-x
  • Open Discussion 0.10.x-x

You can note that every of the forum names has a "0.10.x-x" forum suffix even though the category would suggest that you already are within the phpWebSite version 0.10.x-x realm.

"Help" suggests that people have a problem and want it solved in here. "Open Discussion" is similar. But people discussing here don't want their problem solved but discuss about certain things regarding pws010.

The Modules forum is used for discussion modules. If someone has a module problem, would he post in the help or in the modules forum? If someone wants to discuss a module, would he post it in "open discussion" or in modules?

Well, that's mixed. There are help-seeking people with module problems in the Help forum as well as in the Modules forum.

phpWebSite versions 0.9.x-x

The "phpWebSite versions 0.9.x-x" forum has the structure that got the support forums started in the first place. From the start on, there were a "0.9" and a "0.8" forum with the same structure.

  • Open Discussion 0.9.x-x
  • Development 0.9.x-x
  • Help 0.9.x-x
  • Modules 0.9.x-x
  • Themes 0.9.x-x

The "phpWebSite versions 0.8.x-x" forum got slimmed down to a single forum later on, because people didn't use it and support for it was officially closed down.

We see a similar concept to the current 0.10 forums here, but there are also forums for Developement and Themes. People usually put there Developement questions to SourceForge?, because the support forum is not visited by the phpWebSite developers too often.

The Themes forum on the other hand is still rather busy.

phpWebSite versions 0.8.x-x

there are exactly three posts in here, the latest being from 2004. Support for 0.8 is officially closed down.

Forum developement

  • Public Discussion
  • Moderator's Lounge

The Public Discussion forum isn't as well accepted as the other forums, if one has a look at the postcounts and dates. On the other hand, things are often enough written down to the point.

There's also an interesting statement I just read about general PWS-support:

"(...)surely one well-publicised and well-structured forum should suffice"?


There already where a couple of suggestions pointed out since the start back in October 2004. Please add the ones I forgot:

  • "phpWebSite versions 0.8.x-x" -- should it be scrapped? (Xirocco)
  • "Windows support forum" -- do we need a dedicated forum for Windows? (SharonRenshaw?)
  • "Restructuring" -- can we make the forum structure less ambigious and more compact? (ReneKiesler)
  • "Tagging" -- How about introducing per-post categories as well? (TonOosterhoff)

Current Problems

The current structure of the support forums has a couple of limitations. There is no clear expansion path. If we have a new forum, do we really add a "for phpWebSite" to it? Or is that obvious by people being on the phpWebSite support site?

If a forum is within a "phpWebSite versions 0.9.x-x" forum, do we really need to repeat that information by calling the contained forums "Something 0.9.x-x"?

Where's the difference between Help and Open Discussion? The level of urgency?

Did phpWebSite from a users point of view change between 0.9, 0.10 and 0.10.1? Why do we want to differentiate that?


4 Categories (instead of 6):

  • Announcements
  • Getting started
  • "Living with phpWebSite"
  • Lounge


  • Modules (tagged by Appstate / Third party)
  • Security
  • Support Forums

Getting started

The place where all the newbies should come. I'm not too sure about the structure, but maybe:

  • Evaluation ("Will phpWebSite work for me?")
  • Installation / Configuration (tagged by Windows / Unix / Other)
  • FAQs

Unix would not only include Linux, but Solaris, AIX and so on as well.

I think, the locking down of the FAQs is a very good idea, we should keep it that way.

Living with phpWebSite

  • Themes (tagged by Question / Offer)
  • Modules (tagged by Article Manager / Branch / Menu / ... what else?)
  • Professional Consulting
  • Developement
  • Everything else

Note, that we don't differentiate between the urgency-level here. Also, it should be clear where people put their stuff. If not, it's back to the drawing-board again.


  • Moderators
  • Off-Topic
  • Designer's Gallery
  • Suggestions for this forum

Last modified 2005-05-17 13:06 by rck