Reading through recent discussions, I found that some people don't like the forums here very much, but would rather have talk or discussion pages instead.
Is this a wide spread sentiment or just the opinion of a vocal minority?
If there is consensus, then I could shut down forums and automatically transfer all content to discussion pages.
Please not. Consensus seems more like that it is depending on the purpose of the discussion or maybe there is no consensus. (Willemien advocates discussion pages, I see.) Often it is just ephemeral for page improvement, questions, comments... if such comments end in a separate forum they tend to survive unnecessarily and are less likely to be integrated. For genuine discussions and some other pages the forum style is fine, as long it is not enforced on all kinds of "non-content" edit.
Bob McGuigan: I'm not sure that the forums should be eliminated but I do know that sometimes it is frustrating that forum posts can't be edited except by the poster or librarians. Also it seems it might be difficult to take content from forum pages and integrate it into regular pages.
If the intention is to copy content from a post, preventing you from all the typing work, rather than editing someone's actual post, which would look like an infringement of the very forum purpose, then maybe this could be provided: a button "copy content of post", especially the diagrams.
Byt thawy, you can already, but it requires a big round trip, storing a diagram as sgf, then converting the sgf back to a sl-diagram, after expanding it to 19x19 ...
Bill: Based on my experience on SL and elsewhere, I think that having parallel content and discussion is valuable. :)
As for forums, since the content pages are freely edited, the forum content can quickly become obsolete. I find that wasteful and annoying. I also find that I am less likely to look at the forum than a discussion page (if there is one). I haven't really thought about it before, but that is probably because of how often forum material is no longer relevant.
And I was thinking that I was the vocal singularity.
I do prefer discusion pages (subpages with discussion or discussions at end of page) above the forum (talk) pages.
Talk pages are good for opinions/ brainstorming ed. (the contributions are clearly from the person writing it) While discussionpages more lent to colloboration, (you as it were interrupt one collaborator and ask a question inside his contribution), this can off course lead to the page getting a bit spagetti where nobody knows who wrote what but i think that is just the way progress occurs
Also from pages it easier to copy information and (out of date/ off-topic contributions can be easely removed)
Where it is important that the contributions are named or for very embryonic subjects it is maybe better to have the discussion at life in 19x19 (It is better to have only one main go forumand there you have smilies an d that kind of stuff, no don't add them here)
Maybe we should try to get to an even bigger colloboration with life in 19x19 Maybe have a template saying something like "discussion on this subject is at ...., .... and ..... in life in 19x19" and some tricks and trucks to copy between SL and L19. (maybe we also need to get some copyright sharing agreement, hmm maybe it is good to have that with other go -organisations as well)
(see for talk pages getting of offtopic is not such a big deal)
Also another off topic point: Can I become an librarian to weed out some old talk pages?
Looks like you feel the need for a forum style discussion, but you want to have it somewhere else? I believe the temptation to "wikipedify" Sensei's Library or any other kind of no-nonsense, contents-only (and contents-generation) policy should be resisted.
We don't remove the tsumego on SL, only because there are dedicated pages for tsumego. We don't remove the joseki pages because there are josekipedia and game databases. Similarly we shouldn't remove functionality from SL because there are other go forums.
Bob McGuigan: I am not so much in favor of references to L19x19 as a final source for topics. L19x19 is a message board and, as on almost all message boards, threads frequently turn off topic and ramble around without tight focus on the main topic of the thread. That's to be expected, just as it is in actual conversation, but it makes L19x19 a poor reference target in my opinion. Furthermore, on L19x19, it is not possible to edit threads to tighten them up and make them better expositions or references, the same as the talk/forum pages here on SL.
To Tapir above:
Yes i do see the need for discussion forums, but i also see them rather elsewhere. I see sensei as a store of what could be called "long lasting go knowledge" and thinks that are dynamic, quick out of date, easely off-topic, more social, hot headed, ect are better off elsewhere. (and L19 is just the place to have them)
Tsume go and Joseki have their place on Sensei's but sometimes it is better to have them elsewhere. We cannot really accomodate even one hundered variations of the Taisha Joseki while maybe in the future Josekipedia can. and then an introduction here and a link to there is maybe the best we can do. The same for more social discussions: L19 is better equipped for discussions than us, Why split the go community?
I am not against on-topic discussions on a subject page (or on a discussion page) but let free flowing discussions happen elsewhere and lets concentrate here on "longer lasting go knowledge"
To Bob McGuigan above:
We don't need final references at all Sl is not wikipedia and SL doesn't need references to some final source. Original reseach has its place here. But in many cases it can be interesting to see what others have said about it (before they went off topic) Or as point where related material can be found that is handy to copy to SL (and then it is just a reference where it came from and maybe more can be found)
For the rest you explain very well what I have against talk pages, Thanks :)
We agree on disagreeing :)
Without dynamic on SL, there will be no addition to the go knowledge stored here. There must be a huge amount of insight hidden in all those Malkovich threads on Lifein19x19, but I am not aware of a single page on SL that profited from this endeavour. Compare to that how many improvements even the most unpleasant discussions/threads on SL about tie breakers, ko rules etc. tend to initiate.
When the talk tool came into existence to replace the discussion sub-pages, I thought there was still reason to use both.
When to use which would run along these lines
In my opinion, the discussions that take place on main pages seriously reduce the quality of SL. People come to a library for information, and if the information is cluttered with discussion, the incentive is large to look for information elsewhere.
The OP mentions that some people don't like the SL forum much. I'm one of them.
The SL forums are hard to find, tiresome to read, and have a monolithic quality. As others have suggested, general discussions about SL are certainly be livelier and would perhaps be more fruitful if carried on at L19. I have suggested on L19 that collaboration between the two websites be increased, and I strongly encourage anyone active here to join the discussion there.
Bob McGuigan: I don't think the content of the talk pages on SL is any more ponderous than the serious content of threads on L19x19 (There is quite a lot of silly discussion on L19x19). And talk pages on SL are easy to find if you know the subject :) I agree with the comment that questions and comments put in the middle of articles can disrupt the organization and make them close to unreadable. That is a result of lazy, inconsiderate, or uninformed users. SL does serve a reference function; there is even a reference section heading on the staring points page :) If I recall, SL has never functioned as a general discussion site. Before the introduction of talk pages discussion took place on subject pages which were subsequently WME'd and the discussion was incorporated into an article or deleted or moved to a different page. Some general discussion takes place at the Coffee Machine but it seems little used. It seems to me the biggest problem on SL is the degradation of well-written or WME'd pages by questions or comments inserted in the middle of articles. Has anyone suggested the idea of "locking" main pages that are well written with editing access only for librarians, but discussion or talk pages open? That way people with comments or questions could post them without disrupting the main article. If enough new material or improvements are suggested the locked article could be re-WME'd to incorporate the new material.
I wrote it on SLAsAnAgeingWiki already. I truly believe this once was a big issue, but that was years ago. How many well written WME'ed content pages got disturbed and were not saved from the fate of being watered down and turned into a forum in recent years. I have the impression the count is close to zero, at least in the last two years during which I have monitored close to all edits done on SL, it doesn't strike me as a particular common occurrence. We still have lot of not-WME'ed pages around from earlier ages, but the current problem is not that SL has too many eager newcomers crowding the place and scaring off main contributors by their unrefined editing practice. I really beg to differ between past problems and the current situation in which still many results of the past (disturbed pages, messy stuff nobody dared to WME) are around in a very much changed environment.
For many issues a policy statement or an ongoing discussion on the best practice is much preferable to a technical fix (that is unlikely to work anyway) in my opinion. You don't need to lock pages, when you agree on the policy, you can lead by example there and slowly work on the heritage left over from more hectic times. And I believe some of the work we did on endgame and joseki pages is in the right direction, like Endgame Tesuji, Basic Endgame Theory, Joseki Choice etc.
The problem was the main contributors of old did not manage to achieve this common ground if I look at some exchanges over WMEs done that time. But there never will be an easy solution, we will always have to strike a balance. We want good quality content, but at the same time SL should work as a learning environment as well, and if the beginner do not understand what is meant as beginners material, he should be encouraged to say so (try high-digit Beginners Exercises), even if he's not sure how to improve on it and even if it looks like defacing a page, as long as the questions and answers are integrated to the page once again. (I wrote somewhere else, that there is a tendency to cover more complicated materials before the easier ones, any beginner should question this and ask for more appropriate material.) To limit those interfering comments when it becomes too much to maintain some resemblance of a main page may be necessary, but I honestly doubt this is an urgent problem nowadays (apart from the heritage), on the small amount of pages I did WME during the last years, I actually would have preferred an occasional question, comment, whether in the page or politely at the end over the lack of feedback I consider the main problem nowadays (take a look at Joseki Choice, the feedback that happened was asked for, several times and only then did it happen).