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Why not have a Windows section?

Discussion in 'Comments & Feedback' started by newtekie1, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. FatForester New Member

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    Nailezs, I agree with you completely. I was just tossing some ideas out there for people to chew on. I've always thought the General Software section was a complete mess, even though I guess it works just fine as it is. The OCD side of me wants to get it organized and streamlined so it flows better, especially when you look at how the rest of the forum is laid out. Everything else makes perfect sense, then you hit "General Software" and it's just a cluster of everything and anything that can possibly relate to software that isn't covered in the other software subsections (Games / Linux / OSX / Programming). So you end up with people that actually have Windows related issues tossed in with threads about 3DMark, people chatting about webapps / search engines / "the cloud", Windows 7 release threads, picture / video editing apps, and then threads covering the plethora of other software people use (anti-virus, defraggers, disk cleanup tools, Office suites, benchmarking apps, system monitoring apps, etc.) all in one section.

    I know it would be incredibly time consuming to organize everything already in the index into a new system and then have mods keep track of new threads and where they're supposed to go, so the reality of the situation doesn't look that good. Maybe we can run a little experiment by adding just a Windows 7 subsection in anticipation of the release? Even though there are plenty of threads about 7 since the RC and RTM have been out for a while, there's still a lot of people who aren't going to take the plunge until Oct 22nd. 7 seems like it is going to be a really smooth launch, but that doesn't mean people aren't going to be making plenty of threads about it once it's released.
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  2. shevanel

    shevanel New Member

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    Simple forum index, sure. But a huge variety of questions on one is a far cry from being simple as far as consolidating and organizing questions goes.

    Graphics cards get their own sub-forums why can't OS's? Surely theyre not seperated to prevent them from arguing and fighting against each other :roll:
  3. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    Adding one more section isn't cluttering. And yes, the simple forum index is a must, and making something less confusing makes it simpler. The way it is now is confusing. People with Windows issues have to post in a section that isn't really dedicated to them. It just fits the best. That is confusing. A new user here will see General Software, and not instantly equate it to "Windows Problems go here". They will see a Linux/OSX section and figure there must be a Windows Section somewhere also.

    ATi problems go in the ATi section, nVidia problems go in the nVidia section, Linux problems go in the Linux section...Windows problems go..........in the general section...thats confusing and leads to a needlessly cluttered section.

    Of course creating a new section doesn't guarantee that people post topics in the correct section, that is a given with any section, and the reason moving topics happens probably hourly here.

    Adding a Windows specific section eliminates confusion, so that in itself makes the Index simpler.
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  4. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    We all know the logic of "one more wouldn't hurt". "One more puff of smoke wouldn't hurt", "one more fatty extra-cheese cheeseburger wouldn't hurt", etc. That doesn't make a strong case.

    There are people who don't even know what an OS is, and that there are more OS'es in existence than Windows. Windows, and software that run on Windows have pretty much become "general software", and "an operating system", owing to the market position of Windows. Windows and software that run on it, have become synonymous with "general software". Adding a Windows forum with GS around will only add to the confusion of what kind of threads to post where. "Windows" is a broader concept than you're making it look like. It includes all the software that keep the OS running [smoothly], device driver-related problems, and so forth.

    Don't use the ATI/NVIDIA having different sections argument. The only reason ATI/AMD and NVIDIA sub-forums were created was because Nvidiots and FanATIcs couldn't get along well in one forum, and every seemingly harmless thread resulted in pointless drama. The forum had to be partitioned. *nix users don't argue with Windows users in their threads.
  5. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    Go to any other fairly successful forum, and you will see that they have a section either dedicated to Operating Systems w/ Sub-sections for the different kinds, or direct sections dedicated to the different kinds of OSes. Never will you see a forum, other than TPU, where they just assume that the users will understand that Windows questions go under a General section...

    The area is called "Software", if anything the section that is now called "General Software" should be called "Windows", and there should a new section added called "Other" for everything else that doesn't fit(I don't even know if "Other" would really be required, really).

    Holy crap, is that a clown face...awesome!
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  6. andrewsmc

    andrewsmc

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    +1
  7. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    We're not looking at other fairly successful forums for inspiration. TPU is a successful forum *touchwood*. What we do look at other forums for, is their shortcomings, and try to avoid them in our setting. Despite being successful in its own merit, XS, for example, has a tiresome forum index, you can think of more.

    Again, we all love Windows, and will probably die after logging off Windows one last time. I'm not disputing that. The point is, with Windows and software running on it being synonymous with 'general software', people know where to post their threads.
  8. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    I doubt new users know to post Windows topics in General Software right away. They figure it out, but it isn't intuitive. Hell, even I had to think for a second before posting a Windows question in General Software.

    Like I said, a name change at the very least would make it more intuitive.
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  9. Wile E

    Wile E Power User

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    I agree with with possible name changes, but I don't agree on adding a new section. I agree with BTA's take on the forum's index.
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  10. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    That's as intuitive as it gets.

    Changing it to "Windows" wouldn't help the cause, as the layman wanting to discuss about "RealPlayer", "Photoshop CS4", etc. will scratch his head about where to post. On the other hand, given the adequate instruction under the link to the forum, it's pretty easy for people to think "General Software" is the one stop spot where I'm going to talk about Windows 7, Photoshop, and Maya.
  11. FatForester New Member

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    Refuting the idea of organizing the Software forum by claiming that everyone will be too stupid to understand what "Windows" vs. "General Software" means isn't a good case either. Not everyone who visits TPU fits into the mold of an "Nvidiot" or "FanATIc" (I feel like I just became dumber by typing that), so trying to say that adding a Windows section will create mass hysteria just doesn't make any sense. I would still like to see either a Windows section with General Software, or at least try out a sub-forum for Windows 7. Setting up a Windows 7 subsection shouldn't be hard at all, and if complete and utter confusion ensues like you think it will, then we can just merge it back into GS and forget it ever happened. At the very least renaming GS to Windows General Software or some variation that includes "Windows" in the title would reduce confusion as it is, mainly for first time users. It's worth a shot, especially with how much more efficient everything can become.

    Edit:
    Sorry I didn't see this before I posted, I'm at work so I've been switching back and forth and forgot to refresh. I think a name change is definitely the easiest solution, at least for right now.
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  12. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    But that doesn't warrant the cluttering of the index, and the confusion that follows not knowing exactly what to post where, either.

    Your side wanted to make an argument out of "since there is an ATI and NVIDIA forum, there should be a Windows and Linux forum", but I said that the only reason NVIDIA and ATI subforums were created was because of the reason I earlier stated. If things were peaceful between nvidiots and fanatics, you would not be seeing ATI and NVIDIA sub-forums. This is fact.

    We've been through that in older posts. TPU looks for permanent, irreversible solutions to its problems. Sometimes, these solutions work, sometimes they don't. It's no looking back when they don't. We created forums for storage, networking, etc., hoping to push a then seemingly big load of threads there. It isn't very popular, though useful in its small way. On the other hand, dedicated forums for WCG and F@H have been smash-hits. I can concede on only one ground, that maybe in its name or description, General Software could be made to appear as the place for everything Windows (the OS, and software that runs on it).
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2009
  13. Nailezs

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    i have to agree that at the very least a name change is waranted and even over-due. when i first started on TPU i was always confused about where to post windows problems, and settled on General Software merely by process of elimination...thats not what i would call intuitive...
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  14. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Software > General Software. I don't see how anyone wanting to post any Windows problem would have a problem finding that, or at least look at the description of the forum. Editing the forum description however is looking viable.
  15. Frick

    Frick Fishfaced Nincompoop

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    I don't know if this has been said, but there's a fine line between Windows problems (say registry problems) and it's software (say regfix programs), so there would be more going back and forth between those forums.
  16. FatForester New Member

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    To me separating Windows related topics into their own sub-forum wouldn't be cluttering the index, it would be more like organizing it. Of course that just depends on which viewpoint you take on it. I think you're seeing this turning into an avsforum where they have ballooned into about 80 subforums that cover every single topic you can think of. That place is a nightmare for people who aren't sure about what kind of problem they have, but it's heaven for people who know exactly what they are looking for. Of course TPU isn't nearly that specific, but I understand what you mean. Keeping things simple makes for easy bookkeeping, but this thread wouldn't exist if people didn't think the forum could improve and be better for its users in some way.

    Well at least after all this discussion we've ruled out that a subforum for Windows would be too difficult to manage. As far as the name goes, looking at Motherboards & Memory and Overclocking & Cooling makes it seem like Windows & General Software is a logical choice, but I'm heavily sleep deprived so there is probably something better than that. (don't be smart by saying "General Software" either! :laugh:)

    To be honest, when I first came to TPU it took the same process of elimination that Nailezs and Newtekie used to figure out which forum Windows topics should go into. When someone is trying to find something about Windows, the logical thing to do is look for the name Windows. When Linux and Mac OSX have their own subforum, one would think Windows would have the same. It's the same process when you're trying to use Google to find something. General just seems awkward the first time through, especially when the description doesn't even clarify that the title means the Windows OS and its software.
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  17. Nailezs

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    "Discuss Linux and all alternative operating systems here"
    that implys that there is a section for windows imho
    so when u see "Other General Softare questions go here" one is left wondering "where do i post for windows issues/questions?"
    im not a psychology expert, but imo the descriptions themselves can be confusing to a newby looking for a non-existant windows section. there is no mention of windows or os'es in the general software description, just "general software" which i dont and have never considered an os to be. by that viewpoint, if an os is considered general software, i would be confused as to why we have a seperate linux/bsd/max osx section at all...

    and i apologize for not shutting up by now, even though i said i was done lol

    EDIT: FatForrester beet me to it lol
  18. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    No, it implies what it says. Maybe the fact that it's above General Software makes you think that way. It can be sorted out, and General Software can get a different description telling you that you can discuss Windows and software that runs on it. The *nix forum really is a kind of a special place. It's the "East London" of the Software section (no offense to anyone).
  19. Easy Rhino

    Easy Rhino Linux Advocate

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    i agree with bta on this one. just look at a site like avsforum

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/

    it is impossible to find the proper board to post in. the mods have to move things all the time and people get pissed about how unhelpful the community is.
  20. Nailezs

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    off topic, but...east london? dont get that one
  21. Wile E

    Wile E Power User

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    Yeah, me too. I hate forums like that.

    I do, however, think a name changes should be considered. Having Windows somewhere in the title would be beneficial.
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  22. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    No, it really isn't "as intuitive as it gets". Saying "Other general software questions here" makes the user have to scan every section first, and then decided their question goes in General. It isn't directly intuitive that Windows questions go there. In fact, when I first read it, and I'm sure I'm not alone here, it actually lead me to believe there was a seperate Windows section that I was missing somewhere, the inclusion of a seperate Linux/OSX section added to that confusion.

    Yes, by process of elimination, Windows questions go there, and it isn't hard to figure that out. However, the user should not have to use process of elimination to determine where a post goes. That is the exact opposite of intuitive. They should be able to look at the index and tell right away where things go.

    Furthermore, the section that you have to use process of elimination to figure out what goes in there is always at the bottom. Why? Because we read top to bottom, and once you get to that section, you know what your options are, and if it don't fit in any of the above option, you post in last topic. That isn't even the case here, as there is another section below it. The whole layout doesn't flow well with the way human minds work.
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  23. FatForester New Member

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    That's the same example I used in my last post, I guess you didn't see it. AVS Forum is one of those where you either love it or hate it on any given day. For general questions it's good, but when I was looking up information on the quality of HDMI over CAT6 extenders, I about lost my mind. I don't think TPU is anything remotely close to that, those folks are just crazier about their home theaters than we are about our computers.
  24. Nailezs

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    +1 to newtekie1
  25. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    As I said in #43, General Software can be placed above *nix, and some title/description changes can be made. That is a viable solution.

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