The http://groups.drupal.org/support-infrastructure group was created to focus discussion and, hopefully, development. There's been a lot of ad hoc discussion so far, in various places. We want to focus that energy.
So far, davidhernandez has started a wiki page at http://groups.drupal.org/node/133494 outlining some fundamental goals — namely to replace the forums as a support center with something much more effective and useful. (It's a wiki! Be bold!)
This endeavor will take community involvement to make it happen. This thread is to invite input and discussion. Let's hash this out and get some momentum going!
A proof of concept?
The StackExchange Drupal site launched recently. When this was just a proposed project, many of us expressed our support of the StackExchange group with the understanding that it would serve as a model for how we might build our own support center. StackExchange does a lot of things right, such as ways for the best answers to percolate up to the top, very visibly, so people searching for answers can find them and identify them easily, without having to ask the same question over and over again.
But there are also things that may not be ideal fits for our community. Some people have questioned the value of the points system and how it invites gaming of the system, for example.
And then there are the features that we would want for a support site to help streamline its effectiveness.
What would you like to see?
davidhernandez has already eloquently (I think) outlined goals and benefits, so I'll toss out some ideas here for some features added to the StackExchange experience that would help:
- Easy reference to existing d.o issues
- Easy reference to api.d.o documentation
- Easy reference to d.o documentation
- Integration with Drupal projects, to facilitate discussion of ideas directly related to the project without having to use the issue queue (which is not ideal for long discussions)
Obviously this is just a sliver of what's possible. What are some of your ideas? What do you think would make support.drupal.org totally rock as a support site for n00bs and experts alike in not only development, but site building, theming, architecture, performance, etc.?
Update (March 28, 2011): Following a request by Yoroy in comments below, I've copied over some goals from a comment I posted below:
Goals of a better support system
- Answers to common questions and problems can be found easily. (Repeat questions waste everyone's time.)
- Askers who can't find existing answers can ask questions in a system where they can hope for some kind of timely response. (Late-answered or unanswered questions can leave people stuck.)
- In-depth problems or issues can be pursued as long as people are willing and able to stay on it. (Technical and architectural constraints on the format should not discourage this.)
- It's easy for askers to ask and for answerers to answer.
The full comment, along with a bit of discussion of the limitations we face in the current support venues, is below: http://groups.drupal.org/node/136719#comment-449324