The IFC community is an amazing place with a lot of activity, especially within the ‘Features’ category. Unfortunately, lots of activity can also leads to heaps of topics to sort through. One unpleasant side effect is a vast number of duplicate threads.
One potential way to reduce the clutter is to add additional organization. In this case, it would be an additional layer of tags for the topics in the feature category to allow for easier distinction between the various types of requests (e.g. new liveries, ATC commands, etc.). This would benefit both readers and those in the process of launching a new topic. This could methodology could also extend to other categories in the future (as needed).
As a starting point, I’d throw out the following categories:
Autopilot: Changes, additions, or other modifications to the autopilit system (e.g. adding VNAV)
ATC: Changes, additions, or other modifications to the ATC system (e.g. new commands)
New Liveries: Requests for additional or updated liveries for existing aircraft (e.g. “New Roo” for A330)
New Aircraft: Requests for new aircraft types that are not currently available IF (e.g. A350)
Existing Aircraft: Requests for reworks or new variants of aircraft that are already available in IF (e.g. rework 757-200, add 737Max)
Scenery/Terrain: Changes, additions, or other modifications to scenery and terrain (e.g. taxiway lights, 3D buildings)
Maps: Changes, additions, or other modifications to the maps available in IF (e.g. add taxiway designations, add gates during flight)
Other: All other request types
Implementation would take awhile, as there are many existing topics that have not been tagged, but would would progress through a combination of new topics and moderator tagging of the most popular topics
This really wouldn’t be too hard to implement. I mean we have 95 regulars that are able to edit categories, so I’m sure if tags were added the process would be simple.
In terms of FDS adding these additional categories however is different. Yes discourse categories are easy to just add and customize, but it adds to the elongated list of existing categories. Not to mention that discourse also has a category limit.
Not a bad idea however, but I’m not sure if I can see FDS adding this in the very near future.
This is another example of “in theory”. Everything you’ve said is valid, but annoyingly, the forum doesn’t work like that. Users have a hard enough time using the categories as it is right now, let alone if we had more. 8 different categories under a single category that probably has the biggest amount of inexperienced users posting in it, would, in my opinion, turn into a bombsite.
It’s a great idea and I’m in complete support but I fear it could be too much work for mods to re-categorise everything and I don’t think it would actually reduce duplicates. If someone wants to look for a duplicate they can quite easily find it. Creating new categories will merely take the searching time down from 20 seconds to 10.
Giving it a trial time would work well to see if this theory goes into practice but I’m not sure whether it would be worth the hassle
While that hasn’t generally been my experience with these types of things, I certainly defer to your expertise. The points on real world use implications and limitations of the platform are well taken.
If the categories were to be implied in the discourse then i’d be more than happy to re-categorise everything.
I’m down for some more work but it depends on how many of us are willing to give it a go, i mean after reading what @ewanfleming said, it can become chaotic with all these categories and people not knowing where to put what and we have to step in and fix.
The question is how well will people be able to use the correct categories and how much effort are we Regulars and Mods as well willing to give in to re-categorizing?
I think ‘Autopilot’ And ‘Maps’ could be merged into ‘Systems’ which allows for a broader topic range when it comes to how you control the aircraft and how the layout of the controls is… just a suggestion :)
It looks like this has at least a little bit of interest, but there are some inherent flaws in the methodology I laid out. I was wondering what you thought about a modified approach: putting these categories in front of the request thread title (e.g. [New Liveries] New Roo A330 or [New Aircraft] A350XWB Family). This theoretically eliminates some of the burden and complexity, while providing some standardization that makes searching for features a bit easier. It sounds like there are at least a few Regulars that would be willing to help enact this.
If there is any interest, I’m happy to help make an explanation thread or do anything else that would be helpful.
Hey just for future reference. Please don’t link the Mods’ names on a thread that is not too important (not trying to insult your thread). They are very busy and they will see this when they get to it. Thanks!
The addition of sub-categories or anything of that nature would be unlikely. With that said, I don’t see an issue with adding these slight modifications to the title in that regard. Yes it would refine the search results, but you’re now asking people to type in the extra characters [New Aircraft] before they even get to the heart of what they’re looking for.
A potential issue that I see in this are the new users searching for an aircraft. Say someone new comes online and would like to find the A350 topic. The first thing that they’re going to type in is A350. Now it may or may not bring up the main topic right off the bat. They may have to pick through the results to find the right now.
But as it stands right now, I’m kind of split on this.