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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2007-03-18 4:46 AM
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takwu - 2007-03-18 1:30 AM

It's actually quite hard to find threads that deal specifically with MIPS HPC2000 devices. They get lost in the sea of j720 threads. And it's a problem because the libraries of third party software are somewhat different between the MIPS and ARM versions.

On the other hand, I don't think there's a worry about repeating threads. The percentage of threads that actually apply to both MIPS and ARM in the HPC2000 forum would be an estimated 5%, if you ask me.

Same thing with MIPS and SH3 in the CE2.x world, I think.

About the other forums... I think you can also do the splitting method instead of using subforums. I don't go to Linux, so I don't know how it should be split. But for General and OT, they can surely use more seperate forums.
For a 5% of threads which will predominantly be ARM questions, the numbers aren't enough to convince me of the need. It is just extra admin time shuffling things in and out - I have a feeling that a lot of thread movements never get followed up on becuase users think we deleted them, so to me the less we have to shuffle around the better.

I agree that there are going to be a small number of instances where CPU level filtering would be useful, but small is the operative word, to slice up the entire BBS to cater for those looking for that level of detail would make some other things harder to find (as outlined above) in a way that I would find inconvenient.
The threads that would warrant such listings, as you said, are software listings and not a whole lot more that cannot be sorted out through good labling.

Keep the discussion going, I'm interested in hearing different opinions
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takwu Page Icon Posted 2007-03-19 11:01 AM
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Hmm, at this point of discussion, I think we kinda need some real stats to support one opinion over another. If anyone wants to put in the time and effort...

My suggestion to seperate the CPU (only for the two largest forums) came from a similar reason C:Amie wanted to seperate CE1 from the other discussions. That is, it is hard to find support for certain types of threads, and the forums would be more useful if that was fixed.

In both HPC2000 and HPC Pro sections, a lot of Mobile Pro threads get little attention due to the dominance of Jornada discussions. A trend that pushed a lot of MP users to go to other forums such as PPCmag. If we split it as I suggested, we seperate the two largest groups of discussions, in both HPC2000 and HPC Pro.

I'm not saying we seperate into every brand or model of devices. But at least by seperating the CPU type, we get some seperation, which should help.

With that in mind, I hope it makes sense that SH3 and SH4 get grouped together, even if they are very different. At least if you look for an SH4 question, you dont have to go thru all of HPC Pro forum; you just have to find it in the CE2.x SH3/SH4 forum.

It's the same situation in the other sections. Say if you wanted to discuss a MIPS HPC2000 device, that isn't a Mobile Pro, say an Intermec 1665. Right now you have to bring it up in the HPC2000 forum, which includes all kinds of j72x discussions, mixed with some MP790s, and you have little hope of getting a response. At least if it is a MIPS HPC2000 forum, you only have to deal with MP790 user group, who are more likely to help you with your Intermec.

CE2 and CE2.1x got grouped together only because CE2 isn't that active (one page has half a year of threads), and putting them together wouldn't impact the functionality of the forums too much. Instead it would reduce the number of forums, and also make it less confusing for new CE2 users who cannot distinguish between a HPC and HPC Pro device, considering how phyiscally similar (sometimes identical) they are.

I don't agree about the impact of "shuffling" threads. Most threads do not last very long, perhaps a month. The number of threads that last longer than that is very small in comparison. Reorganizing the forum grouping is for a long term benefit. I wouldn't have considered a short term impact that isn't severe.
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2007-03-19 11:06 AM
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takwu: grouping sh3 and sh4 still doesn't make sense to me. even less sense to group ce 2.0 and 2.11, i'd rather do it with ce 1.0 and 2.0.
actually ce 2.0 and 2.11 are different even physically, because most hpc pro's were large vga devices, and most ce 2.0's were small hvga devices.

a dedicated section to hpc2000 ARM vs MIPS could make sense, but what if you post something in hpc2000 MIPS that applies to ARM (as they are both hpc2000) too? that's my problem here.
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2007-03-19 4:22 PM
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And there are a lot of differences between the 790 and the "1665" too - particularly in functionality of Pocket PC apps. Within MIPS H/PC 2000, you've got VR4xxx v TX39xx, HVGA v VGA v SVGA, etc, both of which may affect functionality of some programs. It always comes back to the old question: Where does one draw the line?

I'm not in favor of grouping CE 1 and CE 2 together - the difference between the two is just too great. To me, that'd be like putting CE 4.x .net together with H/PC 2000. CE 1 is a totally different beast, and IMO should remain separate.

I find the current forum structure to make the most sense. The only thing I'd recommend is more ready access to the Device List from the home page, along with a forum guide, so that people who are less familiar with the site and/or CE devices, to cut down on people posting in the wrong forums.
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2007-03-20 6:48 AM
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I agree with CmoneX, I wouldn't want to see SH3 and SH4 grouped - SH4 users can get a little pishy about it... and that usually means I get email

Other issues that I have with the breaking of the larger board by CPU would be that quite possibly there is a case for stating the reason why Intermet 6651 threads don't get as much attention is because there are less 6651 users on the board. They would still be lost in amongst the MobilePro posts; al be it falling down the listing more slowly.

It may also be the case that users are no longer looking over the forum as a generic question set. The board would tribalise with all the MP owners only ever looking at threads in the MIPS section. No knowing the great quality posts in other board areas.
You would also have the MP900's in amongst all the Jornada's and the 790's et al out on their own. Where do you post if you want advice on comparing the 900 and 790?

CE Geek: Device & Spec list from the FP. That's something I can sort out. I wish we were making faster progress on populating the spec's database
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takwu Page Icon Posted 2007-03-20 11:10 AM
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"1665" - "6651"

Anyway, the current structure has all CPUs grouped together, including SH3 SH4 and MIPS (in CE2 and HPC Pro). As bad as it is to group SH3 and SH4 together, the current grouping is worse.

One draws the line when it becomes a problem. A general rule is that when a thread sinks out of the first page before it has reasonable attention, it's a problem. As mentioned, in a MIPS HPC2000 forum, a 6651 thread would "fall down the listing more slowly", just enough to give it attention before it goes onto the second page.

Instead of arguing the difference between the devices and OS versions, I must emphasize that we should look at the trend of threads too.

C:Amie brought up a good point that I forgot to address previously. I am well aware that seperating a forum always seperates the users too. One extreme is to have one single board for every thread, the other extreme is to have too many forums and very few threads in each. It's all about balance. Right now I feel that the HPC2000 and HPC Pro forums are too large for the minorities. It is better to have your MP users party in their own forum, and come over to the J'ers forum once in a while, than to have them go look for a better place to hang out, i.e. another website.

I completely understand the urge to stick with a certain formulae (science) when you are designing something (especially in a technical community), but having innovations (art) is just as important for a good result. When I suggest to split CE2.x by CPU type, the formulae says we should split into MIPS, SH3, SH4, and ARM, even if there's only one known ARM CE2 device in existence. But the innovative mind says there is no point in having an ARM CE2 section. The same mind says a dedicated SH4 section isn't that great an idea either. The compromise is to have a MIPS and an SH3/SH4 section, which splits the threads into reasonable portions, yet it does not completely break the formulae. Afterall SH3 and SH4 are the same family, have a similar name, and have a combined user base that isn't overly large, compared to the other user base - MIPS. And if I may repeat myself, the splitting, even if it's not a thorough split, is still a better solution than to have one large forum that covers all CPUs in this generation, where the SH4 threads would be unnoticeable.

Oops I almost ignored C:Amie's other question, which tbh isn't a very good one Ans: Same place you post if you want advice on comparing a Jornada and an MP. As one of our regular members mentioned, an MP900 user would be hanging out happily among j72x users in the ARM HPC2000 forum. The 790 users would be with the Intermec 6651 users and a few others. It's never a perfect split, but similarly (to the CE2 situation) it's a better solution than one big Jornada dominated forum.

Edited by takwu 2007-03-20 11:18 AM
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2007-03-20 12:08 PM
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I'm afraid that I don't agree with your formula nor its formulation as an academic argument.

The current method isn't discriminatory, so I don't agree that it's worse.

Grouping by processor over complicates the idea of providing generic technical support under the hierarchical model we're currently using - and thus my 'not very good question' leads to confusion for new users - H/PC General discussion is NOT for technical issues. If you want to be empirical about it, the number of threads which go through the system with 0 replies is quite small at the moment, and users are welcome to bump them to get some attention if necessary.

There is a critical mass of such users looking over the threads which I account to this. The more you break it down, the less likely it is that this will continue.

If MobilePro users want dedicated support on the MobilePro SP&PPC Magazine's forums use the old S|HPC model to provide that support, and that board can be like a Wild West ghost town sometimes, complete with tumble weed. Don't forget we are discussing a board with only 3,500 members. Over complicating the formula is the last thing we want to do.

I also remind everyone that it is not within my power to sub-forum the site, so this discussion is unequivocally hypothetical and not going to prove a basis for us actually doing anything; not in the immediate future.
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2007-03-21 3:38 PM
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CE Geek - 2007-03-19 9:22 PM
The only thing I'd recommend is more ready access to the Device List from the home page...
Done... well, I met you half way. You'll see it when the peg engine is next synched from my dev server to the site servers, which will be in the next two weeks I hope - I have other changes to go along with it which aren't quite finished yet, and it's not worth stopping the site from running just to add this new type of link. Emphasis on type.

Do I ever do anything the simple way... do I half
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2007-03-21 3:40 PM
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No one can say you don't listen to your members, C:Amie. Thanx.
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takwu Page Icon Posted 2007-03-25 12:35 AM
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I honestly do not understand any of the points or counter points, but I'll try my best.
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C:Amie - 2007-03-20 9:08 AM
I'm afraid that I don't agree with your formula nor its formulation as an academic argument.

I was suggesting to not follow a formula. It seems that people want to either keep all CPUs together, split them into every different one, based on their technical properties. I am suggesting to do a compromise, and split it into useful groups. Particularly I was refering to cmonex's disagreement with the SH3 and SH4 group. This grouping in my mind is more useful, altho not following the technical formula.

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The current method isn't discriminatory, so I don't agree that it's worse.

In the same line of the previous reasoning, if grouping SH3 and SH4 is bad, in terms of having unrelated CPUs together, then grouping all CPUs would be "worse"; that is having even more unrelated CPUs together. I hope you can see the logic. I did not mean "worse" in any other way.

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Grouping by processor over complicates the idea of providing generic technical support under the hierarchical model we're currently using - and thus my 'not very good question' leads to confusion for new users - H/PC General discussion is NOT for technical issues. If you want to be empirical about it, the number of threads which go through the system with 0 replies is quite small at the moment, and users are welcome to bump them to get some attention if necessary.

Your question was where would a comparison between MP900 and MP790 be if we group by CPU. That would not be a technical support discussion anyway. So I do not understand why that question has to do with my suggestion of splitting the support forums, and thus called it a not very good question.

Perhaps I shouldn't have suggested for some statistics. The number of threads with 0 replies do not mean anything. Having replies do not mean a thread received "reasonable attention". And the problem of having poor attention isn't always reflected as the number of unattended threads; poor attention results in loss of activity, which is morely likely reflected in the lack of threads. For instance, there seems to be a lack of MP discussions in the HPC2000 section.

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There is a critical mass of such users looking over the threads which I account to this. The more you break it down, the less likely it is that this will continue.

I suppose "such users" refer to the above "users to bump threads". Beyond that I cannot make heads or tails of this. I would like to know though: break what down? what is less likely to continue?

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If MobilePro users want dedicated support on the MobilePro SP&PPC Magazine's forums use the old S|HPC model to provide that support, and that board can be like a Wild West ghost town sometimes, complete with tumble weed. Don't forget we are discussing a board with only 3,500 members. Over complicating the formula is the last thing we want to do.

I do not think the structure I suggested is "overcomplicating". And as I said before, my suggestion is not to break it into brands or models. Indeed, I do see a trend of MP users going to ppcmag.com to get support. However, the recent popularity of the MP900C has taken the attention from MP7xx and 8xx users. As mentioned before, the situation is not unlike CE1 support being completely unavailable in a general HPC forum.

You can either tell these users to just go find another website, or you can make your website more welcoming for them. The question is whether the number of their discussions is enough to justify being seperated from the rest of their current section (HPC Pro).
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2007-03-27 7:34 AM
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I'm running a 43 degree fever this afternoon and what I wrote makes clear sense to me.

Not following a technical formula IS over complicating the situation because it is confusing and invites further complication in how the board is to be perceived in the future. If you group SH3 and SH4 novice users will infer that the two are related.

I don't concur with your logic because I stand by the argument that there is not sufficient need to discriminate to a level lower than that of the operating system in the vast majority of cases for the provision of technical support.

Such comparison questions do come up in the tech board. Having threads with 0 replies will have to make do as a benchmark as it is the only demographic that we have available. You can no more tell me that threads on the PPC Mag board with more replies have a better quality of response, so forms a pedantic argument to suggest otherwise. The lack of MobilePro discussion in the HPC2000 section have something to do with the fact that there are a hell of a lot less MobilePro devices than there are Jornada's in the market. The H/PC Sections of the PPC Mag board run on the MobilePro because Jornada BBS support was saturated across the Internet from 1999 onwards.
This site has never specialised in the MobilePro, and until this year none of the owners even had a MobilePro. It is therefore of no surprise to me why the site can be perceived as having a weighting towards Hewlett Packard - the reason why it was setup as non device specific in the first place.

When you have a large body of HPC2000 users looking over all HPC2000 threads inexorably you can answer questions without direct experience of the device in question. Just look at how many MP related questions I have answered without any historic familiarity with the range. I think it is quite obvious that we are discussing the forum structure here, so I cannot fathom your confusion. If you break the board down into tribal groups you lose the breadth of knowledge skimming the sections - cmonex aside who owns every H/PC under the sun. How many single-device Jornada 720 owners ever go in the CE 1 or CE2 forums? IF you're an Arm user, you would no longer have any reason to be looking at MIPS threads, unless you were really, really bored or really looking to help your fellow man (and we know that seldom happens).

The first post was made onto the PPCMag board on St Valentines Day in 2003. In which time "34874 Members have made 78932" posts onto the board. Some 9,000 of those posts are on the MobilePro and they have no sub categorisation what so ever. The community who are this site have done the same in 18 months less time with 100% dedicated Handheld PC discussion, I cannot honestly sit here in front of you and tell you I'm concerned at your radical statement that MobilePro users are fleeing to another site. Quite simply, I and HPC:Factor are not here to destroy other websites. I have no wish or desire to cripple anyone else’s hard work in a "crusade over the Windows CE" world.

I'm not threatened or made uncomfortable by the fact that PPC Magazine has H/PC user board, and it should be stated that we do not want to see any more Handheld PC resources lost from the Internet, it does nothing for the community on any level. You won’t win your argument with me on this ground as Clint and I consider the team at Thaddeus to be friends.
If they can give better MP support than we can, then fine. Quite simply Clint, John and I cannot back it up on a personal level because we do not have the devices or the time to dedicate to do it. I can be stated however that I have never received a complaint from a MobilePro user on what is on offer on this site; and in my experience people do like to tell us where we go wrong far more readily than they do when we do something right (consumer psyche).

I would be interested to hear what John Ottini thinks on this.

Reiteration for any new users dropping in here: Please, do remember that this discussion is all academic: It is not possible for me to subdivide the board anyway.
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takwu Page Icon Posted 2007-04-28 3:57 AM
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Hi, sorry I've been so occupied lately that I haven't been back to visit the site for a month. I still like to address a few points, if the discussion is still considered open

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C:Amie - 2007-03-27 4:34 AM
I don't concur with your logic because I stand by the argument that there is not sufficient need to discriminate to a level lower than that of the operating system in the vast majority of cases for the provision of technical support.

I suppose that is hard to measure. But the very fact that MP users don't post here, but post elsewhere, is indication enough that a service is required, but not available here. You can theorize all day about what is needed or not, but at the end of the day, it's the users who decide what they need.

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The lack of MobilePro discussion in the HPC2000 section have something to do with the fact that there are a hell of a lot less MobilePro devices than there are Jornada's in the market. The H/PC Sections of the PPC Mag board run on the MobilePro because Jornada BBS support was saturated across the Internet from 1999 onwards.

I would like to take both of these points to support my suggestions. There are less MPs, so there are less discussions on them, therefore they get overshadowed by Jornada discussions, which further discourages MP users to post in this section.

MP users chose PPCMag because of the above problem. But now MP users have a new problem, which is that the PPCMag's MP forum is filled with MP900 and MP900C discussions. MIPS MP discussions once again get overshadowed. As fas as I can tell, they are now looking for a new home.

I hate to repeat myself, but it's easy to draw a comparison to the CE1 situation again. There are "a hell of a lot less" CE1 devices than anything else in HPC community for that matter, and so there is a lack of related discussions. Why would it be bad if CE1 discussions were included in another section, say the CE2 section? Because then it would further discourage CE1 support. By giving them their own section, at least if someone has a CE1 issue, they can get support from what little is left in the community. Instead of getting overshadowed by other HPC discussions.

I simply see the MIPS HPC2000 group as being in a similar situation. The difference is that they only recently started having this problem, and we can still "save" them, by dedicating a section to them.

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When you have a large body of HPC2000 users looking over all HPC2000 threads inexorably you can answer questions without direct experience of the device in question. Just look at how many MP related questions I have answered without any historic familiarity with the range. I think it is quite obvious that we are discussing the forum structure here, so I cannot fathom your confusion. If you break the board down into tribal groups you lose the breadth of knowledge skimming the sections - cmonex aside who owns every H/PC under the sun. How many single-device Jornada 720 owners ever go in the CE 1 or CE2 forums? IF you're an Arm user, you would no longer have any reason to be looking at MIPS threads, unless you were really, really bored or really looking to help your fellow man (and we know that seldom happens).

I do agree with that... theoretically. However (hehe), the situation is that MIPS HPC2000 users don't even look for support here. There are no MIPS threads (or at least threads by MIPS users, that are not CPU specific) in the HPC2000 section, even if you try to find one (really, try it)... so much for the "breadth of knowledge". Would you rather have MIPS threads that ARM users don't look at, or no MIPS threads at all?

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Quite simply, I and HPC:Factor are not here to destroy other websites. I have no wish or desire to cripple anyone else’s hard work in a "crusade over the Windows CE" world.

Instead, I'm asking you to save this world. I never intended to ask this site to compete with another, with my suggestions. I am simply seeing a problem in the community and hope that this site would do something to help it.

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I'm not threatened or made uncomfortable by the fact that PPC Magazine has H/PC user board, and it should be stated that we do not want to see any more Handheld PC resources lost from the Internet, it does nothing for the community on any level. You won’t win your argument with me on this ground as Clint and I consider the team at Thaddeus to be friends.
If they can give better MP support than we can, then fine.

Considering the situation with MP users here, I hope they do... But I am made uncomfortable by the fact that MP discussions on their board is now all from MP900* users.

This site used to have some MIPS MP users, but as the population grew, the same HPC2000 section that used to have a mix of users with all kinds of different HPC2000 devices is now too small to accommodate the army of J72x users and anyone else with the same OS. That's why I observed a migration to the PPCMag board. Now the already small PPCMag board has the MP900* trend, I just don't know where the MIPS MP users have gone. A few of the HPC Pro users are still here on this site, but I don't see the 790 users (and Intermec 6651 users that also frequented their MP forum) anymore. Please save them and give them a home again.

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I can be stated however that I have never received a complaint from a MobilePro user on what is on offer on this site; and in my experience people do like to tell us where we go wrong far more readily than they do when we do something right (consumer psyche).

I really hope that I am wrong and all the MIPS MP users consider this site a good place to find support. I am afraid that they don't and simply give up and move on to another platform and/or device.

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Reiteration for any new users dropping in here: Please, do remember that this discussion is all academic: It is not possible for me to subdivide the board anyway.

However it is possible to split the HPC2000 forum into two. And the HPC Pro forum as well.
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Sch01ar Page Icon Posted 2007-04-28 6:10 AM
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Surely most people here, especially those of us with more "exotic" hpcs, have more than one. Sure, rigidly organised fora would help people decide where to post, but those posts are less likely to get answered if everyone is swimming in their own streams. I often answer questions about HPCs I no longer own or rarely use, because they are in the thread I'm browsing at the time.
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