Anki has used TenderApp as a support site for quite a few years now. It has not received a lot of love from its creators in recent years, and lacks a lot of modern conveniences, so it’s about time to start looking into alternatives.
The plan is to give this site a trial for a few weeks before any decision on a move is made. Please give it a test and let me know what you think.
If the trial does work out, it may make sense to invite AnkiDroid here as well (Google Groups has not received much love in recent years either).
Update 24 Jun: The forum seems to have been well received, so I think it’s here to stay now. A big thank you to everyone who has been active over the last 2 weeks, and hopefully we can grow it into an even more activity community moving forward.
Thanks for being the first person to reply! I’m not sure about migrating old material from TenderApp - I think it may be more practical to switch it to read-only and leave it online for now, so people can continue to search it if need be.
This site looks promising ! I hope it gets the love it deserves
One recurring fact is that some users do not bother using tenderapp and go straight to the unofficial subreddit. I think with higher quality user service and facier looks from now can be a game changer.
Loooking forward to the new site and hope for the best !
This is excellent news! I 100% support this decision. We use Discourse at work for technical support of microbiome data science software and related topics like statistics and computer science and we love it! It’s miles ahead of any other platform I’ve used. https://forum.artofmemory.com/ also uses Discourse which is a great success story. Cheers!
I believe it’s technically possible, but AnkiWeb currently has no concept of a username/nickname, and users who sign up with an AnkiWeb account wouldn’t be able to post issues here if they couldn’t access their account.
Nice! Discourse is definitely a major step forward in terms of message board features.
My only concern would be that it feels a lot more tech-y and involved compared to tenderapp (e.g. the account requirement or the category system which is pretty unconventional if you’re used to subforums). So while I think Discourse is a great choice for development-related talk and more in-depth discussions among power users, I think it could turn out to be a step back for user support - at least in its current state.
You make a fair point about TenderApp’s lower barrier of entry. My concern is that TenderApp seems to be fairly unpopular among the group of users who are able to answer questions, and this ends up discouraging people from contributing. I am hoping that by providing a place that people enjoy being on more than TenderApp, it will encourage more community participation. Evandro and Guillem have been helping out with answering questions lately, and it is much appreciated, as the support side of things chews up a lot of my time these days.
That’s a good point for sure. I can definitely see how Discourse could encourage more eager participation, and I absolutely understand how much of a time-sink providing support for all of these platforms must be. I just fear that Discourse might end up being another enclave of power users and that less tech-savvy users will end up feeling stranded, taking to Reddit, Discord, and other channels for help instead (which they already do, but not so much for AnkiMobile for instance).
This is not a bad thing per se, as these places can provide community support in some form, but the long-term effect might be that discussions on Anki will be even more spread out and that it might become difficult for you and community contributors keep track of important bug reports etc.
Also, even Reddit & Discord aren’t the most user-friendly platforms either, so I fear that some users might just be left behind completely.
With that in mind, I actually think that Evandro’s suggestion to add OAuth support would already go a long way in lowering the barrier of entry: Add new logins providers
In a similar vein, if AnkiWeb logins could be linked to Discourse in the future (as suggested by @AnKingMed), that would be another way to lower the barrier.
Other than lowering the barrier of entry, I feel like we’d also have to find solutions to the following two issues:
Finding a way to somehow hook up a knowledge base to Discourse like tenderapp had. I’m not sure if tender provides you with any metrics on this, but I would assume that quite a few support requests could simply be resolved / bounced off by the suggestions tender would provide on existing topics / knowledge base articles.
Providing a clear-cut way for users to file private bug reports. One of the features I liked about tender was that it was fairly straightforward for users to mark a report as private, which could be important in cases where they might have to share debug info that they don’t want to put out there to the general public. I suppose that Discourse’s messaging feature could serve a similar purpose, but it definitely feels a lot less discoverable than tender’s solution.
I found TenderApp’s suggestions were a bit hit and miss in recent years - as the number of registered FAQs grew, it seemed to pick the wrong ones more frequently. As Evandro’s pointed out, Discourse will provide that blue popup with similar topics, and when we reply to a post pointing a user to a FAQ page, those replies will be visible when a user clicks on a similar topic - leading to something not so different to what we had before.
Discourse is open source, but I’d prefer to stick to the standard functionality for now, as any customisations made need to be maintained going forward.