Some stats and feedback for my 100th post:
According to the about page, the Discourse platform of Julia attracted 500 users from all over the world to make 2000 posts in 250 topics with 700 likes (too much love going on) and even 2 black flags (some hate sneaked inside too). Maybe an administrator has some more numbers to share with us.
Nothing special about those numbers, they just have many zeros in base10 and they are small numbers (doubling them in a couple of months shouldn’t be a problem, although the size of a critical mass in this case is unknown). Being fully aware that quality is more important than quantity, I’d like to take this opportunity for a topic to hopefully gather the platform’s issues in one place.
The positives in a single statement: The new platform has already proven to be better than anything Julia used in the past, so the move has been justified.
The negatives in a single statement: The new platform’s features are underused, only little advantage has been taken of them to improve the overall quality.
Some more specific negatives
Although the Usage category is expected to be the biggest one (acting in practice as the default category), for now it is bigger than all the other categories combined, which indicates either a problematic categorization, or a lack of thread moves to proper categories by moderators (probably both). Small categories are not a problem in themselves, but a single huge category is a problem (useful knowledge gets lost in the ocean of information). Tagging has been proposed as a reasonable solution, but it takes users (and ultimately moderators) to make use of it. Tagging the majority of posts as questions doesn’t even count as effective tagging.
The more the traffic, the more the moderation needs. Especially as the moderators are involved and more productive and experienced with development, rather than with topic reading/tagging/moving etc. As far as I understand, there is currently no specific scaling plan, only hope that the right course of action will emerge naturally as more experience is gathered around the platform and its usage patterns.
On the other hand, the integration of Julia community’s fragments (packages, meetups etc.) into the new platform hasn’t advanced as much as it could. As long as there is no category for an existing fragment, its move is not encouraged and is doubtful to ever happen. It’s easier to split or merge problematic categories inside than to convince fragments to move from outside.
UPDATE: Although in theory integration has many benefits and is the ideal, in practice independence is too precious to sacrifice. Therefore, I no more support integration.
Of course all of the above depend on the expectations of the individual person. For someone with low expectations, the current situation may be a dream come true, while for someone with high expectations, it may be a nightmare. The truth is somewhere in the middle and the motto has to be “Dream big, work hard, do it the Julian way…” or something like that.