The Crystal Programming Language Forum

Would you ratherCrystal ecosystem Q&A and/or Q&A site inspired by StackOverflow?

So, I’ve been working on a little personal project that aims to be a StackOverflow like site for the Crystal ecosystem. I posted on the Discord asking if this would be useful.

One option brought up by Blacksmoke was to add a tag plugin and use :Discourse Solved (Accepted answer plugin) - plugin - Discourse Meta in this Discourse form.

But, I find the forum to be a bit unintuitive for purposes outside of language specific discussions. Any other topics don’t seem to get as much attention. And searching for answers can be quite difficult, at least in my experience. Especially for shards!

So, my project aims to be similar to StackOverflow/Quora nut specifically for the Crystal ecosystem. Users can author their own Crystal related questions, tag them by subject (ex: Crystal, Lucky, Kemal, HTP, etc), choose the best answer, earn points(coming soon) and more!

Personally, I prefer to separate the two. Having them separated means they each serve a unique purpose. Forum = discussing Crystal, q/a site= ask questions/answer queestions/search for solutions

The question site encompasses the entire Crystal ecosystem (language, shards, frameworks, etc.), gives a central location to look for fixes, makes the content easier to search through (as discussions and other random topics will not have to be filtered through), and provides an additional Crystal resource built with Crystal technologies.

If the app grows to a decent size, it will become an excellent place to find answers and get help to things you’re stuck on.

Below is a preview of my app. Note: most are outdated or still under heavy development

FireShot Capture 072 - AskCryst.al - Test Question #6_ - localhost

FireShot Capture 058 - Ask.cr - Welcome to Ask.cr! - localhost FireShot Capture 061 - Ask.cr - Welcome - localhost

Q&A app or forum only?

  • Q&A site inspired by StackOverflow/Quora
  • Forum only
  • Both!

0 voters

2 Likes

This is very visually attractive, but what do you find lacking in StackOverflow that your app would improve? I’m concerned that adding another location for questions and answers would only make it more difficult for people to find the answer to their question if it’s already been answered.

3 Likes

The Forum may be not the best tool for answering questions, but it is versatile: fine at most of things like discussion, Q&A, announcements. The advantage is to have everything on a single place.

GitHub Discussions can also be considered (Discussions · luckyframework/lucky · GitHub), which will have the only advantages to not to be hosted, and also be reachable from the already existing GitHub repo.


More generally, I really think a “better” StackOverflow alternative have its place. I regularly see people no longer happy with it, its moderation and accepted answers.

I’d already love to have this just for the visuals :smiley: It would certainly be great to have a tool like this for several good reasons you mentioned.

However, there are a couple of practical concerns.

  • There are already a number of different places where questions about Crystal are asked (SO, forum, reddit, various chat rooms - and GitHub issue tracker although it’s definitely not meant for that). Adding another one (in order to create a new central platform?) won’t invalidate the existing ones, especially those that keep being used for other main purposes, thus resulting in xkcd: Standards
  • The visuals are great and I’m sure there are a number of better feature adaptations possible with a custom solution. But would it really be a big enough improvement over SO features to be worth the cost?
  • A Q/A platform is a long-running project and needs continuous technical maintenance. In general, I’d doubt this is a good investment in manpower, when we already have something similar for free. You seem to have fun developing that, but would you be able to sustain it? Adding more people means less people can work on other projects that might add more benefit to the community.
  • Using an external platform might not be as good as a custom tailored solution in many regards. But being present on SO has an important benefit: it creates visibility. Good SO threads are typically highly valued by search engines. Search in SO is also very popular. When looking for domain-specific problems, good Crystal solutions can help to raise awareness even to people outside the community.
3 Likes

For me, I like having a central hub for documentation and discussion with decent organization and search capability.

I assume the existing options have and will continue to have their purpose, but there is always room/opportunity for improvement for those who have/make time.

I like @nolyoi 's designs. Sometimes ideas become reality, and sometimes ideas lead to better ideas. Keep pushing forward! :slight_smile:

1 Like

Do we think it would be helpful to enable tagging/solved plugins to the forums? Regardless of where things go long term I would find both of those super helpful with immediate impact.

1 Like

That would work too. This was just a pet project of mine that I was considering deploying just to see if people like and/or use it.

But either of those solutions work as well. But, I think the the forum would need to be better categorized as well.

Sorry I know that, I more so meant they would be helpful regardless of what outcome of the poll is.

1 Like