I’m not staff any more, so I don’t feel like I need to restrain my opinions if they differ from those of the administration. It was rare that I didn’t agree with the consensus anyway, but this is one of those times I probably would have spoken out in opposition.
The ‘forums are the largest Linux support venue on the Internet, and one of the largest English-based Internet forums in existence (so I was told). Even the venerable LinuxQuestions.org, which does a pretty good job encompassing the entire Linux experience, is not as sizable as UF or growing as fast as UF (again, so I was told). And the +/- 30 people who keep it running on a volunteer basis are doing an amazing job.
So the need to streamline is understandable. Still, Other OS Talk was really the first and last place I would stop in for questions or chit-chat. I always thought it admirable that the forums gave Ubuntu users a place to chat about things they wanted to try in other operating systems … or for that matter, gave Windows users a place to ask questions of people they knew and trusted.
But it’s closed now. You can still read the contents of course, but Other OS Talk and all its subarenas are read-only. Cross-distro questions can be asked in the same places where you ask Ubuntu questions, and tagged with the “Other_OS” tag when you ask it.
So in reality, I guess it’s still the same. It doesn’t feel the same as peeking in on the Ubuntu-gone-Arch contingent’s plans to take over the world, or listening to the Debian purists philosophize from their digital mountaintop. I kind of liked that. But it’s done. No need to go on wasting breath.
P.S.: It looks like Mike is willing to field a discussion on the issue in the next forum council meeting. I might be willing to attend, but I would feel somewhat guilty, being an off-again-on-again community participant. …