On the passing of Other OS Talk

Ubuntu LinuxI feel the need to shake my head for a few seconds, in note of the passing of the Other OS Talk forum, and its nested subforums on the Ubuntu Forums.

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 goal, as I understand it, was to simplify the forum structure a little bit; that I can only surmise given bapoumba’s note here. If that’s the case, I’m all for it.

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.

And now I have to say it: Drop Other OS Talk but keep Community Cafe Games?! :shock: :mrgreen:

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. … :|

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8 Responses to “On the passing of Other OS Talk”


  1. 1 Dr Small 2009/02/23 at 12:17 AM

    I’m not sure if you know or not, but we have restarted the Other OS Talk forum on Grubbn.org. You are free to join and chat with the old regulars from the Ubuntu Forums Other OS Talk Forum. Most of us are there, and there are still more users joining :)

    http://grubbn.org/otheros

  2. 2 kmod 2009/02/23 at 1:44 AM

    Dr Small, that new website is absolutely unlike what we had on Ubuntu Forums. The main difference being that it’s NOT on Ubuntu Forums. It’s nice that the new forum has many of the regulars, but how do you replace the random expertise or ideas of people that stumble upon the OOT on Ubuntu Forums every once in a while? I highly doubt they’ll be willing to sign on to some new forum just to post a couple of thoughts they have on Gentoo.

  3. 3 Primo 2009/02/23 at 2:42 PM

    I am sure it was closed because they do not want people to switch from ubuntu.

    http://ubuntucorner.blogspot.com/2009/02/closing-of-other-os-talk.html

    • 4 K.Mandla 2009/02/24 at 12:56 PM

      Well, I don’t know. From my experience on staff that would be a stretch, unless the general demeanor has changed in the past few months. For my own part this is just not one of the conspiracy theories I would join into.

      And if that were the case, wouldn’t it make more sense to keep those threads out of sight, rather than the new system, which pushes most of them into the Community Cafe? That would be more publicity, rather than less. … Just thinking out loud. …

  4. 5 wolf 2009/02/24 at 5:54 PM

    I’m not much into TBD, 6th floor theories either Mandla but I occum’s razor does suggest that someone found the support of other distributions disturbing especially when they allow tripe like you mentioned above to survive.

    At the very least, it was handled poorly leaving the above theory credible.

  5. 6 Naiki Muliaina 2009/02/28 at 7:50 PM

    Didnt realy think about it untill you said it in your post.

    “And now I have to say it: Drop Other OS Talk but keep Community Cafe Games?!”

    Whats that about? :(

    Has there ever been a more pointless naffy forum? Im also saddened to say i dont think id go to the ‘other OS forum’. Its just not Ubuntu forums is it? Its a great idea, but i think ill be using some of the already established Linux forums for my ‘other os’ talk.

  6. 7 nitehawk 2009/03/01 at 7:56 AM

    Yes,…I was also very disappointed to see the “Other OS” dropped on UF,….
    I had gotten to enjoy dropping in on the discussions.

  7. 8 richs-lxh 2009/04/08 at 3:35 AM

    Well, I started a Distro test thread there a few years back with another member who is also no longer a community member. Everybody had the chance to report back on distros which they had tested and offer up suggestions for newbies, or people looking for something that would offer a change from Ubuntu.

    One of my fondest memories of the OOT board was the lack of distro-bashing. There were a few silly comments (mostly from inexperienced users) but in general it was a great place to hang out and join in the banter.

    At the end of the day, as time moves on, things change. I have seen many changes over the last 3-4 years at UF, some good, some bad, but nevertheless it’s good to see the community evolving and changing as opposed to stagnating.

    Keeping the forum games board, but discontinuing OOT is a mistake in my opinion, but I am no longer a user of UF anyway.


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