Using the Discourse for Q&A support for certain fortran-lang repositories

I am wondering if using only the Fortran Discourse as the goto place for support and questions with regards to certain Fortran-lang repos, might be a better solution that using GitHub Discussions and the Discourse, since it would make it easier to search through previously asked questions. Moreover, the Discourse has a bigger following than the individual repo watchers, ranks higher on search engine indexing and is IMO easier to read and navigate than GitHub Discussions.

The repos that I have in mind for this are:

I am not saying to disable GitHub Discussion in these repos, I am rather suggesting of using Discussions for more development oriented discussions. If a Q&A comes along in GitHub Discussions, that’s fine. Optionally, we can create a post with an external link to GitHub e.g.

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If we were to go through with this, it would make sense to create some new topics tags for the respective repos: fpm, stdlib, vscode.

However, something we would have to consider for each repo individually is whether or not posting to the Discourse might have the opposite effect of what were are striving for; fewer people, capable of answering the question, are seeing the questions, hence users end up receiving less support. I think that is unlikely to happen since the Discourse is rapidly growing, but it is worth considering.

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It might actually be a good idea to close down our GitHub discussions and redirect most Q&A to the discourse, since the discussion boards are mostly tracked by the project maintainers. We already recommend the Discourse for asking questions via our issue templates (see .github/config.yml at main · fortran-lang/.github · GitHub)

However, we had several useful threads on the GitHub discussions in the past, but those weren’t Q&A but general project discussions. Having those in the discourse is fine, but more difficult to search and link from my experience.

Therefore, my suggestion would be to remove the Q&A category and explicitly direct people to the discourses for this. Also, if we see new questions appear in the general category, we should encourage people to bring their questions here.

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If someone has some ideas about new language features, should those be discussed at GitHub somehow, or should those be discussed here first, and then submitted to one of the other fortran-related sites. It seems like those kinds of discussions are now scattered among several sites, it is confusing for everyone to keep up with the moving targets.

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For language features there is the incubator repository at GitHub - j3-fortran/fortran_proposals: Proposals for the Fortran Standard Committee, where proposals can be submitted via GitHub pull requests. Having a proposal draft to base the discussion on will give the best success chances to get the language feature to the standards committee in the end.

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My recommendation would be to come here first. If you’ve got the beginnings of an idea, this is the place to get open feedback from the largest group of people. Once the idea is more well formed - sufficient to write a proposal - it should be submitted as a PR to the GitHub rep mentioned by @awvwgk and discussions on the details moved there. Just my 2 cents.

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Okay, let’s give it a shot, at least for the Modern Fortran extension. I will go and delete the Q&A Discussion section and redirect here. Do you think we can create a tag in the Discourse for vscode or visual-studio-code?

Created #help:vscode as category for handling the Q&A from the Modern Fortran extension.

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