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Would it be possible to have a separate forum for installers? As more and more beginners questions ('read the manual' or 'basic electrical knowledge') come in, I'm hesitant to give answers that might lead inexperienced people to do things they think were advised 'in the official Victron forums'
I'm not very good at reading people, and not good at teaching / explaining stuff in simple terms, while I think I can give useful input for more experienced users / installers.
Also, it might be time to make some different subforums for MPPT - Multi - Venus related stuff?
I'd love to see a 'Last Read' flag in the manner of what email clients do. Ie. If I've read the last answer or comment there before, the flag shows by maybe a different coloured thread title.
I'm not suggesting that would be an easy thing to do, as requires 'personalising' for each user.
Guy it would be nice to have a BASIC questions answered area selection,
ie what are the generic settings for battery voltages or what is a screw size on a device (why cant they just measure another screw and head off to the hardware store Hmmm ) etc etc
We could then send people who put basic questions up, without reading past questions, this may save repeating the same answer over and over. and this will just get worse as more people use this forum, plus we could just refer them to a link for the answer.
How we you do that would have to be thought through.
I see Boekel has requested a separte area for installers etc, I do see his point, however if we move to having a installers only area, It may then mean that some installers never come here and help out.
In general internet terms, I don't think it will ever be possible to get people to read previously answered questions. It's always been a problem no matter which platform is used (phpBB or whatever). AnswerHub attempts to solve this by suggesting previous answers as you type in a new question subject, but either people don't realise this or the way that they ask does not flag up previous posts.
It can be mildly annoying answering the same question over and over (backwards shunt springs to mind), but it's the nature of the beast I suppose. The more permutations of the same question that there are, the better the AnswerHub algorithm will work in suggesting previously answered questions, I hope.
I'm with Paul B on the separate installers area. Installers can impart their valuable knowledge in the "Basic" area too, if they want to. Also, keeping people out of the "Installers Only" area prevents people from learning new things. The way I understand it is that learning is part of the bigger picture that this community represents.
I'd like to see a mechanism that auto bumps unanswered questions back to the list top, it takes less than a day for questions to disappear into the second page.
Also some method of highlighting an answer as "not an answer" or "not a relevant response to the question"
I ask this, simply because over the last week I have asked two questions (identical topic, just different wording) one of which received no reply - the other from a non staff member hinting at a topic that didnt exist (a typical "read the manual reply")
As it stands now, this Q&A format is somewhat chaotic.
Also - Victron staff member responses are helpfully indicated (via their username) - if there are accredited (trained) installers who also impart their knowledge here it would be helpful if their status could be identified as well - this to perhaps allow the credibility of responses to be gauged by the staff/installer/user status ?
Guy, being an IT guy I am curious why you don't use one of the GPL (free) BB systems in use almost everywhere? Free Forum Software listing Most will have addressed most if not all the features people want most. And are customizable due to the source code being available if someone has time to go that route. .
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