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Author Topic: Suggestion: split postwar aircraft forum  (Read 470 times)

Offline carsinamerica

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Suggestion: split postwar aircraft forum
« on: July 08, 2017, 11:00:15 pm »
I'm proposing a division of the Postwar Aircraft Projects into two new sections: Postwar Military Aircraft Projects and Postwar Civil Aircraft Projects. I think that the time has come to consider this, in light of SP's outstanding success in becoming a clearinghouse for all manner of aviation information.

Rationale:
  • Thread count: The current Postwar Aircraft Projects forum has 4,225 threads, as of 9 July '17. That's nearly twice the number in the next-largest forum (Early Aircraft Projects). It's a bit unwieldy to browse, and getting more so by the day.
  • Unrelated content: The current forum has topics like Ilyushin Unbuilt Projects, which covers everything from single-seat fighter concepts to widebody jetliners. This makes a bit of a mess. Someone looking for Ilyushin civil projects has to wade through pages and pages of unrelated stuff.
  • Different research interests: I have an interest in all sorts of projects, military and civilian, but my primary research interest is in civil aviation. I'm in the minority in that regard, but I'm sure I'm not the only one. A split between the two forums would let people focus on their interests, and visitors to the site would be able to find things more easily. While we often search for specific threads, sometimes, it's fun to just browse the forum page by page, and its design should support that.
  • Easier monitoring: Many of us will continue to skim through everything unread since our last visit, but it would help people keep an eye on topics if they're particularly interested in one area or another.

Anticipated concerns:
  • Multi-use projects: What do we do about the 747? There are civil projects that were proposed design variants, and there were versions that were proposed for military use. This is a legitimate concern, but I'd suggest that we simply would split the topics. There would be threads related to 747 civil concepts, and threads related to proposed military applications. One idea: if we know that a specific aircraft (like the 747) will have its own thread, then the administrators could put a sticky post at the top that says something like, "This thread is for civilian-use variants of the 747. For military versions, see: "URL".
  • Scale of the job: This would be a lot of work. I know that. I'd be happy to help sort threads, if that would be useful, and I suspect that others would be willing to do so, as well.

This idea may have been proposed before, but if so, I think that the size of the forum warrants its reconsideration now. I know I'm not that frequent a poster here, but I do love this site and I make use of it as a resource. I believe this would make it more helpful to a variety of people. In the long term, it would be a beneficial move.

Offline dan_inbox

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Re: Suggestion: split postwar aircraft forum
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2017, 12:44:56 am »
I fail to see how th number of threads is a problem.

The split proposed would create all kinds of border issues, as mentioned.
What would be the advantages of this split, other than helping out those who are allergic to all things military?

A little more discipline in adding models to multi-project threads could do most of the job: one for Ilyushin airliners and a different one for military, for rx. (even though bomber/airliner issues will arise)
« Last Edit: July 09, 2017, 12:48:24 am by dan_inbox »

Offline PaulMM (Overscan)

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Re: Suggestion: split postwar aircraft forum
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2017, 01:11:52 am »
Yes I think this is more an argument against topics with lots of unrelated projects, which I am fully in favour of. However, splitting out existing topics can be time-consuming and annoying to do.
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Offline carsinamerica

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Re: Suggestion: split postwar aircraft forum
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2017, 02:31:15 am »
I fail to see how th number of threads is a problem.

The split proposed would create all kinds of border issues, as mentioned.
What would be the advantages of this split, other than helping out those who are allergic to all things military?

A little more discipline in adding models to multi-project threads could do most of the job: one for Ilyushin airliners and a different one for military, for rx. (even though bomber/airliner issues will arise)

The number of threads is an issue because it makes the postwar aviation forum nearly impossible to browse. Right now, if you wanted to simply scroll through, you'd have to go through 212 pages. That's not convenient. The search function is pretty good, but it's not perfect. By contrast, the naval forum is 38 pages. That's still browsing-friendly. A person could, if they wanted, scroll through a list of every topic in a reasonable amount of time; that's just not true of the postwar aviation forum.

This proposal has nothing to do with people being "allergic to all things military," and that's a rather impolite and freighted rendering of what I was saying. SP already caters to the disparate interests of individual visitors. For example, we already split aviation and naval topics. Why? Because people have areas of interest; it doesn't mean they're allergic to all things oceanic. Likewise, we split aviation topics between projects pre-1945 and post-1945. Again, why? Presumably, it has something to do with the fact that people interested in 1970s SAC bomber concepts aren't necessarily also interested in Fokker triplanes (some are, of course, but not everyone). The forum is divided up because different people want to focus on different things; otherwise, we would simply dump all threads in one spot. This proposal is simply another way to help people find things faster. It cuts both ways, too. There are plenty of people on here, I imagine, who are passionately interested in military hardware, but don't care at all about unbuilt variants of the MD-11. This change would cater to them just as much as it would to civil aviation enthusiasts.

I don't think that the border issues are a reason not to do it. As I said, there would simply be two threads on two different forums, one military, and one not. That is no monstrous burden, especially if the threads had sticky posts, as I suggested. We already have this issue in the pre/post-1945 split. Quick example: the B-36 bomber. Variants of it are definitely postwar projects. On the other hand, the origins of the B-36 are indisputably pre-1945. Which forum a post winds up in, then, is a judgement call.

I think that, while the forum should continue to provide a space to people with deep and abiding interest in the topics, it should still be conveniently accessible to people who blunder in, and become curious, and start clicking on things to see what they can learn. This place is an incredible resource, and not just for the most ardent posters.

Offline Schneiderman

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Re: Suggestion: split postwar aircraft forum
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2017, 03:09:35 am »
However you propose to slice-n-dice the threads there will always be boundary issues, and retro-splitting thousands of topics is going to be a non-starter as the work involved for the mods is immense. Yes, its not perfect and can never be so but I would not support trying to rearrange things now. The search function is pretty good provided to put some thought into the most appropriate search terms.

Offline Jemiba

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Re: Suggestion: split postwar aircraft forum
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2017, 03:20:26 am »
Browsing through a whole section isn't a suitable way to find what you're looking for, I think.
To my opinion, there's actually no way to avoid the search function and even then, you'll get
77 threads if you just look for "Lockheed Hercules" for example.
We actually have issues with quite unspecific topics like "US Piston Engined Fighter Projects"
or "Russian Little Known Helicopters", but for types, mentioned in just one or two posts and not
deserving a thread on their own, they may be ok, I think. And if more stuff about a type comes up,
we'll usually try to splt that thread, though this may harm the understandability, so that I sometimes
just added a link as cross reference.
The example of the B-36 actually is a good one, as its development clearly started during WWII, but
the main era of that type and most of its projects were after the war. So, when using the browsing-method,
instead of the search function (assuming you wouldn't already be aware of the B-36 development), you probably
would miss the early designs ! And with regards to the fact, that civil versions of the B-36 were planned, too,
we could end up with four threads: early civil, early military, post-war civil and post-war military.
In a book, you could devote specific chapters to civil and military versions of a type, but sub-threads aren't
possible in a forum, I'm afraid. So, every member here should pay heed to the advise diven by Paul :
"... 1) Search the forum and make sure there isn't a topic already."

« Last Edit: July 09, 2017, 03:22:19 am by Jemiba »
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Offline dan_inbox

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Re: Suggestion: split postwar aircraft forum
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2017, 03:35:51 am »
"allergic to all things military," and that's a rather impolite and freighted rendering
Yes it does come out more loaded than I meant it. I was just saying that I didn't see any benefit to the split except for those who are allergic, not implying you are.

I still don't see much benefit, but many drawbacks.

I am very much with Jens, convinced that the solution is better discipline and more foresight in creating+titling new threads. Most posters are already pretty good that way. It should be a lot more effective --and far less work-- to coach the few who are less good at it.

Offline hesham

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Re: Suggestion: split postwar aircraft forum
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2017, 04:58:30 am »
Nice suggesting,

but hard to do that for many reasons,one example,a small designers which we collected a military
and civil aircraft and Projects in single topic,I prefer to leave it as it's.