GBATemp Forum Cleanup: DS/3DS

Discussion in 'Site Discussions & Suggestions' started by Rydian, Feb 10, 2013.

Feb 10, 2013

GBATemp Forum Cleanup: DS/3DS by Rydian at 4:06 PM (2,567 Views / 12 Likes) 38 replies

  1. Rydian
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    Member Rydian Resident Furvert™

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    The forum is cluttered and info is scattered. Both of these issues contribute to people not reading the stickies (often because they can't find them because they're in the wrong section). The biggest offender is the 3DS hacking forum. The majority of threads there are ones that belong in the DS flash cart forum because they're about flash carts and such.

    Here's the current layout, for those that want a quick overview.
    • Nintendo DS Discussions
      • NDS - Console And Game Discussions
      • NDS - Flash Carts And Accessories
        • Acekard
        • CycloDS
        • EDGE
        • EZ-Flash
        • M3 Adapter
        • R4 DS
        • Supercard
        • DSTT
        • Other Flashing Hardware & Software
      • NDS - ROM Hacking and Translations
      • NDS - Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection
      • NDS - Emulation and Homebrew
      • NDS - Tutorials & FAQs
    • Nintendo 3DS Discussions
      • 3DS - Games & Content
      • 3DS - Console, Accessories and Hardware
      • 3DS - Hacking & Homebrew
      • 3DS - Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection
      • 3DS - Tutorials & FAQs


    So here's my proposals.
    1. Get rid of the individual flash cart subforums. Most flash carts are dead and will remain dead, it's down to the point that the number of flash carts still getting proper updates can be counted on one hand since most older ones hit hardware limits and don't seem to be putting out newer models. The majority of these sections are relatively inactive (the EDGE forum hasn't gotten a post in over a month), and compiling them together will mean there's only one location people jump to for issues.

      At least get merge/remove the ones that are relatively inactive, and only leave the carts that still have official updates (some R4 clones, Supercard, maybe Acekard) so those can have their own guides stickied if needed.

      Yes, compiling forums together will make the sticky clutter even worse, which brings me to...


    2. Unsticky non-critical guides, move them to the tutorial forums (or wherever). Sticky clutter is an issue all forums hit, and in this case it's causing a lot of unnecessary threads to be posted.

      Many guides/tutorials were stickied before the "tutorials/FAQs" sections were created, and many of the stickies are things that don't need immediate attention. Stickies should be reserved for "critical" info that readers should know when they go to a section, otherwise they get too numerous and lose their impact (and get skimmed).

      For example...

      [​IMG]
      • Ultimate Flashcart Download Index
        This stays because it's something users are always looking for. "Help I have R4i Yes HyperKing, what do I download?" and such.

      • Which Flash Cart Should I Get?
        One of the most common questions and something users should always look at when they first come in wanting a flash cart.

      • How to dump your own 3DS/DS games/saves
        A guide that's non-critical, it should be unstickied and moved to the tutorials section. Yeah it's usable info, but it's nowhere near critical reading for the section.

      • Icons for your MicroSD cards
        Nice, but definitely not critical reading.

      • Flash Carts And DSi/3DS Updates
        People getting their flash carts locked out by a DSi/3DS update is a common issue, and most people don't know how to properly avoid or update around it, so this is critical reading.

      • Flashcart Demonstrations
        A good thread, but not critical. Could simply be linked from the "Which flash cart" sticky (in addition to the reviews and such). With it being stickied on it's own but showing outdated carts, it might give users the wrong idea about which carts to buy, so I think it needs to be a secondary thing, not critical reading.

      • FlashcartHelper -An open source Windows utility for flashcarts
        A nice tool, but not critical, and looks like it hasn't been updated in a while anyways (as it's well past the release time).

      • DS/DSi/3DS "hacking" F.A.Q.
        Answers all the basic questions about how to play ROMs and homebrew on a DS, this is an example of critical reading for people who want to deal in DS flash carts.

      So after the trim the section would be down to just four stickies, all of them important to people wanting to use flash carts. The most important info would be in the targeted section, closer to the top of the page, where it's more likely it'd be read. This was just an example for one section, but I don't mind running through the others if requested.


      2.5. Trim the 3DS - Hacking & Homebrew section to two stickies.
      "lolrydian you just said that..." - Yes, but this section is one of the biggest problem areas because the majority of threads being posted there are for flash carts, when all the flash cart info is in the DS subforum. This section needs to have two main stickies, one being "Nothing plays 3DS ROMs", and the other simply being a redirect to the flash cart section.

      "those already exist" - And they're being buried by the others. With all the other threads unstickied the big two would be at the top and get more attention.
     
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  2. DinohScene

    Member DinohScene The Gift of Dino

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    I never ventured into the DS section tbh .__.

    But yes, It does need some clean up.
    It's extremely cluttered indeed.

    It might also be a good idea for newcomers to have a small pop-up which has a clickable link to the stickies.
     
  3. Black-Ice

    Member Black-Ice Founder of the Church of Renamon

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    My 2 favourite sections.
    Thou doth wish to clean my domain??
    I'll have a look, Rydian has a point here.
     
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  4. ComeTurismO

    Member ComeTurismO CTO

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    Completely agreed. Rydian, you're such a good member, seriously. You and a staff member = GOOD.
     
  5. Black-Ice

    Member Black-Ice Founder of the Church of Renamon

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    If you sucked up any harder, you'd run out of juice.
     
  6. chavosaur

    Reporter chavosaur Austin Trujillo

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    [​IMG]

    *ahem* Anyway, ive been feeling the same about the section for awhile. I think a few other sub-forums could use some cleaning up as well. There are some guides and essentials threads that havent been updated in so long, there really isnt much of a point of keeping em stickied. especially if no one bothers to update em.
     
  7. gamefan5

    Member gamefan5 Kid Icarus Uprising connoiseur

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    I recall him being a staff before. The mag. staff to be precise. However he gave up on the position.
     
  8. Ammako

    Member Ammako GBAtemp Guru

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    DS-X master race
     
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  12. RodrigoDavy

    Member RodrigoDavy GBAtemp Maniac

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    I am sorry Rydian but I don't think this one suggestion you gave was the best one. For example, the "Nintendo 3DS Hack Compilation" thread really helped and is really useful since it kind of contained the huge amount of threads about yellow's hack and organized all the information in one place, and the thread "Post your ideas regarding how to hack the 3DS" after the title change finally made people post less topic in the likes of "why don't we try x to hack the 3ds?".

    Truth is the 3DS has few sub-topics because it was still a new console when it was created. I think it would be better if it was created a whole new flashcart session for 3DS because in all honesty most of the posts have as subject "if and how the flashcart will work in the 3ds" and that's not a proper subject for neither the 3DS hacking section nor the DS flashcart section.
     
  13. Ron

    Member Ron somehow a weeb now.

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    FlashcartHelper is dead for now, so that should be unstickied anyways.

    Yep. Forums need a cleanup.
     
  14. Another World

    Former Staff Another World Emulate the Planet!

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    the proposed solution does not address the issue, it simply sweeps it under the rug, so-to-speak, by dumping the problem into one giant forum. i understand the amount of work it would take to sort thousands of topics into their proper flash kit sub-section, and as no one in their right mind would do this, the obvious solution seems to be to dump everything into one area. i do not find this a valid solution based on our current search features and 3rd party kernel updates.

    how do you associate a "please help" thread posted in the r4 section, specifically about an r4 issue, and a "pl0x halp" thread posted in the cyclods section specifically about the ievo, when they are now all in the same section? users continue to buy old cards, we see it time and time again. usually because they did not conduct the proper research before making a purchase, or perhaps because they simply have an old ds phat/lite and have their personal reasons. regardless of the reason, they are doing it. when they want a specific answer they should have a dedicated section to search in and not one giant bulk section. for that to happen we would need a much more specific way of searching forums for key words, phrases, tags, using logic searches, etc.

    there is also the issue of 3rd party support to consider. retrogamefan updates and ysmenu fixes support cards which are no longer supported. while these cards may not have an officially updated bootloader, those cards do function. we can not simply move sections around because users choose to update their hardware making their supported flash kit unusable. that is a completely different issue which is adequately addressed by various topics and stickies. one which could be better addressed by a giant stickie that explains what works, what to do, etc.

    while we are quickly reaching the point where only the SCDS2 will be purchased, we are not quite there. the optimal solution to this issue is one that we should have embraced from the very start. posting about a flash kit should never go in the 3ds section, as there are no specific 3ds flash kits. each and every one of those posts should have been moved, from the start, into their appropriate section. there should have been a message sent to all users stating that flash kit questions should go into their respective category and should never be randomly posted in a section for which the user assumes it might fit.

    i fully agree that stickies should be looked into, in fact, they should be continually updated whenever possible. the worst thing we can do for our members is to stickie outdated information. the problem is that many users leave the site or simply lose interest in keeping their stickied topic updated. for this reason i have tried to move some AK related topics to the WIKI and stickie a message that points to that article. this way the information is always represented and highlighted, but hosted in a way that everyone can update it for the good of the community. i would propose that a discussion ensues where we debate the usefulness of stickie topics, decided which should be kept, and then move those to the GBAtemp WIKI. its either that or we need to find someone who can be trusted to keep the stickies updated. sadly, based on the track record of many community projects, that will eventually fail as a solution as well.

    -another world
     
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  15. Rydian
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    Member Rydian Resident Furvert™

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    All the flash cart info in the 3DS section would be the same as the info in the DS section. The DS section contains all the info, so that's where people need to be directed.

    They won't go there on their own because in their mind they're not looking to hack the DS, they're looking to hack the 3DS. Like, if I wanted to hack a PS3, I wouldn't go into the PS2 forum first. If I was looking to hack a 360, I wouldn't go into the original XBox forum, etc.

    This is split into two reasons.

    1 - Not being dumped into one forum is the problem for the DS/3DS issue. The 3DS hacking section having mostly flashcart threads is the main problem, and they SHOULD be in the flash cart forum. 25 threads on the front page. Of those, 13 are about flash carts. 50% of threads in that section are misplaced, that's the main problem being addressed here.

    2 - As far as the inactive forums go, what problem is there to dump? What harm is there removing the "EDGE" forum as it's own section when it hasn't even gotten a post in a month? What harm is there is merging the R4 section and main section when both contain threads about various R4 clones? Hell, that second one would just help users because if all the recent R4 threads are in one forum, there's a higher chance users will see each other's recent threads.

    Merging inactive forums is what happens when systems and devices fall out of common use/discussion. There's a single forum that contains the Dreamcast, NES, Genesis, Master System, SNES, GB/C, Saturn, N64, and PC-E and all the various hardmods and softmods for each of them, the DS should have no problem with a single flash cart section, especially since the majority of guides in the main forum already cater to all the devices.

    Things are already sorted into matching subforums, but that's part of the problem. People are going to one subforum when their answer may lie in a subforum of a separate subforum.

    If I'm misreading this and it's about the sticky categorization, I am personally willing to run through every forum and subforum on GBATemp and make recommendations on which threads should stay and which should go.

    The search function is rarely used by newbies, and even when it is they often search in the wrong forum and miss the important information anyways. Stickies, on the other hand, are visible right to the eye from the moment a user steps foot into a forum, which is why it's important to keep the number down so that the critical information is at the top (and so the number doesn't discourage users from reading), and to get users to go to the right forum for their inquiry.

    3rd-party kernel updates? Wood and AKAIO are the main ones, but they're linked on the official sites. The only one that counts anymore for other carts is the RGF update, and that's important enough to be pointed out on it's own (especially as it works on so many carts). That's another example now that I notice it, the RGF update works on a ton of R4 carts (in addition to the Supercard and more), but it's in the DSTT section.

    Would a new subforum specifically for third-party programs and kernels work to hold that stuff? Also save conversion tools and all that fancy fun stuff.

    The same way we differentiate people asking about one flash cart for the N64 from another flash cart for the N64 in the oldies section... they tell us what they're using.

    Just like we have dedicated subforums for the UFO Pro 8, right? :P

    People manage to find their info just fine when all the info for one system is in one section.

    If most users searched before posting we would not have the duplicate and misplaced threads issue we have now.

    We need more info that's right up in the faces of the users (that is, in their line of sight when they load the forum) letting them know where to go to find solutions and ask questions. The forum titles and the division of the forums themselves count for this, as they're what users read and click to actually go to a forum.

    Just like the FlashMe, G6, and NoPass still function, right?

    So if merging forums because products die isn't a legit concern, then why the hell is the oldies forum compiled into one thing? Products die, and if there's a section that's taking up visual space and adding clutter, it should be removed. I know it seems weird to suggest that separate forums for things like the DSTT and R4 be removed, but the majority of discussion is dying down to only focus on a few products.

    If a user can't see a sticky, it's not helping them.

    Yes, compiling information into one area for users to go to, that's what I'm talking about. Right now users are going into all the wrong sections because there's too many and they're divided.

    Should I wait a month, until the 3DS has been out for two years?

    Carts that aren't still getting firmware updates for 3DS compatibility also tend to drop off game compatibility and bugfix support. Look at EDGE. Hell, half the time when a user posts a problem in the main or R4 sections, the answer is "your cart is dead" anyways.

    That would take care of existing threads and users, but GBATemp gets new users signed up all the time, so some sort of permanent notice (via sticky or forum name change) would help mitigate new issues.

    Also, here's the inevitable mention: pokefloods.

    I try to make sure the stickies are kept updated and mods like Raulpica usually have no problem removing outdated threads, but I only have a small number of devices so there's only a few sections I keep track of. I can't write new guides for devices I don't have (the PS3 thing was an exception, the info was everywhere already and I just compiled it), but I'm willing to go through all the existing ones because it's usually easy to tell which guides are outdated and which aren't, so I can at least make recommendations to trim all the currently-old ones.
     
  16. RodrigoDavy

    Member RodrigoDavy GBAtemp Maniac

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    Apparently I didn't explain myself clearly. I know that using flashcards in 3DS is actually DS hacking, but let's face it there's a difference between hacking a DS/DS lite, hacking a DSi in DS mode and hacking a 3DS in DS mode. When I suggested opening a 3DS Flashcard section, I was think about using that section to discuss all the information pertinent to using flashcards in the 3DS including threads like the "3DS bricking rumor", "List of Flashcarts working in 3ds current firmwhere or something damn this name is too big" and all the threads like "Which flashcart will work in my 3ds version 6.6.6?" all other stuff already present in the NDS flashcart session could be linked there too.
     
  17. Rydian
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    Member Rydian Resident Furvert™

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    The process and threads in the 3DS section would be the exact same as the stickies in the DS section outline, so it'd be shadow copies at best.
     
  18. Another World

    Former Staff Another World Emulate the Planet!

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    the reasons i was attempting to convey were in regards to merging different data into the same category. dumping all flash kit posts into the same single forum would simply be much to confusing. this argument was presented through the fabricated example of thread titles, "please help" in the r4 section and "plox halp" in the cyclods section. perhaps each thread holds the key to fixing an issue. wouldn't users be less inclined to click it if they were all in one giant section with 20,000+ threads?

    my example is in regards to existing thread titles which are not at all specific because they were already posted into their appropriate section. these threads would subsequently be lost among the shuffle.

    it isn't that it is weird, it is that it will create a cluster of information that will become extremely difficult to wade through. flash kit posts are extremely specific, much more than game, hack, and hardware discussions about a single system. we should be considering each of the main flash kits (not clones) as individual systems, as almost all of them were specifically different in one way or another. from that point of view, imagine what it would be like to have 1 forum with posts about nes, snes, gba, n64, gamecube, wii, etc. now imagine that forum is a dump of other forums with titles that were never specifically constructed under that circumstance. then one user is looking for a fix to his 72 pin NES slot, and enters the "forum". it is now filled with titles like "please help", "what to do next", "not working on my nintendo system", etc.

    this brings us back to the problem of searching. i am not against moving things around, what i am against is making it much more difficult to find information from our vast database of questions and answers. unless the search feature is vastly improved, to the point that we can search by filtering using a large amount of options, i can not see the usefulness of a merged forum.

    -another world
     
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  19. Rydian
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    Member Rydian Resident Furvert™

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    If there was only one R4 and only one DSTT then that'd make sense, but as it is even within the R4/DSTT sections we still have to ask users which exact model they have...

    That's a theory, and precedent says it's wrong.
    http://gbatemp.net/forums/other-consoles-oldies.165/
    That forum already is a compilation of many different systems, and is a working example of a compilation forum that does not run into those issues.

    The forums being divided is already, right now, making it harder than if all the relevant info was in the main sections. Look at the RGF thread for an example, it's in the DSTT section, but it's useful to a ton of other carts.

    Getting rid of the individual flash cart sections and compiling all the still-relevant info into main sections that differentiate based on topic, not brand of product will make it easier for users to find what they need.
     
  20. porkiewpyne

    Member porkiewpyne Report-er

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    I don't know much about coding and stuff but is it possible for the "Search" to prioritise stickies into the results?

    Not sure how much it will help since I believe the source of our problem is that many people are not even trying to find the solution; instead choosing to sit there and post the exact same question (with "FORGIVE ME I AM NOOBZ" possibly in hopes of regulars being more tolerant although for me, it just pisses me off more as I instantly and subconsciously categorise these people as lazy but that is beside the point).

    Or allowing ourselves to be jerks and give out warnings instantly..... :evil:
     
  21. Rydian
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    Member Rydian Resident Furvert™

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  22. soulx

    Member soulx GBAtemp Legend

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  23. Rydian
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    Member Rydian Resident Furvert™

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    • http://gbatemp.net/forums/nds-console-and-game-discussions.27/
      [​IMG]
      1 - Useful info for people who are looking for a dump or have an undumped cart.
      2 - One of the most common questions, and the list categorizes and junk.
      3 - Way outdated, needs updating.
      4 - Way outdated, needs a re-write (since the cheats forum is dead and such).
      5 - In the same vein as the RPG list, a link to other "Essentials" threads.


    • Not touching the flash cart sections until there's some decision on either removing all the subforums, or reducing the subforums down to just three or four. Once I know how many forums there will be, I can choose which threads go where, especially as I'll want to pull in guides from other forums (like this one, which is focused on flash carts).


    • http://gbatemp.net/forums/nds-rom-hacking-and-translations.41/
      [​IMG]
      For this one I suggest that a subforum be created for actual hack/translation project threads, with the main forum holding the technical/tutorial/help section.

      1 - This is a perfect example of a thread we want users to see before posting, but it should go in the hack/translation subforum since it'll preside over threads posted there.
      2 - A ROM hack, subforum.
      3 - A ROM hack, subforum.
      4 - A thread that presides over the hacks/translations, so subforum.
      5 - Documentation by FAST, important info for the section, should stay.
      6 - A ROM hack, subforum.
      7 - A thread that presides over the hacks/translations, so subforum.
      8 - Pokesav is outdated (PokeGen is the one being updated for newer gens), should be removed.
      9 - Translation technical tutorial stuff, should stay.
      10 - Same as above.

      If a subforum doesn't seem best, then a swap, with the main section being the hack section and the subforum being the tutorial/guides/help forum, like in other sections?


    • http://gbatemp.net/forums/nds-nintendo-wi-fi-connection.58/
      [​IMG]
      1 - Dead project/files.
      2 - Needs updating, there appears to be interest in the thread.
      3 - Dead feature.
      4 - Dead feature.

      So I propose that this thread be added to the forum and stickied.
      How To Get Your 3/DS/i Online.
      And a good tutorial on friend codes and such, if there is one... don't know of any offhand.


    • http://gbatemp.net/forums/nds-emulation-and-homebrew.177/
      [​IMG]
      1 - An updated thread listing popular homebrew, seems fitting.
      2 - Same sort of thing, but for emulators regardless of popularity.
      3 - I don't see a need for this with the first sticky, looks like it hasn't been updated anyways.
      4 - Rarely used for it's intended purpose, questions that would go here go in the forum itself.
      5 - Moonshell is a large program with lots of functions so I can see the need for a dedicated guide (as it's one of the most popular homebrews and often the focus of threads), but it needs updating.
      6 - Outdated, info could be in the updated moonshell guide thread.
      7 - Outdated, superceded by the top emulator sticky.
      8 - Outdated and relies on old software.
     
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