What should the categories be?

Only the administrator (Mark) can create categories, write the explanations of what the forum is for and what each category is for. Since he hasn’t done any of that, what should the categories be? There don’t have to be many of them.

It is usual for Uncategorized and Site Feedback to remain. So we should think of specific categories related to the purpose of the forum, which is (I suppose) support for and discussion of Script Debugger. For example, maybe categories could be:

  • Script Debugger 6+

  • AppleScript

  • Cocoa (my idea here is that, with the advent of ASOC, people are going to have questions that are really about how Cocoa works)

That’s plenty of categories, really; if you look on other Discourse forums, not much more is needed. You specify a category when you create a topic (I love how Discourse organizes these things); it’s more like a label, really.

@mattneub You don’t think it would be better to have separate categories for feature requests and bugs?

@ShaneStanley Those sound like clear-cut categories to you and me, and they would be categorized that way if we entered something into the SD bugbase, but experience on the beta list shows that the average Joe doesn’t see it that way. It seems foolish to impose a distinction that will break itself down immediately anyway, and besides, experience shows that a few very broad categories is the best way to organize a Discourse forum. Of course we could always change it later…

I’ve enabled the Discourse tagging feature which appears to be a cross-category way of organizing things. We’ll see how that plays out.

In the bbPress version of the forum I had a Legacy Software category for old versions of SD. I’m thinking that distinction will be lost on people.

I can’t remember where, but I came across some wisdom that we incorporated into our thinking for Helix. Here’s what it says on our web site:

Some companies separate Bug Reports and Feature Requests into two separate categories, with separate processes to handle them. But if you think about it, they come down to the same thing: “it doesn’t work the way I want it to.

Our experience has been that the “average Joe” doesn’t make the distinction as clearly as ‘programmers’ do, and so we handle them quite successfully via a single mechanism.

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Can we make a category just for Hengist? :wink:


I’m confused about the ‘About the AppleScript category’ description. It says at the beginning:

Post your general AppleScript questions here.

But three sentences later it says

Please be aware that Late Night Software does not provide general AppleScript support.

The last sentence raises the question of why the category exists at all. Certainly, some clarification of the intent would be good here, and/or what would count as legitimate questions users could post.

@sphil I think one point may be that you should ask here and not send your questions to Mark. :slight_smile: It’s true that we don’t want this forum to devolve into a general AppleScript forum, but SD users are AppleScript users, and experience shows that they do tend to seek AppleScript help from one another. Also, it’s perfectly possible to have an AppleScript-related discussion about something pertaining to SD, like “tell me more about the use script syntax and why SD attaches an identifier to it”.

I sympathise. But I don’t think that description is going to achieve that aim. If it confuses me…

(well, yes, I’m renowned for my lack of smarts, but in user-space, I’m hardly an outlier in that regard…) :wink:

Well, this isn’t a mailing list, it’s a forum. On a mailing list, it was important to keep the bandwidth narrow and the signal-to-noise ratio high. A forum is a much broader field, because it isn’t invasive of your email and it is organized into threads and so on. So I don’t think anything is truly out of bounds. (If something seems irrelevant, the wisdom of the crowd will take care of it: for example, you might not get an answer.) To me, this is one of the great advantages of the forum format (and the Discourse forum type in particular). It’s much more of a shared enterprise with the other users. I can’t speak for Mark, but personally I would hope that this forum would feel welcoming. If it becomes a locus for AppleScript language discussions, maybe that’s no terrible thing. But just don’t expect that you’ve got a direct communication line to Late Night Software itself; that’s just what the forum is intended to replace.

Sorry. I don’t understand your response, which likely means I didn’t make my own point clear.

Let me try again. I’m not arguing about the philosophy of the site (I’ll leave that to you guys). I’m saying that sentence 1 and the last sentence in the Description appear to be prima facie contradictions. Re-wording / clarification of the intended use of that Category would be helpful.

I agree that that last line should be rewritten, if not dropped. What good does it do?

Plus, if the SD forums become known as the place to get good answers to any and all appleScript; ASOC; shell scripting; etc. questions, that can only help Script Debugger’s sales.

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My aim was to make clear that Late Night Software does not offer general AppleScript support. I/we are happy to contribute our knowledge when we can, but I do not want there to be an expectation that we’ll answer AS questions. All this being said, I hope that an AppleScript/ASObjC community forms here.

Which is different from our stance regarding Script Debugger questions where I/we will do our best to be responsive to everything that is asked. Though even there, if you have a bug or a critical issue its probably best to contact me directly.

If you would like to propose alternate language, I’ll certainly consider it.

Something like this:

Post your general AppleScript questions here.

Welcome to the AppleScript forum. In this forum the Script Debugger user community can discuss AppleScript and provide answers to any scripting questions. The Late Night software staff may participate at times, but our primary focus will be providing support for ScriptDebugger.

If you are looking for AppleScript information and support, here are some good starting places:


I’ve seen a number of these types of disclaimers and I think Ed’s is one of the better ones I’ve seen. It’s feels open for AppleScripts questions while not committing Late Night to becoming an instructor for AppleScript. To me this puts the focus on the “people” in the forum in general and not on anyone in particular at Late night.

When I first thought about Matt’s remark about a few broad categories I wasn’t sure why that would be the case but when I thought about the reverse it makes a lot of sense. The reverse being a lot of categories or more specific ones. It seems pretty likely a lot of categories would lead to more ambiguities about which category to post under which would lead to multiple discussions on the same topic occurring in different categories and over time that would make a real mess. With more specific topics you could also end up with 2 separate categories that for all practical purposes are talking about the same. To me it seems a lot easier to see why “not” having just a few general categories is a bad idea, then it is to see why having just a few general categories is a good idea.

If you adopt Ed’s suggestion here (which I like), please change it to present tense:

…but our primary focus is on providing support for ScriptDebugger.

Otherwise, pedants like me will ask “how far into the future do we have to wait for this?”


I’m trying to understand exactly what you meant in your post. Do mean there should be more things that provide support for ScriptDebugger, less stuff about things that do not lead to supporting ScriptDebugger, posts that in general lead to more effective support of ScriptDebugger, or all of the above.

The advantage of using Discourse over Yahoo is that Discourse allows a lot better separation in posting and therefore allows users users to more easily screen out unwanted areas of discussion. Is this separation not effective enough when it comes to ScriptDebugger Support?

I mean no offense in my questions. I genuinely want to know. I’d like the group to grow in ways that would make everyone happy.


I’m not sure who you are responding to Bill. If its me, I’ll refer you here.

As @mattneub points out, the nature of this forum allows for a much broader scope of discussion than did the old mailing list. I’m happy for that to develop, hence the creation of the AppleScript category. I want to avoid building expectation that LNS is committed to doing anything more than supporting its own product(s).


I was responding to mstrange but it was a question I had generally from anybody in the group. There have been a number of posts about this being a ScriptDebugger group. You’ve said your goal is to keep the Discourse group from becoming a general AppleScript site. You’ve also said you want the group to offer full support of Script Debugger. The goal in my previous post was to get a better sense of what is appropriate to post for this group.

With this goal in mind I just asked someone who had just posted about what the group should be about because I was very interested in anybody’s answer to the question what is ok to post.

It seems like to me one of the general posting rules is if I can’t find a connection to what I’m posting about and ScriptDebugger then it’s something I shouldn’t post. But I am less clear about AppleScript questions. I assume basic AppleScript questions are not something to ask in this group. But there was a discussion about using “it” in a tell block very recently and that is definitely an AppleScript question. I haven’t had an AS question I couldn’t figure out on my own in a very long time but what kind of a response should I make to a basic AS question? If a lot of basic questions are answered then it encourages even more basic questions. Should I not answer basic AS questions? Then there’s the question of how basic of a question is too basic.

But the thing I am most unsure about is something that is related to ScriptDebugger but is mostly about things that are outside the idea of supporting LNS products. Does the fact it’s related to LNS products make it ok or does the fact that the discussion would get into areas outside of LNS products means it shouldn’t be brought up. I’m not sure which one is more important.

This is the kind of things I was trying to get a sense of with my previous post.