Why is the 'Developers' category on this forum read-only (for most)?

Continuing the discussion from About the Developers category:

Continuing the discussion from About the Developers category:

[quote=“douwe, post:1, topic:10956”]
This category is read only for most people. If you are a developer and want to share your knowledge, please get in touch with a moderator and explain your background.
[/quote](Emphasis mine.)

Huh, why’s that? Wouldn’t a topic like Compiling Fairphone Open Source belong into the ‘Developers’ category? That topic, though, is only as useful as it currently is because everyone can contribute non-bureaucratically.

And isn’t that in the stated spirit

[r]ead, learn and share all about the Open Source Software for the Fairphone

of the category?

Yes, many topics that are currenty somewhere else in the software super-category beleng in the dev category.
The plan was to let everybody who has the developer badge have full access to the dev category, but that automatic access doesn’t work yet, which is why the dev category is still so empty.

We decided there should be some kind of restriction to the dev category, but everybody who has something to contribute can ask for access and will surely not be denied.

And why that? Is the dev category more likely to be trolled or otherwise abused (maybe off-topic posts or maliciously false instructions) than other categories?


I agree with @das_g. This additional hurdle prevents possible contributors from just signing up on the forum and contributing to discussions. They would always have …

  1. … to find out that they are not allowed (yet) to post in the dev category.
  2. … to find instructions how they can gain access and apply for the dev badge.
  3. … wait for moderators to grant them access.

The first two steps are just annoying but the third step might even take some hours (or days) depending on when someone asks for access.

Imagine it is 1 in the morning. A non-forum-member who has the answer to a problem discussed in the dev section. She wants to help everyone out and provide the answer by posting it. Now she has to go through the steps above. Next morning a moderator grants her access but she has long lost interest in providing the answer.

I think less bureaucracy would help the forum.

1 Like

I’m inviting @stefan @Douwe @chris_r and @johannes.

I’d be fine with opening up the dev category for all, what do you think?


I’m not even a 100% sure why it is currently restricted - I kind of assume to keep the discussion on the technical side of things and to avoid threads being thrown off course by novice users asking how to do things that aren’t really relevant to what’s being discussed. If the devs are happy flagging the posts if/when this happens then sure, open it up for everybody. If that happens too much, and there’s a risk of devs stopping to bother to try to have a discussion on the forum, close it before they really give up (and grant everybody who has meaningfully contributed access first).

Side note: I was wondering how likely this is - how did they find the description of the problem in the forum; do they just search for people that have a problem they have the answer to? Only if there would be a description of a problem that they’re having in the same thread could I imagine that they find it. If they found it because they do develop on Fairphone, they’re not likely to not bother if they can’t post immediately, as membership would bring other benefits.


Hey all,

Thank you for your feedback. The reason we decided to restrict it is because the dev category was made for people actively working on and building OS’s for Fairphone 2. So the sailors of Sailfish, maybe Firefox and others in the future.

We want to allow them to talk in the open on how they are progressing: so others can read and learn, but not having their work sidetracked by questions from novices.

As this is a very new category and nothing is set in stone I will use the feedback here to re-asses the way this category functions now.


Ah, so the ‘dev’ category would be more about announcements, software architecture, and maybe feature selection (by those creating operating systems for the Fairphone), but not so much the nitty-gritty get-it-to-compile/-flash/-boot/-run issues where the line between interested power users and developers is blurred?

If so, that wasn’t clear to me from the original description.

Reading all the above, I came to the conclusion that the dev category should stay read-only for most because of the following:

Compiling is something that anybody could do, just by following the instructions provided by Fairphone and which does not require “developing experience” (nothing has to be developed, you just build something, someone else has developed):

Thus I think the “Compile…” topic should be writable for all. I also think that the developers, who are active there, don’t mind to answer questions ab out compiling. However they would surely mind, if the i.e. get questions from people, asking why a Firefox OS port still doesn’t work.

Hey, After ample discussion here internally with the software team and what they expect from the dev category we decided to open it up.

So please use it for anything that has to do with making, compiling, testing and cursing about code on the Fairphone 2.