#off-topic category for topics unrelated to Swift forum

Greetings folks, hopefully the topic name isn't that confusing to you. I'd love if you can add an extra category for topics and questions that do not fit the current status quo of our forum.

It's been like this on the mailing list and I see new topics pop up in #swift-users lately. Most of us could answer those questions, but on the other hand I think most of us simply ignore such topics because it's very tiring to tell the person that started the topic that this isn't the forum for that over and over again.

I think it would be a good idea if we could flag topics as #off-topic and if enough votes were made it will automatically move to the #off-topic category. That way we don't need to ask the mods to do that, nor the person originally created the topic. This can be even generalized so that we can fix the metadata by votes across the forum.

What do you think?

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It's not clear to me if you're asking for these topics to be allowed, and so a new category should be made for them, or if you want an “off topic” category as a kind of trash can for disallowed topics, or if you want some form of democratic moderation by voting. Or a combination of those.

It's unclear to me as well what exactly is being proposed, but I'm not happy about any of the possible interpretations.

All of us sometimes--and especially newer users--are going to ask questions which are off the beaten path. You can ignore the topics, or you can take the time to help redirect these users. But someone just took their own precious free time and tried to contribute to an open-source project; it's hostile to reject them without comment and that's precisely the opposite of what we would ideally strive for.

I don't want to seem rude or something but indeed I had something of both in mind, a trash can category and a democratic way of moderating metadata in here. You should not be able to create new threads in #off-topic category, you can however move flagged threads to #off-topic if desired and still reply to those threads.

@xwu I don't want to blame anyone, but there are topics that completely do not fit in this forum nor in any of the current categories. Therefore such topics have nothing to do with the contribution to the open-source project. Anyone can still open up such topics and take their time to help, but I'd rather have an organized categories instead of spammed categories with threads that give other new users the impression that this is the right place for such topics.

Again, I'm not blaming anyone for anything, I just want a little more dynamic and harmless organization options for everyone.

Here is one topic that made me raise my eyebrow. For the third time, I'm not blaming the person for opening the thread, I just would want it to be moved to something like #off-topic instead.

PS: To clarify, so that we're on the same page, I wasn't taking about rejected topics, previously discussed debates from the evolution process, just topics that really do not fit in here.

The other solution that I have in mind is to create a category for Apple platforms and to push and allow such topics in there.

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To me, questions like that don't need to be hosted anywhere on the Swift forums. Following the usage of all of the mailing lists that have been combined into this forum, none cover the topic of that question (iOS development) and those questions are far better off referred to Stack Overflow. Creating an #offtopic or some such forum just encourages more off topic posting in a forum that isn't designed for it.


I have noticed a general tendency of trying to over-engineer solutions on the first sign of a problem in the forums. It is understandable because this is a very new platform (personally this is the very first time I've used discourse).

But I think as a general advice it is best to wait a few months to first assess the magnitute of these problems. For me, having in the order of 10 completely off-topic posts per month is a non-issue and most of them I can easily skip just by reading the title. I understand that other people may have lower thresholds, but let's wait a bit before jumping to solutions on the first off-topic post that appeared.