Comment policy & asking questions

In my previous post, I promised to say a bit more about the policy regarding blog comments. In the past, we’ve seen a lot of blog comments that were either spam (no relevant content and links to other sites), off-topic (questions or statements related to the Fonera, but not relevant to the particular post) or simply inappropriate (containing swearing or insults).

As of now, the Fon policy regarding user feedback is the following:

  • Stay on-topic. The blog is not a place for general questions or remarks, so please only respond with comments relevant to the post in question. Off-topic comments might be deleted.
  • Stay polite. It is ok to criticize in a constructive way, it is not ok to use inappropriate language or make derogatory remarks. Inappropriate comments will be deleted without exception.

In short, don’t be a troll!

When you post a comment, it will be spamchecked using Akismet, spam is deleted right away. If it is your first post to the blog, it will be held for moderation. We’ll try to frequently approve posts, but it might take a few days. After your first comment is approved, any subsequent comment should be published right away.

Where do I post my off-topic questions, then?
A lot of users have been using the blog to ask a myriad of questions about the Fonera and its development. Since the blog isn’t quite the right place for this, here’s a few places you can ask your questions instead:

  • The forums are appropriate for most questions. Here you will get answers for other users, FON support staff and sometimes developers.
    The forums are good for questions like “Has someone tried installing jdownloader on his Fonera?”, or “What’s the difference between the Fonera firmware and OpenWRT?”
  • FON support has some FAQs, a knowledge base and you can contact them in case you’re having problems with your Fonera, your various Fon accounts or accessing the FON wifi networks (use the “Contact Us” link at the top right).
    FON support is good for questions like “How do I register my router?”, or “What ports do I need to open to use torrent downloads?”.
  • The IRC channel is appropriate for short development questions or to get help collecting information for a bug report. Here you will get answers from other users and developers. You can also try to ask more general questions, but remember that we’re busy with developing the firmware as well!
    If you use the IRC channel, don’t wait for someone to show up first, just ask the question you have and be patient (rule #1 on IRC: don’t ask to ask, just ask!). Don’t be surprised if it takes a few hours or even a day or two to get an answer: We’re not online 24/7, but do usually read back what we’ve missed.
    The IRC channel is good for questions like “What file handles the 3G connection setup” or “I think that DDNS is not working in bridge mode, what info do you need?”
  • The Fonosfera development mailing list is a good place for (longer) development questions. This list is read by the developers and the more advanced users, so there’s a good chance you get an answer to your complicated questions here. This is probably also the best place to ask about the development roadmap.
    The mailing list is good for questions like “I tried to create a plugin to do [something], but I’ve encountered three problems: [long description]”, or “Would anybody be interested in having a plugin for [some program]?”
  • The fonosfera Trac is the place to report bugs or request features. Do take care to search for existing reports first. Please read this wiki page before reporting a bug.

And finally, whenever you ask a question be sure to think about it and phrase it properly!

Update: Added a paragraph explaining how the moderation system works.

5 Responses to “Comment policy & asking questions”

  1. schunz Says:

    Up until now Fon was unhelpful independent of the medium I used: email, forum, IRC, and comments in this blog.
    We users only get angry because of the afwul communication from fon. I hope this will change now. Users will behave themselves, if they feel properly treated by fon. This hasn’t often been the case in the last year. Broken promises, unresponsiveness on fon’s part is the reason for all the bad blood.

    At last this seems to change. But I’ll wait a while before I getting enthusiastic about this.

  2. Matthijs Says:

    Hey schunz,

    just to clarify: This post isn’t intended to accuse our users of anything, I’m just trying to clear up things for the future. I don’t think we can really blame our users for getting frustrated, let’s just try to prevent that in the future.

  3. Piter Says:

    we really appreciate the “openness” Fon has achieved with your envolvement here.
    Personally I NEVER posted comments blaming or offending Fon, just some complaint for their silence about important issues and observations to the 2.0n awful firmwares…
    And I agree with Schunz, about unresponsiveness of Fon with other communication channels: email, forum (with some nasty and rude users) and even in the knowledge base, in which I haven’t received answers about two critical issues.
    I’m sorry to say that Fon lost its credibility in last two years.


  4. ben10 Says:

    Hey Matthijs, those f….g spammers are filling up the fonosfera tickets with their spam crap.

    Looking forward to a final 2.0g release since I like that device a lot and I think it may suit many users needs (besides its a nice device, more than 2.0n).

  5. Matthijs Says:

    Luckily I noticed the spammer after “only” three hours and managed to teach our spamfilter to filter them. Next up is removing 150 spam comments :-)

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