Add help page

I think we should add a ‘help’ link to the right dropdown menu in the header showing a ‘help’ page on the pod. Once the page has been set up we could get a lot of newcomer devs to work on user manuals and translate them. (I think it is very important for new users that they can read the user manuals in their chosen language) A draft could be the wiki page FAQ for Users.

I am not able to create this page but I will be happy to work on manuals or translations.

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A faq inside diaspora is needed yeah. I can do the french translation too.

It’s a good idea, Steffen. We definitely need far better, more accessible information particularly for new users. I’d like to help with this. I can write and edit copy but won’t be much use on the technical side.

+1 for this

Or actually, why not just make the wiki FAQ really good (and up to date) and then point a link to there directly from inside Diaspora*? I’d sort of rather have the FAQ in the wiki than contained in Diaspora* code.

@jasonrobinson If you do so, then the wiki have to be translatable.

@jasonrobinson I already thought of that. The reasons why I want to include the user manuals into the diaspora code are:

  • easy translations (via webtranslateit)
  • by default in the users language
  • decentralized social network => decentralized manuals
  • possible to customize the manuals for every user (name/avatar/aspect list/…)

I created a draft on github

@steffenvanbergerem the foundation site (which is where the tutorials you have copied are destined) is translatable via WebTranslateIt in exactly the same way that Diaspora itself is. See

Once translations have been created there, it should be possible to read the guides in your chosen language. Having a local copy on each pod sounds like a recipe for a mess of out-dated and conflicting guides.

I already commented on github but will also comment here. (I think loomio is the right place for this discussion)

  1. Diaspora is a decentralized network and as a user I would like to read the tutorials on my pod.
  2. Out-dated guides are great on out-dated pods :wink: We can have a tutorial on every pod that perfectly fits the version of that pod.
  3. Pod maintainers who change anything on their pod could also change the tutorials

In that case, I think the help pages on pods should have different content and be in a different format from the getting started guide on the project site. For one thing, having the same guide would be needless duplication; for another, parts of the guide (for example, how to choose and sign up to a pod) would be redundant for someone who has already signed up to a pod!

There’s plenty of detail in those guides that I’ve been stripping out to make them shorter and easier to digest. That detail could be placed into help pages on a pod, but I think it should take a different form, more similar to the FAQ rather than a getting started tutorial.

How does that sound?

Sounds reasonable. I just have to disagree in one point: I think that we should also help signing up. The help pages are visible to everyone (not only signed up users) so we could add a link to the sign-up page.

Oh men, I agree with you both… @steffenvanbergerem your 3 points are perfect. @goob the sign up tutorial is cleary better placed on diasporafoundation than on a pod…

So yeah, I think we should have a help page on diaspora itself, but only about the most asked questions. A FAQ is perfect. Besides, tutorials explain “how-to”, not always “why”. The explanation of the 3 “bugs” I pointed in my article explaining the federation surely should be present in diaspora* itself. But only with a very short sentence. After that, we’re free to add a link to tutorials, blogs, everywhere there are explanations.

Would be a good starting point for this?

I used FAQ for Users so it would be nice if some of you could help reading it again, correct errors and add missing things. If there is anything which should be on the help page but not in the FAQ or vice versa I’d be open for suggestions.

I left out "Is there a directory that lists public pods (servers) that I can join? " and “How can I join Diaspora?”. I also changed the answer to “Where else can I get support?” because I wanted to link to the upcoming official tutorials instead of diasporial.

If anyone wants to check out the code: you can do that on github

@goob Are your tutorials going to be online on for the next release? Do you already know some URL where I will find those? I added some links on the help pages and linked to the tutorial main page and to the formatting tutorial (and will have to change those links)

@steffenvanbergerem I’ve finished my work on the tutorials pages, and am trying to commit them right now. Having a bit of trouble. But they should be on Github by the end of today, all being well.

On the diasporafoundationdomain, the main tutorials menu will be at /tutorials and the formatting one at /formatting (original, eh?).

Now on Github - PR here.

Hi guys, about the tips @goob talked, I think the content of the right side bar should be moved to a tips page inside diaspora* (follow #newHere, need help, bookmarklet…) everything is not needed on the main page.

We merged translations in develop today and I started reviewing the french one. I think many sentences in english are not clear, so translators often made mistakes. A FAQ is for newbies, we have to improve it, make it as concise and simple as we can.

There is also a place for other improvements than formulation. For example, pod is the fifth element in the left menu, but we talk about it a lot in the previous element. A newbie is going to think “what’s the hell is a pod?”. We should think about the order of the concepts.

Last idea, only about design: the other questions should retract when you click a new one.