[simplification] Making ask.openstack.org read-only

Thierry Carrez thierry at openstack.org
Tue Aug 18 10:44:43 UTC 2020

Hi everyone,

This has been discussed several times on this mailing list in the past, 
but we never got to actually pull the plug.

Ask.openstack.org was launched in 2013. The reason for hosting our own 
setup was to be able to support multiple languages, while StackOverflow 
rejected our proposal to have our own openstack-branded StackExchange 
site. The Chinese ask.o.o side never really took off. The English side 
also never really worked perfectly (like email alerts are hopelessly 
broken), but we figured it would get better with time if a big community 
formed around it.

Fast-forward to 2020 and the instance is lacking volunteers to help run 
it, while the code (and our customization of it) has become more 
complicated to maintain. It regularly fails one way or another, and 
questions there often go unanswered, making us look bad. Of the top 30 
users, most have abandoned the platform since 2017, leaving only Bernd 
Bausch actively engaging and helping moderate questions lately. We have 
called for volunteers several times, but the offers for help never 
really materialized.

At the same time, people are asking OpenStack questions on 
StackOverflow, and sometimes getting answers there[1]. The fragmentation 
of the "questions" space is not helping users getting good answers.

I think it's time to pull the plug, make ask.openstack.org read-only (so 
that links to old answers are not lost) and redirect users to the 
mailing-list and the "OpenStack" tag on StackOverflow. I picked 
StackOverflow since it seems to have the most openstack questions (2,574 
on SO, 76 on SuperUser and 430 on ServerFault).

We discussed that option several times, but I now proposed a change to 
actually make it happen:


It's always a difficult decision to make to kill a resource, but I feel 
like in this case, consolidation and simplification would help.

Thoughts, comments?

[1] https://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/openstack


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