Kicad Forum Visibility

I clicked on the KiCad “Help” button and noticed that this forum isn’t linked onto the menu that pops up. That seems like an oversight since this forum is probably the best place to get help with using KiCad. The only place this forum is mentioned is in a subsection of the “Getting Started In KiCad” document as a place to get help installing KiCad.

Another item on the same menu is “Get Involved” which that takes you to a page about working on the KiCad software or documentation. The number of people who want to do that has to be much smaller than the number of people who need help with actually using KiCad.

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I think it is alright.
This is a user forum not related to the KiCad developers team, althoug it can be considered the “unofficial customer service”.

Our answers cannot be taken as official and in many cases are just opinions.

The forum has its entry in the site under the community tab.

KiCad is open-source, so nothing is really “official”. I think we should link to the community in the software, but I’m open to other opinions…

When we first started the FAQ I was contacted about keeping a copy there. I pointed out that I’d just started the Index Thread to get the ball rolling and it would be mainly other peoples work. Between getting permissions and formatting a constantly updating document I suggested they just send people here anyhow. If the FAQ didn’t answer what they were looking for they’d be in the right place to get more help.

It isn’t about official or unofficial. It’s about getting people help and growing the user base which grows the potential pool of contributers. They can put the unofficial caveat on the page with the link.

I started one of the first ‘dark sky’ mailing lists. It was supposed to be for Ohio but people from all over the world started signing up. The International Dark Sky Organization mulled making it their ‘official list’ but decided that a legal buffer was useful.

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Also for clarity, it is mentioned in the “About” section, but I get what Dave is saying, it might make sense to mention it in documentation in some other sense. Agree that there is nothing “official” about many of the places online. I do know this forum often pops up on Google though.

I never even thought to look for a forum link on the “About” page. I associate that with the version number, the software authors, and such.

If someone has a question about using KiCad, the best and fastest place to go for help should be right in their face. That’s this forum and the people who frequent it.

The About page also lists a Yahoo group. Yahoo. Really? Cue the tumbleweeds.

I think there have been 17 posts on 5 topics since January on the Yahoo group. Over 6 months there were less than 12 post a month last year. Looks pretty bleak out there in Yahoo land …

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You never know what drives things sometimes but I really like the software used here.

Please don’t fall into a variant of the “not invented here” syndrome. As far as I can tell, this Forum is the most active, and the most comprehensive, source of (near) real-time “Help” for KiCAD. I won’t try to analyze the reasons for this. But if there are other Forums, discussion groups, blogs, etc then I am in favor of making them known to the community. Perhaps even a FAQ article listing all of the known Forums, etc.


No - I am not disparaging Yahoo groups - there is a lot of info in the mailing list archive but generally Yahoo seems to have lost out to more focused and slick alternatives like Discourse. There are still a couple of projects that I subscribe to using Yahoo but they don’t seem to be capturing much of the new action and of course they tend to fade away if nobody gets any answers to their questions. What I do think is important is that the info in some of these archives is not lost which really would be a great shame.

I don’t have visibility into Yahoo Groups in general, but the LTSpice Yahoo Group is quite active, organized and disciplined. Even so, I must acknowledge that its effectiveness is largely due to the work of a few individuals.

Archiving may be the biggest shortcoming of ALL online Forums and discussion groups (including this one!). Even when there are top-level categories, and a decent “Search” capability, it can be difficult to locate relevant information. Archived content usually just sits there, without benefit of indexing, keywords, cross-referencing, culling duplicated content, etc.


11 posts were split to a new topic: What does “cue the tumbleweed mean” (split out off topic discussion)

manually moving this post to the split.

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