Forum Channel Names

Would it be possible to rename several of the forum channels to something more sensible?

The name of this channel: "+ + + E. R. + + + (Questions)" is... ugh, weird.

Is "E.R." supposed to mean "Emergency Room"? If so, that's a very obscure reference that's USA-specific.

If it doesn't mean that, what does it mean?

Also, when you try to choose the channel from the popup, the description overflows the UI:


How about simple, plain language names, such as "Questions", "Discussions"... etc.

Also, the grammar in that description is poor. "You need an info?" is not good English.

Edit to add: I just noticed that the E and R in Enquire and Respond are in bold. Is that what ER means? Enquire & Respond? Never would have guessed that in a million years!
Perhaps I'm the only one who cares about this, but if others agree, please chime in...

Edit 2: I see that my dictionary says "Enquire" is a Britishism - (In USA english we would write "Inquire"). Is this a USA/UK/Canadian issue perhaps?


Thank you for your input Xochi. Maybe Malcolm who is now our Community Administrator can probe our community about this.

Meanwhile, I can provide some background information since several choices of the soup's structure and organisation have been based on a profound reflexion about its goals and its values - as I envisioned them anyway as the founder.

When I created the soup, as a response to many comments about the confusion multi categories caused on the vendor's site, I decided to only have two core forums: one for Discussions and one for Questions. All other forums are utilities and support the community but the center of our mission resides within the Discussion and Question.

Discourse, our platform, in its "naked" form comes with a few presets and a few templates already set up. I modified most to suit our needs. The "Lounge" was an existing category. I figured the metaphor was suitable for an in-depth discussion area.

It made me realise that it felt more convivial -a real people place- with such a name. So I determined to use a small dose of metaphoric language to keep the soup hearty.

Indeed, E.R. was the Emergeny Room metaphor. That is why I gave it that teal colour: the surgeon uniform colour. When I had a question, I was always impressed by how fast I would get responses on the vendor's site in the past. It had emboldened me in my offer to clients. I was really hoping that this level of urgency would be one of the soup's appeal. Having all questions centralized would save time and make it simple for experts on board to contribute. It was my hope that if people chose to only watch one channel, it would be that one.

The +++ signs are to make it stand out from the other channels. Through conversations with other members, it was identified that some people did not "get" the metaphor but were intrigued because of how that forum stood out. Adding (Questions) in the title seemed to support the need for clarity.

Enquire is a synonym for Ask. Respond is a synonym for Reply. I liked that it would be a double-entendre with the E. R. in the title.

The level of conversations on the soup has been fairly advanced from the start. Some participants were intimidated and concerned about asking beginners question. We decided to stress out how aims to be inclusive of every FileMaker lover, no matter their level of expertise.

For this and every other channel in the soup, there is a pinned thread called "About {channel name}". Discourse creates that thread by default whenever a new channel is created. It has a "magic" property: the first sentence of that thread is used as the channel's short description below the title in the Channel page.

As you noticed, that text can sometimes overflow and cover up some controls. This is something that could be investigated technically with discourse staff. I found that when it happens, especially when trying to click the check mark after entering tags, clicking elsewhere in the editor closes the popover and reveals the controls. Using the arrows, mouse scroll, and enter allows to navigate and select values in the channel selector of a new post's dialog.

Lastly, one of the initial values that was championed for was a sensitivity to the international origin of our participants. Whilst English was chosen as the soup's official communication language, respect, patience and appreciation of the various cultures and frame of reference of each individual participating were defining elements for the soup. This realisation prompted the earliest members to consider multiculturalism - and its facilitation - a soup's core value.

The only other channel to have inherited a metaphoric title is the HVAC. This channel's purpose is to offer a place where people can "Vent" their frustration, poor humour attempts, etc. To see and be able to access that channel, people must first add themselves to the "Geez and whine" group. Albeit a little ironic, such wink aims to reminds ourselves to not take ourselves too seriously and to be deliberate in the way we participate here.


  1. (of an atmosphere or event) friendly, lively, and enjoyable.
    "a convivial cocktail party"
  • (of a person) cheerful and friendly; jovial.
    "she was relaxed and convivial"

Thanks for the additional info. I think this one went too far along the convival axis :slight_smile:

Also, if it is about "Emergencies" then that actually makes me hesitate to post here - my questions are typically not emergent or even urgent, but they are important.

Something bothers me about the "+ + +" symobls as well. Perhaps it's because in FileMaker if you try to name a field with symbols, you get an error message. Surely I'm not the only FM programmer to have this bug them? :wink:

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> Nagging unknowns, whether urgent or not, are the broth of our soup!

Great questions @xochi.

The +++ ER +++ is the general forum. It's where we put all the "How do I?", "What happened?", "Where to?" questions. There isn't a doctor on standby, but you can expect a fairly quick response.

We do want the soup to be easy to use and we don't want you reserving you questions because they aren't urgent.

I'll be interested to see if others also found the label confusing - let me know!

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When I see ER at the soup, I always think "Emergency Room". This never made sense to me, but it also has never bothered me. There are a million things that don't make sense to me that probably do to most people, and I have just learned not to worry too much if I can be exceptionally slow about some things. As an example, I made it to my mid-50's before it ever dawned on me that the song "Have you ever seen a Lassie, a Lassie, a Lassie" wasn't just a children's song about that dog (collie) that went around saving people in trouble. For over half a lifetime it never made sense to me why anyone would have written such a song about that dog, and then one day it clicked. Sometimes I just need a clue...


HAHA. Oh man this is great. It reminds me of a story my girlfriend tells about her childhood friend's dad. One day years ago on a road trip, he saw a McDonald's sign and said, "Ohhhhh! The golden arches make an 'M'! For McDonald's". He was in his 40s or 50s then. That was his "Golden Arches Moment".

Now we all use that phrase to describe this type of discovery. A true Golden Arches Moment.

Anyway, re: the channel topic. I too have been confused by ER almost every time i've visited The Soup, but it doesn't bother me either. Software Dev can be a little dry anyway, so I enjoy seeing people inject some frivolity into the equation from time to time.

As Marie Kondo would ask, "Does it spark joy?"


I have never understood the E.R name. This is practically first time I noticed that it is the questions channel. Great thing about discourse is that user like me can browse the site without channels. But I feel +++ E. R. +++ or smth is too complex channel name. ”Questions” would be my choice. I’ll add a screenshot from my phone to add evidence of issue

All design is about compromise.

I didn’t get “ER” either because that is meaningless to a Brit, here we have “Accident & emergency” or “Casualty” - but I don’t mind when folk use Americanisms - this is a big planet and there is room for many versions of the English language.

I do though find it a little strange that someone would object to the use of a “British” word in the English language but I don’t mind when folk spell organisation with a “z”.

Cheers, Nick


to me the E.R. made a connection to the british stamps with the queen...


Well, as you know I'm British but having lived in the US for many years, I now find myself confused as to whether to use an S or a Z. Mind you, I also don't know whether to say tow-may-to or tow-ma-to.; po-tay-to or po-tah-to. Such is the life of an itinerant gypsy.. The only thing I'd like to add here is that, IMHO, life is too short to worry about completely and utterly irrelevant nonsense. Just sayin!


which stands for Elizabeth Regina with Regina meaning Queen. I think.

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Thanks for sharing your naming process of the channels with us, @Cecile.

I too find "E.R." rather confusing. It never made sense to me. Especially with the additional "+++" characters that seem quite disturbing and look somehow inappropriate.

Emergency Room might have been my first association, but in the next moment I would have discarded it cause it doesn't make any sense to me in a forum. So I always wondered, what it might mean...

Therefore I would also vote for a simpler, self-explaining name like "Questions", "FileMaker Help" etc.

I am rotfl :rofl: (rolling on the floor laughing, not a rotten flower) right now.

I am finding this moment of thought sharing processes precious and enlightening.

I am glad that, unlike my naming process for the channels, I have first brought ideas to the community via the feedback channel for inputs before making most of my decisions regarding the forum.

It probably saved us from more of my non-LSD induced mind vagrancy. What has me most impressed is how gentlemen you’ve all been about it!

Thank you also for sharing the lassie, golden arches moments. I feel less awkward knowing that I am not an isolated mutant in this predicament!

I would say rebaptise away, erase this embarrassing uiux failure!

Here’s a little nugget


Now that was bad; the video I mean.

...have to agree mostly with everybody.

Also as a displaced brit in a world where some kind of "internet English" abounds the choice of whether to say summarise or summarize or such like haunts me every day ... and ... please ! ... let's not talk about colours ... and less so about neighbours.

Indeed the name of this channel has never meant anything to me at all, .... ER is most definitely about the Queen, ... but I have never perceived this place as being particularly interested in her (in itself a blasphemy)

The pluses are probably supposed to bring attention to the room, ... but - given my prolonged absence in this room ...don't seem to work for me ...

I work the whole day with strange symbols, in a strange tool called "Script Workspace" ... so I'd prefer just a straightforward English title ... that doesn't mention colours or neighbours or neighbours of colour or anything with a z in it.



means a lot to me from a displaced brit :rofl:
like Cecil I am not alone anymore

Perhaps it's time for my tuppence worth from Australia. Thanks to @xochi for raising the question, and to @Cecile for explaining the logic.
For what it's worth, I've always assumed the E.R. stood for Enquire and Respond because that's what it says in the note—but that's because I only access the forum on my computer, and can actually see the note; the screenshot posted by @villegld shows that the note is not visible in all contexts. Furthermore, the general consensus seems to be that the E.R. concept doesn't quite hit the right spot, and the pluses even less so.
Still, like many others, although it's never grabbed me, it doesn't bother me either.

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Ok, I am late at the party.

The way I understood the Emergency Room right from beginning is that's the place to ask questions when you are in a terrible situation. Your are in an emergency to find out what's going wrong. It's not a discussion it's a call to for some help.

Could renaming this channel Mayday makes more sense to you ?

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Not Executive Rules then?

I like Mayday, particularly in light of its M'aidez origins.

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