How can we make more nutritious soup for more people?

Yup :+1: :grinning:

Today I played with the CSS of the soup and changed the standard Helvetica to 'Open Sans' a Google Font under Apache Licence ("You can use them freely in your products & projects - print or digital, commercial or otherwise. However, you can't sell the fonts on their own.").

I also changed some font colors and the border radius of the avatar pictures to 50px which makes them completely round. I like that better. Although the changes might be subtle I think everything looks a little more modern now! Here is what it looks like. What do you think about it?

It destroyed my logo.

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I quite like the changes. I would keep the squarish avatar though.

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I can do yoga/mindfulness exercises while visiting the sites from the southern hemisphere :grinning: using the page-loading gif as a mantra.

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The change to the larger, more open font is great for higher res devices.

I was already seeing round avatars. Can it be because I use the darker UI?

Yes. It seems that the Dark UI has already got round Avatars.

A new theme called "fmsoup" is now available in your preferences. I hope you like it.


@cheesus, that's great. I've just switched from Sam's Simple Theme and I pleased.

there is no way to select a theme under the discourse version on iOS - right?

Sure! Klick on your Avatar in the top right, then on your name and choose Preferences. There you can switch to the interface by using the right dropdown menu.

Let’s enable it by default. It looks so much better in the app now!


Hi, re the relative merits of web-based forums versus Facebook ones, FB Groups are demonstrably inferior in many respects, but they do have two major advantages. One is, that's where people are, billions of them, already. The other is, the forum managers don't need to worry about GDPR and storing/processing personal data, because Facebook take that responsibility away. (The German regulator has tried to make FB Group Managers take a measure of responsibility as well, but that's not been entirely successful, and not replicated elsewhere to my knowledge.)

I used to work in a central London tech store, and as Real Estate folks have been saying for decades, it's about Location, Location, Location. We turned over £9m GBP a year because we were on the main road. A smaller shop which was 15 seconds walk from our door, turned over a tenth of what we did. You go where people are, if you want their attention!

Richard F.

Continuing the discussion from How can we make more nutritious soup for more people?:

in advance, sorry for the pessimism. This is meant to be constructive criticism and hopefully a different perspective on answering the "question" I am going to try to answer this from several perspectives. I also want to mentioned that I am biased towards other platforms. prob due to 20 years of setting up/managing various gaming community sites

Before i start, i do want to compliment the amount of dedicated and talented people who are supporting this endeavor

As a simple user: If i try to look at this site from a common user, I quickly find myself lost in general conversations/opinions and without a clear or concise purpose. However, the site is described as "A place where Claris FileMaker users, Developers and Citizen Developers can find answers". This confusion on direction/purpose is compounded by the navigation with what I consider excessive categorization via number of channels that have over less than clear names. e.x. ++++++++ER+++++++++ (questions) is overly complicated for a site that is suppose to act as a resource for "questions". If i wanted to ask a question, i dont want to think more than I have to. (browse the channels, translate the name to intended purpose, post question).

Also as a user/guest, the amount of discussions related site improvements just muddies the water. If i came here to search for an answer or post a question, I dont need to see these type of discussions. I understand Why they are here, but as a potential guest it is a huge red flag and not to waste my time. Perhaps limit the people who can see these decision making discussions? Who knows maybe it already is and i just was giving the privs to view it?

As someone who has set up and managed a few dozen forum sites: Forums are a dead technology for developing social communities. too many alternatives that provide better UX. However, forums do have their place in disseminating information. for a forum to work the information needs to be clear, concise, accurate, and easy to find/accessible. this platform may be newer compared to vbulletin,phpbb,xenforo, etc... but i find it difficult to systematically narrow my question field down. Historically forums have a hierarchic structure that helps support information accessibility. e.x. Questions > Structure , Scripting, etc... This is what people know and familiar with. PPL also are familiar with the unreliable nature of "tagging" posts due mis-tagging or over-tagging relative to the individuals search request. the way this site(platform) is designed, it just complicates the information retrieval process.
2) New forum sites always experience a negative feedback loop of limited content - low # active users. In order to increase the number of users, give them a reason to visit, sign up, and post... i.e. the site needs to provide more content to drive users to the site as oppose to relying on ppl discovering the site and waiting for them to ask.
3) include Cited articles from external sources that simplify a lot of the poorly written articles. the quicker and faster someone's question can be answered the better


I am trying to reconcile the notion of organizing information and not have many channels as you point out. Could you explain?

As a user of many forums, in many different fields (home improvements, mrexcel, StackOverlow, Microsoft answers, surrogacy, sports, dating, language betterment, fitness and health, products communities, etc) at various levels of involvement (influencer, regular, occasional, one-off or so consumer of information) and various level of subject matter expertise (novice, expert, etc) it has been my experience that the “hierarchy “ organization of information aka forum table of content, is rarely my approach to finding information, except to look for pinned topics (provided there aren’t too many of those).

Discourse search engine is so good that tagging isn’t necessary, at this time anyway. So first step, search engine. If a search doesn’t turn up what you’ve been searching for, it is most likely not here yet. Next step is therefore to ask your question.

Because of the amazing connectivity and unified way communications and notifications work in Discourse, the time to respond varies between one minute to four hours according to the site usage reports.

I am certain improvements can be made. The structuration of channels gets adjusted over time.

The community self regulates. Some members have editors rights that enable them to relocate branches that derail.

At the same time, although the knowledge base functionality is very important, the soup caters the need for socializing with peers that is culturally distinctive to the fm ecosystem users and developers.

When Community, the vendors forum, got transitioned to a highly compartmented platform that didn’t fulfill either needs so well anymore, or in a pleasurable user experience, people moved away from it.

The fm community is made of incredibly cooperative and generous people. The soup tries to enable such people.

Incidentally I know very little of gaming communities/sites. I can’t really establish if the needs of gamers are comparable to the ones of the FileMaker community.


@badmonkey842, I take your point, all this meta-chat probably should have a meta-channel. A part of the reason that we're meta-chatting is that the forum wasn't planned in advance.

Re: Structure. I'm personally in favour of sites that offer a few choices at a top level and more choices at a second level. A third level is great if you are delivering content but it isn't optimal in a QA focussed environment because people's problems don't fit neatly in small buckets.

Great suggestions regarding content too.

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We ARE in the meta-channel :joy: Feedback is the meta channel

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Hey I wasn't sure where to post this, but one thing I'm noticing is that topics tend to get derailed frequently (maybe I'm doing that right now). I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing as having that freedom can lead to some great revelations and out-of-the-box thinking, rather it's just something I'm noticing, and I think it's worth considering whether it fits with the goal/mission of the site, and whether there's anything that could be done about it anyway.

If every topic is about everything (yes I'm exaggerating) then it can ultimately become difficult to find stuff later.

The effect, again, is not bad, just different. I.e. topics take on a more chatroom-esque flavor, which can feel very conversational and relaxed, and maybe that in itself is what makes the soup so flavorful. I'm curious what others think about that, I suspect some would prefer a tighter focus and others feel at home in the flowing stream of consciousness.

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@jwilling I choose to reply in a new topic because here are the topics I can already see in this topic (I did not feel like adding one to the list):