We would like feedback on a proposal to move the RICOH Developer forum from phpBB (which it currently uses) to Discourse, which this site uses.
The primary reason is to make it easier for people to post pictures and videos into the forum. As we are discussing a camera, we want to share our pictures and our videos.
Here's the discussion so far.
Q: Are the RICOH engineers going to participate?
A: Unfortunately, it's unlikely. They are welcome and encouraged by the community to participate, most of them are Japanese and it's difficult to communicate in English.
Q: Will I be able to get technical support from RICOH in the forum?
A: Unfortunately, no. You'll need to contact RICOH support for official support. The forum is intended for peer-to-peer unofficial community discussion
Q: Will I be able to submit a feature request?
A: We will build a poll and provide RICOH managers with a summary of feature requests. The managers will relay this to the engineers and take business factors into consideration. We have agreement from the product manager to review the poll results and discuss them with us on a regular basis.
Q: Will the old forum posts be moved to the new forum?
A: We're not planning to move the posts right now. It's technically feasible, but would require more resources. We will propose to keep the old forum up.
Q: Will I be able to post to the old forum?
A: We will propose to phase out post access after 1 month, but keep read access open indefinitely.
Q: What will the change look like?
A: The main change will be that the link from https://developers.theta360.com/en/ will go to this site.
Q: Why don't you use vBulletin, StackOverflow, or Subreddit?
A: We looked at vBulletin, but think that Discourse is more modern and has more momentum right now. Discourse is open source with an active community. It has 19,000 stars and 5,000 forks on GitHub.
StackOverflow is optimized for question and answer, which is great for technical support or to find answers to programming problems. We do not have technical resources to monitor and answer questions on StackOverflow right now. Our intent is to provide a forum as an alternative to StackOverflow. There is greater flexibility in the types of content that can be posted on Discourse. For example, it's fine to post fun videos or tutorials on this site. We will also put together private content for registered users.
Q: Can I get proprietary information (like lens parameter information or access to the stitching source code) if I register?
A: Right now, there is no special access to proprietary information such as lens distortion data or raw images. We are collecting feedback for a potential partner program. The only benefits of registering are peer-to-peer discussion and limited business-related information such as an industry event schedule. We are planning to build usage guides for the industry.