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The product suite we have traditionally known as Tridion is always subject to changes of marketing emphasis. The parent company, SDL are actively working to produce a more coherent offering, based on input from the various companies that they have bought over the last few years. We can observe that various products are increasingly seen as part of a larger offering, and perhaps also there is an expectation that they will be implemented by the same teams, or teams with overlapping skill-sets.

This raises the question (again) of what is on-topic on tridion.stackexchange.com. Should we, for example, accept a FredHopper question or one on Media Manager?

Some time ago, we discussed this, and the answer (at least for me) was a clear No.

Has the ground shifted since then, and if so, how much and in what direction? Ought we to accept a broader topic area, or should we stick to our purely Tridion focus?

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For every product from a different "lineage" than Tridion, you have:

  • Documentation
  • User interface
  • User community (with possible overlap of customers)
  • Implementation community, if different than above
  • Integration between systems
  • Installation and setup

You pointed out the integrating connections are on-topic, which make sense.

We might also include topics to the extent that these overlap.

Before Fredhopper promotions, managed in the Business Manager had its own documentation, UI, and users. It was a separate install. With the latest SmartTarget, some of the Business Manager functionality is now within Tridion's UI. These also impact the documentation, users, and install.

So maybe Fredhopper elements in Tridion's interface should also be Tridion questions?

I think we'll have a major change if/when something comes in the box that is explained in the same documentation, show in the CMS UI for CMS users, might be set up by the same teams.

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  • Good points. Not sure whether in-the-box or not is such a hard criterion. For example, what we now call XPM started as an add-on. However it was released by the same R&D organisation. I think it's significant that SDL has merged some R&D teams in their push to create a coherent offering. So ex-bemoko stuff is clearly Tridion... right? – Dominic Cronin Jan 27 '15 at 22:31
  • Only the ex-Bemoko stuff that's in the box? – Alvin Reyes Jan 29 '15 at 0:30
  • But which box? That's the Tridion context engine... right? :-) – Dominic Cronin Jan 29 '15 at 6:20
  • Tridion box. The "stuff" might be the context engine, but I'm not sure how we'd separate it, which is/uses a cartridge so it's based on the Ambient Data Framework, which is now part of Content Delivery and connects SDL Tridion with other SDL software. – Alvin Reyes Jan 30 '15 at 1:06
  • And if media manager were to come in the same box as the Web content manager? – Dominic Cronin Jan 30 '15 at 6:13
  • Being on the "inside," I didn't want to give that specific example but I'd say it'd be in scope since the docs, people, install, etc. would line up. You wouldn't be able to do Tridion without running into Media Manager questions, so I'd say it'd be part of the community regardless of SDL's organization or the code base. Ant described it well with, "in the context of Tridion." – Alvin Reyes Jan 30 '15 at 16:38
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Quite soon after the start of this site I found the choice we made to name it Tridion might have actualy been rather limiting. If we were to do it all over again, I would suggest to name it SDL and allow for questions on the entire product range. Which maybe is a bit broad, but that would at least give us room to grow.

The way I see it is that we have a community and they have questions which they need answered, and the knowledge for that is available in this excact community. If we limit this site to only Tridion questions, isn't that the exact same reason why we started this site in the first place? I mean, we could already ask programming questions on StackOverflow and Sys Admin stuff on Server Fault, but there was no good place for us to ask the functional questions and keep everything together.

If we are as strict to keep this only Tridion, we can only force the people with Smart Target and Fredhopper questions, to create their own site. And with an even smaller amount of people and questions, that site will certainly never make it passed its beta state (even we might never get there the way it currently goes).

So the way I see it is, we have the knowledge, those questions are not in any way threatning the usefulness of our site, so why should we block them? It is an opportunity for us to grow...

What I do think, is that we should come to a mutual agreement. If we all want to welcome more than just Tridion, we should check with Stack Exchange if we can make that more clear in our FAQ pages. It still makes sense to state what is and what isn't allowed on this site, I don't think we should ever allow questions like "How many sheet of paper does a toilet roll have?", but since our community knows Tridion and everything around that, I think it makes sense to allow questions on those topics too.

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  • I'd say SDL is far too broad. I can see that there are some closely related technologies that would be a good fit here, but it should remain about web content management and delivery in it's broader sense. So for example, videos are web content. Targetted marketing is still content delivery... Translation technologies don't really belong in the same place – Dominic Cronin Jan 29 '15 at 22:10
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I'll chime in on this to say that I think the answer should still be no.

StackExchange sites work best when they are narrowly-focused. The intention is to draw experts on a particular topic to produce a useful Q&A resource about that particular topic.

The range of topics specifically about Tridion is broad as it stands, covering a great deal of ground and encompasses many - often disparate - disciplines. Expanding the focus to encompass all SDL products risks diluting the site and diminishing its usefulness (not least because it makes it less likely that experts will spot questions they can answer).

Stipulating that "SDL products" are on-topic also seems like a fairly arbitrary boundary (given that a Tridion Q&A was the original intention); if any SDL product is fair game, then why not any other technology that is commonly used alongside Tridion - C#.NET, Java, Solr, IIS...

I think the key here is that other technologies are on-topic insofar as they are being discussed in the context of Tridion.

Maybe there is call for a level of discretion; if Tridion is not the central focus of the question but the problem is likely to be of particular relevance to Tridion developers (beyond tenuously-linked questions that are, e.g., about another technology that is often used alongside Tridion or that Tridion developers are simply "likely to be able to answer"), you're probably okay.

To an extent, I think this question is moot in that if another technology becomes so closely associated with Tridion that it is appropriate to ask about it here, then it is likely already to be on-topic under the current rules.

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To basically echo Bart, I will say that allowing those questions seems to be the right way to go.

Forcing them into even smaller communities will not do anyone any favours at this point.

Most of the questions are about integrations with Tridion as far as I can see.

The decision to name it Tridion was ultimately a little shortsighted but the proposer at the time couldn't have known the direction SDL would take.

We could see what the options are for renaming or start a separate proposal for SDL perhaps?

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  • I thought about renaming or starting a proposal for SDL, discussed it with Robert Cartiano briefly too. The only option is to start a new proposal, which I don't like since that will just create a new site and all the current stuff is gone. The name Tridion is not such a bad thing, also keeping it centered around Tridion is what I still want. But I think we should be careful not to kick out Fredhopper , since such a question is most likely related to Smart Target and thus Tridion, but by itself not a direct relation to Tridion. It is a grey area though... – Bart Koopman Jan 29 '15 at 8:41

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