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Official Update about the future of Unity Answers

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Brach_Unity, May 4, 2023.

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  1. Brach_Unity

    Brach_Unity

    Unity Technologies

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    Hi everyone,

    After receiving your feedback last year, when we announced our initial plans to shut down Unity Answers, we returned to the drawing board. We have spent the time since then working on a better solution that we’d like to share with you. In summary, we will migrate Unity Answers content to a new Community platform and are aiming to launch a public beta later in May. Before the beta starts, we will set Unity Answers to read-only mode in order to prepare for the migration so that the existing content is available on the new platform from the first day of public testing. We will set up redirects for all migrated questions and answers to ensure old links won’t break when Unity Answers has been taken offline. Unity Answers will reach the end of its life at the end of May.

    The new platform will be called Unity Discussions and is powered by Discourse. We have chosen to work with Discourse because it supports threaded comments, highlighting of accepted answers, and other key capabilities that match our vision. It is also a very flexible and customizable technology, so we can continue to ensure we meet the needs of our evolving community.

    Please read on for more information.

    Reasons for the migration and long-term vision
    Last year we stated:
    What was true last year is still true today. Our community sites have sprawled, and we genuinely want to offer you a way to easily find answers and enjoy sharing your insights with the Unity Community.

    The Forums and Answers systems that have been around for many years are not scaling well, and we have spent this year re-imagining and working on a better solution. Part of what you have helped us see is the redundancy between these sites, but also how they are serving you differently. We aim to consolidate our platform technologies while expanding what you can do within the official Unity Community ecosystem.

    We will do this in stride with your continuous feedback. We are starting a closed beta of the new platform today with a number of members from the Unity community. Once we have completed the data migration, we will launch Unity Discussions in public beta for Q&A discussions as we sunset Answers by the end of May.

    The Unity Forums will remain as they are for the time being, with the intent to also migrate them to Unity Discussions, starting later this year once the site has matured.


    Next steps
    For the upcoming open beta, we are focusing on providing a replacement solution for Unity Answers that meets the following needs:
    • Preserve existing knowledge and keep old links accessible via redirects

    • Preserve existing user accounts and their connection to questions and answers

    • Provide community members with the ability to ask questions, discuss answers, and mark accepted answers as solutions

    • Provide an updated tagging structure to make it easier to categorize and navigate conversations

    • Update guidelines and provide onboarding information and templates for the new platform

    The following things will be happening, so that Unity Answers is sunset by the end of May.
    1. Unity Answers becomes read-only

    2. Unity Answers Data is migrated to Unity Discussions

    3. Unity Discussions launches in open beta

    4. Redirects for old Answers links are set up after verifying the success of the migration

    5. Unity Answers is taken offline

    6. Unity Discussions leaves beta and fully launches

    Call for feedback and future updates
    Please let us know your thoughts about these changes in the comments below. We will share more detailed information about the new platform and updates on the migration in a couple of weeks once we are ready to begin the open beta.
     
  2. Shizola

    Shizola

    Joined:
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    Discourse looks good so I'm cautiously optimistic about that. Unless I dreamed it, I think the forums were once moved to a different platform and everyone hated it, so I'd be careful with moving those.
     
    ModLunar likes this.
  3. jiraphatK

    jiraphatK

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    I tried surfing forums powered by Discourse(Atlassian and Figma). As far as a replacement for Unity Answer, yes please. But to replace Unity forum, there need to be a search function inside the thread. Some Asset Store threads or long thread that spanned multiple years have humongous number of comments and just scrolling through everything to find one specific answer won't do it. Can it be added?
     
    makaka-org, Rallix and osmangormus like this.
  4. osmangormus

    osmangormus

    Unity Technologies

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    I believe what you're asking is already available in Discourse by default.
     
  5. jiraphatK

    jiraphatK

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    I think you misunderstood me.
    For example this thread.
    https://forum.unity.com/threads/unity-future-net-development-status.1092205/page-35
    If it's on the new forum and I want to search all the comments that have keyword '.NET8', how would I do that? In Unity forum, I can type the search words in the top right input box and it shows all relevant answer.

    In context of Unity Answer replacement, it's not really important.
    But I use this function a lot with the current Unity forum.
     
    osmangormus likes this.
  6. MiTschMR

    MiTschMR

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    Thank you very much for listening to us and investing the time and resources to build the new discussions platform! What I sincerely hope is that there will be more community interaction with developers themselves. Currently, it seems like it is either hit or miss with who is responsible for communication on a product (Unity Hub, several Unity Gaming Services features etc.) where there is radio silence for months, no "support", you being left alone with your problems.
     
  7. osmangormus

    osmangormus

    Unity Technologies

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    Thank you @jiraphatK for the clarification, and for the real life example. I will look into this.
     
    jiraphatK, UnityJuju and LeonhardP like this.
  8. khan-amil

    khan-amil

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    So after all this time and feedbacks last time that your planning times were way too short you come up one year later with a better plan but still a ridiculously short timeframe for the move.

    The beta starts "soon", answers will be set as read only, transferred to the new site, be ready for users to join in, be ready for users to contribute, and give feedback, all in less than one month before the plug is pulled on unity answers.

    The motivations behind the moves and the target seem good, but it feel a lot like you're more pushed by the next billing cycle as by the quality of the product and the end result.
     
  9. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    I think I still have some popcorn from the time you moved the forums to Lithium.

    But I guess the people behind this move weren’t at Unity at the time, which I guess also explains why history is repeating.
     
    Shushustorm likes this.
  10. karl_jones

    karl_jones

    Unity Technologies

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    Some of us were ;)
    I tested both and this one is far superior to Lithium
     
  11. Etonix

    Etonix

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    Sep 21, 2018
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    Publishers seeking alternative solutions for support and ticketing systems, feel free to reach out. I've got things in place.
     
  12. makaka-org

    makaka-org

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    Dark Mode, please.
     
  13. karl_jones

    karl_jones

    Unity Technologies

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    demo.gif
     
    Edy, oscarAbraham, Peter77 and 7 others like this.
  14. PanthenEye

    PanthenEye

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    Sounds good to me. Looking forward to it.
     
    ModLunar likes this.
  15. Kamyker

    Kamyker

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    And most importantly Upvotes that are missing since Unity Feedback was removed.
     
  16. ModLunar

    ModLunar

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    Haha!

    This sounds like a wonderful, well-thought-out (and quite large) change.
    I'm excited to see what this looks like once the open beta launches, and thanks for taking a ton of feedback into consideration!
     
  17. makaka-org

    makaka-org

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    What about the Answers Tab in Unity Hub? It is still here.

    Screenshot 2023-05-06 at 19.55.22.png
     
  18. PBKitty

    PBKitty

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    Discourse doesn't work on either my primary desktop browser OR my primary phone browser without a lot of annoyance on my end- not due to any incompatibility of features, but because they disable the forum on anything they don't whitelist. And ignore your browser's useragent.
     
  19. Brach_Unity

    Brach_Unity

    Unity Technologies

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  20. Brach_Unity

    Brach_Unity

    Unity Technologies

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    Thanks for the feedback, the aim is to build something better for the whole community.We want to find ways to encourage us to engage with user and vice versa, something that we have heard called out by our community. We will be iterating on the site as much as needed and we will keep making improvements, The plan is to have a public roadmap where you can all see what we are planning for the community and see what we are doing.
     
  21. Brach_Unity

    Brach_Unity

    Unity Technologies

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    We have not launched the replacement yet. We are at closed Beta so that will be modified when we make the final launch
     
    makaka-org likes this.
  22. Hendrik-Mans

    Hendrik-Mans

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    Discourse is so great for so many reasons. Looking forward to this!
     
    ModLunar likes this.
  23. Brach_Unity

    Brach_Unity

    Unity Technologies

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    Hi everyone,

    We want to give you all a quick update on what's happening around Answers.

    The good news is that our initial migration of data worked! However we still have more work to do to validate that everything is in place – including ensuring that post formatting is preserved, thread structure is properly transitioned, and that all pages of answers are properly migrated.

    Our current goal is to have this completed by early June, before our existing contract terminates, to then launch the public beta. It is possible that this first public iteration might still have some rough edges but we will keep improving things as we continue on this journey with you.

    Please note that we are aiming to set Unity Answers to read-only mode on the 31st of May to do a final data pull before the migration.

    Thanks for your continued patience throughout this project. We are excited to bring you Discussions (the new Answers) and to give you all a place to talk about Unity in the public sphere – to ask questions and feel listened to.
     
    ModLunar, cygma, eses and 7 others like this.
  24. maxkcy

    maxkcy

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    I often reference back my own questions and answers. Will I have the option to login in and see the posts specifically made through my account in one place?
     
  25. LeonhardP

    LeonhardP

    Unity Technologies

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    Yes, that will be possible.
     
    eses and makaka-org like this.
  26. makaka-org

    makaka-org

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  27. SteenPetersen

    SteenPetersen

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    The open Beta begins on June 9th as per the Dev team.

    As an active moderator, I'm curious about the reputation handling during this transition. Will we retain the moderator post queue system or a similar setup? I usually moderate a few days weekly spending 1-2 hours per week. Any information about the transition process for moderators would be appreciated.
     
  28. makaka-org

    makaka-org

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    I didn't receive any invitation or etc... for beta testing.
    I just received an email with new Posts on Unity Discussions platform.

    P.S. I see Unity Answers' topics only, not Unity Forum's.

    [Update] just received email with new posts from beta-portal https://discussions-staging.unity.com/ . Guys, you send emails to wrong people.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2023
  29. MiTschMR

    MiTschMR

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    I thought it is only a replacement for Unity Answers, not also the forum.
     
  30. makaka-org

    makaka-org

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    DragonCoder and MiTschMR like this.
  31. Brach_Unity

    Brach_Unity

    Unity Technologies

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    The site is not set up yet. As I mentioned we are migrating data across. It has none of the features turned on as yet. All posts there will be removed as the site is reset often during the migration. Apologies for the emails, ( it was a errant default setting ) but hey these things happen when your setting things up...
     
    ModLunar and PaulMDev like this.
  32. LeonhardP

    LeonhardP

    Unity Technologies

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    Hi Steen,

    We'll reach out to current active moderators with more information early next week. Discourse does not have a combined reputation score like Answers did but instead uses trust levels ranging from 0 to 4 that determine users' access to moderator abilities. Transitioning between user levels is automated and determined by stats such as questions answered, likes received, activity levels, etc, and the highest level will require manual input from site admins.
     
  33. SteenPetersen

    SteenPetersen

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    Sound good ;-)
     
  34. LeonhardP

    LeonhardP

    Unity Technologies

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    Hi everyone,

    We have made good progress since our last update and are now looking at launching Unity Discussions in public beta on June 13.

    Here are some teasers of what you can expect:
    image (4).png

    2023-06-08_16-01-46.png

    I'd like to take this opportunity to thank our closed beta users. They gave us a lot of feedback during the last couple of weeks and we were able to make a number of changes to improve the overall quality of the imported data and the UX of the site thanks to their support.

    We have a backlog of feedback points and ideas that we want to address and implement during the course of the public beta and beyond so you can expect to see the site evolve.

    We're looking forward to seeing you on Discussions.
     
    Antypodish, Kabinet13, jojue and 8 others like this.
  35. LeonhardP

    LeonhardP

    Unity Technologies

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