Making Discourse category names easier to interpret for new users?

We get a lot of posts in the “Core development” category that really belong in “Users”. As I was manually moving the latest, it occurred to me that it’s actually a pretty reasonable mistake, since the author was probably thinking of what they’re doing as “development”. From the core team’s perspective they’re a user, but from their perspective they’re a developer, and their users are someone else again.

Maybe we should rename the categories to something that makes sense even if you’re not already immersed in the core team’s perspectives :-). Like:

  • Users → Writing Python programs
  • Ideas → Changing the Python language
  • Core development → Maintaining the Python standard library and interpreter

While I’m not opposed to changing names in order to make them clearer as long as URLs don’t break, I personally think suggested new names are too long (especially for. “Core development”). Plus people come to Ideas with stdlib suggestions.

We also have appropriate descriptions at, although we all know people don’t read descriptions :wink:.

And another option is to reorder the categories to be in order of largest audience, putting Users first, then Ideas.

Maybe also worth mentioning the homepage on mobile doesn’t show description by default, only after you’ve pressed on a category link. A screenshot of how it looks on mine:

Someone posted a css solution to that, not sure if that will break in some cases because of the max-width: 601px.

Yeah, those were just off the top of my head, probably there are better ways to phrase them.

Is length a problem? For a mailing list it’s weird if the posting address is super long, but in Discourse you’re always selecting these from a drop-down menu, I think?

Sounds like a good idea in any case!

Long names may be a problem.

  1. People read and respond to Discuss threads via email. The “Users”

prefix takes up about 10% of the space available for subject line in my

mail client. That would increase to 35% for “Writing Python programs”

and 80% for “Maintaining the Python standard library and interpreter”.

That would be worse for people reading the email on mobile.

  1. There will be times that people need to refer to Discuss categories

outside of Discuss, in verbal or written communication. It would be

super awkward to have to tell somebody "Sign up to the 'Maintaining the

Python standard library and interpreter’ category and we’ll discuss it


I think 1 is fixable: you can have a short name used in emails, right?

But 2 seems trickier to me. Some level of abbreviation in conversation

is workable (“Py-Ideas” for Python Ideas mailing list) but there needs

to be some obvious connection between the abbreviation and the name

visible in the list of categories.

I apologise in advance if this email is mangled by Discuss, with

extraneous Ctrl-M and newlines added. For some reason that happens in

some categories but not others, and I don’t remember if this is one of


I move Users to the top and Ideas as high as I could (I kept getting a 422 from Discourse when I tried to make it any higher).