Introduction: Community Manager

Thanks! I guess it was a local twist among Finnish university students, but now I know I can use it here.

Hi Martin, I’m happy to see you take this on and I like what you’ve outlined. Feel free to include me in the @ rotation for biological and survival models.

One thought I’ll offer is that we’ve usually done fine on niceness and generosity of effort. Its lack of consideration that we’ve had a running issue with. I’m pretty sure that hasn’t changed because it requires a less technical effort but more effort understanding why people contribute or ask questions. People seem to think it just requires more effort overall so it’s a hard sell… and the project values technical contributions really heavily so we have all the wrong incentives.

Good luck! 😬


Nice post.

Sorry for my ignorance so far - there are just so many things going on… which is probably the explanation for most of the bad things you point out “lack of time”.

Having followed the project over the years, I do think that a certain type of posts by now happen a lot less - the applied stats blog type of thing. By that I mean that it was a while ago really on a regular occasion that reading through some answers I took away new bits. This is still happening when Aki, for example, gives his view and explanations on some topics about loo-things. Maybe I have less time to follow this massive volume here, not sure.

As to what I think we really miss out at the moment is some sort of FAQ. I am saying this as I find myself replying the same ODE questions every now and then. I don’t mind continuing doing that, but I do see certain questions coming up again and again. This doesn’t mean that I intend to answer “RTFM FAQ # 3.2 question”, but a FAQ could be a good place for recurring questions.

… and yeah… developer discussions can get heated and maybe we go over the top sometimes, but it does show that people really care about the project. So its good and bad at the same time.


My only strongly held Discourse related opinion is that there should be absolutely no dev talk on here. This should be a user-facing forum. As it stands it’s optimized for devs instead.

There should be a separate discourse, perhaps with regular digests for the user-facing discourse.

This was my strongly held opinion before this last week, but the reasoning for it has been reinforced. Problems can be aired openly without being waved in the face of people who just want to know what their error means or how to speed up their code or just want to fix their parameterization.


I find myself increasingly agreeing with this sentiment. I agree with @anon75146577 that it’s not currently optimized for user experience but that should be the priority.

One option would be a separate forum for dev talk, but maybe there’s a way to have the developers category remain accessible but not have all the topics interspersed with the user questions on the home page?


Hi Martin,

I did not respond in the first round as I think my views were already represented well with posts from other users, but I am happy to give my view on this since you asked.

First, congrats on the new position, I think it is well deserved as you have been very helpful and thorough with your answers on the forums ever since I joined them.

I agree that this Discourse is well outside the typical set of internet communities. And unlike in MCMC sampling we want to be outside the typical set here. There are some heated discussion on the development side, but a majority of that could be attributed to what Sebastian said that people just invest a lot in their ideas and things are bound to get heated sometimes.

We want to keep Discourse outside the typical set and I am sure the CoC will help us do that. With the good people working on it I have no doubt it will be great.

Reading some of the discussions from the last few weeks might leave someone with the wrong feeling and I would like to take this opportunity to highlight that the Stan community is a very friendly and great place to be in.

For me (us) it started with @Bob_Carpenter and @andrewgelman actually responding to emails from two randos from Eastern Europe and giving us the benefit of the doubt that something will actually come out of our ideas. A huge huge shoutout and thanks to @stevebronder that gambled his time and effort to work and discuss with a Github user without much of a track record. We would probably still be stuck somewhere at the beginning without him. A huge thanks to @syclik that invested a lot of his effort from the start of our involvement in the Stan project. He has also been very kind with his thank you note emails/pms for our work on the project. Same goes for @seantalts that has taken numerous hours from his busy schedule to work with us, help us and teach us new stuff. Cant thank you all enough! All of us from our Ljubljana team really have nothing but good experiences with all developers, both here and over at Github, not to mention Stancon.

Best of luck Martin! I am sure you will do a great job.