Why is this forum hidden?

Hi all, I’m new to Tidal, and obviously new to the forum.

This might sound like a critique, but it’s an honest story, and honest question.

I’ve been searching for a TidalCycles community and the one I found seemed really dated. It was some sort of (also hidden) email based forum? Anyway, I came to the conclusion that there was nothing like this and nearly created one myself, thinking I could manage it as I taught myself TidalCycles.

I then found TopLap today, and now I’m here (from there).

Why is this forum hidden to members only?


I had pretty much the same experience a week ago. I think the reason is this forum was originally created for those who follow the tidalcycles lessons. But I agree with you, this forum is great and would benefit greatly from more visibility.

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I just searched "tidalcycles community" on duckduckgo.
The third result was:

Pretty explicit I think

Actually this is the case for the Wiki page "tidalcycles.org" and indeed there is a link to club.tidalcycles.org
I think what is meant here is that the club url is not found via Google. I think this is because the content of the forum cannot be indexed (it is hidden?). I guess this way we are not able to make SEO.

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Yes, this is exactly the issue @thgrund. Sure there may be links but the links offer little explanation as to what I’m actually joining.

What will I see? Is it even active? Is it worth my time signing up for? There are many people who are reluctant to sign up for new things for a lot of different reasons.

By allowing forum content to be indexed you provide a service to anyone who may have a common question/issue. If those results are not showing one is lead to believe they do not exist.

I quite like semi-private forums, maybe people are more willing to participate if thier thoughts aren't indexed? I guess an advantage of self-hosting rather than making a facebook group or something, is that we have control over our own community.. and making is login-only sort of plays into that.

However maybe it would be better to have some parts open (e.g. the tech support bits) and other parts requiring a login (lounge, philisophical discussions..). Maybe we could survey everyone to see what they thought.

For now I've updated the mailing list blurb, to point here: https://we.lurk.org/postorius/lists/tidal.we.lurk.org/


@yaxu, as someone who cares about PII, privacy, and frankly the way the internet was in the early days more than it is now In that sense, I completely understand your position.

I think that’s a great idea / compromise.

I do believe indexing the technical sections will lead to even greater exposure of tidal, show that the community is alive and welcoming, and be an extremely useful resource to those just starting out. It may even help grow the community.

Also, please note that I was primarily using http://pages.tidalcycles.org/ for all of my Tidal information, and the http://pages.tidalcycles.org/community.html link does not reference this forum.

Yes pages.tidalcycles.org is by now very out of date. There is some work to make the newer tidalcycles.org page look as nice, and with clickable examples, and close down the old site.

I think I will also open up the first four weeks of the course materials. I will send an email to everyone before opening up anything, in case there are objections.

As a free/open source project, competitively growing the tidal community is not really an aim, but making it more accessible to a wider range of people definitely is.. So being welcoming and lowering barriers to entry is of course a good thing.


Interesting. I was assuming that pages.tidalcycles.org was the latest simply because of the modern UI. Good to know that it is not the most up to date.

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I also thought that pages.tidalcycles.org was newer for a long time, until yaxu mentioned that it's older on the top lap chat.

Maybe add a note on the header that the Userbase is the place to look?

(Sorry for OT, but this has been in the back of my head for a long time too)

back to the question: Why is this forum hidden?

the reasoning about private information not being shared does not make sense to me in the context of a community support forum for a software. :slight_smile: if I help someone with a post, I want that others can profit from this as well. if you don't want people to find your posts in search engines, then ... you literally don't want your posts to be found? who are you writing these posts for? a selected group of friends?

closing the forum off like this, is imho a bad idea. I'm happy to be corrected, but so far I am only puzzled.

love tidalcycles though, it's fun! some of my students were stumbling on it. only downside so far was they had trouble finding solutions to their issues easily. i think that's connected to this closed off forum. forum's are fantastic for batch-solving issues of many people at once, even years later! ever used stackoverflow? :upside_down_face:

as far as i understand this closed-ness has historical reasons, but please, please open up the forum to people without an account :heart:

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Hey sorry have been a bit overwhelmed with projects lately.. Thanks for the reminder! I've now made everything open except the 'lounge' category, so we can treat that as a semi-private area that google at least can't see.


I would be a bit forgiving to "secrecy" or, at least, a first degree of obscurity. I propose a simple, yet paradoxical, heuristic: Because we advocate for free, open and accesible as moral and technological principles we must consider some of the opposite hypotehesis's aftermath.

Besides the growing interest in anonymity and security, one of my intuitions is that having a somewhat closed approach can make content be "properly valued" and its participants feel engaged towards creating tighter community. I mean, it's open enough for anyone willing to find it. Sometimes I think the free information society is also making knowledge and experience trivial because we don't actually engage: we just go through. I would even go further down the rabbit hole and look at initiation rituals as a vital part of not just accessing certain knowledge sources, but even a prerequisite to be part of a community (I'm thinking now of some histories and myths I've read about Phytagoras's school).

Hope I didn't went too off-topic :flushed: . I agree with opening some and keeping away some. :slight_smile:


Yes nice thoughts, I agree. Maybe we could think of other new 'closed' sections, other than the lounge?

I would strongly suggest the "Site Feedback" category to be closed (cause It has to do with internal issues). With a little less emphasis I would add the "Announcements" category as well, given that some people might organice meetings, invite to events or expose personal tidal-related projects. Lastly I would like to hear what you think on having the "Learning Tidal course" category closed as well.
My opinion on this last point: being @yaxu work product I think it's worth having people face the option to pay (I remember reaching the club through his personal site and being suggested an optional fee for entering the club and the course) and having to sign in order to access those particular resources. For general needs the rest of the categories should supply enought information for the motivated user to get going and more (installation, resources, etc.)


thanks for the quick reply and reaction, thank you, that's fantastic! :slight_smile: :rocket:

I very much appreciate your thoughtful reflection on the question whether something should be public, private, or what these labels even exactly mean. I see you distinguish between closing parts off from companies like :goggles: or other people and for what purpose.

My heart agrees with you on closing off sections which reveal more private information like local events, meetings or similar topics. These also seem less relevant to the wild tidalcycles-user looking for help or technical guidance.
I never thought about the creation of an account as an initiation ritual in that way :smiley: and you do have a point there. Opening and closing selected areas makes sense to me. The character of a "forum" as you have it here is also a value that I very much understand you don't want to lose.

I guess you adressed @yaxu here, but I hope it's alright if I also throw in a couple of words :slight_smile: I wonder how successful the payment concepts like "pay what you want, but you have to consciously select it" or "we'll show you a popup on the download page" are in comparison with concepts where you might give access to certain parts of a course to paying members either earlier or exclusively. I personally never paid for a course, where the content was exclusive, but I did several times pay for a course where I would get access to the content a week earlier. And indeed it made me value the course more, and I felt more part of it. Anyways, I only have user-experience there and don't know how it's like on the other side :wave:. During all these considerations, my feeling is that a major priority may be that in the first place you do want people to learn tidal and enjoy the process of it.

haha, anyways I didn't see much of this forum yet, but it already looks like a great place :smiley:

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Maybe it's just the technical help sections that should be open on the web. Maybe announcements too as in general people who organise events (speaking as one myself, in normal times..) want as many people as possible to see their announcements.. and quieter announcements could still go in the 'lounge'.

The tidal course is still closed apart from people coming via the 'pay as you feel' wall. I really need to tidy this up so people can more clearly understand what they're going to get, but financially this way of doing thing has worked really well. When I get more time (hopefully over winter solstice) I'll tidy up and add to it and will probably make the first four weeks immediately accessible then. It'll all always be free access to those who can't afford it, but so far giving people the option to pay has worked out well in terms of sustaining my work on it.


I actually opened the question, given it's @yaxu 's final call. Thinking and questioning alternative economic schemes is of use to us all.


That's great!