Forum:Maintaning internal or private installation of Biostar or a similar Q&A site
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3.6 years ago
tshtatland ▴ 80

Does anyone have experience installing and maintaining Biostar or a similar Q&A platform in-house (private, not open to public)? We are looking for a Q&A web application, suitable for low traffic, less than 1000 users, with varying computer skills. Any advice or recommendations are appreciated, especially regarding the ease of maintenance.

Related:

ialbert/biostar-central: Biostar Q&A: https://github.com/ialbert/biostar-central

Is Stack Exchange / Stack Overflow available for private or internal use? - Meta Stack Exchange: https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/16054/is-stack-exchange-stack-overflow-available-for-private-or-internal-use

Stack Exchange clones - Meta Stack Exchange: https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/2267/stack-exchange-clones

Biostar Forum • 1.0k views
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Biostar and Stack Exchange, etc. are not workflows and you should assume any answer needs to be modified to suit your situation. They are also not private, internal, or secret in any way. They are recommendations to people who need advice. Of course you can use this advice however you want. But installing a QA forum into a private anything is useless.

You are approaching this incorrectly. It might be helpful if you could describe what your organization wants to do (with extreme specificity).

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A private installation of Biostar-like site would be similar in spirit to a private or local installation of any other tool, and of course it would require customization (and maintenance, hence the question). Only internal users can change or view the content. The content discussed there is specific to the company. We would like to ask questions, discuss ideas, seek feedback. The Q&A and discussions cannot be opened to the public. There are plenty of internal tools companies typically have, but Biostar-like site has nice features that, say, email or wiki does not have (easy voting + discussion forum + easy search + reputation, etc).

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Oh, I misinterpreted what you were asking for. Thanks for clarifying!

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3.6 years ago

We use the Biostar software internally. We also have a diverse set of several hundreds potential users and the goal was also to discuss various topics internally. I don't maintain the set-up but as far as I know it is relatively light weight. However, so far, it is also barely used. We also have a Mattermost installation and it is much more used but mostly by the computational community. I think one of the reasons some of these communication modes have little uptake is because they compete with already existing communication channels. We already have email, mailing lists and various clubs/meetings where people can exchange informally. My impression is that many wet-lab scientists also prefer communicating face-to-face than via a computer. I would encourage you to really think through why you want this, in particular to identify what unmet need you're trying to cover.

UPDATE: Two years later, our biostars-based forum has been retired due to lack of use. However, the mattermost-based chat system is now a well-established and used resource with something like 30 channels.

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