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Show HN: Trueq.io – A New Q&A Platform for Developers (trueq.io)
43 points by dsumer on Sept 26, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 57 comments

Rule number one for a Q&A site should be to not land you on a marketing landing page as main page. Put your questions as main page.

Your layout is having issues atm. It shows less questions in a single screen as compared to SO. It is quite an eyestrain with all the colors (every tag another color, multiple colors in design, icons I do not understand like the eyes etc.) I see comments run out of my screen on ios, iPhone 11 max.

In this space you have one big competitor. Your landing page, which you so prominently slammed in my face, should state why you are worth switching to. Right now you give 3 things that SO already has for ages (and better). In addition to all the things they have and you miss it makes it unlikely I will visit again..

Overly negative and/or grumpy. Wont all traffic come from google anyway?

I agree, was not in the right mood when I wrote that reply. Should have formulated much more positive.

The points are still valid though so I'll leave it as is. Hoping the authors can still find information in it.

Traffic that comes from Google is not the traffic that builds a community, which they highlight as their strong point. For that you need people who put your site in their routine visits. In addition, right now being small google is not in your favor. It will forward me to SO, not TrueQ. They might want to change their urls as quickly as possible, replacing the question id in the url with the full title to improve indexing.

What I also noticed is that I cannot up vote without having an account. E.g. This question: https://trueq.io/q/18 has a better answer that is not the top answer. I see no way of upvoting it though without an account (did not try to login). Not sure if that is intended. I also see no clear indication of votes on an answer. Even if 0, you should show it. It is the second most valuable piece of information in a Q&A site for me.

> Rule number one for a Q&A site should be to not land you on a marketing landing page as main page

So quora.com is doing it wrong?

Quora is doing a lot of things 'wrong.' Wrong as in, choices that produce a low quality service (eg dark patterns, maximizing for volume of content which has led to vast amounts of marketing spam posing as real content), not wrong as in they have no traffic. They get to play by different rules for the same reason Pinterest does, inside-SV favoritism: Google protects Quora from being punished for all the things they do that directly violate Google's search engine rules that would get anybody else penalized heavily [1]. It has been talked about on HN for many years, it's clearly a different set of rules.

Further, Quora - as with Stack Overflow and Wikipedia - had the benefit of arriving on the scene before Google closed the door to easy SEO, easy search engine traffic. Quora is already inside, entrenched Web bloatware, they can get away with more in part because of that.

[1] I'll provide a prominent example of this Google / Quora SEO fraud in action.

If you check out this Quora Q&A page:

"What makes Napoleon Bonaparte such a famous icon?"


And then if you, as a human, click on a right side bar of links ("Related Questions"; on mobile it's just below the top answer) - when you perform that action, they blur out your experience and present you with a content blocking prompt that hides all the content from you, attempting to force a sign-up. One of Google's fundamental content rules is that you must present page content to them, to their bot, the same as you do a normal human user of your site. If you violate that, much less do so egregiously, they'll penalize your content heavily. Do you suppose Quora is giving the Google bot that same experience, blocking Google bot's every attempt to crawl from page to page and trying to force Google bot to sign-up using a dark pattern? Of course not, and thus it's fraud in action. Google doesn't give a shit because they have zero integrity as an organization. It's one of the more blatant examples of Google hypocrisy as a search engine and it has been on-going for many years now, and pointed out constantly in tech circles and yet it persists, so we know Google is doing it with full knowledge and intent (thus it's an inside-SV favoritism action, Quora gets to play by different rules than everybody else).

Do you have a concrete source on the Google Quora thing?

I couldn't use quora today on mobile without signing up. Not sure if it was based on my user agent but it was pretty annoying.

Over the last 6 months we've spent most of our free time developing our side hustle. It's called TrueQ and is a new Q&A platform for developer.

Of course we know there are a handful of other platforms out there which already do this job, but we strive to deliver a platform which really focusses on its community and gives you a nice UX when describing your software development problem or providing an answer for it.

We have many plans for the platform and are already developing future features which will make the platform more unique. Nevertheless after 6 months of development in complete privateness, it is time to tell other people about it and gather feedback - that's why we're here.

We would love to hear what you guys are thinking about TrueQ and would really appreciate if you help us building a new community by spreading the word and start engaging with us on our platform.

If you're interested about the tech-stack or want to know more about our journey you can read about it here: https://trueq.io/our-journey

Curious what you think will make your site better?

Will you have upvotes and downvotes on questions?

Are all questions on topic? Opinion questions, duplicate questions, questions about general software usage (how to change a color in photoshop), not software questions (how to bake a cake)

Will there be moderators? Tags? Tag moderators?

The first question I saw as clearly an attempt to gamify the user's rep. They asked a very basic question and then answer it (poorly) and checked their answer as the correct answer.

S.O. has runnable snippets. Will you do that too?


Just curious what your vision is

Can you describe what makes your code editor UX better than StackOverflow’s code editor?

SO has a code editor? Do you mean the text box with ``` for code boundaries?

Maybe this?


Though I'm mostly fine with ```

IMHO, the popularity of Stackoverflow is powered by search engine results rather than their community. If they fail to create such a community, it’s probably hard to establish one around a Q&A app.

In a competition like this where network effects play a huge role, your app must be orders of magnitude better for some niche. It could be about revenue sharing, decentralization or something better.

Stackoverflow can be a bit off putting if your question is considered off topic. Some people zealously close questions without really reading the content.

All questions are off topic on SO. At least, that's been my experience.

Since I answer 10-20 questions a week I happen to know that all questions are not off topic. It's more likely you asked an of topic question. The 3 most common off topic questions

1. Asking for a library recommendation

I want to do X? What library should I use?

2. Asking for debugging help without putting the code in the question

My code doesn't work. Here's a link to my github repo

3. Asking an overly general question

How do I 3d in Python?

When I used to use the site several years ago, I would spend easily a hour or two crafting a question to avoid the train of mods and trolls questioning why I wasn’t doing it using their preferred framework or tool.

I would write a clear question with context, and include the things I tried but didn’t work.

It got to a point where writing a question that would pass the gauntlet of mods and people looking for easy rep would result in no answers.

My takeaway was that SO only works for superficial questions where folks could maximize their rep/hour.

These days I go directly to the maintainers on GitHub or through commercial support. If those channels aren’t available, I avoid the dependency. Crowdsourced answers to technical issues worked for the first few years on SO, but game theory has ruined it.

Again the they're-so-mean-to-me moan. Post a link to your questions so we can judge.

I agree it’s hard to judge a particular case without seeing the specific example. But you might want to consider the following:

“ No subtle put-downs or unfriendly language. Even if you don’t intend it, this can have a negative impact on others.”


“Be kind. Don't be snarky. Have curious conversation; don't cross-examine. Please don't fulminate. Please don't sneer, including at the rest of the community.“


I’d be curious if you feel that your comment meets these guidelines? If not, do you think the relevant sites would be better served by changing the guidelines?

You're right, the first sentence was wrong. I should not have. Thank you for pointing it out, and upvoted.

I hold the second part is reasonable though.

No thanks. I’m not interested in helping you get rep on a site that’s irrelevant.

I can't say that's been my experience. But some very precise questions are sometimes mistaken for general questions when they can be mistaken for general questions when only skimmed over.

What are the main differentiators between this and Stackoverflow?

I think a strategy for launching something like this where an existing incumbent already exists (ie. StackOverflow) would be to niche down into a single programming topic, such that the answers within this micro community are much better than the ones found elsewhere. When this happens, then branch out. Good luck on the launch!

It'll be almost impossible to get traction against a service that is already serving the community well, as with Stack Overflow. There are many gripes about Stack Overflow (which is common with success), however it still actually does its job well. To beat them you have to be drastically better (as it is they have to become a lot worse, or it'll require a technology inflection that they miss).

You're entirely correct about the only way to approach it, bowling pin wise. You have to narrow and find something you can own, something you can beat them at in a big way and grow out of that niche. Otherwise something broad like this risks languishing with small amounts of activity across many topics and not enough answers or questions per to really get momentum rolling to sustain it all.

I tried finding out what usage terms would be with content posted to the site. I don't think I want to use it because I still don't know. I only found the this section in the terms:

> Content and postings > > You may print a copy of any part of the Website and Services for your personal or non-commercial use. > > You may submit new content and comment on the existing content on the Website. By uploading or otherwise making available any information to Ankhbayar Batsukh e.U., you grant Ankhbayar Batsukh e.U. the unlimited, perpetual right to distribute, display, publish, reproduce, reuse and copy the information contained therein. [...]


Consider adding an overt statement like Stackoverflow does:


Because I don't want to guess around about this. And if you keep the "non-commercial" in there, I'm gone. Because that's a huge can of worms I don't like the taste of.

thx for your hint! we've adjusted it on our page (you may have to reload with clearing your browser's cache before). we will deploy a new version in the evening where we'll also include a link to the license. cheers!

So the screenshot on https://trueq.io/our-journey shows one person asking a question and another person, instead of answering, complaining that the question has been asked in the wrong place/way.

That's the sort of thing I'd want a new Q&A site to avoid, not highlight!

thanks for your feedback! we changed the image

We really want to say thanks to you guys! Honestly we didn't even thought about reaching such a big audience. We now already have some registered users on our platform (apart from family and friends) and also the first people are engaging with answering questions.

Of course there are still pain points in our platform and we know that it is difficult to compete with others feature-wise after 6 months of development in our free time. But we are confident that we can make TrueQ an outstanding platform in the next months & years if we stay on it.

We are definitely very thankful for all your comments and feedback, exactly that's what we were missing in the last months and it helps us guiding TrueQ in the right direction.

And that already the first people are really engaging on TrueQ gives us an extra motivation boost! This is what is breathing life into TrueQ. Thank you!!

The landing page is kind of slick and vacuous, with cute little images. That feels like marketing did it, not engineers. Perhaps that's unfair but it's a bad sign for me.

"Dark-Mode first / because your eyes are worth it" That's not based on any evidence, just what you want to give. It's not a selling point for me. I guess you allow it to be changed so I guess it's not a problem either.

https://trueq.io/create-question, well literally you can't even fill in fields - as in, type in text - without javascript enabled. That alone will kill it for me.

Also how does it compare to SO?

Just some feedback - good luck!

What are your goals for sustainability? Will you charge for use of the website or have advertisements?

I've always been a bit sad that the websites we use most (GitHub, StackOverflow) are closed source, and was kinda hoping this would be an open source reimagining of SO, so it would be interesting to learn more about what differentiates TrueQ. I understand you are very happy with your post editor, and that its kinda more for discussions than "solve this problem" like SO is, but there are other sites in the StackExchange network which could also fill the same role :)

We are for sure not gonna show ads. We are currently experimenting with different financing models, let's see. We actually want to become a developer platform which will include much more features than just Q&A.

How big is the community as of now? Looks promising though in terms of offerings but is the audience even 10% StackOverflow?

This post is them showing TrueQ to the world for the first time, so until now the community was basically just the creators' friends.

Just wondering how is this better than StackExchange?

SignUp to Ask a question? WTF?

> Dark-Mode first because your eyes are worth it

Dark mode is actually worse for your eyes. There are plenty of studies that have shown bright text over dark background is less readable and produces eye strain.

Also reading bright text over black is painful for people with astigmatism.

Obviously people don't like going from dark to bright but that happens precisely because of dark mode being so popular.

At the very least, if you're going to follow the trend of having a dark mode you should provide a light mode (which this site does). Either have some sort of switch or use CSS to determine the OS setting.

I've been using dark mode in my code editors since 2011 or so and went back to light mode recently. I'm certain dark mode was a detriment to my eyes as I've been able to go back to my old glasses too.

I have recently switched from dark to light as well in my editor and I have noticed it is easier to read darker text over a light background as well. You, or at least I, notice this as well when I turn off Trueq.io's dark mode on the pages with more text like the 'about' page.

You are being down voted, but not countered, so it seems like people are being emotional about this for some reason. Ah well, to each his own.

I don't know if there are any studies about why dark mode is so popular these days, but my guess is because of using screens on poor lit rooms or even in complete darkness.

In those conditions it's super annoying to switch from a dark UI to a bright one which I guess its why light mode gets so much irrational hate.

Obviously users should be able to choose what works best for them.

I'm in my 40s now and I care much more now about my vision. I guess most proponents of dark mode are actually much younger than me.

But you could just not use dark mode in your editor right?

OLED screens save power if it's darker.

I generally wind dark (but not black, more live a navy blue or dark grey or similar) better for stuff with lots of color (e.g. code) but light (but not white - creme like HN or a kindle screen) much better for reading paragraph text.

Just wanting to state that we did not down vote on pier25's comment. Everyone should feel free to use the theming mode he / she likes best.

As you mentioned, we give the possibility to switch to light mode and also save the decision of the user, so it will be persistent to your needs after revisiting TrueQ.

Thx for your feedback regarding the OS setting, we definitely want to implement this. :)

That's great, but you should stop the dark mode evangelization propaganda.

I find that it depends on the environment for me. If I'm in a dark room, I'll use dark mode for most tools. If I'm in a light room, ditto for light mode.

I default to dark on most things though, because I find light theme worse in a dark environment then I find dark theme negative in a bright one.

Also, my terminal will always be dark.

> bright text over dark background is less readable

Doubly so when screen sharing over video chat.

Everyone at work uses low contrast dark mode with microscopic fonts and when you throw in video compression artifacting, it's totally unreadable.

Dark mode first because fashion trends popular among developers for some reason I can't seem to understand.

I have astigmatism and have never experienced this pain.

It's was metaphorical, not literal pain.

> People who have myopia or astigmatism also may experience halation (from the word “halo”). Halation occurs when light spreads past a certain boundary, creating a foggy or blurry appearance. In other words, white letters can appear to bleed into a black background, making it more difficult to read, especially if the print is fine.


I mean, sure. The inverse (black text bleeding into a white background) is also true. Astigmatism makes it harder to pick out the edges of things which tends to make things seem more blurry.

There are other sentences in that article that are more compelling, mainly that "Halation is more common and more severe when using dark mode." I'd be interested in hearing actual statistics on this. I haven't personally noticed dark mode being any different than light mode.

The article goes on to explain having an updated prescription is the best thing to not have to worry about that.

Same, in fact I get headaches from black text on white. I've only got a minor astigmatism though and only in one eye, so ymmv (3 years ago at last eye check).

> I get headaches from black text on white

On what monitor?

Could it be flickering?

Congrats the popup that you can close have just reduced my visit to 2 second ... I don't care about your story

Popups can be annoying, but please do not break the site guidelines like this, and particularly not the Show HN guidelines:



Internet forums tend to slide by default into people being jerks and assholes to each other, and that is particularly poisonous in response to people who are trying to share their work. We don't want a culture here where they get attacked and flamed for doing that.

If you wanted to respectfully share what was troublesome about a popup, that of course would be fine.

I was just giving feedback ... Maybe sarcasm doesn't translate well in writing

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