Closing rarely used categories, merging simulations into Science/survey strategy

Continuing the conversation about improvements to Community, or rather, evolving it from a home for the construction team to operations, data, and the science community, let’s talk about categories, about deleting and or merging some of these.

In particular-

  1. shall we close the rarely used categories Cross-System and Camera?
  2. shall we merge the dis-used category Simulation into the Science/Survey Strategy category?

That latter is part of the evolution of the site- the conversation has become less about the construction team talking about making simulations and has become the Rubin Observatory talking to the science community about simulations to evaluate.

In fact, Cross-System, Camera, and Simulations are all categories in a site where Construction is the meta/top-level. In site where DM/Equity/Science/EPO are categories, it seems to me cross-system, camera, and simulations would be sub-categories somewhere.



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I totally agree some refactoring is warranted. Keep in mind that these categories came about organically, based on requests from the team and science collaborations.

I think a useful exercise to get to the future format of this forum would be to propose an outline of the category hierarchy we’d like to see in an operations-era forum. That might be an easier way to see and understand where existing content needs to go.

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This is my interpretation of the proposed changes to the categories.

Categories proposed to be merged, then deleted.
In practice this means that all the topics would be transferred to another category, and then the category would be deleted. These two posts explain merging and deleting categories.

  1. Merge the single topic in “Camera” to “Science”. There is only the one topic in this category.

  2. Merge “Simulations” into “Science”. The “Simulations” category has only been used twice per year in 2020 and 2019, and the latest posts are all about the survey strategy, which is a subcategory in “Science”. We should check with @ljones about this.

  3. Merge “Cross-System” and its two sub-categories into “Data Management”. The “Cross-System” category has been used only once since 2017. Most posts are in the “Camera-DM Visualization” subcategory anyway, so “Data Management” seems an appropriate destination.

  4. Merge the three “[L] Science - LSST201X” workshop-related subcategories into “Science”. These subcategories are no longer used. The current security settings are that everyone may see the posts (but only forum staff may create, thus the lock symbol), so this merge would not make public any topics that are currently unviewable.

  5. Merge the few topics in “[L] Science - DSFP” into “Science”. This subcategory is unused since the Data Science Fellowship Program in 2016. The current security settings only allow DSFP group members to see topics in that category, so this would be making previously unviewable content available. We should check with @lmwalkowicz first. It might be more appropriate to simply delete these few old topics.

Leave unchanged. For now.


Science - Data Q&A
Science - Statistics Q&A
Science - Survey Strategy
Science - Alerts & Brokers
Science - Independent Data Access Centers
Science - Photometric Redshifts
Science - Crowded Fields
Science - Milky Way (Open)

[L] Science Collaborations
[L] [all current subcategories]

Support - Rubin Science Platform

[L] Equity and Justice Initiatives


Data Managmenet
[all current subcategories]

[L] EPO - EPO Feedback

[L] LSST Project


[L] Staff

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I think merging ‘Simulations’ into ‘Science:survey strategy’ seems reasonable given what’s actually been posted in simulations. The things I would have thought might be included in simulations but not survey strategy would be simulations of images, etc - like used in DC2. However, I think these have mostly been discussed internal to DESC … so, merge away and if the need arises for a place to discuss less survey strategy simulations-related items, we could make a new category under ‘Science’ I suspect.

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These categories are event specific. And keeping them as distinct categories enables us to see these discussions in the context of the period. As such, I think it would be nice to retain these categories for the historical record.

If the goal is to simply have these topics out of the way, I suggest we create a new parent category such as “Workshop archive” where we can put these closed and context-specific subcategories.

As a general policy, I believe that the only reason we should delete content is that it contravenes the terms of service or community standards. That a topic is old or unpopular shouldn’t be a valid reason for deletion.

Again, you can put this subcategory in an archival parent category — I don’t think this is pressing because only a few administrators see this category aside from the participants of this event.

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That does seems a good general policy.

@MelissaGraham I don’t have strong feelings about merging the Camera category into a wider one, and as noted there haven’t been many questions about Camera performance asked here. I would expect that will change when we have real images though. And then there should be some place for Community members to ask such technical questions such that Camera or DM experts see it.

In light of @jsick’s proposal for an archival parent category (which I’ve summarized here, thank you), and the feedback from @ljones and @roodman (thank you too!) I have some modified proposals for actions related to the categories.

1. Camera: Thanks for the feedback @roodman. Since the predicted future use of the Camera category is not for Camera team use (e.g., like the Data Management category), but as a place for all Rubin Community members to ask technical questions, it sounds like it should actually become a sub-category of the “Support” category, not of the “Science” category. Thoughts?

2. Simulations: Thanks @ljones for the feedback. Upon further review it seems there are more CatSim topics in Simulations than would be appropriate to merge into “Science - Survey Strategy”, so I have a modified proposal in two parts.
2.1. Move the only two truly new topics in the past two years (titled “MAF: crowding metric in filters other than r?” and “Sims_maf spatial selection in Galactic coordinates”) into the “Science - Survey Strategy” category.
2.2. Move the “Simulations” category to be a sub-category of “Archived Categories”. I’ve reached out to the LSSTC Slack #sims channels for further comment on this.

3. Cross-System Category:
3.1. The “Camera-DM Visualization” subcategory should become a sub-category of “Data Management”.
3.2. The “Calibrations” subcategory should become a “Cross-System Calibrations” subcategory in “Archived Categories”.
3.3. The original “Cross-System” category would then be empty and could be deleted.

4. & 5. Workshops: All past workshops categories would be moved to become subcategories of “Archived Categories”.

Note that moving and archiving (sub-)categories is a reversible process.

All of the above has been implemented.