Question & Answer category

As mentioned in the Frankfurt workshop, we haven’t managed to carve out our own part of the area 51 StackExchange. It would be good to thus create a Q&A category here in the forum, taking advantage of Discourse plugins for voting/best answer and tags.

Some thoughts before we dive straight in:

  1. What would we call this category? “Q&A”, “questions”, “questioning”, “problems”, “support”, “howto”?
  2. What are the most important sub-categories? “Energy Modelling”, “Copyright”, “General coding” come to mind, but that is by no means exhaustive.
  3. What additional functionality do we need, beyond author picking best answer in a thread, tags for posts (e.g. used to tag certain energy models, copyright types, etc.), and voting of threads (so most useful discussions are more obvious)?

There is an editable list of sub-categories and tags later on in this discussion. Please add to/question what’s in there!

For general discussion of tags used on the forum (not exclusively for Q&A), we’ll continue the discussion on the tag thread

In the first step I would not create categories but restrict it to “real” questions that can be answered and will not be discussed. After a while we can think of categories analysing the existing questions.

Tags might be useful, but I do not have an idea how to avoid a flood of different tags. I do not know if this will be a problem.

Ah yes, the ‘desire path’ approach! That would be fine, provided we can retrospectively categorise questions once a selection of sub-categories have been decided upon.

RE tags, might just need a topic on tag etiquette that people can be directed to if they seem to be going tag crazy?

Hi Bryn

Who has admin rights to do this in the mentioned admin interface?

It would be useful to have the ability add tags (but to possibly also provide a listing of preferred tags as mentioned).

I’ve been given admin access to add features, but don’t want to just switch everything on at once! It would be good if we could put together a tagging guideline before it’s switched on, that way we can notify everyone of the feature addition and the guideline both at the same time

E D I T A B L E    W I K I    P O S T

Please add a commit message so others can follow your reasoning


  • support


  • licensing
  • energy modeling
  • coding
  • component models Module design
  • optimisation
  • mathprog
  • python
  • cplusplus
  • r-language
  • scenario
  • storyline
  • optimization
  • database
  • sql


  • Language
    • R ®
    • Python (python)
    • C++ (c-plus-plus)
    • SQL (sql)
    • AMPL (ampl)
    • GAMS (gams)
  • Framework/model
    • Balmorel (balmorel)
    • Calliope (calliope)
    • DESSTinEE (desstinee)
    • DIETER (dieter)
    • Dispa-SET (dispa-set)
    • EMLab-Generation (emlab-generation)
    • EMMA (emma)
    • Energy Transition Model (energy-transition-model)
    • EnergyNumbers-Balancing (energynumbers-balancing)
    • EnergyRt (energyrt)
    • Ficus (ficus)
    • Genesys (genesys)
    • MOCES (moces)
    • MultiMod (multimod)
    • NEMO (nemo)
    • OSeMOSYS (osemosys)
    • Oemof (oemof)
    • OnSSET (onsset)
    • PLEXOS Open EU (plexos)
    • PowerMatcher (powermatcher)
    • PyPSA (pypsa)
    • Renpass (renpass)
    • SIREN (siren)
    • SciGRID (scigrid)
    • StELMOD (stelmod)
    • Temoa (temoa)
    • TransiEnt (transient)
    • URBS (urbs)
  • Websites
    • wiki.openmod (wiki)
    • OEDB (oedb)
    • (renewables-ninja)
  • Datasets (dataset)
  • Licencing (licencing)
  • Solver
    • Coin-OR (coin-or)
    • GLPK (glpk)
    • CPLEX (cplex)
    • Gurobi (gurobi)

Is it getting too specific from this point?

  • Model type
    • linear (linear)
    • mixed integer (milp)
    • non-linear (minlp)
    • heuristic (heuristic)
  • Sectors
    • thermal
    • power
    • grid
    • mobility
  • Modules/technology models
    • heat-pumps (heat-pump)
    • fuel-cells (fuel-cells)
    • refrigerators/chillers (chillers)
    • gas turbines (gas-turbine)
    • carbon-capture (ccs)
    • hydroelectric (hydro
    • Combined heat and power (chp)
    • wind (wind)
    • Solar PV (solar-pv)
    • Solar thermal (solar-thermal)

I think we should focus on “our” topics and therefore add a list of existing forums to the guidelines and add some examples:

sql question ->
oedb question -> here

GPLv3 question ->
ENTSO-E licence -> here


So I think a tag should be “oedb” rather than “sql” or “oemof/osemosys/calliope” rather than python…

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I’d agree on this approach, especially as it reduces unnecessary overlap between similar sub-categories. However, a question and answer on a topic relevant to many openmoders, but also with an existing forum might still be better placed here. We could recommend that questions are addressed to relevant forums and only brought here if there is no satisfactory answer? I just imagine that some problems could be sufficiently specific that although there is a relevant Stack the expertise to answer it might still be lingering on here.

If people just have tags at the moment, we should probably pre-empt possible questions and have a list of possible tags, e.g.:

Code language:


Good point. We should concentrate on our collective expertise and point to other forums when these are more appropriate.

I see the tags have grown. I was thinking we just regurgitate this: for our tagging etiquette - any objections? Basically means: max 5 tags, spaces -> hyphens, no caps, no meta-tags/subjective tags, avoid tags in title unless “organic to the conversational tone”.

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Hi Bryn, anyone else

  • How can one add two or more categories to one topic (I think that is the correct terminology)? See for example the Breakout Group on integrating gas in energy system models topic which is both a Workshop and a Breakout Group.

  • I take it that tags are supported by a Discourse plug-in that has yet to be installed and activated?

  • What exactly are sub-categories (discussed above)?

Your suggestions for tag etiquette looks reasonable and it would be good to have some agreed policy on their creation and usage.

You can’t, what you see there is sub-categorisation. The main category is workshop, the sub-category is Breakout Groups.

There is an integrated plug-in that just needs switching on. But it seems only worth doing if we have a clear idea of how it’ll be used.

See above.

Can we just start with the limited number of tags Bryn was suggesting (Languages and Frameworks/Models). And then add tags when they are requested. (=> sorry - I missed the other post. => thanks Bryn for already including the possibility to use tags and the first tags).
And create a category named Q&A to provide a place to locate questions. (I didn’t see an objection against the title Bryn suggested and no other suggestion). => who would do that?
I agree with adapting the stackoverflow tagging etiquette.
Do you know how I can follow single threads? (This is just a question and shouldn’t hinder to start the Q&A category!)

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What is the roadmap here? Do we have to wait for objections for a while? May I help in any way?

I would like to use this category soon.

We’re having a few teething issues with the other plugins (voting on topics, picking best solution), hence why it hasn’t been made yet. It would also be good to beef out the tags too!

Regarding the tags, I like the list from above. It is pretty long but it gives us the opportunity to combine content tags with model tags. If you are searching for good mixed integer formulation for heat-pumps in oemof/osemosys you could add the tags.

oemof, heat pump, mixed-integer
osemosys, heat pump, mixed-integer

Even though the concrete code implementation is different the equations behind might be the same. For me this could be a way to bring the models closer to each other.

But how can we decide the extend of the list? Shouldn’t we just use it. You do not have to use tags you do not want. In the first step it could be possible to ask for new tags here.

OK, Q&A category is up. There is also a specific, pinned topic on tags, where people can suggest new ones. You can create a topic, vote on it, and select a solution! I’ve also allowed that functionality in this category (site feedback) so it can be tested a bit.

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