Reuse of mailing list information

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Reuse of mailing list information

Stefanos Kouzof
Dear all,

When people ask for help in this mailing list, they do get an answer. However, it is difficult to locate and reuse this information (eg when you are googling for an answer). Perhaps the solution would be a more appropriate medium (eg the support section of the Foswiki site, or even a forum).

Personally, I am in favor of the forum, since it is used by many open source projects. And a popular one, so it would be familiar.
We do have a wiki, so how about and a forum, as well?

Stefanos


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Re: Reuse of mailing list information

Crawford Currie
This may just be my impression, but a lot of the time people ask questions here for one of the following reasons:
  1. They have asked on the Support web, and didn't get an answer
  2. They do not realise the Support web exists
  3. They are too lazy to look in, or for, the Support web
The Support web is a forum. Anyone can answer queries on it. A lot of the time people wait for "the experts" to provide answers, but that's not the way it works - anyone can answer questions, and everyone should try.

However we're aware the Support web is big, and some of the information on it is outdated, duplicated, or even apocryphal. For this reason we are forgiving when people ask questions on the mailing list. Otherwise we'd all shout "use the Support web" when anyone asked a newbie question here. (Another way people can help each other is by trimming, editing, clarifying, simplifying, correcting information in the Support web, so that google hits correct answers)

C.

On 15/12/11 09:55, Stefanos Kouzof wrote:
Dear all,

When people ask for help in this mailing list, they do get an answer. However, it is difficult to locate and reuse this information (eg when you are googling for an answer). Perhaps the solution would be a more appropriate medium (eg the support section of the Foswiki site, or even a forum).

Personally, I am in favor of the forum, since it is used by many open source projects. And a popular one, so it would be familiar.
We do have a wiki, so how about and a forum, as well?
  


------------------------------------------------------------------------------
10 Tips for Better Server Consolidation
Server virtualization is being driven by many needs.  
But none more important than the need to reduce IT complexity
while improving strategic productivity.  Learn More!
http://www.accelacomm.com/jaw/sdnl/114/51507609/
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Re: Reuse of mailing list information

Kip Lubliner
Other open-source projects that I have been involved with use much simpler methods of communication:
   * One or more mailing lists (e.g. one for general questions, and one for development);
   * A web forum (once again, sub-divided into different sections).

To get engaged with Foswiki, one must somehow find out about:
   * Support web
   * Development web
   * Extensions web
   * Tasks web
   * IRC
   * mailing list
Furthermore, for each of the webs one must figure out how to use it ... how to subscribe for notifications for changes,  how to see recent changes, how to search.  It's not too easy to get engaged.

I personally did not find the support web right away, that would have been very useful early on.  On another personal note, I prefer more 'asynchronous' / 'chunked' communication like mailing lists / forums compared to 'realtime' communication like IRC.  It seems that a lot of the 'real' communication in this project takes place over IRC.



From: Crawford Currie <[hidden email]>
To: [hidden email]
Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2011 6:29 AM
Subject: Re: [Foswiki-discuss] Reuse of mailing list information

This may just be my impression, but a lot of the time people ask questions here for one of the following reasons:
  1. They have asked on the Support web, and didn't get an answer
  2. They do not realise the Support web exists
  3. They are too lazy to look in, or for, the Support web
The Support web is a forum. Anyone can answer queries on it. A lot of the time people wait for "the experts" to provide answers, but that's not the way it works - anyone can answer questions, and everyone should try.

However we're aware the Support web is big, and some of the information on it is outdated, duplicated, or even apocryphal. For this reason we are forgiving when people ask questions on the mailing list. Otherwise we'd all shout "use the Support web" when anyone asked a newbie question here. (Another way people can help each other is by trimming, editing, clarifying, simplifying, correcting information in the Support web, so that google hits correct answers)

C.

On 15/12/11 09:55, Stefanos Kouzof wrote:
Dear all,

When people ask for help in this mailing list, they do get an answer. However, it is difficult to locate and reuse this information (eg when you are googling for an answer). Perhaps the solution would be a more appropriate medium (eg the support section of the Foswiki site, or even a forum).

Personally, I am in favor of the forum, since it is used by many open source projects. And a popular one, so it would be familiar.
We do have a wiki, so how about and a forum, as well?
  


------------------------------------------------------------------------------
10 Tips for Better Server Consolidation
Server virtualization is being driven by many needs. 
But none more important than the need to reduce IT complexity
while improving strategic productivity.  Learn More!
http://www.accelacomm.com/jaw/sdnl/114/51507609/
_______________________________________________
Foswiki-discuss mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/foswiki-discuss



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Re: Reuse of mailing list information

Sven Dowideit
My, this is a hard one.

(please note I'm not saying that you are wrong, just that in making a call to simplify interactions, adding a new one is rarely the answer.)

We all have preferred modes of communicating - and in this project, like many, its when someone is already engaged that they have influence on the modes used.

Stefanos suggests he would prefer that the project convert its workflow to a forum - something Crawford (and I) feel is odd, given that a Wiki is a generalised forum. The biggest thing that bothers me about forums, is that you can't re-use their content, form posts don't get replaced or re-written, and you get duplicate and incorrect information just the same as you do in the Support web.
   * It is not hard to write a forum UI in foswiki markup - i'll build a demo one someday soon - but you're welcome to do it before i do :)

Meanwhile Kip points out that we have a wiki (sub-divided into different sections) irc and a mailing list.

Kip - I think you need to correct your comparison to:
other open source projects have
   1 a web site that is mostly static
   2 mailing lists
   3 a web forum (sub-divided into sections)
   4 some form of messaging - irc, jabber, whatever
   5 code repository
   6 task / bug tracking system
   7 blog

foswiki has:
   1 a wiki (sub-divided into sections, including proposals, tasks, support forum (such as it is))
   2 mailing lists
   3 irc
   4 code repository
   5 blog

We all agree that our wiki and its sub-divisions and their visibility could be improved and simplified - would you guys like to volunteer to have a stab at it?

wrt 'real' conversations taking place mainly on irc -that is why we insist on the feature development process - it means that decisions have some documentation on the wiki. A further solution, would be for someone to implement some way of converting irc logs into topics...


Sven

On 15/12/11 15:49, Kip Lubliner wrote:
Other open-source projects that I have been involved with use much simpler methods of communication:
   * One or more mailing lists (e.g. one for general questions, and one for development);
   * A web forum (once again, sub-divided into different sections).

To get engaged with Foswiki, one must somehow find out about:
   * Support web
   * Development web
   * Extensions web
   * Tasks web
   * IRC
   * mailing list
Furthermore, for each of the webs one must figure out how to use it ... how to subscribe for notifications for changes,  how to see recent changes, how to search.  It's not too easy to get engaged.

I personally did not find the support web right away, that would have been very useful early on.  On another personal note, I prefer more 'asynchronous' / 'chunked' communication like mailing lists / forums compared to 'realtime' communication like IRC.  It seems that a lot of the 'real' communication in this project takes place over IRC.



From: Crawford Currie [hidden email]
To: [hidden email]
Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2011 6:29 AM
Subject: Re: [Foswiki-discuss] Reuse of mailing list information

This may just be my impression, but a lot of the time people ask questions here for one of the following reasons:
  1. They have asked on the Support web, and didn't get an answer
  2. They do not realise the Support web exists
  3. They are too lazy to look in, or for, the Support web
The Support web is a forum. Anyone can answer queries on it. A lot of the time people wait for "the experts" to provide answers, but that's not the way it works - anyone can answer questions, and everyone should try.

However we're aware the Support web is big, and some of the information on it is outdated, duplicated, or even apocryphal. For this reason we are forgiving when people ask questions on the mailing list. Otherwise we'd all shout "use the Support web" when anyone asked a newbie question here. (Another way people can help each other is by trimming, editing, clarifying, simplifying, correcting information in the Support web, so that google hits correct answers)

C.

On 15/12/11 09:55, Stefanos Kouzof wrote:
Dear all,

When people ask for help in this mailing list, they do get an answer. However, it is difficult to locate and reuse this information (eg when you are googling for an answer). Perhaps the solution would be a more appropriate medium (eg the support section of the Foswiki site, or even a forum).

Personally, I am in favor of the forum, since it is used by many open source projects. And a popular one, so it would be familiar.
We do have a wiki, so how about and a forum, as well?
  


------------------------------------------------------------------------------
10 Tips for Better Server Consolidation
Server virtualization is being driven by many needs. 
But none more important than the need to reduce IT complexity
while improving strategic productivity.  Learn More!
http://www.accelacomm.com/jaw/sdnl/114/51507609/
_______________________________________________
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Server virtualization is being driven by many needs.  
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while improving strategic productivity.  Learn More!
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Re: Reuse of mailing list information

Colas Nahaboo
Jumping on a micro-detail:

On Thu, Dec 15, 2011 at 5:17 PM, Sven Dowideit <[hidden email]> wrote:
A further solution, would be for someone to implement some way of converting irc logs into topics...

Note that currently the logs are available in Wiki format: click on the "TML format" link...
%INCLUDE-ing it could be the start of a solution (with some way to "tag" the relevant bits I suppose)

--
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Re: Reuse of mailing list information

Arthur Clemens
On a similar note, the blog will be replaced by a Foswiki version.
Retro-entering the blog posts is just a bit time consuming, but I am halfway.

Arthur



On 15 dec 2011, at 17:45, Colas Nahaboo wrote:

Jumping on a micro-detail:

On Thu, Dec 15, 2011 at 5:17 PM, Sven Dowideit <[hidden email]> wrote:
A further solution, would be for someone to implement some way of converting irc logs into topics...

Note that currently the logs are available in Wiki format: click on the "TML format" link...
%INCLUDE-ing it could be the start of a solution (with some way to "tag" the relevant bits I suppose)

--
Colas Nahaboo - http://colas.nahaboo.net
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
10 Tips for Better Server Consolidation
Server virtualization is being driven by many needs.  
But none more important than the need to reduce IT complexity
while improving strategic productivity.  Learn More!
http://www.accelacomm.com/jaw/sdnl/114/51507609/_______________________________________________
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Server virtualization is being driven by many needs.  
But none more important than the need to reduce IT complexity
while improving strategic productivity.  Learn More!
http://www.accelacomm.com/jaw/sdnl/114/51507609/
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Re: Reuse of mailing list information

Michael Daum-2
In reply to this post by Sven Dowideit
On Thursday 15 December 2011, Sven Dowideit wrote:
> Stefanos suggests he would prefer that the project convert its workflow
> to a forum - something Crawford (and I) feel is odd, given that a Wiki
> is a generalised forum.

There are several reasons why Foswiki - by using its standard means - is not
on par with standard forum software.

Missing features are among others:

   * favourites
   * ratings / best answer
   * sticky / important discussions
   * updates in threads/categories that I am interested in
     
The latter is a tough one: it needs an off-band storage holding the
state up to which a user has already read a thread, or has actively clicked on
mark-all-as-read. That's required to only drag attention to those areas of the forum that
does have updates for the user. Compare this to a totally uninformed way of sifting thru
a forum.

Note also that forums are quite structured. They aren't by far a bunch
of wiki topics lumped together. Most bulletin boards have about two levels of categories
to structure discussions. Most are event restricted to a depth of two categories for database reasons.

Discussions within categories can be sticky, that is they don't vanish in the timeline like the rest.
They remain listed at the top of a category page.

A category page displays quite some statistics of what's going on in the discussions it covers.

What forums - as far as I have used them - most of the time are suffering from is:
information redundancy (already been mentioned by Sven), and a lack of a decent search engine that is capable
of reflecting the structuredness of the forum. These two obviously go together:
people try to find out if a particular question has already been asked and answered,
then fail to make sense of the search results and ask the same thing yet again.

In companies with employees used to forum software it is quite frequent
that a freshly asked question is answered faster than the user is able to retrieve the
answer from the depths of some ancient discussion, not knowing if that answer is
still valid. And then given the same question has been asked twice the two discussions
aren't refactored due to missing wikiness (also already mentioned by Sven).

>From what I see forums are cool, but a sort of dyeing species, given that companies
move their requirement of question-answering into microblogging systems. They are a lot
easier to grasp for the user: you just emit some micro statement/question and see what happens.

Forums, as a consequence of having to carry the burden of a taxonomy, often overwhelm users
finding the right thread where to put that one question that they want to get off their soul. Once
a discussion has been put into the wrong category it is in danger of getting lost in space.

Structuring a forum in a way people Get It is not a natural thing to do. Most forums come with
a kind of standard structure that seem to fit most projects until you find out that some of these
categories are totally pointless and never been used, yet still lingering around, while other categories
burst at the seams with all sorts of discussions being lumped together into one catch-all category.

I am not saying that microblogging is there to save you. However they do fit a role that forums
aren't particularly good at. There's a reason why they are so successful.

The most important lesson leaned from microblogging is Activity Streams. These can be filtered
and personalised to your needs while striving to bring back control over information floating towards you.

Some well known activity stream sites (facebook) are actually quite bad in information control.
Instead, the build-in recommendation system is simply overwhelming users for marketing reasons thus diluting the
basic concept of activity streams (imho).

The other problematic thing on facebook is "Friends", or more precisely, un-friending. You keep on adding "friends"
which will constantly add more non-focused information to your activity stream.People rarley un-friend as that
might become embarrassing. Real-World social networks cope with that in a natural way: you simply don't
meet that person any more after some time; you don't have to make an official statement saying no, we aren't friends any more.

On the flip side of the coin is the "Follow this person" concept: staying in touch with subject-matter experts;
adding a person's activities or a group or team's activities to your personal mix of information.

"Follow" has got a similar influence on the activity stream as "Friends" but reflects much better what you
actually want to do with that relation: gain an information advantage.

Key to information control is focus. Only when a collaboration system
helps you to stay focused on your job, will you remain productive instead of being sidetracked.

I wouldn't call a wiki that has got activity streams social. Actually we had the "social" meme 2011. It might be time to let loose.

However activity streams are a very interesting concept of controlling relevant information in an efficient way. My bet:
the social thing will become less and less important - activity streams will evolve further.

Coming back to mailing lists. Viewed from some distance they make up quite a nice "activity stream". Some properties
are missing rendering less useful as a collaboration vehicle for project management: information redundancy, missing wikiness
and bad long-term memory. Which we all are aware of.

As long as we don't have an ActivityStreamPlugin for Foswiki, mail is okay; a follow-up on a wiki page is almost perfect.

Realtime chatting is something completely different. It definitely does have a place in the collaboration area. See how
cool we do on our IRC channel. This indeed is the best place to meet the Foswiki Feebles.

But I am not so sure how to bring chatting to wikis. Google wave died for some reasons that need to be studied well. For now
I am quite sure that realtime multi-user text writing is - again - more sidetracking than helping you to focus on your job.
Nice, cool, geeky, but not matching human nature with regards to productivity.

        Michael.

--
-- Michael Daum Consulting
-- Wissensmanagement und Intranet-Technologie
-- http://michaeldaumconsulting.com
-- Tel: +49 (0)40 21 99 27 51

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Server virtualization is being driven by many needs.  
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while improving strategic productivity.  Learn More!
http://www.accelacomm.com/jaw/sdnl/114/51507609/
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Re: Reuse of mailing list information

Colas Nahaboo
Interesting views Michael!

I would add my experience:
  • I think forums are/will be a replaced by "stackoverflow"-like system that have the immediate ease of use of forums for newcomers, and the good SEO properties (easy to index by search engines), but adds a lots of incentive for the community to refactor things, more by tagging/linking the information than actually refactoring the information.
    An interesting idea could be to see how to add a "stackoverflow" workflow on top of a wiki
  • on chat, we use a lot now etherpad as an "input filter" to foswiki: we collaboratively edit an etherpad document during meetings (for writing minutes for instance), using foswiki markup (etherpad edits non-rich text, perfect for wiki markup), that we just copy/paste on a wiki topics afterwards. This way we hide the chat "noise" from newcomers.
    In the same way, in non-technical communities, what works well is editing the document live in Google documents (as now others can see live what you type without saving), and then copy/paste on a Google Site (a wiki) page at the end.

On Thu, Dec 15, 2011 at 7:06 PM, Michael Daum <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Thursday 15 December 2011, Sven Dowideit wrote:
> Stefanos suggests he would prefer that the project convert its workflow
> to a forum - something Crawford (and I) feel is odd, given that a Wiki
> is a generalised forum.

There are several reasons why Foswiki - by using its standard means - is not
on par with standard forum software.

Missing features are among others:

  * favourites
  * ratings / best answer
  * sticky / important discussions
  * updates in threads/categories that I am interested in

The latter is a tough one: it needs an off-band storage holding the
state up to which a user has already read a thread, or has actively clicked on
mark-all-as-read. That's required to only drag attention to those areas of the forum that
does have updates for the user. Compare this to a totally uninformed way of sifting thru
a forum.

Note also that forums are quite structured. They aren't by far a bunch
of wiki topics lumped together. Most bulletin boards have about two levels of categories
to structure discussions. Most are event restricted to a depth of two categories for database reasons.

Discussions within categories can be sticky, that is they don't vanish in the timeline like the rest.
They remain listed at the top of a category page.

A category page displays quite some statistics of what's going on in the discussions it covers.

What forums - as far as I have used them - most of the time are suffering from is:
information redundancy (already been mentioned by Sven), and a lack of a decent search engine that is capable
of reflecting the structuredness of the forum. These two obviously go together:
people try to find out if a particular question has already been asked and answered,
then fail to make sense of the search results and ask the same thing yet again.

In companies with employees used to forum software it is quite frequent
that a freshly asked question is answered faster than the user is able to retrieve the
answer from the depths of some ancient discussion, not knowing if that answer is
still valid. And then given the same question has been asked twice the two discussions
aren't refactored due to missing wikiness (also already mentioned by Sven).

>From what I see forums are cool, but a sort of dyeing species, given that companies
move their requirement of question-answering into microblogging systems. They are a lot
easier to grasp for the user: you just emit some micro statement/question and see what happens.

Forums, as a consequence of having to carry the burden of a taxonomy, often overwhelm users
finding the right thread where to put that one question that they want to get off their soul. Once
a discussion has been put into the wrong category it is in danger of getting lost in space.

Structuring a forum in a way people Get It is not a natural thing to do. Most forums come with
a kind of standard structure that seem to fit most projects until you find out that some of these
categories are totally pointless and never been used, yet still lingering around, while other categories
burst at the seams with all sorts of discussions being lumped together into one catch-all category.

I am not saying that microblogging is there to save you. However they do fit a role that forums
aren't particularly good at. There's a reason why they are so successful.

The most important lesson leaned from microblogging is Activity Streams. These can be filtered
and personalised to your needs while striving to bring back control over information floating towards you.

Some well known activity stream sites (facebook) are actually quite bad in information control.
Instead, the build-in recommendation system is simply overwhelming users for marketing reasons thus diluting the
basic concept of activity streams (imho).

The other problematic thing on facebook is "Friends", or more precisely, un-friending. You keep on adding "friends"
which will constantly add more non-focused information to your activity stream.People rarley un-friend as that
might become embarrassing. Real-World social networks cope with that in a natural way: you simply don't
meet that person any more after some time; you don't have to make an official statement saying no, we aren't friends any more.

On the flip side of the coin is the "Follow this person" concept: staying in touch with subject-matter experts;
adding a person's activities or a group or team's activities to your personal mix of information.

"Follow" has got a similar influence on the activity stream as "Friends" but reflects much better what you
actually want to do with that relation: gain an information advantage.

Key to information control is focus. Only when a collaboration system
helps you to stay focused on your job, will you remain productive instead of being sidetracked.

I wouldn't call a wiki that has got activity streams social. Actually we had the "social" meme 2011. It might be time to let loose.

However activity streams are a very interesting concept of controlling relevant information in an efficient way. My bet:
the social thing will become less and less important - activity streams will evolve further.

Coming back to mailing lists. Viewed from some distance they make up quite a nice "activity stream". Some properties
are missing rendering less useful as a collaboration vehicle for project management: information redundancy, missing wikiness
and bad long-term memory. Which we all are aware of.

As long as we don't have an ActivityStreamPlugin for Foswiki, mail is okay; a follow-up on a wiki page is almost perfect.

Realtime chatting is something completely different. It definitely does have a place in the collaboration area. See how
cool we do on our IRC channel. This indeed is the best place to meet the Foswiki Feebles.

But I am not so sure how to bring chatting to wikis. Google wave died for some reasons that need to be studied well. For now
I am quite sure that realtime multi-user text writing is - again - more sidetracking than helping you to focus on your job.
Nice, cool, geeky, but not matching human nature with regards to productivity.

       Michael.

--
-- Michael Daum Consulting
-- Wissensmanagement und Intranet-Technologie
-- http://michaeldaumconsulting.com
-- Tel: <a href="tel:%2B49%20%280%2940%2021%2099%2027%2051" value="+494021992751">+49 (0)40 21 99 27 51

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
10 Tips for Better Server Consolidation
Server virtualization is being driven by many needs.
But none more important than the need to reduce IT complexity
while improving strategic productivity.  Learn More!
http://www.accelacomm.com/jaw/sdnl/114/51507609/
_______________________________________________
Foswiki-discuss mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/foswiki-discuss



--
Colas Nahaboo - http://colas.nahaboo.net

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
10 Tips for Better Server Consolidation
Server virtualization is being driven by many needs.  
But none more important than the need to reduce IT complexity
while improving strategic productivity.  Learn More!
http://www.accelacomm.com/jaw/sdnl/114/51507609/
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Re: Reuse of mailing list information

Crawford Currie
On 15/12/11 18:40, Colas Nahaboo wrote:
Interesting views Michael!

I would add my experience:
  • I think forums are/will be a replaced by "stackoverflow"-like system that have the immediate ease of use of forums for newcomers, and the good SEO properties (easy to index by search engines), but adds a lots of incentive for the community to refactor things, more by tagging/linking the information than actually refactoring the information.
    An interesting idea could be to see how to add a "stackoverflow" workflow on top of a wiki
One of the features of stackoverflow I particularly appreciate is being able to vote up/down an answer. That way the idiots still get to respond, but their answers soon bubble down the list :-)
  • on chat, we use a lot now etherpad as an "input filter" to foswiki: we collaboratively edit an etherpad document during meetings (for writing minutes for instance), using foswiki markup (etherpad edits non-rich text, perfect for wiki markup), that we just copy/paste on a wiki topics afterwards. This way we hide the chat "noise" from newcomers.
    In the same way, in non-technical communities, what works well is editing the document live in Google documents (as now others can see live what you type without saving), and then copy/paste on a Google Site (a wiki) page at the end.
Nice. There are times when it would be valuable to move IRC into an "etherpad mode" - where a discussion is potentially useful and should not be lost, should be captured back to a foswiki topic but only after editing. What I'd like is to be able to select a block of IRC discussion, and kick off an "etherpad mode" that automatically captures the discussion and invites all the participants. And lets you save the result as a topic.

C.
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Re: Reuse of mailing list information

Aaron Fuleki
On Dec 15, 2011, at 3:07 PM, Crawford Currie wrote:
> What I'd like is to be able to select a block of IRC discussion, and kick off an "etherpad mode" that automatically captures the discussion and invites all the participants. And lets you save the result as a topic.

Google Docs is one quick-and-dirty way to do that.  When an IRC conversation forks into Google Docs, just post a link in IRC, and continue discussion in the chat panel of the Google doc.  The results could always be pasted into the Support web if it's useful.

-Aaron

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Re: Reuse of mailing list information

Kenneth Lavrsen
In reply to this post by Kip Lubliner
I wonder what kind of open source projects you are referring to.

Most open source projects have at least

- An IRC channel where devs hangs around
- A web site where you can download stuff and read documentation
- A forum which is divided into many subcategories
- A bug tracking system

And some have a mailing list also

If you really look at the Foswiki.org site and compare with a forum then the webs are just like the categories in a forum except that most forums have very little structure and have 1000s of posts once the project gets old. Posts that never get deleted or refactored. Most information in a forum is quickly out of date.

Those projects that use the forum for bug reports are typically small one person projects with very few bug reports. Or they are projects that have absolutely not tracking on getting the reports closed which means they have frustrated end users.

For sure we can always try to make the navigation better on foswiki.org but I think it is unfair to dismiss the structure we have. It is no worse than most forums. On the contrary. The only reason you can find stuff in forums is that you use Google to search.

The problem is finding information hidden away here on the mailing list. The idea of the mailing list is to be a discussion place and announcement place.
Support is supposed to be in the support web where both Foswiki's search and Google has a chance to find it.

If you are a new users it may be a bit new to navigate the webs and that we can for sure do something about. There is a tendency to add and add and add things and never remove from the first pages.

For a user that already use Foswiki as a wiki and now wants to be involved with development, I cannot see the wikiness being an issue. Then it should be very familiar territory.

Foswiki is a very advanced program. It is not just a downloaded binary and off you go. We support many platforms. And we have 100s of plugins. There is no simple way to run and present such a project with a forum and a mailing list. That would suck.

Kenneth

On 15/12/2011 15:49, Kip Lubliner wrote:
Other open-source projects that I have been involved with use much simpler methods of communication:
   * One or more mailing lists (e.g. one for general questions, and one for development);
   * A web forum (once again, sub-divided into different sections).

To get engaged with Foswiki, one must somehow find out about:
   * Support web
   * Development web
   * Extensions web
   * Tasks web
   * IRC
   * mailing list
Furthermore, for each of the webs one must figure out how to use it ... how to subscribe for notifications for changes,  how to see recent changes, how to search.  It's not too easy to get engaged.

I personally did not find the support web right away, that would have been very useful early on.  On another personal note, I prefer more 'asynchronous' / 'chunked' communication like mailing lists / forums compared to 'realtime' communication like IRC.  It seems that a lot of the 'real' communication in this project takes place over IRC.



From: Crawford Currie [hidden email]
To: [hidden email]
Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2011 6:29 AM
Subject: Re: [Foswiki-discuss] Reuse of mailing list information

This may just be my impression, but a lot of the time people ask questions here for one of the following reasons:
  1. They have asked on the Support web, and didn't get an answer
  2. They do not realise the Support web exists
  3. They are too lazy to look in, or for, the Support web
The Support web is a forum. Anyone can answer queries on it. A lot of the time people wait for "the experts" to provide answers, but that's not the way it works - anyone can answer questions, and everyone should try.

However we're aware the Support web is big, and some of the information on it is outdated, duplicated, or even apocryphal. For this reason we are forgiving when people ask questions on the mailing list. Otherwise we'd all shout "use the Support web" when anyone asked a newbie question here. (Another way people can help each other is by trimming, editing, clarifying, simplifying, correcting information in the Support web, so that google hits correct answers)

C.

On 15/12/11 09:55, Stefanos Kouzof wrote:
Dear all,

When people ask for help in this mailing list, they do get an answer. However, it is difficult to locate and reuse this information (eg when you are googling for an answer). Perhaps the solution would be a more appropriate medium (eg the support section of the Foswiki site, or even a forum).

Personally, I am in favor of the forum, since it is used by many open source projects. And a popular one, so it would be familiar.
We do have a wiki, so how about and a forum, as well?
  


------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Server virtualization is being driven by many needs. 
But none more important than the need to reduce IT complexity
while improving strategic productivity.  Learn More!
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But none more important than the need to reduce IT complexity 
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Re: Reuse of mailing list information

Crawford Currie
The various commentators on this point have summarised it pretty well i.e. we don't know what the "best" solution is, but we're reasonably sure that what we have is better than many other projects.

To go back to Kip's original points:
 
"To get engaged with Foswiki, one must somehow find out about:
   * Support web
   * Development web
   * Extensions web
   * Tasks web
   * IRC
   * mailing list
Furthermore, for each of the webs one must figure out how to use it ... how to subscribe for notifications for changes,  how to see recent changes, how to search.  It's not too easy to get engaged."

Taking this on board, I tried navigating to these topics/webs from the foswiki.org front page. The support web is linked from the front page, though I made it (hopefully) a bit more obvious. Once you land on the webhome of the support web, all the other resources are linked from there, and IMHO are fairly obvious (though again I did some work this morning to try and make them more so).

With regard to subscription.... we don't have an obvious "subscribe" link anywhere, despite having SubscribePlugin installed. However in all the webs I looked at the Changes link is pretty obvious in the menu (though that may just be because I know to look for it there).

As always there's room for improvement.

Regards,

C.

On 18/12/11 22:44, Kenneth Lavrsen wrote:
I wonder what kind of open source projects you are referring to.

Most open source projects have at least

- An IRC channel where devs hangs around
- A web site where you can download stuff and read documentation
- A forum which is divided into many subcategories
- A bug tracking system

And some have a mailing list also

If you really look at the Foswiki.org site and compare with a forum then the webs are just like the categories in a forum except that most forums have very little structure and have 1000s of posts once the project gets old. Posts that never get deleted or refactored. Most information in a forum is quickly out of date.

Those projects that use the forum for bug reports are typically small one person projects with very few bug reports. Or they are projects that have absolutely not tracking on getting the reports closed which means they have frustrated end users.

For sure we can always try to make the navigation better on foswiki.org but I think it is unfair to dismiss the structure we have. It is no worse than most forums. On the contrary. The only reason you can find stuff in forums is that you use Google to search.

The problem is finding information hidden away here on the mailing list. The idea of the mailing list is to be a discussion place and announcement place.
Support is supposed to be in the support web where both Foswiki's search and Google has a chance to find it.

If you are a new users it may be a bit new to navigate the webs and that we can for sure do something about. There is a tendency to add and add and add things and never remove from the first pages.

For a user that already use Foswiki as a wiki and now wants to be involved with development, I cannot see the wikiness being an issue. Then it should be very familiar territory.

Foswiki is a very advanced program. It is not just a downloaded binary and off you go. We support many platforms. And we have 100s of plugins. There is no simple way to run and present such a project with a forum and a mailing list. That would suck.

Kenneth

On 15/12/2011 15:49, Kip Lubliner wrote:
Other open-source projects that I have been involved with use much simpler methods of communication:
   * One or more mailing lists (e.g. one for general questions, and one for development);
   * A web forum (once again, sub-divided into different sections).

To get engaged with Foswiki, one must somehow find out about:
   * Support web
   * Development web
   * Extensions web
   * Tasks web
   * IRC
   * mailing list
Furthermore, for each of the webs one must figure out how to use it ... how to subscribe for notifications for changes,  how to see recent changes, how to search.  It's not too easy to get engaged.

I personally did not find the support web right away, that would have been very useful early on.  On another personal note, I prefer more 'asynchronous' / 'chunked' communication like mailing lists / forums compared to 'realtime' communication like IRC.  It seems that a lot of the 'real' communication in this project takes place over IRC.



From: Crawford Currie [hidden email]
To: [hidden email]
Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2011 6:29 AM
Subject: Re: [Foswiki-discuss] Reuse of mailing list information

This may just be my impression, but a lot of the time people ask questions here for one of the following reasons:
  1. They have asked on the Support web, and didn't get an answer
  2. They do not realise the Support web exists
  3. They are too lazy to look in, or for, the Support web
The Support web is a forum. Anyone can answer queries on it. A lot of the time people wait for "the experts" to provide answers, but that's not the way it works - anyone can answer questions, and everyone should try.

However we're aware the Support web is big, and some of the information on it is outdated, duplicated, or even apocryphal. For this reason we are forgiving when people ask questions on the mailing list. Otherwise we'd all shout "use the Support web" when anyone asked a newbie question here. (Another way people can help each other is by trimming, editing, clarifying, simplifying, correcting information in the Support web, so that google hits correct answers)

C.

On 15/12/11 09:55, Stefanos Kouzof wrote:
Dear all,

When people ask for help in this mailing list, they do get an answer. However, it is difficult to locate and reuse this information (eg when you are googling for an answer). Perhaps the solution would be a more appropriate medium (eg the support section of the Foswiki site, or even a forum).

Personally, I am in favor of the forum, since it is used by many open source projects. And a popular one, so it would be familiar.
We do have a wiki, so how about and a forum, as well?
  


------------------------------------------------------------------------------
10 Tips for Better Server Consolidation
Server virtualization is being driven by many needs. 
But none more important than the need to reduce IT complexity
while improving strategic productivity.  Learn More!
http://www.accelacomm.com/jaw/sdnl/114/51507609/
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Server virtualization is being driven by many needs.  
But none more important than the need to reduce IT complexity 
while improving strategic productivity.  Learn More! 
http://www.accelacomm.com/jaw/sdnl/114/51507609/


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- A WikiRing Partner http://wikiring.com
- landline: +44-1606-330-242
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Microsoft is holding a special Learn Windows Azure training event for
developers. It will provide a great way to learn Windows Azure and what it
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Learn more at http://p.sf.net/sfu/ms-windowsazure
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Re: Reuse of mailing list information

Stefanos Kouzof
In reply to this post by Stefanos Kouzof
From what I have heard in this thread as well as personal experience,  the support infrastructure in Foswiki project is  *at least* at the same level as on other popular open source projects.

The motivation behind the initial post was that when I am looking for support in Foswiki, I have to search both the IRC and the mailing list as well as the support web, whereas when I need support in *every* other open source project, I search tags and titles of support cases in the project website. At least I know that if there is a solution, it would be in one place.
Furthermore, as I am writing this, another user just sent a support request in the mailing list. The Foswiki project gains momentum, that's certain.

Maybe it would be a good move to standardize some things and provide support in one place (...please open a task in the Support Web).

Stefanos

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Re: Reuse of mailing list information

Kip Lubliner
In reply to this post by Crawford Currie
I didn't mean to offend, I just wanted to offer my personal experience ... that it was a bit difficult for me to figure out how to get started with the project.  I have a suggestion for how the home page could be changed, please see this link for an idea how the "where to go from here" section could be re-organized:

http://foswiki.org/Main/KipLublinerWhereToGoFromHere


From: Crawford Currie <[hidden email]>
To: [hidden email]
Sent: Monday, December 19, 2011 4:47 AM
Subject: Re: [Foswiki-discuss] Reuse of mailing list information

The various commentators on this point have summarised it pretty well i.e. we don't know what the "best" solution is, but we're reasonably sure that what we have is better than many other projects.

To go back to Kip's original points:
 
"To get engaged with Foswiki, one must somehow find out about:
   * Support web
   * Development web
   * Extensions web
   * Tasks web
   * IRC
   * mailing list
Furthermore, for each of the webs one must figure out how to use it ... how to subscribe for notifications for changes,  how to see recent changes, how to search.  It's not too easy to get engaged."

Taking this on board, I tried navigating to these topics/webs from the foswiki.org front page. The support web is linked from the front page, though I made it (hopefully) a bit more obvious. Once you land on the webhome of the support web, all the other resources are linked from there, and IMHO are fairly obvious (though again I did some work this morning to try and make them more so).

With regard to subscription.... we don't have an obvious "subscribe" link anywhere, despite having SubscribePlugin installed. However in all the webs I looked at the Changes link is pretty obvious in the menu (though that may just be because I know to look for it there).

As always there's room for improvement.

Regards,

C.

On 18/12/11 22:44, Kenneth Lavrsen wrote:
I wonder what kind of open source projects you are referring to.

Most open source projects have at least

- An IRC channel where devs hangs around
- A web site where you can download stuff and read documentation
- A forum which is divided into many subcategories
- A bug tracking system

And some have a mailing list also

If you really look at the Foswiki.org site and compare with a forum then the webs are just like the categories in a forum except that most forums have very little structure and have 1000s of posts once the project gets old. Posts that never get deleted or refactored. Most information in a forum is quickly out of date.

Those projects that use the forum for bug reports are typically small one person projects with very few bug reports. Or they are projects that have absolutely not tracking on getting the reports closed which means they have frustrated end users.

For sure we can always try to make the navigation better on foswiki.org but I think it is unfair to dismiss the structure we have. It is no worse than most forums. On the contrary. The only reason you can find stuff in forums is that you use Google to search.

The problem is finding information hidden away here on the mailing list. The idea of the mailing list is to be a discussion place and announcement place.
Support is supposed to be in the support web where both Foswiki's search and Google has a chance to find it.

If you are a new users it may be a bit new to navigate the webs and that we can for sure do something about. There is a tendency to add and add and add things and never remove from the first pages.

For a user that already use Foswiki as a wiki and now wants to be involved with development, I cannot see the wikiness being an issue. Then it should be very familiar territory.

Foswiki is a very advanced program. It is not just a downloaded binary and off you go. We support many platforms. And we have 100s of plugins. There is no simple way to run and present such a project with a forum and a mailing list. That would suck.

Kenneth

On 15/12/2011 15:49, Kip Lubliner wrote:
Other open-source projects that I have been involved with use much simpler methods of communication:
   * One or more mailing lists (e.g. one for general questions, and one for development);
   * A web forum (once again, sub-divided into different sections).

To get engaged with Foswiki, one must somehow find out about:
   * Support web
   * Development web
   * Extensions web
   * Tasks web
   * IRC
   * mailing list
Furthermore, for each of the webs one must figure out how to use it ... how to subscribe for notifications for changes,  how to see recent changes, how to search.  It's not too easy to get engaged.

I personally did not find the support web right away, that would have been very useful early on.  On another personal note, I prefer more 'asynchronous' / 'chunked' communication like mailing lists / forums compared to 'realtime' communication like IRC.  It seems that a lot of the 'real' communication in this project takes place over IRC.



From: Crawford Currie [hidden email]
To: [hidden email]
Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2011 6:29 AM
Subject: Re: [Foswiki-discuss] Reuse of mailing list information

This may just be my impression, but a lot of the time people ask questions here for one of the following reasons:
  1. They have asked on the Support web, and didn't get an answer
  2. They do not realise the Support web exists
  3. They are too lazy to look in, or for, the Support web
The Support web is a forum. Anyone can answer queries on it. A lot of the time people wait for "the experts" to provide answers, but that's not the way it works - anyone can answer questions, and everyone should try.

However we're aware the Support web is big, and some of the information on it is outdated, duplicated, or even apocryphal. For this reason we are forgiving when people ask questions on the mailing list. Otherwise we'd all shout "use the Support web" when anyone asked a newbie question here. (Another way people can help each other is by trimming, editing, clarifying, simplifying, correcting information in the Support web, so that google hits correct answers)

C.

On 15/12/11 09:55, Stefanos Kouzof wrote:
Dear all,

When people ask for help in this mailing list, they do get an answer. However, it is difficult to locate and reuse this information (eg when you are googling for an answer). Perhaps the solution would be a more appropriate medium (eg the support section of the Foswiki site, or even a forum).

Personally, I am in favor of the forum, since it is used by many open source projects. And a popular one, so it would be familiar.
We do have a wiki, so how about and a forum, as well?
  


------------------------------------------------------------------------------
10 Tips for Better Server Consolidation
Server virtualization is being driven by many needs. 
But none more important than the need to reduce IT complexity
while improving strategic productivity.  Learn More!
http://www.accelacomm.com/jaw/sdnl/114/51507609/
_______________________________________________
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------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Server virtualization is being driven by many needs.  
But none more important than the need to reduce IT complexity 
while improving strategic productivity.  Learn More! 
http://www.accelacomm.com/jaw/sdnl/114/51507609/


_______________________________________________
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_______________________________________________ Foswiki-discuss mailing list [hidden email] https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/foswiki-discuss


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- A WikiRing Partner http://wikiring.com
- landline: +44-1606-330-242
- mobile: +44-7837-877-956
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------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Microsoft is holding a special Learn Windows Azure training event for
developers. It will provide a great way to learn Windows Azure and what it
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Learn more at http://p.sf.net/sfu/ms-windowsazure
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Re: Reuse of mailing list information

Michael Daum-3
On Tuesday 20 December 2011, Kip Lubliner wrote:
> I didn't mean to offend, I just wanted to offer my personal experience ... that it was a bit difficult for me to figure out how to get started with the project.  I have a suggestion for how the home page could be changed, please see this link for an idea how the "where to go from here" section could be re-organized:
>
> http://foswiki.org/Main/KipLublinerWhereToGoFromHere

Thanks. This is a clear improvement ... added to home page.

        Michael.

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Re: Reuse of mailing list information

Kip Lubliner
I fleshed out the new AboutWebs page, which is now linked from the home page:

http://foswiki.org/Main/AboutWebs


From: Michael Daum <[hidden email]>
To: Kip Lubliner <[hidden email]>; [hidden email]
Sent: Tuesday, December 20, 2011 2:23 AM
Subject: Re: [Foswiki-discuss] Reuse of mailing list information

On Tuesday 20 December 2011, Kip Lubliner wrote:
> I didn't mean to offend, I just wanted to offer my personal experience ... that it was a bit difficult for me to figure out how to get started with the project.  I have a suggestion for how the home page could be changed, please see this link for an idea how the "where to go from here" section could be re-organized:
>
> http://foswiki.org/Main/KipLublinerWhereToGoFromHere

Thanks. This is a clear improvement ... added to home page.

    Michael.

--
-- Board Member Foswiki Association e.V.
-- http://foswiki.org/Main/MichaelDaum



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Re: Reuse of mailing list information

Sven Dowideit
In reply to this post by Kip Lubliner
Kip - you did not offend - we're really very pleased to hear about the experience - its incredibly hard to re-capture the feelings of someone new to a project, source code, support, etc - so we do listen.

Frustratingly, its just as hard to have a good idea (and to implement it) when you've been working on things this long - so your having _done_ something is __fantastic__ -

I'd like to encourage anyone that has noticed issues getting their problem / question solved to try to do something small about it - thats how the long time project members get re-charged and re-interested, and it makes a huge difference to everyone.

It sounds to me like the _right_ thing to do long term, is to integrate everything into foswiki - irc logs, mailing list archive etc, and to then simplify the UI into a more consistent tag/search/summary

anyone want to take on summarizing what needs to be done, and then breaking it down into tasks that anyone can spend a spare 30mins on?

Sven


On 20/12/11 05:01, Kip Lubliner wrote:
I didn't mean to offend, I just wanted to offer my personal experience ... that it was a bit difficult for me to figure out how to get started with the project.  I have a suggestion for how the home page could be changed, please see this link for an idea how the "where to go from here" section could be re-organized:



From: Crawford Currie [hidden email]
To: [hidden email]
Sent: Monday, December 19, 2011 4:47 AM
Subject: Re: [Foswiki-discuss] Reuse of mailing list information

The various commentators on this point have summarised it pretty well i.e. we don't know what the "best" solution is, but we're reasonably sure that what we have is better than many other projects.

To go back to Kip's original points:
 
"To get engaged with Foswiki, one must somehow find out about:
   * Support web
   * Development web
   * Extensions web
   * Tasks web
   * IRC
   * mailing list
Furthermore, for each of the webs one must figure out how to use it ... how to subscribe for notifications for changes,  how to see recent changes, how to search.  It's not too easy to get engaged."

Taking this on board, I tried navigating to these topics/webs from the foswiki.org front page. The support web is linked from the front page, though I made it (hopefully) a bit more obvious. Once you land on the webhome of the support web, all the other resources are linked from there, and IMHO are fairly obvious (though again I did some work this morning to try and make them more so).

With regard to subscription.... we don't have an obvious "subscribe" link anywhere, despite having SubscribePlugin installed. However in all the webs I looked at the Changes link is pretty obvious in the menu (though that may just be because I know to look for it there).

As always there's room for improvement.

Regards,

C.

On 18/12/11 22:44, Kenneth Lavrsen wrote:
I wonder what kind of open source projects you are referring to.

Most open source projects have at least

- An IRC channel where devs hangs around
- A web site where you can download stuff and read documentation
- A forum which is divided into many subcategories
- A bug tracking system

And some have a mailing list also

If you really look at the Foswiki.org site and compare with a forum then the webs are just like the categories in a forum except that most forums have very little structure and have 1000s of posts once the project gets old. Posts that never get deleted or refactored. Most information in a forum is quickly out of date.

Those projects that use the forum for bug reports are typically small one person projects with very few bug reports. Or they are projects that have absolutely not tracking on getting the reports closed which means they have frustrated end users.

For sure we can always try to make the navigation better on foswiki.org but I think it is unfair to dismiss the structure we have. It is no worse than most forums. On the contrary. The only reason you can find stuff in forums is that you use Google to search.

The problem is finding information hidden away here on the mailing list. The idea of the mailing list is to be a discussion place and announcement place.
Support is supposed to be in the support web where both Foswiki's search and Google has a chance to find it.

If you are a new users it may be a bit new to navigate the webs and that we can for sure do something about. There is a tendency to add and add and add things and never remove from the first pages.

For a user that already use Foswiki as a wiki and now wants to be involved with development, I cannot see the wikiness being an issue. Then it should be very familiar territory.

Foswiki is a very advanced program. It is not just a downloaded binary and off you go. We support many platforms. And we have 100s of plugins. There is no simple way to run and present such a project with a forum and a mailing list. That would suck.

Kenneth

On 15/12/2011 15:49, Kip Lubliner wrote:
Other open-source projects that I have been involved with use much simpler methods of communication:
   * One or more mailing lists (e.g. one for general questions, and one for development);
   * A web forum (once again, sub-divided into different sections).

To get engaged with Foswiki, one must somehow find out about:
   * Support web
   * Development web
   * Extensions web
   * Tasks web
   * IRC
   * mailing list
Furthermore, for each of the webs one must figure out how to use it ... how to subscribe for notifications for changes,  how to see recent changes, how to search.  It's not too easy to get engaged.

I personally did not find the support web right away, that would have been very useful early on.  On another personal note, I prefer more 'asynchronous' / 'chunked' communication like mailing lists / forums compared to 'realtime' communication like IRC.  It seems that a lot of the 'real' communication in this project takes place over IRC.



From: Crawford Currie [hidden email]
To: [hidden email]
Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2011 6:29 AM
Subject: Re: [Foswiki-discuss] Reuse of mailing list information

This may just be my impression, but a lot of the time people ask questions here for one of the following reasons:
  1. They have asked on the Support web, and didn't get an answer
  2. They do not realise the Support web exists
  3. They are too lazy to look in, or for, the Support web
The Support web is a forum. Anyone can answer queries on it. A lot of the time people wait for "the experts" to provide answers, but that's not the way it works - anyone can answer questions, and everyone should try.

However we're aware the Support web is big, and some of the information on it is outdated, duplicated, or even apocryphal. For this reason we are forgiving when people ask questions on the mailing list. Otherwise we'd all shout "use the Support web" when anyone asked a newbie question here. (Another way people can help each other is by trimming, editing, clarifying, simplifying, correcting information in the Support web, so that google hits correct answers)

C.

On 15/12/11 09:55, Stefanos Kouzof wrote:
Dear all,

When people ask for help in this mailing list, they do get an answer. However, it is difficult to locate and reuse this information (eg when you are googling for an answer). Perhaps the solution would be a more appropriate medium (eg the support section of the Foswiki site, or even a forum).

Personally, I am in favor of the forum, since it is used by many open source projects. And a popular one, so it would be familiar.
We do have a wiki, so how about and a forum, as well?
  


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