[CentOS-devel] Talk about existing forums

Les Mikesell

lesmikesell at gmail.com
Tue Dec 15 15:58:44 UTC 2009

Ned Slider wrote:
> On 12/15/2009 01:52 PM, Les Mikesell wrote:
>> Karanbir Singh wrote:
>>> Recommendations:
>>> - phpbb
>>> - Draw up a list of recommendations / guideline for the moderators
>>> - let the languages be independant in their own space ( eg.
>>> forums.centos.org/<lang>  )
>> I'd much rather see the effort go into better handling of the mail list archives
>> with a searchable web interface instead of splitting the knowledge base and
>> making it take much more work to find and answer questions.
> IMHO it's about offering choice in available help channels, be that 
> mailing list, IRC, Wiki or forums, and making sure that each is as good 
> as it can be. 

Those are conflicting goals since the more you divide a finite set of 
resources the less any part can have.

> This particular discussion is about the forums, how we can 
> make them as good as they can be, and how we can best integrate them 
> into a coherent community based support strategy for CentOS under the 
> current remit of Website Version 2.

Integration might make sense, but I haven't seen a great way to tie the 
conversations to a mail list.

> How much work is it to head on over to the forums and answer questions 
> as they get asked?

Too much for me.  If you have more than a few interests you'd spend all 
your time bouncing between different locations.

> I don't see how that is "much more work" than 
> answering questions by email - it's just using a different application, 
> a web browser, instead of an email client. If you use webmail you could 
> even use the same application for both :-/

I have a mail application open anyway - there's no 'more work' involved 
whether there are new messages there or not - they just show up and the 
ones I've read are automatically tracked.  Even if I have a browser open 
it's not going to be showing forums for all my interests at once and 
then I'd have to deal with a different login and interface to answer 
each one.  There's some potential for rss aggregation, but most I've 
seen don't track 'new' messages on a personal level.

> Integrated search is already available, just that atm it only covers 
> website, wiki and forums (not mailing lists). In fact if some mailing 
> list participants used it occasionally we wouldn't get the same old 
> threads constantly regurgitating content that is already expertly 
> covered on the Wiki in FAQ or HowTo format. People have spent an 
> enormous amount of time and effort producing such content and it very 
> rarely gets linked from the mailing list.

That's pretty much what I'd expect when you split people and content 
into incompatible areas.

> Anyway, feel free to write a plugin for the Website version 2 to allow 
> integrated searching of website, wiki, forums *and* mailing list as I'm 
> sure KB would be most grateful :)

If that were possible, someone would probably have done it already. Some 
of the lists I'm on have forum integration but it regularly causes 
trouble with conversation threading and posts from people who never 
return to share their experience.

   Les Mikesell
    lesmikesell at gmail.com

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