Re: [CODE4LIB] AquaBrowser Libraries Group

2009-10-27 Thread Chris Keene

Hi

I just want to backup Edward's comments.

I'm happy to discuss just about anything openly, though it is useful to 
have product specific lists, and yes at times useful to know that 
certain vendors or third party salesmen are not going to contact you as 
a result of posting.


Aquabrowser has many good points, but has lacked any sort of community, 
add to this the very limited documentation - which could lead to 
confusion as to what is a feature and what is a bespoke addition that 
another site has commissioned/developed. I even tried asking on the 
Aquabrowser Facebook fan page discussion board - its only post!

This mailing list is a very welcome addition.

Chris

On 22/10/2009 15:45, Edward M. Corrado wrote:

I don't see this as an interesting difference at all. Almost all
[larger] vendor-supplied products in the library world have their own
discussion lists that are limited to people that use/license their
products. We even see this with Open Source products such as Koha.
Although I do not use AquaBrowser, unlike almost all other library
specific-software of this magnitude I understand that AquaBrowser does
not have a user group (formal or informal). There currently is very few
ways (no way?) for users of this product to converse with each other and
share ideas.

There are numerous reasons for wanting to share information on a closed
list that can range from not wanting to spam a larger community with a
how do activate a widget in product A to asking questions/sharing
information that for whatever reason you don't want to or can't share
with the whole world (e.g. non-disclosure agreements, public relations
concerns, privacy concerns, not wanting your name in open archives
attached to something, etc.). In fact, in some cases you may not even
want the vendor on the list the way some Voyager systems administrators
created a list that excluded Endeavor (and now Ex Libris) and
non-systems people at Voyager sites. This made people feel much more
comfortable asking questions that maybe they would otherwise be
embarrassed or reluctant to ask.
[snip]



--
Chris Keene c.j.ke...@sussex.ac.uk
Technical Development Manager   Tel (01273) 877950
University of Sussex Library
http://www.sussex.ac.uk/library/


Re: [CODE4LIB] AquaBrowser Libraries Group

2009-10-27 Thread K.G. Schneider
Actually, I didn't think the observations about the Aquabrowser mailing
list were snarky, and I think the comments were interesting and
list-appropriate. It's great that Aquabrowser will have a community
list--that will only help its users/implementors/customers. But once a
mailing list is closed to licensed users, you have then defined one of
the limitations of proprietary software and a strategic advantage of
open source. (Though a limitation that a proprietary-software vendor can
easily finesse, as described below.)

Some of the reasons for limiting the list do not hold water. In an NDA
environment, few people will get granular and frank on an internal
list, for the same reason that if they have privacy concerns they won't
post to a closed list: there's no such thing as private email. If you're
in the witness protection program, do not, I repeat do NOT post to the
Aquabrowser internal list. I don't even believe that this list could
offer enough discretion to warrant posts that the posters want to keep
moderately private. If I were contemplating a move from Vendor X, or had
serious issues I didn't want Vendor X to know about, I would do what
lawyers recommend, and which I have put into practice, which is not
write what I can share by phone, not share by phone what I can share
face-to-face, and not say what I can convey with a gesture. (With some
vendors that gesture might be NSFW, but I digress...) Is there anyone
among us who has never seen an email message go where it was not
intended to wander? 

As for winnowing the cruft, yes, that is the value of lists, but Edward,
despite other sound observations, has it a wee backwards. Lists for Koha
and Evergreen, and for that matter all open source projects I know of,
big and small, are open to anyone and are self-policing with respect to
topic discipline. It is the subscriber, not a list manager, who decides
if he or she wishes to participate (passively or actively) in list
communications. The lists may have very active participation from
vendors, but the Koha and Evergreen lists are not vendor-driven (and the
communities wouldn't let them get away with that anyway). 

The *advantages* to having an open list are worth considering for their
strategic value not only to a software community but also to the
vendors. First, you remove any confusion about the list's privacy.
Things that should not be shared by email, will not be shared by email.
Second, you open the list to potential users/customers. I think some
vendors fear their underwear showing, but if you've got a good product
people understand it will have issues, and happy users, even when they
are discussing a product's issues, are the software's best salespeople.
The community itself can also be as broad as it needs to be. 

These days, a growing number of companies have very intentional
strategies for transparency and openness. The Aquabrowser mailing list
is a very welcome addition to the world of library communications, and
it will help make a good product better. I am not losing any sleep over
the decision to keep this list closed... I don't use the product, and in
the end, I don't care that much. That said, it's my professional
assessment that closing this list to licensed subscribers is a strategic
error. 

Karen G. Schneider

On Tue, 27 Oct 2009 09:03 +, Chris Keene c.j.ke...@sussex.ac.uk
wrote:
 Hi
 
 I just want to backup Edward's comments.
 
 I'm happy to discuss just about anything openly, though it is useful to 
 have product specific lists, and yes at times useful to know that 
 certain vendors or third party salesmen are not going to contact you as 
 a result of posting.
 
 Aquabrowser has many good points, but has lacked any sort of community, 
 add to this the very limited documentation - which could lead to 
 confusion as to what is a feature and what is a bespoke addition that 
 another site has commissioned/developed. I even tried asking on the 
 Aquabrowser Facebook fan page discussion board - its only post!
 This mailing list is a very welcome addition.
 
 Chris
 
 On 22/10/2009 15:45, Edward M. Corrado wrote:
  I don't see this as an interesting difference at all. Almost all
  [larger] vendor-supplied products in the library world have their own
  discussion lists that are limited to people that use/license their
  products. We even see this with Open Source products such as Koha.
  Although I do not use AquaBrowser, unlike almost all other library
  specific-software of this magnitude I understand that AquaBrowser does
  not have a user group (formal or informal). There currently is very few
  ways (no way?) for users of this product to converse with each other and
  share ideas.
 
  There are numerous reasons for wanting to share information on a closed
  list that can range from not wanting to spam a larger community with a
  how do activate a widget in product A to asking questions/sharing
  information that for whatever reason you don't want to or can't share
  with the