On Oct 14, 2013, at 9:53 PM, Jeremie BOUSQUET <jeremie.bousq...@gmail.com> 

> Le 14 oct. 2013 20:58, "Vincent Massol" <vinc...@massol.net> a écrit :
>> On Oct 14, 2013, at 6:56 PM, Eduard Moraru <enygma2...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> On Mon, Oct 14, 2013 at 6:53 PM, Vincent Massol <vinc...@massol.net>
> wrote:
>>>> On Oct 10, 2013, at 2:55 PM, Hamster <teun...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>>>>> vmassol wrote
>>>>>> Can you explain what you mean exactly? :)
>>>>> Why don't "we" open a "XWiki Site" and start posting all our questions
>>>>> there?
>>>>> Nothing ventured, nothing gained…
>>>> Because as it's mentioned, it's not easy. People will vote in Area51
> and
>>>> only the most requested will be open.
>>> Yes, but sleeping in a burrow does not improve our chances of getting
> more
>>> visibility of the project, does it? Neither does creating our own new
>>> underground establishment. If we plan on moving or doing anything in
> this
>>> direction, maybe the "forest" is where the action happens :)
>> I see 3 main reasons to move away from a mailing list for the users list:
>> 1) Make it extra easy for users to post a question without being
> registered
> Posting without being registered could be an issue, unless you require an
> email address, a captcha or both. It's then already more complex than
> sending a (crappy) email from your phone ;)

Most people find it too complex to register to a mailing list. Sending the 
email is ok once you're registered.

What I mean is indeed to make it easy for a first time user to find how to post 
a question. And yes the registration could be done seamlessly by providing an 
email address/name and once the user has clicked submit send him an email that 
he needs to reply to to validate his question for example (to ensure the email 
is valid). Something seamless like this.

>> 2) Provide visibility for those who answer questions (i.e. earn points
> and rankings) and as a consequence especially who are the experts
> That is tough, not the implementation, but the way to make it meaningful
> and not frustrating... Some answers can be complex and require time to
> find, though in general they have the same weight than the "copy paste
> link" answer ( very good also, but less demanding). I find that systems
> that allow identifying the "best answer" are more useful.

This is what stackoverflow does (and several other forums I've seen) and it 
seems to work quite well. Finding questions/answers is a different topic from 
what I meant here. Search usually works quite well to find existing topics IMO.

>> 3) Allow closing topics to know which one do not have a satisfactory
> answer so that people who wish to help know which threads they can help on
> Not so easy either, who's in charge ? (If the requester forgot to put
> "solved" in subject)... That could be large extra-work, to have this be
> meaningful.

This is used on a lots of forum apps that exist. The reporter should of course 
be allowed to say whether his question has been answered to. And the system 
could also allow committers/some contributors to close topics too by providing 
a reason to close it.

> All those are great, but based on my (intranet and limited) experience,
> nothing is more easy than sending a mail.

Yes, sending an email is easy. Registering to a mailing list isn't. And 
searching for message isn't either since you need to find an archiving tool.

Also even though sending an email is easy, replying to an existing thread isn't 
if you don't have the email locally to reply to. So if you're just a occasional 
user you don't want to receive all emails from everyone but you'd like to be 
able to reply to a thread from time to time. And you can't do that on a list.

> And the added-value of those
> features is useless if people do not use them, which you cannot force them
> to do.
> (Ot : closing topics requires some thinking, many different possibilities
> exist)
> Forums are close and great, but somehow they are different and usually
> require more moderation activity. There are also a bunch of nearly empty
> unmoderated zombie forums on internet…

Why would they require more moderation than a mailing list? They require 
maintenance if you wish to do better than a mailing list simply because mailing 
lists don't offer those features! But if you do want these features then 
there's no choice anyway since ML don't offer them.

"There are also a bunch of nearly empty unmoderated zombie forums on internet"… 
the same thing can be said for a lot of mailing lists ;)

> That being said I struggled against mailing lists at my office, seeing them
> as the most archaic way of sharing. But at the same time, they proved to
> work far better than the more sophisticated solutions... I can't really
> compare, different targets.

As a dev, I also like mailing list which is why in the previous thread on this 
topic, I mentioned that the best of both world would be a forum app that 
bridges with mailing list, if you can solve the issue of seamlessly sending to 
the list on behalf of the user (not so easy as proved by Nabble which is too 
complex and a lot of users don't understand why their nabble topics don't make 
it to the xwiki lists and why they don't get answers)...

>> IMO those are our main 3 use cases.
>> Then we can evaluate the options we have to fill those use cases:
>> A) Try to get a site on area51
>> B) Install a stackoverflow clone in our infrastructure (see
> http://meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/2267/stack-overflow-clones)
>> C) Develop a solution based on XWiki
>> D) Other
>> I don't like A) because the chances to get it is about 0.1% and even more
> important I strongly dislike the way they manage stackoverflow (I'm not
> able to provide answers to questions because at one point in the past I
> answered a question by sending a user to a URL that gave the exact answer
> to his question)… As a result this prevented me about 4-5 times from
> answering a question for which I knew the answer… There's also the question
> of not owning our own data.
>> C) is a lot of work but it could be possible because Jeremie is working
> on a use case relatively close to it. And the "eat our dog food" is quite
> nice and we can learn stuff in the process. XWiki fits nicely with the use
> case of a "Q&A site" IMO. It should be relatively easy to start with a
> simple QA app and progressively enhance it.
> For me qa is different, and better be faq (possibly extracted from the list
> though it's difficult).
> For sure, if you add "reply" to the archive I work on, you're not far from
> a forum app. And you can "build" on it by adding nice features. But one
> should not forget that it's built on a mailing-list, and people only
> dealing with the "raw" emails should not get lost in the process (thinking
> here of all non standard formatting tags some UIs like to add in emails
> text... If you want formatting in emails, do HTML....).

Your email client is a good example of a faulty email client that wrongly 
replies to mails ;) (your answers are mixed with the text it's replying to)...

> For the mail archive, I have more time to work on it these days... But
> remaining work is quite big.


Food for thoughts:

Since one of XWiki's main use case is knowledge base, I still find it logical 
that we could expand on that to create a Q&A solution. Whether the store is in 
a mailing list system, inside XWiki's DB itself or even in JIRA is an open 

On a related topic (old now), see 


>> The "easiest" is probably B). For fun I'm trying
> http://bitnami.com/stack/osqa locally.
>> Thanks
>> -Vincent

users mailing list

Reply via email to