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From Sylvain Wallez <sylv...@apache.org>
Subject Re: [RT] seven good reasons to close down users@cocoon.apache.org
Date Mon, 03 Oct 2005 22:00:15 GMT
Bertrand Delacretaz wrote:

> In these days of wild thoughts, here's another one: how about closing 
> the users@ list and having just one list for cocoon-related discussions?
>
> I think I have a few good reasons for this:
>
> One: The line between cocoon users and developers is fairly thin, it 
> is not as in Open Office for example, where most users do not even 
> know what the C language is. Our users are more and more competent 
> software developers who would often have interesting things to say if 
> they were around, and might like this place more if they felt more 
> involved. Cocoon has been finding its niche as a tool for serious 
> application developers, as opposed to a press-button publishing tool, 
> which it has never been and will never be.
>
> Two: my guess is that many dev@ subscribers could answer some users@ 
> questions very quickly, but sometimes we don't bother looking at the 
> list, and some of us are probably not even subscribed there. It's a 
> waste of energy, and has probably caused otherwise competent people to 
> go away after not getting good enough answers.
>
> Three: dev@ subscribers tend to use good messages subjects and [TOPIC 
> MARKERS] in subject lines to make the lists easy to filter, visually 
> or automatically. So I'm not worried about the increased traffic, 
> we'll find a way to make it sortable by teaching our community about 
> good subject lines or defining a few more [markers].  Okay, this is 
> not really a *reason*, but it's needed for my argumentation ;-D
>
> Four: for many subjects one does not know on which list to post, again 
> a waste of energy as threads regulary bounce between the lists. We 
> developers tend to discuss between ourselves things that are of 
> general interest, without bothering to move to users@ as it's not "our 
> home".
>
> Five: having two lists, one for Highly Qualified Meritocratic Core 
> Developers and another for Mere Users does not sound like the openness 
> and flat structure that we're advocating (I'm being a bit provocative 
> here, on purpose ;-)
>
> Six; the closing down of the docs@ list has only been positive, by 
> defragmenting the community w.r.t docs and allowing all developers to 
> be informed of what's happening with the [docs] (hint: note the good 
> use of the [marker]).
>
> Seven: Having a single point of discussion will help us know our users 
> better, this alone is worth its weight in bytes.
>
> So, WDYT?


I don't have that many reasons, but I don't think this is a good idea:

One: Marketing wise, this will be a very bad sign, and would give to the 
outside world the impression that the Cocoon acceptance has shrunk so 
much than two lists are too much. And although traffic has dropped, 
we're far from that.

Two: Cocoon-dev is scary for newbies, or even intermediate users. 
Disruptive random thoughts, design discussions about the very deep guts 
of the engine, etc. Some of my colleague, which I consider advanced 
users sometimes tell me they don't understand what the heck I'm talking 
about in some of my posts. If we want more people to come to Cocoon, 
exposing them to the dev's foolish discussions will just make them turn 
away.

Now you're right that some developers neglect users@ (yeah, I'm in this 
category). This used to be because of the huge traffic. In my 
Thunderbird, users@ is deep down in the lists I read through 
news.gmane.org. That's a bad thing and I will now use a regular mail 
subscription so that it sits just beside the dev@ folder that I monitor 
every 5 minutes. And I strongly invite other devs in the same situation 
as me to do so.

Let's consider the users-fr@ example: some people have started 
participating there, then started to participate to users@ and are now 
on dev@, even if occasionally. We need IMO different discussion areas 
where different kind of topic are to be addressed, and where people can 
progress.

Now the main point is that progression in the lists should go from 
bottom to top (i.e. users->dev) and that once you feel fluent in an 
upper level (no pejorative meaning intented with "upper") you should 
still be present in the lower levels to share your knowledge. Once 
again, I'm one of the faulty devs regarding this, and I think that if we 
all dedicate to users@ a bit of the time we spend for dev@, that can 
make a difference.

Sylvain

-- 
Sylvain Wallez                        Anyware Technologies
http://people.apache.org/~sylvain     http://www.anyware-tech.com
Apache Software Foundation Member     Research & Technology Director


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