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From Shawn Heisey <apa...@elyograg.org>
Subject Re: Mailinglists - a tool from the 90s?
Date Mon, 19 Jan 2015 20:29:38 GMT
On 1/18/2015 5:34 AM, Benedikt Ritter wrote:
> over at the Apache Commons Project, we have a long discussion about our
> mailing lists. Are they to noisy? Should they be splitted up into sublists?
> Should individual components go TLP?
> IMHO Ben McCann summed up the core problem pretty well [1]. Mailing lists
> are simply a outdated tool from the 90s. They can not compete with tools
> like github/gitlab that integrate the code with the possibility to do code
> reviews, disucssions and bugtracking.
>
> Now I'm curious: Does anybody here really like the use of mailing lists? Or
> do we all simply go through the struggle of setting up filters etc. just
> because this is the way it has always been?

I'm a committer on the Lucene/Solr project.

Email is ubiquitous.  Sure, it's old technology, but so is the internal
combustion engine.  The solr-user mailing list reaches far more people
than any other method of communication available to us.  Any other
communication method will never be as useful as email until a
super-majority of the userbase starts using it, and I don't know of
anything that meets this requirement.  There is a lot of Internet
technology available for communication ... but email is the only one
that is used by practically everyone.

All other communication methods suffer from two problems: Not enough
people use them, and new users show up with completely unrealistic
expectations.

People *EXPECT* a mailing list response to take a few hours or even a
few days, but when someone logs onto the IRC channel, they often will
leave within two minutes.  Sometimes they won't even ask a question if
they don't get a response to their greeting.  When I crawl out of bed
hours later and check the channel, they're long gone.  I've been working
on a wiki page to set expectations in this department, but as of right
now, this page isn't linked from any official resources:

http://wiki.apache.org/solr/IRCChannels

As far as github goes ... that's awesome if your project is using git,
but almost an annoyance if it's not.

The canonical source repository for Lucene/Solr is subversion,
specifically svn.apache.org.  We have had discussions about switching to
git on our dev list, but some of the veterans who really know version
control software do not want to lose what they see as important features
in SVN, and there are advantages to eating your own dogfood.  We do have
a mirror on github, with integration into our project mailing lists and
Jira, but with the official repo in subversion, it's only a loose
association.

Thanks,
Shawn


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