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From Ian Clelland <iclell...@chromium.org>
Subject Re: support on phonegap/cordova?
Date Wed, 16 Apr 2014 14:08:39 GMT
On Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 8:33 AM, Shane Curcuru <asf@shanecurcuru.org> wrote:

> (not subscribed to list)
>
> Terrence brings up a critical point about how the Apache Way works:
>
> Terence M. Bandoian (tere...@tmbsw.com) wrote:
>
>> Date:   Apr 15, 2014 10:40:46 am
>> List:   org.apache.incubator.callback-dev
>>
>> One nice thing about a mailing list is that it is delivered.  The digest
>> form provides an uncluttered, passive means to stay aware of issues and
>> contribute when appropriate.
>>
>> I'm still new to this list but would like to listen in to the hangout if
>> that's possible.  How would I find it on Google Hangout?
>>
>> -Terence Bandoian
>>
>
> The obvious point is the reminder that any discussions or potential
> decisions made in realtime fora must be brought back to the relevant
> mailing list to give everyone in the community a chance to digest and
> comment.  In particular, decisions about new development need to be brought
> back to the dev@ list so that other committers can comment and
> participate in the decision process.
>
> The less obvious point - but just as important - is that while some may
> see mailing lists as old fashioned, they both foster a sense of a single
> community, as well as ensuring that contributors who aren't perhaps active
> every day can still both participate, and have an easy way to find out
> about past discussions and decisions.
>
> Similarly, when thinking about long term community health, one advantage
> to mailing lists is that the ASF controls the infrastructure.  Our mailing
> lists and archives will be around... well, for at least the next 50 years.
>  There is no such guarantee from stackoverflow - no matter how popular the
> site is, who's to say that they don't start monetizing with a login, or
> start dropping old support questions when the project is no longer popular?
>
> My typical response to a thread like this would be "you need to have a
> users@ list and use it".  I would still hope to see Apache Cordova have a
> user list, and I do echo other comments that once started, they tend to
> also attract new contributors - even if they're only users who help answer
> other users' questions.  The point is that on single list there's a chance
> to build some community.
>
> Depending on the user base size and type of questions, I could also see
> linking to a StackOverflow site as well, in conjunction with a users@list.
>
> Just some perspective from a long time Apache Way guy,
> - Shane
>

Shane, I agree with most of what you've said, but let's not confuse the
roles of the dev@ and users@ lists -- we absolutely do make decisions on
dev@cordova.a.o, and appreciate that it provides an important place for
discussion about the project, and a place where everyone can contribute.
Being archived, it's great that we can look back -- years back, if
necessary -- and see the justifications behind particular actions.

dev@ is a single forum where all of the important decisions are made, in
public. It is clearly important that it be like this, or else there would
never be a way to say with certainty "this is all the discussion that has
happened on this topic".

The role of a potential users@ list, though, is not that; support issues
are often transient, and there is much less value to a 50-year archive.
(There's still some value to archiving and searchability, certainly).

I could be wrong, but I don't see much value to even trying to force a
single source for support questions -- people will ask questions wherever
they are comfortable asking. And for searching, people aren't going to
first navigate to the mailing list archives, and then search the archives
-- people just don't do that anymore. They're going to open up their
browser, type in a question, and their default search engine is going to
return all of the results from the web -- whether from stackoverflow, users@,
phonegap@, random blogs, or anywhere.

The *only* important thing is that, in the places where people find to ask
questions, there are people listening who can answer them. Without that,
any forum is going to fail. Currently, phonegap@ is one such place,
regardless of its unfortunate branding. stackoverflow is another great
place. users@cordova wouldn't be, and it would be an uphill battle to even
get people to start using it. We can put it in place, but we have to
recognize that there will be a lot of work ahead to get it to be a part of
the community. That doesn't come automatically.

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