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From Zac Stevens <...@cryptocracy.com>
Subject Re: [users@httpd] Other Forms of Apache Support
Date Sun, 05 Jan 2003 00:33:39 GMT
On Sat, Jan 04, 2003 at 06:01:43PM -0600, Ryan Panning wrote:
> A forum would be the best solution I think. I participate on many forums and 
> find them 100% better than a mailing list. Everything is saved so you can 
> search through the forum for a specific topic, that way there is way less 
> redundant questions. I could go on and on about the nice features of forums. 

As a counterpoint, consider the negative aspects of forums:
 * Slow
 * No way to filter view of messages
 * Unweildy interface
 * Single point of failure for searches

> IRC was just an idea if someone would would rather chat then email back and 
> forth. There are also chat clients available in forums. YaBB has a good one 
> that you can add on to the forum. I would be glad to help out setting one up 
> for Apache. I manage a few my self.

This assumes that the knowledgeable contributors have the time and
inclination to sit in a chat room waiting for questions.  Please remember
that this is a volunteer service, and from tracking this list for the past
couple of years I think it's safe to say that only a handful of people
provide 90% of the answers.

For me, at least, email is the most convenient way in participating in the
discussion.  I can filter all the list mail into a separate box and have a
answer a couple of questions when I have time.  It's easy for me to filter
the list so that I don't see messages pertaining to topics I'm no expert in
(tomcat, mod_rewrite).  It's fast and simple, and I don't need to waste
time fighting an interface when I could be using that time to answer
questions.  I'm not a big contributor, but I'd imagine that the problems
I have with a forum would be at least as great for others (unless I'm just
a whinger!)

As for searching, the HTTPD website offers links to google the newsgroups
as well as several different archives of the mailing list.  There is also a
comprehensive FAQ.  Most people use these resources.  Some do not.  It
would take quite some time for a forum to be populated with sufficient
information as to make it worth searching.  For that period, people would
still need to search the newsgroup and list archives.  In the short to
medium term, a forum provides no benefit in this regard.

As for a quicker response, Covalent and others provide commercial support
for the Apache web server.  There's only so much that can be expected for
free, and a guaranteed turnaround really isn't one of those things.

Anyway, that's my 2c.


Zac

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