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From TJ Frazier <>
Subject Re: Making mailing lists useful (was Re: [Proposal])
Date Sat, 13 Aug 2011 13:45:33 GMT
On 8/13/2011 08:37, Rob Weir wrote:
> On Sat, Aug 13, 2011 at 6:11 AM, TJ Frazier<>  wrote:
>> On 8/12/2011 08:47, Nóirín Plunkett wrote:
>>> 2011/8/12 Jürgen Schmidt<>:
>>>> On Fri, Aug 12, 2011 at 12:19 AM, Simon Phipps<> 
>>>>> Maybe. But I see no reason why this list needs the protection of being
>>>>> on a
>>>>> controlled access page and would suggest doing so is what needs
>>>>> justifying.
>>>>> I have not seen a reasoned counter to my proposal for it to be on the
>>>>> community wiki, so will probably create such a page soon (unless someone
>>>>> else wants to).
>>>> I think Rob has already pointed out why the list of tags besides the
>>>> mailing
>>>> list is a good idea and i support it.
>>> Just so that silence isn't assumed to be assent, I think both Rob and
>>> Simon have good points, but I support the idea of putting the list of
>>> tags in a location that's more accessible to new contributions (ie,
>>> the wiki), even if that means it has to be one extra click for folk
>>> who visit the website.
>>> Noirin
>> The recent changes to the ML page provide an accidental illustration of why
>> most things belong on the wiki: web pages tend to get shabby and
>> out-of-date.
>> The ML page[1] changes were very nicely done. Following the "these
>> guidelines" link like a good little newbie led me to the ASF page[2] on
>> email tips. In the "Other email guidelines" section, I also followed the
>> links; one[3] gave me a 404 error. Link rot.
>> My hypothesis — I call it the Curse of the Web Page — is that such decay is
>> inevitable in a high-barrier-to-change environment, without a dedicated
>> corps of maintainers (a dull job). Old hands (who could fix things) are
>> unlikely to access the page at all (they already know this stuff), or
>> they're looking for something specific and wouldn't notice problems
>> elsewhere. Newbies, mousing around, /will/ notice, but can't fix it. The
>> Curse is not limited to links: typos, spelling, and other infelicities are
>> all evident on Apache pages; they need a little TLC.
> The way to deal with dead links is to run a link checker on the site
> occasionally.  That does far better than a casual user will do to find
> these kinds of issues.  Then you can fix them all in one batch.   I
> assume already did something like this?  Even major sites that
> depend on crowd sourcing editing, like Wikipedia, rely on bots to
> detect dead links.
> Think of it this way:  You've heard of Linus's Law : "given enough
> eyesballs, all bugs shallow", right?  But that doesn't mean that you
> ignore compiler warnings.  Automated checking has an important role as
> well.
>> On a wiki, the technically adept newbie might fix the problem right there;
>> others would just leave a note on the Talk page.
> How would you fix it in this case?  Our page links to a valid page
> outside our project, right?  And then that external page has a broken
> link.  Even if our project used a wiki for our mailing list page,
> there is no way we could fix this problem from within our wiki.

The Curse applies not just to AOOo, or the Incubator, but to the whole 
ASF — and so do the hallowed rites of propitiation. That is, their page 
should have been on /their/ wiki, for easy fixing / noting.

Dead links are only one problem. Some of the other glitches are subject 
to automatic detection: spelling, for example. I don't know what the CMS 
editor offers; the MW editor does pretty well. Still, it is amazing how 
many people ignore spell-checkers, even in their email clients.

Other glitches still need eyeballs: there / their / they're, &c. (The 
grammar-checking folks are working on this, but ...) My point is that 
newbie eyeballs are most likely to see glitches, and newbies should have 
an easy way to fix or note the glitch. A wiki provides this.

>> [1]
>> [2]
>> [3]
>>   (busted link, 404)
>> --
>> /tj/


"Dun stopper torque wet strainers." /Ladle Rat Rotten Hut/

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