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From "Dennis E. Hamilton" <>
Subject RE: Forum outage
Date Mon, 03 Oct 2011 19:42:16 GMT
Bob, Andreas answered your questions.  If you weren't going to 
like the answers, why did you ask?  It seems odd that someone
answers the questions asked and then gets beat up for it.  Was
this an exam that Andreas was supposed to pass with an essay

I agree the ad hominem stuff is too think on both sides of these
questions.  But his last answers are direct responses to the
questions you asked.

Also, his observations about forums were very specific to 
forums that he uses, and he named them.  Not about potential 
forums, or hypothetical forums, etc.  His comparison with some 
lists he also participates in (though un-named) are also based on 
his actual experience and I witness all that too.  This is not
hypothetical but what users actually are experiencing in some
very concrete cases.

Also, it strikes me that e-mail lists are often used in exactly 
the way Andreas describes.  Not this one, obviously.  Newsgroups 
may have served that purpose better in the past, I'm not sure.  
Various groups that have e-mail attached or e-mail lists that 
have newsgroups attached might also be better, now.  

For self-formed groups working to a common purpose, I'm not 
confident about IM and especially IRC, though, since there is 
no useful archive usually.  And they depend on synchronous
participation, something that lists and forums do not require.  

Wikis are still good.  

For putting together a forum where a group of folks 
work on specific tasks and threads, something like an ad hoc 
agreement on a Google+ circle might do the job these days. 
Instead of mailing lists, one subscribes to RSS feeds instead.
(Likewise for defect-report systems, source-code-management 
systems, etc.)

Bottom line, the antagonism between the folks who prefer lists
and those who prefer forums is mystifying to me.  I prefer lists
because they integrate perfectly into my personal workflow and
all of the conversations that matter to me.  I think forums are
superb in many ways, especially for people whose main communication
resource is their web browser and who are in no position to be
indoctrinated in some higher-ceremony arrangement.  

I don't have a browser open all of the time, I have my e-mail 
client open all of the time.  But it does not do automatic
send-receive (except for my @orcmid twitter stream, of course).

 - Dennis E. Hamilton
   tools for document interoperability,  <>  gsm: +1-206-779-9430  @orcmid

-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Holtzman [] 
Sent: Monday, October 03, 2011 11:12
Subject: Re: Forum outage

On Sun, Oct 02, 2011 at 08:16:19PM +0200, Andreas Säger wrote:
> Am 01.10.2011 22:13, Robert Holtzman wrote:
> <>
> >On Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 07:47:31PM +0200, Andreas Säger wrote:
> > <$rv3$>
> >>Am 30.09.2011 18:35, Doug wrote:
> >><>
> >>>If anybody cares, I *hate* forums. With a list, you get a bit of
> >>>everything,
> >>
> >>If it is an emotional question then it is about the end user's
> >>emotions rather than yours.
> >>End user support by mailing lists simply does not work. The
> >>acceptance is extremely low. Same with the overall quality of
> >>service due to the technical restrictions.
> >
> >Could you please expand on your objection to mailing lists?
> >
> Mailing lists are perfect when you have to be sure that a closed
> group of co-workers share the same information at any time.
> This has nothing to do with end user support.
> I know the mailing lists for end users of OOo since many years. The
> quality of service is very poor. Lots of wrong/missing/misleading
> answers, very high noise level, no screenshots, no search facility,
> no text formatting, not even decent hyperlinks and most importantly:
> no administration. Every piece of spam and bullshit has been copied
> to all subscribers when you read it, so there is nothing to move, to
> fix, to remove, which on the other hand makes a mailing list
> superior for closed work groups with a high level of liability.

The things you're ranting about, with the exception of screen shots,
have nothing to do with whether it's a forum or list. Screen shots can
be worked around on a list with the use of a pastebin. As far as
search facilities, it depends on what list. Some have exellent ones.
Every list I subscribe to has hyperlinks. 
> >
> >Again, could you please expand on your opinion?
> >
> On you won't find a single single spam
> posting, a single off topic thread, duplicate, unsubscribe rant,
> heavy trolling, meta-topic about using the forum, no violation of
> netiquette or forum rules that survives longer than one or two
> hours.
> Instead you can find the answers for hundreds of frequently asked
> questions with screenshots, hyperlinks, clearly structured and
> formatted tutorials and example documents.

Depends on the forum just as it depends on the list you're talking 

I have no idea what you're going on about. I think you're either a troll
or you just like to rant. Either way, be my guest.

Bob Holtzman
If you think you're getting free lunch, 
check the price of the beer.
Key ID: 8D549279

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