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From Denny Lee <denny.g....@gmail.com>
Subject Re: Handling questions in the mailing lists
Date Wed, 09 Nov 2016 07:53:18 GMT
Agreed that by simply just moving the questions to SO will not solve
anything but I think the call out about the meta-tags is that we need to
abide by SO rules and if we were to just jump in and start creating
meta-tags, we would be violating at minimum the spirit and at maximum the
actual conventions around SO.

Saying this, perhaps we could suggest tags that we place in the header of
the question whether it be SO or the mailing lists that will help us sort
through all of these questions faster just as you suggested.  The Proposed
Community Mailing Lists / StackOverflow Changes
<https://docs.google.com/document/d/1N0pKatcM15cqBPqFWCqIy6jdgNzIoacZlYDCjufBh2s/edit#heading=h.xshc1bv4sn3p>
has
been updated to include suggested tags.  WDYT?

On Tue, Nov 8, 2016 at 11:02 PM assaf.mendelson <assaf.mendelson@rsa.com>
wrote:

> I like the document and I think it is good but I still feel like we are
> missing an important part here.
>
>
>
> Look at SO today. There are:
>
> -           4658 unanswered questions under apache-spark tag.
>
> -          394 unanswered questions under spark-dataframe tag.
>
> -          639 unanswered questions under apache-spark-sql
>
> -          859 unanswered questions under pyspark
>
>
>
> Just moving people to ask there will not help. The whole issue is having
> people answer the questions.
>
>
>
> The problem is that many of these questions do not fit SO (but are already
> there so they are noise), are bad (i.e. unclear or hard to answer),
> orphaned etc. while some are simply harder than what people with some
> experience in spark can handle and require more expertise.
>
> The problem is that people with the relevant expertise are drowning in
> noise. This. Is true for the mailing list and this is true for SO.
>
>
>
> For this reason I believe that just moving people to SO will not solve
> anything.
>
>
>
> My original thought was that if we had different tags then different
> people could watch open questions on these tags and therefore have a much
> lower noise. I thought that we would have a low tier (current one) of
> people just not following the documentation (which would remain as noise),
> then a beginner tier where we could have people downvoting bad questions
> but in most cases the community can answer the questions because they are
> common, then a “medium” tier which would mean harder questions but that can
> still be answered by advanced users and lastly an “advanced” tier to which
> committers can actually subscribed to (and adding sub tags for subsystems
> would improve this even more).
>
>
>
> I was not aware of SO policy for meta tags (the burnination link is about
> removing tags completely so I am not sure how it applies, I believe this
> link https://stackoverflow.blog/2010/08/the-death-of-meta-tags/ is more
> relevant).
>
> There was actually a discussion along the lines in SO (
> http://meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/253338/filtering-questions-by-difficulty-level
> ).
>
>
>
> The fact that SO did not solve this issue, does not mean we shouldn’t
> either.
>
>
>
> The way I see it, some tags can easily be used even with the meta tags
> limitation. For example, using spark-internal-development tag can be used
> to ask questions for development of spark. There are already tags for some
> spark subsystems (there is a apachae-spark-sql tag, a pyspark tag, a
> spark-streaming tag etc.). The main issue I see and the one we can’t seem
> to get around is dividing between simple questions that the community
> should answer and hard questions which only advanced users can answer.
>
>
>
> Maybe SO isn’t the correct platform for that but even within it we can try
> to find a non meta name for spark beginner questions vs. spark advanced
> questions.
>
> Assaf.
>
>
>
>
>
> *From:* Denny Lee [via Apache Spark Developers List] [mailto:ml-node+[hidden
> email] <http:///user/SendEmail.jtp?type=node&node=19798&i=0>]
> *Sent:* Tuesday, November 08, 2016 7:53 AM
> *To:* Mendelson, Assaf
>
>
> *Subject:* Re: Handling questions in the mailing lists
>
>
>
> To help track and get the verbiage for the Spark community page and
> welcome email jump started, here's a working document for us to work with:
> https://docs.google.com/document/d/1N0pKatcM15cqBPqFWCqIy6jdgNzIoacZlYDCjufBh2s/edit#
> <https://docs.google.com/document/d/1N0pKatcM15cqBPqFWCqIy6jdgNzIoacZlYDCjufBh2s/edit>
>
>
>
> Hope this will help us collaborate on this stuff a little faster.
>
> On Mon, Nov 7, 2016 at 2:25 PM Maciej Szymkiewicz <[hidden email]
> <http:///user/SendEmail.jtp?type=node&node=19770&i=0>> wrote:
>
> Just a couple of random thoughts regarding Stack Overflow...
>
>    - If we are thinking about shifting focus towards SO all attempts of
>    micromanaging should be discarded right in the beginning. Especially things
>    like meta tags, which are discouraged and "burninated" (
>    https://meta.stackoverflow.com/tags/burninate-request/info) , or
>    thread bumping. Depending on a context these won't be manageable, go
>    against community guidelines or simply obsolete.
>    - Lack of expertise is unlikely an issue. Even now there is a number
>    of advanced Spark users on SO. Of course the more the merrier.
>
> Things that can be easily improved:
>
>    - Identifying, improving and promoting canonical questions and
>    answers. It means closing duplicate, suggesting edits to improve existing
>    answers, providing alternative solutions. This can be also used to identify
>    gaps in the documentation.
>    - Providing a set of clear posting guidelines to reduce effort
>    required to identify the problem (think about
>    http://stackoverflow.com/q/5963269 a.k.a How to make a great R
>    reproducible example?)
>    - Helping users decide if question is a good fit for SO (see below).
>    API questions are great fit, debugging problems like "my cluster is slow"
>    are not.
>    - Actively cleaning (closing, deleting) off-topic and low quality
>    questions. The less junk to sieve through the better chance of good
>    questions being answered.
>    - Repurposing and actively moderating SO docs (
>    https://stackoverflow.com/documentation/apache-spark/topics). Right
>    now most of the stuff that goes there is useless, duplicated or
>    plagiarized, or border case SPAM.
>    - Encouraging community to monitor featured (
>    https://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/apache-spark?sort=featured)
>    and active & upvoted & unanswered (
>    https://stackoverflow.com/unanswered/tagged/apache-spark) questions.
>    - Implementing some procedure to identify questions which are likely
>    to be bugs or a material for feature requests. Personally I am quite often
>    tempted to simply send a link to dev list, but I don't think it is really
>    acceptable.
>    - Animating Spark related chat room. I tried this a couple of times
>    but to no avail. Without a certain critical mass of users it just won't
>    work.
>
>
>
>
>
> On 11/07/2016 07:32 AM, Reynold Xin wrote:
>
> This is an excellent point. If we do go ahead and feature SO as a way for
> users to ask questions more prominently, as someone who knows SO very well,
> would you be willing to help write a short guideline (ideally the shorter
> the better, which makes it hard) to direct what goes to user@ and what
> goes to SO?
>
>
>
> Sure, I'll be happy to help if I can.
>
> On Sun, Nov 6, 2016 at 9:54 PM, Maciej Szymkiewicz <[hidden email]
> <http:///user/SendEmail.jtp?type=node&node=19770&i=1>> wrote:
>
> Damn, I always thought that mailing list is only for nice and welcoming
> people and there is nothing to do for me here >:)
>
> To be serious though, there are many questions on the users list which
> would fit just fine on SO but it is not true in general. There are dozens
> of questions which are to broad, opinion based, ask for external resources
> and so on. If you want to direct users to SO you have to help them to
> decide if it is the right channel. Otherwise it will just create a really
> bad experience for both seeking help and active answerers. Former ones will
> be downvoted and bashed, latter ones will have to deal with handling all
> the junk and the number of active Spark users with moderation privileges is
> really low (with only Massg and me being able to directly close duplicates).
>
> Believe me, I've seen this before.
>
> On 11/07/2016 05:08 AM, Reynold Xin wrote:
>
> You have substantially underestimated how opinionated people can be on
> mailing lists too :)
>
> On Sunday, November 6, 2016, Maciej Szymkiewicz <[hidden email]
> <http:///user/SendEmail.jtp?type=node&node=19770&i=2>> wrote:
>
> You have to remember that Stack Overflow crowd (like me) is highly
> opinionated, so many questions, which could be just fine on the mailing
> list, will be quickly downvoted and / or closed as off-topic. Just
> saying...
>
> --
>
> Best,
>
> Maciej
>
>
>
> On 11/07/2016 04:03 AM, Reynold Xin wrote:
>
> OK I've checked on the ASF member list (which is private so there is no
> public archive).
>
>
>
> It is not against any ASF rule to recommend StackOverflow as a place for
> users to ask questions. I don't think we can or should delete the existing
> user@spark list either, but we can certainly make SO more visible than it
> is.
>
>
>
>
>
> On Wed, Nov 2, 2016 at 10:21 AM, Reynold Xin <[hidden email]
> <http:///user/SendEmail.jtp?type=node&node=19770&i=3>> wrote:
>
> Actually after talking with more ASF members, I believe the only policy is
> that development decisions have to be made and announced on ASF properties
> (dev list or jira), but user questions don't have to.
>
>
>
> I'm going to double check this. If it is true, I would actually recommend
> us moving entirely over the Q&A part of the user list to stackoverflow, or
> at least make that the recommended way rather than the existing user list
> which is not very scalable.
>
>
>
> On Wednesday, November 2, 2016, Nicholas Chammas <[hidden email]
> <http:///user/SendEmail.jtp?type=node&node=19770&i=4>> wrote:
>
> We’ve discussed several times upgrading our communication tools, as far
> back as 2014 and maybe even before that too. The bottom line is that we
> can’t due to ASF rules requiring the use of ASF-managed mailing lists.
>
> For some history, see this discussion:
>
> ·
> https://mail-archives.apache.org/mod_mbox/spark-user/201412.mbox/%3CCAOhmDzfL2COdysV8r5hZN8f=NqXM=f=oY5NO2dHWJ_kVEoP+Ng@...%3E
> <https://mail-archives.apache.org/mod_mbox/spark-user/201412.mbox/%3CCAOhmDzfL2COdysV8r5hZN8f=NqXM=f=oY5NO2dHWJ_kVEoP+Ng@mail.gmail.com%3E>
>
> ·
> https://mail-archives.apache.org/mod_mbox/spark-user/201501.mbox/%3CCAOhmDzec1JdsXQq3dDwAv7eLnzRidSkrsKKG0xKw=TKTxY_sYw@...%3E
> <https://mail-archives.apache.org/mod_mbox/spark-user/201501.mbox/%3CCAOhmDzec1JdsXQq3dDwAv7eLnzRidSkrsKKG0xKw=TKTxY_sYw@mail.gmail.com%3E>
>
> (It’s ironic that it’s difficult to follow the past discussion on why we
> can’t change our official communication tools due to those very tools…)
>
> Nick
>
> ​
>
> On Wed, Nov 2, 2016 at 12:24 PM Ricardo Almeida <[hidden email]
> <http:///user/SendEmail.jtp?type=node&node=19770&i=5>> wrote:
>
> I fell Assaf point is quite relevant if we want to move this project
> forward from the Spark user perspective (as I do). In fact, we're still
> using 20th century tools (mailing lists) with some add-ons (like Stack
> Overflow).
>
>
>
> As usually, Sean and Cody's contributions are very to the point.
>
> I fell it is indeed a matter of of culture (hard to enforce) and tools
> (much easier). Isn't it?
>
> On 2 November 2016 at 16:36, Cody Koeninger <[hidden email]
> <http:///user/SendEmail.jtp?type=node&node=19770&i=6>> wrote:
>
> So concrete things people could do
>
> - users could tag subject lines appropriately to the component they're
> asking about
>
> - contributors could monitor user@ for tags relating to components
> they've worked on.
> I'd be surprised if my miss rate for any mailing list questions
> well-labeled as Kafka was higher than 5%
>
> - committers could be more aggressive about soliciting and merging PRs
> to improve documentation.
> It's a lot easier to answer even poorly-asked questions with a link to
> relevant docs.
>
>
> On Wed, Nov 2, 2016 at 7:39 AM, Sean Owen <[hidden email]
> <http:///user/SendEmail.jtp?type=node&node=19770&i=7>> wrote:
> > There's already reviews@ and issues@. dev@ is for project development
> itself
> > and I think is OK. You're suggesting splitting up user@ and I sympathize
> > with the motivation. Experience tells me that we'll have a beginner@
> that's
> > then totally ignored, and people will quickly learn to post to advanced@
> to
> > get attention, and we'll be back where we started. Putting it in JIRA
> > doesn't help. I don't think this a problem that is merely down to lack of
> > process. It actually requires cultivating a culture change on the
> community
> > list.
> >
>
> > On Wed, Nov 2, 2016 at 12:11 PM Mendelson, Assaf <[hidden email]
> <http:///user/SendEmail.jtp?type=node&node=19770&i=8>>
>
>
> > wrote:
> >>
> >> What I am suggesting is basically to fix that.
> >>
> >> For example, we might say that mailing list A is only for voting,
> mailing
> >> list B is only for PR and have something like stack overflow for
> developer
> >> questions (I would even go as far as to have beginner, intermediate and
> >> advanced mailing list for users and beginner/advanced for dev).
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> This can easily be done using stack overflow tags, however, that would
> >> probably be harder to manage.
> >>
> >> Maybe using special jira tags and manage it in jira?
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Anyway as I said, the main issue is not user questions (except maybe
> >> advanced ones) but more for dev questions. It is so easy to get lost in
> the
> >> chatter that it makes it very hard for people to learn spark internals…
> >>
> >> Assaf.
> >>
> >>
> >>
>
> >> From: Sean Owen [mailto:[hidden email]
> <http:///user/SendEmail.jtp?type=node&node=19770&i=9>]
>
>
> >> Sent: Wednesday, November 02, 2016 2:07 PM
>
> >> To: Mendelson, Assaf; [hidden email]
> <http:///user/SendEmail.jtp?type=node&node=19770&i=10>
>
>
> >> Subject: Re: Handling questions in the mailing lists
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> I think that unfortunately mailing lists don't scale well. This one has
> >> thousands of subscribers with different interests and levels of
> experience.
> >> For any given person, most messages will be irrelevant. I also find
> that a
> >> lot of questions on user@ are not well-asked, aren't an SSCCE
> >> (http://sscce.org/), not something most people are going to bother
> replying
> >> to even if they could answer. I almost entirely ignore user@ because
> there
> >> are higher-priority channels like PRs to deal with, that already have
> >> hundreds of messages per day. This is why little of it gets an answer
> -- too
> >> noisy.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> We have to have official mailing lists, in any event, to have some
> >> official channel for things like votes and announcements. It's not
> wrong to
> >> ask questions on user@ of course, but a lot of the questions I see
> could
> >> have been answered with research of existing docs or looking at the
> code. I
> >> think that given the scale of the list, it's not wrong to assert that
> this
> >> is sort of a prerequisite for asking thousands of people to answer one's
> >> question. But we can't enforce that.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> The situation will get better to the extent people ask better questions,
> >> help other people ask better questions, and answer good questions. I'd
> >> encourage anyone feeling this way to try to help along those dimensions.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
>
> >> On Wed, Nov 2, 2016 at 11:32 AM assaf.mendelson <[hidden email]
> <http:///user/SendEmail.jtp?type=node&node=19770&i=11>>
>
>
> >> wrote:
> >>
> >> Hi,
> >>
> >> I know this is a little off topic but I wanted to raise an issue about
> >> handling questions in the mailing list (this is true both for the user
> >> mailing list and the dev but since there are other options such as stack
> >> overflow for user questions, this is more problematic in dev).
> >>
> >> Let’s say I ask a question (as I recently did). Unfortunately this was
> >> during spark summit in Europe so probably people were busy. In any case
> no
> >> one answered.
> >>
> >> The problem is, that if no one answers very soon, the question will
> almost
> >> certainly remain unanswered because new messages will simply drown it.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> This is a common issue not just for questions but for any comment or
> idea
> >> which is not immediately picked up.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> I believe we should have a method of handling this.
> >>
> >> Generally, I would say these types of things belong in stack overflow,
> >> after all, the way it is built is perfect for this. More seasoned spark
> >> contributors and committers can periodically check out unanswered
> questions
> >> and answer them.
> >>
> >> The problem is that stack overflow (as well as other targets such as the
> >> databricks forums) tend to have a more user based orientation. This
> means
> >> that any spark internal question will almost certainly remain
> unanswered.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> I was wondering if we could come up with a solution for this.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Assaf.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> ________________________________
> >>
> >> View this message in context: Handling questions in the mailing lists
> >> Sent from the Apache Spark Developers List mailing list archive at
> >> Nabble.com.
>
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>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> --
>
> Maciej Szymkiewicz
>
>
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