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From Reynold Xin <r...@databricks.com>
Subject Re: Handling questions in the mailing lists
Date Mon, 07 Nov 2016 06:32:38 GMT
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?


On Sun, Nov 6, 2016 at 9:54 PM, Maciej Szymkiewicz <mszymkiewicz@gmail.com>
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 <mszymkiewicz@gmail.com>
> 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 <rxin@databricks.com> 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 <
>>> nicholas.chammas@gmail.com> 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@
>>>>    mail.gmail.com%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@
>>>>    mail.gmail.com%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 <
>>>> ricardo.almeida@actnowib.com> 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 <cody@koeninger.org>
>>>>> 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 <sowen@cloudera.com>
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 <
>>>>>> Assaf.Mendelson@rsa.com>
>>>>>> > 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:sowen@cloudera.com]
>>>>>> >> Sent: Wednesday, November 02, 2016 2:07 PM
>>>>>> >> To: Mendelson, Assaf; dev@spark.apache.org
>>>>>> >> 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 <
>>>>>> assaf.mendelson@rsa.com>
>>>>>> >> 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.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>>> To unsubscribe e-mail: dev-unsubscribe@spark.apache.org
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>
>>
>

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