[OpenIndiana-discuss] Help with website

Ken Gunderson kgunders at teamcool.net
Sun Oct 9 18:37:01 UTC 2011

On Sat, 2011-10-08 at 18:35 -0600, LinuxBSDos.com wrote:
> >> As Bernd Helber remarked, forums can play a significant role in Linux
> >> distributions, as they allow users to "have conversations". It would be
> >> great if an initiative to create one for OI could be started.
> >
> > I agree that forums are more user-friendly when you're searching for
> > an answer that already exists. However, I find mailing lists easier to
> > interact with and reply to on a regular basis. I think the reason the
> > OpenSolaris forums worked so well is that each forum also had a
> > mailing list bridged with it, so you got the best of both worlds (easy
> > search and easy participation). My request would be the the mailing
> > lists not be dumped in favor of forums, but rather set up as another
> > way of participating with the forums.
> >
> I didn't call for abandoning the mailing list, rather for setting up
> something that is more community-oriented.

Mailing Lists are inherently community oriented.  That some other
johnny-come-lately technology, e.g. web based forums, has subsequently
gained popularity does not invalidate mailing lists communities.

I haven't looked in recent years, but the last time I did look, port 25,
not port 80, was responsible for the lions share of Internet traffic.
And if modern numbers reverse that, it may be more of an artifact that
web pages are ten to 50 times fatter than they were back in the day when
I had to keep 28k modem (the cat's meow at the time because it had
doubled the previous speed) capabilities in mind. And yes, with
streaming media port 80 may well have supplanted 25 but my point remains

I personally much, much prefer mlm's because its a push, rather than
pull medium.  Once I'm subscribed to a list, everything is there in my
inbox.  The problem might be finding it, but that's another problem.
Modern MLM's, e.g. Mailman, typically sport searchable web archives as
well for those desiring pull medium.

That doesn't mean forums are useless.  I like forums too.  But for
technical discussions I prefer mailing lists.  For example, consider a
newbie querry.  If posted to mlm, the q AND as well as any and all
follow ups are pushed to the entire community at large.  Maybe joe grey
beard expert spots an error in the part of the response that isn't quite
correct, so they post follow up. If web forums, this expert may never
see the question or follow ups unless they take the time to "pull" from
the web site.  So forums need larger base out of the gate to reach
critical mass compared to mlm.  Bridging the two may sound like a good
solution, but I've _never_ seen such a solution that actually worked
_well_ in practice.  At least for those of us who prefer mlm, as threads
rapidly become horked up top the point were one now _must_ view via
forum interface to be able to follow.

One area where web forums clearly superior to mlm is where you have
want/need to monetize the community via ads and such. 

Now I don't want to "scare" you off from contributing to OI but I think
much of what you say is predicated upon some erroneous assumptions as
well as your personal preferences, wh/because you can point to some
others who share those preferences becomes a mandate for OI to follow.
This is not necessarily so.  

I also curious if you may have _any_ type of affiliation with Vanilla
because I'm pretty familiar w/a number of forum packages, never heard of
vanilla until recently, and fail to see what, if any, advantage it
offers over various alternatives.

Regards-- Ken Gunderson

More information about the OpenIndiana-discuss mailing list