Sum-up: Re-proposal: web forums
segin2005 at gmail.com
Sat Apr 22 15:40:43 CDT 2006
Hello, I have noted below problems that we can take care of, and those
that aren't our problem, never were, never will be, impossible to be our
problem, (you get the picture), because they are PEBKAC errors :)
For all of those that don't know: PEBKAC = Problem Exists Between
Keyboard and Chair.
Molle Bestefich wrote:
>I've tried to sum up the problems with the wine-users mailing list
>that are urging many people to call for a forum.winehq.org.
>I hope it's useful.
> 1) Cannot post without configured mail client
An unconfigued client causes hell for EVERYONE they email, not just the
list members. If that's a problem for people, well, paper and pens still
exist. this is PEBKAC.
> 2) Browsing old topics and replying/posting new ones happen in two
>different places (web archive vs. mail client)
There should be a "server" email address (like majordomo) that you san
send email to for requesting old archived posts. It should be flexible.
This would allow for this problem to be fixed, and the archives to be
access via email (for us that remember email-ftp)
> 3) Current archive web interface unwieldy (many clicks needed to
>browse, always sorted by month)
This should be sorted in a 2-pass manner, Each level of posting (the
original post is level one, immedate replies are level 2, and all the
immediate replies to the first replies would be the seveal level 3s)
would be sorted chronologically, and then by level. That's pretty much
how I see mailing lists do that. If you don't understand, email me and
i'll try to explain better.
> 4) Missing Googlish search function
> 5) "Subscribe" wording and web pages suggest your inbox will fill up
>when doing so
Well, that's not a real problem because it is truthful for some poor
people that don't use Yahoo!/GMail/Hotmail/Excite/etc. (those services
offer large email boxes)
> 6) Subscribing will cause your inbox to fill up; it's not obvious how
>to change it; neither how to receive mail on specific topics you DO
>want once you've changed it
Solution: Teach users how to properly use their mailbox, or simply get a
bigger mailbox. If it helps, I'll give people GMail invites just to
counteract this problem (and having to use a stupid web-based email
client as well :) this one is partially our problem, partially PEBKAC,
partially the email providers problem.
> 7) Missing "forward all postings re this topic to my inbox" feature
> 8) Very difficult to post under pseudonym
Not true, just don't include your real name anywhere in your email
setup. I don't. Purely PEBKAC.
> 9) Missing 'sticky' feature (?)
That's not our problem. it's impossible for that to be our problem,
because on a mailing list, sticky stuff is client-side only, no matter
what your client is, which also implies that it's impossible for us to
do jack about it. Purely PEBKAC.
>Solution 1: A forum, fx. phpBB
> ) Easy to set up.
> We might even be able to sneak it in before AJ returns :-).
> (Sorry big guy, couldn't resist pulling one on your expense =)..)
> ) Might attract away from wine-users a high quantity of dumb
>questions that people ask when they can't be bothered to search the
> ) Adds a structural approach by categorizing users' various
>problems, which encourages searching instead of asking.
> ) Dillutes knowledge; some ends up in forum and some on wine-users,
>unless we nuke wine-users.
> ) Need to hack the code to get visual integration with WineHQ (menus etc).
> ) To get single-sign-on, we need either a.) reverse proxy or b.)
>something LDAPish and some amount of phpBB hacking
>Solution 2: Point people at Gmane or Google Groups in a prominent place
> ) We don't have to do anything :-).
> ) If it's not directly on winehq.org, it's probably not official
>enough that people are going to use it.
> ) Not everyone has a Gmail account (required to post through Groups)
> ) Not everyone is adept to using Gmane
>Solution 3: WebForum-on-top-of-List
> ) We concentrate people, allowing web and email users to communicate.
> ) We concentrate (archived) knowledge in one place.
> ) The reason that forums are often filled with spam might be that
>it's too easy to post to them. We'd be duplicating that.
> ) We need to code it all ourselves!
>I think solution 1 is good, but I prefer the extra icing on the cake
>that comes with solution 3.
>Now, I'm not high on crystal meth or anything, but I'll just assume
>for a moment that we all want better accessibility for the newcomers
>(even with the rise in volume that they bring), and that all agree to
>go with solution 3 :-). Thus I'll try to outline a battle plan:
>Battle-plan for solution 3
>We'd like non-Wine developers to be able to join in; so let's make
>sure that this system is generically usable.
> * Standard user authentication, fx. using LDAP.
> * Componentize a bit, fx. keep the web interface itself separate from
>WineHQ menu structure and logo.
>We'd need to:
> * Prioritize features
> * Setup a mailing list
> * Setup a simple project web page
> * Setup a winehq-like staging area for development (follows
>HEAD/TIP/origin of web repository so everyone can see what the others
> * Find developers/volunteers!
> * Get started on the coding
>When prioritizing features, we should take a look around and see if
>there are software components available that could be reused, fx.:
> * PHP LDAP auth bindings
> * Existing, good web interfaces for the wine archives (mailman?)
> * ?...
>Any holes or oversights in that plan?
>If solution 3 ever takes off, I will gladly contribute with coding.
>Realistically, though, i cannot implement something like this all by
>myself, especially not in any kind of a timely fashion.
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