Re-proposal: web forums
k04jg02 at kzoo.edu
Mon Apr 24 12:39:18 CDT 2006
On Sat, 2006-04-22 at 17:30 +0200, Molle Bestefich wrote:
> I'd like to know exactly what it is that people find so convenient about forums.
A lot. If forums are made, they should be user, not developer, targeted.
Normal users, as opposed to power hackers, prefer forums for a variety
1. They can bookmark forum posts.
2. Webmail interfaces are very popular but often suck at threading
3. phpbb has become so widespread that signing up for a forum is
something that they know how to do and are familiar with.
4. phpbb is so widespread that it's a familiar interface.
5. Subscribing to a mailing lists requires setting up filters so that
you're main inbox isn't flooded with posts.
6. A forum has a throttleable amount of involvement. I don't want to
have to subscribe to a mailing list to just ask one question and then
probably never participate again, and then have to go through the whole
sign up process again on the off chance that I do have another question.
7. Nobody whines when you attach large images or files.
8. It is easily searchable, and unlike the giant "wine-users" or
"wine-devel" lists, you can narrow your search to specific subforums.
9. Posts that aren't active get filtered down to the bottom. Browsing
the web interface to the mailing list just gives me a giant topic dump
for the last month.
10. Sticky posts can alert users to the presence of the FAQ and answers
to popular problems (like, click here for the WoW patch).
Nobody on wine-devel should be concerned that they can't read a phpbb in
mutt. Wine forums would be about centering users discussion in one
place. I wouldn't expect the moderators to be actual wine developers,
but people pulled from the community. The Ubuntu forums do this. The
Ubuntu developers do not do much direct posting and everything works
great. I wouldn't worry about communication between the lists and the
forums at all.
There is also a tendency for users that read both to arise and post
important stuff back on the forums. For example, Stefan's ddraw->d3d
patch would probably get immediately posted by someone, despite starting
on the list. The community just takes it and runs with it.
I think wine forums would get a lot more people running wine
succesfully. Right now if you want to run World of Warcraft on wine, you
need to hunt down a specific popular thread on gentoo.org. It'd be a lot
easier for all wine users if they could just go to one place.
Doing all the work to improve the mailing list web interface seems like
a bad idea when you can just spare yourself all the work and use
something like phpbb. Why reinvent the wheel?
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