Do we need a forum?
research at science.su
Mon Feb 18 17:57:41 CST 2008
On Monday February 18 2008 22:10:52 Jeff Zaroyko wrote:
> L. Rahyen <research <at> science.su> writes:
> > Actually, forums are the standard also. There is a lot of projects who
> > have forums for general discussion. Personally I don't like this at all,
> > registration and posting almost always are very complex and annoying;
> > this another reason why I like mailing lists more. But this isn't as bad
> > as it seems, because it is possible to create better forums, without such
> > drawbacks (and I can try to do this in case of positive decision). Server
> > isn't a problem, I can give my server for this purpose. And of course
> > mailing list will stay as is (so users will be able to choose between
> > official mailing list and official forum).
> > Question is, will be a (official) forum a useful *addition* (for our
> > users) to what we have now or not?...
> We already have a forum, the appdb.
> I think it just needs some work to make what we have, better so that it
> actually looks like a forum, as I elaborated on in this post here
> It's just a matter of some modification to create a better user interface,
> there's no need to create a new forum, just change how we can view and
> interact with the existing data.
It is important that someone actually started to work on this
otherwise your idea will never be actually implemented (in near future at
least). For me, for example, this is to hard to implement because I don't
know AppDB good enough and have very limited free time.
And personally I think that it will be too hard even for someone who knows
AppDB very well. Also, there is naming confusion ("WINE forum" and "AppDB
forum" - this will not allow users to find easily official WINE forum). And
of course currently AppDB isn't specified as a forum at all (just try in
Google "AppDB forum" - it seems that no one call AppDB "forum"). Another
problem is that not all questions/comments are related to one particular
application or applications at all - for example, general question about
compile issues or other problems are possible (just compare wine-users
archive with AppDB to see the difference).
Currently it's hard for newbie to find a official WINE forum (try in Google
for example "WINE forum linux"); well, this is because there is no official
WINE forum currently... So most users who want to discuss WINE related issues
in a forum discuss them on general Linux/distribution' forums.
Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to read all such forums, this is
really too much "fragmented", this leads to some inefficiencies: sometimes
WINE related questions on such forums cannot receive useful answer for a long
time. Even worse, even if I find some question that I can quickly answer on
the forum, it is impossible to do so without time consuming registration
process. In fact there was some cases when I searched for some WINE related
issues, find someone's unanswered question that I can answer quickly, but
never find enough time and motivation to register.
This is actually the problem that should be addressed if we decide to create
forum. Registration shouldn't be required. At most (for protection from spam
bots), few digits from a small picture should be entered by unregistered
users before posting and that's all. As I said earlier, it is also important
to have ability to subscribe for all messages from the forum otherwise
(reliable) user support will be hard. And there is a lot of other important
issues... By the way, http://wine-forum.org don't have these important
features at all (just a note).
And of course, I'm able to implement myself everything I'm talking above,
with well looking design. But I will do this only if there is demand in
this... That is, if it would be decided to create forum I will be glad to
help, but if not then there is no point in creating of something that is
intended for the community and isn't demanded high enough by this community.
As I already said, I like mailing lists much more than forums, so my opinion
about usefulness/uselessness of the forum is neutral. But I think it is
useful to discuss this topic so right decision can be made (create or not to
create the forum, or find other solution(s), or don't change anything at all)
as a result of the discussion.
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