Sum-up: Re-proposal: web forums

Segin segin2005 at
Sat Apr 22 17:14:28 CDT 2006

Actually, it seems most users like to send messages via their email 
client, but like in another email i sent, they also resent their email 
clients for lack of pretty graphics, colors, and the mailing list 
restriction on annoying HTML markup (namely none allowed) which if you 
look at it, is really pointless (would you like to get a email with a 
black background and pink text that's bold and some weird, hard-to-read 
font? I don't think so)

Also, apology accepted :)

James Trotter wrote:

> On 4/22/06, *Segin* < segin2005 at 
> <mailto:segin2005 at>> wrote:
>     Why aren't I offering suggestions? I did offer one. The rest are
>     beyond our control. To attempt to fix those would be as
>     intelligent as sticking your hand into a boiling pot of water.
>     Let's look at that last one, the sticky thing. This usually means
>     to have a email highlighted in a way that it gets the attention of
>     the user. Now, think about it. There is nothing that we can do to
>     address this ourselves. If you say we can, you are an idiot. That
>     is something that must be configured in whatever email client the
>     user is using.
>     Now let's look at the email client config thing... Well, we could
>     try to fix headers of incoming email, but that's not really a
>     solution. In fact, there is no real solution that we can provide
>     ourselves, and besides, a properly configued email client (to
>     produce proper headers and such) is just proper netiuqitte. There
>     is, again, nothing we can do legally about this (well, we can find
>     a way to break into the users system and configure his email
>     client for him, but were not here to hold hands or commit crimes)
>     Well, it's pretty obvious you didn't read my comments, think about
>     them, read the problems i commented against, and thought about
>     those, and finally thought all of it together. You are just out to
>     troll, and your reply is just flamebait. Your time would probably
>     best be spent on USENET, as there are plenty of trolls there.
>     And before anyone says I am trolling, you're almost right, except
>     that I explained why the problems i mention as unfixable by us are
>     just that. Can we configure the users email client for him? No.
>     Therefore we can't fix those problems.
> I wasn't trolling, and I'm very sorry if it seemed that way. I didn't 
> mean to upset you either.
> I suppose you were offering a suggestion, but if I understood it 
> correctly, it seemed to be: "Let the user fix it." In this case, I 
> believe we can solve it otherwise and spare the user the trouble 
> dealing with such complex matters such as configuring mail clients and 
> dealing with mailing-list interfaces. That's what Mike Hearn's 
> original (re-)proposal suggested, that we set up a forum using phpBB 
> or the like. There wouldn't be need for any mail client whatsoever and 
> the interface is more familiar to the ordinary user. Yeah, call me an 
> idiot, but we could even have stickies!
>     James Trotter wrote:
>>     On 4/22/06, *Segin* < segin2005 at
>>     <mailto:segin2005 at>> wrote:
>>         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.
>>     I find this a little crude. You're acknowledging the fact that
>>     they are problems, but dismissing them and not really offering a
>>     solution. It seems to me that a lot of the problems with the
>>     mailing list is that the interface is complex, especially for joe
>>     user. The least we can do is to make it easy for them, and a
>>     forum seems to solve many of the complexity issues.
>>     Take for example 1) Cannot post without configured mail client.
>>     If there was no need for a mail client, there would be no problem.
>>         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
>>         <> .
>>>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
>>>  Pros:
>>>   ) 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.
>>>  Cons:
>>>   ) 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
>>>  Pros:
>>>   ) We don't have to do anything :-).
>>>  Cons:
>>>   ) If it's not directly on <>,
>>         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
>>>  Pros:
>>>   ) We concentrate people, allowing web and email users to
>>         communicate.
>>>   ) We concentrate (archived) knowledge in one place.
>>>  Cons:
>>>   ) 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.
>>>That means:
>>> * 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
>>>are doing)
>>> * 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.
>>     James D. Trotter
> James D. Trotter

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