Re-proposal: web forums

Tom Spear (Dustin Booker, Dustin Navea) speeddymon at
Mon Apr 24 20:54:33 CDT 2006

Joseph Garvin wrote:
> 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
> of reasons:
> 1. They can bookmark forum posts.
I like the ability to do that even if I don't use it much..
> 2. Webmail interfaces are very popular but often suck at threading
> mailing lists.
Aside from gmail, but thats another story..
> 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.
That part I hate!
> 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.
Which is why many users say CC me in all replies because I'm not 
subscribed!  I agree with this in other words..
> 7. Nobody whines when you attach large images or files.
Very very true
> 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.
I hate these 2 "features" of the mailing list archives
> 10. Sticky posts can alert users to the presence of the FAQ and answers
> to popular problems (like, click here for the WoW patch).
Which, since we currently have no way to do that (dont mention wiki 
because the ones doing this dont read it apparently), is why we have so 
many dupe bugs and posts to the appdb, and posts to 3rd party forums, 
and dupe emails on the lists
> 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.
I'm not technically a developer (since I haven't contributed any code in 
forever), so I would definitely qualify as community..  I currently 
relay info about bugs in bugzilla to the list already anyways, so 
linking to a forum post wouldnt be much different
> 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.
See above
> 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 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?
Thank you!  As I said, the forums dont and shouldnt be anythign 
official, as long as they have the support of a few people on the devel 
list (myself, Molle, Mike, and the others (sorry guys!)), and a large 
majority of the users, then they will succeed, official or not..  I have 
already offered to pay out of my own pocket for a server to host them 
on. Granted it would be a virt host, but its a start.

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