How has stackoverflow taken off?

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Mikko Ohtamaa Mikko Ohtamaa
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How has stackoverflow taken off?

Hi,

I am quite new to stackoverflow.om services. I am really happy for the fact that we finally get rid of "forums" and give the users a solution they are expected to use.

Now my question is that how stackoverflow.com Plone questions has taken off? Is there anything we could, as community members, to do there? I tried to subscribe some feed "Plone hot questions" but that feed really hasn't given me anything yet...

-Mikko
yuri-2 yuri-2
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Re: How has stackoverflow taken off?

Il 01/03/2011 10:40, Mikko Ohtamaa ha scritto:

> Hi,
>
> I am quite new to stackoverflow.om services. I am really happy for the fact
> that we finally get rid of "forums" and give the users a solution they are
> expected to use.
>
> Now my question is that how stackoverflow.com Plone questions has taken off?
> Is there anything we could, as community members, to do there? I tried to
> subscribe some feed "Plone hot questions" but that feed really hasn't given
> me anything yet...
>    


I've subscribed to: http://stackoverflow.com/feeds/tag/plone

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JonStahl JonStahl
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Re: How has stackoverflow taken off?

In reply to this post by Mikko Ohtamaa
We just started pushing people there a few days ago, as an experiment.
 If the experiment is successful, we'll think about killiing off the
plone-users email list, but not for a while yet.  It's too early to
draw any conclusions.

:jon

On Tue, Mar 1, 2011 at 1:40 AM, Mikko Ohtamaa
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi,
>
> I am quite new to stackoverflow.om services. I am really happy for the fact
> that we finally get rid of "forums" and give the users a solution they are
> expected to use.
>
> Now my question is that how stackoverflow.com Plone questions has taken off?
> Is there anything we could, as community members, to do there? I tried to
> subscribe some feed "Plone hot questions" but that feed really hasn't given
> me anything yet...
>
> -Mikko
>
> -----
>
> Follow me in Twitter
>
>
>
> Download mFabrik News for iPhone
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>
>
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> View this message in context: http://plone.293351.n2.nabble.com/How-has-stackoverflow-taken-off-tp6076614p6076614.html
> Sent from the General Questions mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
>
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Martin Aspeli Martin Aspeli
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Re: How has stackoverflow taken off?

In reply to this post by yuri-2
On 1 March 2011 09:45, Yuri <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Il 01/03/2011 10:40, Mikko Ohtamaa ha scritto:
>> Hi,
>>
>> I am quite new to stackoverflow.om services. I am really happy for the fact
>> that we finally get rid of "forums" and give the users a solution they are
>> expected to use.
>>
>> Now my question is that how stackoverflow.com Plone questions has taken off?
>> Is there anything we could, as community members, to do there? I tried to
>> subscribe some feed "Plone hot questions" but that feed really hasn't given
>> me anything yet...
>>
>
>
> I've subscribed to: http://stackoverflow.com/feeds/tag/plone

Bear in mind that it's quite new.

It may be an idea to post to plone-users and suggest people look at
Stackoverflow?

Martin

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arryn arryn
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Re: How has stackoverflow taken off?

I've posted a couple of questions there in the last few days and the
responses have been superb. The interface makes conversation and
discussion so much more rewarding than the standard forum approach.
Count me as a great experience for an average developer/integrator who
tends to neglect forums and irc channels.

Thanks to all who provided the support.
Regards,
-Arryn Pidwell

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Derek Broughton-3 Derek Broughton-3
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Re: How has stackoverflow taken off?

In reply to this post by JonStahl
On Mar 1, 1:23 pm, Jon Stahl <[hidden email]> wrote:
> We just started pushing people there a few days ago, as an experiment.
>  If the experiment is successful, we'll think about killiing off the
> plone-users email list, but not for a while yet.  It's too early to
> draw any conclusions.

Damn, I hate that idea - but I know I'm a dinosaur.  I _do_ like
StackOverFlow (it's what ExpertsExchange should have been, if the
ExpertsExchange people hadn't been focused on revenue ahead of
function) but the only way to be _notified_ of questions (as opposed
to browsing just like a forum) is by RSS, and that means "no
threading".  It's nice to be able to ignore entire threads - either
because you can't help, they're not applicable to anything you do, or
they've devolved into an argument between Dieter and Andreas.

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Roché Compaan Roché Compaan
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Re: How has stackoverflow taken off?

On Wed, Mar 2, 2011 at 9:29 PM, derek <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On Mar 1, 1:23 pm, Jon Stahl <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> We just started pushing people there a few days ago, as an experiment.
>>  If the experiment is successful, we'll think about killiing off the
>> plone-users email list, but not for a while yet.  It's too early to
>> draw any conclusions.
>
> Damn, I hate that idea - but I know I'm a dinosaur.

I hate the idea too! I can't imagine an open source community (except
for PHP ones) functioning without an email interface.


--
Roché Compaan
Upfront Systems                  http://www.upfrontsystems.co.za

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Martin Aspeli Martin Aspeli
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Re: How has stackoverflow taken off?

2011/3/3 Roché Compaan <[hidden email]>:

> On Wed, Mar 2, 2011 at 9:29 PM, derek <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> On Mar 1, 1:23 pm, Jon Stahl <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>> We just started pushing people there a few days ago, as an experiment.
>>>  If the experiment is successful, we'll think about killiing off the
>>> plone-users email list, but not for a while yet.  It's too early to
>>> draw any conclusions.
>>
>> Damn, I hate that idea - but I know I'm a dinosaur.
>
> I hate the idea too! I can't imagine an open source community (except
> for PHP ones) functioning without an email interface.

The open source community will continue to function with email
interfaces. plone-developers, product-developers, framework-team,
membership and all the other lists remain, as does plone-user, at
least for now.

This is purely about providing community support when people have
questions. The plone-user mailing list is not great for that because:

 - A lot of business users use Outlook. Mailing lists in Outlook is a travesty.
 - A lot of people don't want a hundred emails a day from plone-user
in their inbox just to ask for some help.
 - We push people to Nabble for signup so they can choose to use a TTW
interface. The Nabble signup process is insanely convoluted (and this
can't be fixed, since it's really just fronting mailman). We lose a
lot of people this way.
 - People don't search the archives (which anyway is awkward), so we
get the same questions asked again and again.
 - The signal-to-noise ration on plone-user means most core developers
don't read it anymore (informal poll)
 - On a mailing list, it's hard to know whether the person answering
your question knows what he's talking about and whether it's a good
answer or a bad one
 - People who work other/overlapping systems will never stumble upon
our product - they don't frequent plone.org or the Nabble GUI

Stackoverflow as a support mechanism solves all this. In a lot of
communities, it has completely taken over as the support channel. It's
easier for core developers to follow (with RSS). The quality of
questions/answers is generally higher, since you can upvote/downvote
and edit questions and answers. The reputation management system means
good answers rise up and people who know what they're doing are more
prominent.

It's early days still, but so far I find Stackoverflow much more
enjoyable than plone-user to work with. I'd never have it replace the
*discussion* part of our community (the other lists), but for informal
support (which is what plone-user is for), mailing lists don't address
the needs of the users very well.

Martin

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Derek Broughton-3 Derek Broughton-3
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Re: How has stackoverflow taken off?



2011/3/3 Martin Aspeli <[hidden email]>
2011/3/3 Roché Compaan <[hidden email]>:
> On Wed, Mar 2, 2011 at 9:29 PM, derek <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> On Mar 1, 1:23 pm, Jon Stahl <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>> We just started pushing people there a few days ago, as an experiment.
>>>  If the experiment is successful, we'll think about killiing off the
>>> plone-users email list, but not for a while yet.  It's too early to
>>> draw any conclusions.
>>
>> Damn, I hate that idea - but I know I'm a dinosaur.
>
> I hate the idea too! I can't imagine an open source community (except
> for PHP ones) functioning without an email interface.

The open source community will continue to function with email
interfaces. plone-developers, product-developers, framework-team,
membership and all the other lists remain, as does plone-user, at
least for now.

This is purely about providing community support when people have
questions.

I understand the _value_ of stackoverflow, but it's _not_ purely about providing community support.  Jon stated right there that "we'll think about killing off plone-users".
 
The plone-user mailing list is not great for that because:

 - A lot of business users use Outlook. Mailing lists in Outlook is a travesty.

No, it's not.  I used it for years, my colleague is still using it to read plone-users.  It's way better (imo) than following an RSS feed.

 - A lot of people don't want a hundred emails a day from plone-user
in their inbox just to ask for some help.

And they don't need it.  As witnessed by this email - as long as you can post, you will get replies to _your_ message.  I hate that too - I'm subscribed to the list via newsgroups (in fact, I'm not 100% sure this will even post to the list), and I really don't want you all CC'ing me, but that's another issue.  If that's really the problem, the fix is to make it much easier for a user to subscribe to plone-users without getting all the emails rather than to try to do all support through another medium.

 - We push people to Nabble for signup so they can choose to use a TTW
interface. The Nabble signup process is insanely convoluted (and this
can't be fixed, since it's really just fronting mailman). We lose a
lot of people this way.

I've never seen a "push" to Nabble.  But if its so difficult, don't use it.  Google works fine.
 
 - People don't search the archives (which anyway is awkward), so we
get the same questions asked again and again.

That will continue to happen.  You think people will search StackOverflow?   It's not difficult to search the archives: Google (I don't even _know_ where the archives are, but I find my answers from this list all the time) - but people are lazy, and they won't use Stackoverflow or Google anymore than they search on Nabble.  Instead, they'll just repeat the question.

 - The signal-to-noise ration on plone-user means most core developers
don't read it anymore (informal poll)

But you're going to studiously follow StackOverflow?  That's relatively easy now, when there are so few questions tagged as "plone".  Even so, last time I looked there were questions tagged as Plone3 or Plone4, but not Plone.  Already, it becomes more difficult for the knowledgeable people to know there are questions that need an answer.  Anyway, the people who should be answering questions are not necessarily the same as "core developers"..  I'm perfectly happy to help out with the questions while you guys keep making Plone better.
 
 - On a mailing list, it's hard to know whether the person answering
your question knows what he's talking about and whether it's a good
answer or a bad one

Agreed - that's what makes SO useful to _me_.  I think you're kidding yourself if it matters to the users who want to get an answer from Plone-users, but don't want to read anybody else's posts.  They'll take the first answer they see on SO, and if it mostly works, they'll never go back.  They won't care about the source of the answer.

 - People who work other/overlapping systems will never stumble upon
our product - they don't frequent plone.org or the Nabble GUI

Google...  How do I know as much as I do about Django (which I've never used)?  It keeps coming up in searches for Plone problems.

Stackoverflow as a support mechanism solves all this.

No, it solves some issues, it creates whole new ones. It's never a good idea to let yourself believe that any piece of software (except, of course, Plone!) will sove all your problems.   The one that really worries me is that knowledgeable people will NOT see the questions.  If a user can't even find basic answers via Google, you can't imagine they can tag a question correctly to get it seen on StackOverflow.  If you're prepared to ditch the users who can't ask adequate questions, then you're not improving service, but you _will_ improve the SNR.
--
derek

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Re: How has stackoverflow taken off?

On 2011-03-03 22:16:26 +0100, Derek Broughton said:
> 2011/3/3 Martin Aspeli <[hidden email]>
> 2011/3/3 Roché Compaan
> <[hidden email]>:
> > On Wed, Mar 2, 2011 at 9:29 PM, derek
> <[hidden email]> wrote:


>  - A lot of people don't want a hundred emails a day from plone-user
> in their inbox just to ask for some help.
>
> And they don't need it.  As witnessed by this email - as long as you
> can post, you will get replies to _your_ message.  I hate that too -
> I'm subscribed to the list via newsgroups (in fact, I'm not 100% sure
> this will even post to the list), and I really don't want you all
> CC'ing me, but that's another issue.  If that's really the problem, the
> fix is to make it much easier for a user to subscribe to plone-users
> without getting all the emails rather than to try to do all support
> through another medium.

I also was always using a threaded nntp newsreader to follow the lists.
In fact, I am not really able to follow any lists that do not have an
nntp gateway (via gmane) and are readable "just via email".

Otoh, I was surprised, that when I switched from linux to the mac, I
could not find a decent nntp client that I could use, and when I asked
many people to help me telling what nntp client they use on the mac,
the answer was "ehhhrm, we are not using nntp". May be true that nntp
is for the power users, and that not many people use nntp today, or
know about the existence of usenet at all. Even though that imo, the
threaded nature of News makes it a format easy to read and handy for
discussions.

So, I think the question is not if stackoverflow is userfriendly for
the people who ask questions, (it probably is, friendly enough) but is
it userfriendly for us power users (or, dinosaurs, if you want :). Will
the people who need to provide the anwers, follow the questions on
stackoverflow?

To decide this question for myself, I subscribed to the following rss feed:

   http://stackoverflow.com/feeds/tag/plone

What I see, is that only the questions show up in the rss feed, but
never the answers. This means, - if my observation is correct and I am
not mistaken - that I will not be able to read the answers via the rss.
It would be only possible by clicking "read more" and follow the web
interface. My first reaction is that I will follow the questions but I
probably won't do this extra click, unless I am ready to give a reply
myself. Thus, I will seldom see any reply or get notified if there has
been a reply at all.

Which I find a pity, because on the current list, I often just join a
conversation after a particular reply (like, the case in this thread),
and many times, I also find valuable to read answers to a particular
questions, which is a great way of learning how to solve particular
problems. I also find it nice that if noone replies to a question,
someone will take the lead after a while and replies. All this seems to
be not easy or possible at all on stackoverflow.

Tagging however can be used with a benefit on stackowerflow (like, tag
a question with "plone" and something else). This is something we did
not have on the mailing lists. I also have to add that I just
subscribed to the feed, have not started using the service yet...

--
Balazs Ree, Greenfinity, LLC



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Re: How has stackoverflow taken off?

In reply to this post by Derek Broughton-3
Hi Derek,

On 3 March 2011 21:16, Derek Broughton <[hidden email]> wrote:

>> This is purely about providing community support when people have
>> questions.
>
> I understand the _value_ of stackoverflow, but it's _not_ purely about
> providing community support.  Jon stated right there that "we'll think about
> killing off plone-users".

What else is plone-users used for?

>> The plone-user mailing list is not great for that because:
>>
>>  - A lot of business users use Outlook. Mailing lists in Outlook is a
>> travesty.
>
> No, it's not.  I used it for years, my colleague is still using it to read
> plone-users.  It's way better (imo) than following an RSS feed.

To each his own, I guess. I was comparing with things like Gmail.

>>  - A lot of people don't want a hundred emails a day from plone-user
>> in their inbox just to ask for some help.
>
> And they don't need it.  As witnessed by this email - as long as you can
> post, you will get replies to _your_ message.  I hate that too - I'm
> subscribed to the list via newsgroups (in fact, I'm not 100% sure this will
> even post to the list), and I really don't want you all CC'ing me, but
> that's another issue.  If that's really the problem, the fix is to make it
> much easier for a user to subscribe to plone-users without getting all the
> emails rather than to try to do all support through another medium.

I think the world has moved on quite a bit. I work a lot with business
users who evaluate, trial and end up using (and sometimes developing
with) systems like Plone. A mailing list is a really big barrier to
them. Having to sign up to a list and understand what amount of
content they receive is problem. Plus the fact that the interaction
point is their mailbox, whilst the existing content is elsewhere
(archives), until they've been subscribed for a long time.

Newsgroups are even more obscure. Almost no-one knows what they are.

Like it or not, people these days search the web for help, and expect
to use web-based solutions. Stackoverflow is *huge* for the type of
Q&A that people use plone-users for.

Don't get me wrong, it's not perfect, but it's pretty much won the
battle for the canonical location for technical/developer Q&A.

>>  - We push people to Nabble for signup so they can choose to use a TTW
>> interface. The Nabble signup process is insanely convoluted (and this
>> can't be fixed, since it's really just fronting mailman). We lose a
>> lot of people this way.
>
> I've never seen a "push" to Nabble.  But if its so difficult, don't use it.
> Google works fine.

plone.org/support used to send people to Nabble for signup. For people
that come to plone.org and click "support", being sent to Mailman or
Nabble is a big turn-off. People with casual questions aren't going to
sign up to a mailing list just to ask. And those people are *already*
on Stackoverflow, probably, where they know how to get help.

>>  - People don't search the archives (which anyway is awkward), so we
>> get the same questions asked again and again.
>
> That will continue to happen.  You think people will search StackOverflow?
> It's not difficult to search the archives: Google (I don't even _know_ where
> the archives are, but I find my answers from this list all the time) - but
> people are lazy, and they won't use Stackoverflow or Google anymore than
> they search on Nabble.  Instead, they'll just repeat the question.

When you post to Stackoverflow, it searches for you, and shows you
similar questions before you're allowed to post. Plus, the community
can edit, merge and vote up/down posts so that the best knowledge
rises to the top for people who search for help (which more people do
through a standard "top right hand side" search box than through
something as obtuse as
https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/plone-users.

>>  - The signal-to-noise ration on plone-user means most core developers
>> don't read it anymore (informal poll)
>
> But you're going to studiously follow StackOverflow?  That's relatively easy
> now, when there are so few questions tagged as "plone".  Even so, last time
> I looked there were questions tagged as Plone3 or Plone4, but not Plone.

Yes, which happened because we weren't taking control. At least now
the 'plone' tag should start getting more important. But of course,
the search will find the other content too.

> Already, it becomes more difficult for the knowledgeable people to know
> there are questions that need an answer.

I find it easier, at least, because I get the RSS feed of new
questions in my Google Reader.

>  Anyway, the people who should be
> answering questions are not necessarily the same as "core developers"..  I'm
> perfectly happy to help out with the questions while you guys keep making
> Plone better.

Yes, it's already in my Google Reader RSS feed.

If you want to give back to Plone and help, I think one way to do that
would be to try to bring the help and conversation to where the people
that need that help are. We risk becoming insular if we require anyone
who wants to ask simple questions to go through our signup process and
use tools that may be easy/familiar to us (and which we'll keep using
for all *discussion* that happens on all the other lists!) but
inconvenient to them.

Put yourself in the shoes of someone who is evaluating a dozen CMSs
and looking for a bit of help. Are they going to sign up to a dozen
mailing lists, turn off mail delivery, ask their questions, etc, or
are they going to ask all those questions in one or two web forums,
where they can log in with their existing Google or Facebook or OpenID
account?

>>  - On a mailing list, it's hard to know whether the person answering
>> your question knows what he's talking about and whether it's a good
>> answer or a bad one
>
> Agreed - that's what makes SO useful to _me_.  I think you're kidding
> yourself if it matters to the users who want to get an answer from
> Plone-users, but don't want to read anybody else's posts.  They'll take the
> first answer they see on SO, and if it mostly works, they'll never go back.
> They won't care about the source of the answer.

I think if they get an answer that's down-voted, they'll know the
answer is probably crap. And vice-a-versa for up-voted answers.

> No, it solves some issues, it creates whole new ones. It's never a good idea
> to let yourself believe that any piece of software (except, of course,
> Plone!) will sove all your problems.   The one that really worries me is
> that knowledgeable people will NOT see the questions.  If a user can't even
> find basic answers via Google, you can't imagine they can tag a question
> correctly to get it seen on StackOverflow.  If you're prepared to ditch the
> users who can't ask adequate questions, then you're not improving service,
> but you _will_ improve the SNR.

Why don't we let the experiment run for a bit before we decide it's
dead, at least?

Here's an anecdote: I've just helped a relatively inexperienced team
through a complex Java implementation project. We coined a term: SODD
- StackOverflow Driven Development. Whenever we were stuck, we'd tend
to Google the question. Invariably, we got some answers on SO and some
on mailing list archives and some in blogs. Almost always, we got the
best answer out of SO. After a while, we just went straight there and
searched, and when we couldn't find an answer, we asked. It worked
very well. If we'd have had to sign up to the half dozen relevant
mailing lists (we were using a variety of technologies), decide which
ones to search/post to, interact with them through something like
Nabble or Outlook, I doubt we would've been as effective.

Martin

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Re: How has stackoverflow taken off?

In reply to this post by Balazs Ree-2
Hi Balazs,

On 3 March 2011 22:07, Balazs Ree <[hidden email]> wrote:

> What I see, is that only the questions show up in the rss feed, but
> never the answers. This means, - if my observation is correct and I am
> not mistaken - that I will not be able to read the answers via the rss.
> It would be only possible by clicking "read more" and follow the web
> interface. My first reaction is that I will follow the questions but I
> probably won't do this extra click, unless I am ready to give a reply
> myself. Thus, I will seldom see any reply or get notified if there has
> been a reply at all.

Right - it's a somewhat different use case.

Mailing lists are great for discussion (and this is a discussion - we
wouldn't have this debate on StackOverflow!).

StackOverflow is great for Q&A. The point of subscribing to the RSS
feed is that if you know the answer, you'll hopefully answer.

If you're looking for an answer, you'll either search or post a
question (which involves a search for existing answers). And you're
more likely then to find an old answer if it's still valid. And you
can use up/down-voting to indicate whether the answer is (still) good,
thus improving the knowledge base for everyone.

Martin

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What You Don't Know About Data Connectivity CAN Hurt You
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Re: How has stackoverflow taken off?

In reply to this post by Mikko Ohtamaa
If anyone is interested...

The SQL Anywhere community hated stackoverflow. They decided that
stackexchange was considerably better. Then they decided they had to
move to a company-hosted space with it and have been working very hard
to import all the history from stackexchange.

I personally like that you can get your own space at stackexchange. I'd
much rather go to plone.blahblahblah.something than go to a place where
all the users had better take the time to appropriately tag their posts
or they'll get lost in the grand scheme of things. But that's me. If
you're trying to have your posts and your product show up (free
advertising) when frustrated, irritated people are looking for an answer
to something completely unrelated, you have no choice but to disagree
with my petty preferences :)

The following blog post starts out talking a lot about the setup, but if
you skim over that, you'll get some relevant commentary about how people
used their stackexchange setup right from the get-go. I think this
commentary is relevant to those of us who are used to email (like
myself) and has some interesting commentary about the stackoverflow
community and voting, which may or may not still be relevant over a year
later.

http://sqlanywhere.blogspot.com/2009/11/sqla-one-week-later.html

Here's the SQL Anywhere stackexchange site and their new beta
company-hosted space, for the morbidly interested.

http://sqla.stackexchange.com/

http://sqlanywhere-forum.sybase.com/

I have to admit, I'm an email person. But that's because I like to keep
the archive local for when I need it. You'll probably never actually
hear from me again.

-carol

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What You Don't Know About Data Connectivity CAN Hurt You
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Derek Broughton-3 Derek Broughton-3
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Re: How has stackoverflow taken off?


On Mar 3, 8:40 pm, Carol Siddall <[hidden email]> wrote:
> If anyone is interested...
>
> The SQL Anywhere community hated stackoverflow. They decided that
> stackexchange was considerably better.

Weird - since StackExchange _is_ StackOverflow. I mean, I'm sure there
are some differences, but it's the same people, same software,
different URLs.

> I have to admit, I'm an email person. But that's because I like to keep
> the archive local for when I need it. You'll probably never actually
> hear from me again.

That, unfortunately, is what I fear will happen with StackOverflow - a
lot of one-time interactions.

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Re: How has stackoverflow taken off?

In reply to this post by Martin Aspeli
On Thu, Mar 3, 2011 at 7:28 PM, Martin Aspeli <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Derek,

On 3 March 2011 21:16, Derek Broughton <[hidden email]> wrote:

>> This is purely about providing community support when people have
>> questions.
>
> I understand the _value_ of stackoverflow, but it's _not_ purely about
> providing community support.  Jon stated right there that "we'll think about
> killing off plone-users".

What else is plone-users used for?

So, you agree?  This IS about killing plone-users.  



>> The plone-user mailing list is not great for that because:
>>
>>  - A lot of business users use Outlook. Mailing lists in Outlook is a
>> travesty.
>
> No, it's not.  I used it for years, my colleague is still using it to read
> plone-users.  It's way better (imo) than following an RSS feed.

To each his own, I guess. I was comparing with things like Gmail.

These days I practically _live_ on Gmail.  Nevertheless, Outlook - and any decent offline mail reader - handles mailing lists better than that.  I can't ignore a thread in Gmail.
 
I think the world has moved on quite a bit. I work a lot with business
users who evaluate, trial and end up using (and sometimes developing
with) systems like Plone. A mailing list is a really big barrier to
them. Having to sign up to a list and understand what amount of
content they receive is problem.

I understand that - I was just pointing out that IF that was the problem, it's solvable by making the signup process simpler.  I don't believe that is really the problem, though.
 
Like it or not, people these days search the web for help, and expect
to use web-based solutions. Stackoverflow is *huge* for the type of
Q&A that people use plone-users for.

I agree - and I stated right off the top that I _like_ StackOverflow.
 
Don't get me wrong, it's not perfect, but it's pretty much won the
battle for the canonical location for technical/developer Q&A.

>>  - People don't search the archives (which anyway is awkward), so we
>> get the same questions asked again and again.
>
> That will continue to happen.  You think people will search StackOverflow?
> It's not difficult to search the archives: Google (I don't even _know_ where
> the archives are, but I find my answers from this list all the time) - but
> people are lazy, and they won't use Stackoverflow or Google anymore than
> they search on Nabble.  Instead, they'll just repeat the question.

When you post to Stackoverflow, it searches for you, and shows you
similar questions before you're allowed to post. Plus, the community
can edit, merge and vote up/down posts so that the best knowledge

OK.  I wasn't aware that anybody besides the poster could actually modify the questions.  So I've been back to SO and done my first good deed by retagging a Plone3 question (which wasn't even Plone3 specific) to "plone".
 
rises to the top for people who search for help (which more people do
through a standard "top right hand side" search box than through
something as obtuse as
https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/plone-users.

 Exactly - but I've been doing that via Google for over a decade.  Only a real geek would have even got to sf.net.

>>  - The signal-to-noise ration on plone-user means most core developers
>> don't read it anymore (informal poll)
>
> But you're going to studiously follow StackOverflow?  That's relatively easy
> now, when there are so few questions tagged as "plone".  Even so, last time
> I looked there were questions tagged as Plone3 or Plone4, but not Plone.

Yes, which happened because we weren't taking control. At least now
the 'plone' tag should start getting more important. But of course,
the search will find the other content too.

It hasn't, previously.  I've been using StackOverflow for a year.  I have _not_ been using it for Plone because I could find no useful information except _very_ occasionally when something showed in a Google search.  Having successfully retagged a question as "plone", I begin to see the value.  However, you still won't see the questions that people can't tag correctly unless people do what I've done and dig them up and retag them.

> Already, it becomes more difficult for the knowledgeable people to know
> there are questions that need an answer.

I find it easier, at least, because I get the RSS feed of new
questions in my Google Reader.

>  Anyway, the people who should be
> answering questions are not necessarily the same as "core developers"..  I'm
> perfectly happy to help out with the questions while you guys keep making
> Plone better.

Yes, it's already in my Google Reader RSS feed.

If you want to give back to Plone and help, I think one way to do that
would be to try to bring the help and conversation to where the people
that need that help are. We risk becoming insular if we require anyone
who wants to ask simple questions to go through our signup process and
use tools that may be easy/familiar to us (and which we'll keep using
for all *discussion* that happens on all the other lists!) but
inconvenient to them.

Put yourself in the shoes of someone who is evaluating a dozen CMSs
and looking for a bit of help. Are they going to sign up to a dozen
mailing lists, turn off mail delivery, ask their questions, etc, or
are they going to ask all those questions in one or two web forums,
where they can log in with their existing Google or Facebook or OpenID
account?

>>  - On a mailing list, it's hard to know whether the person answering
>> your question knows what he's talking about and whether it's a good
>> answer or a bad one
>
> Agreed - that's what makes SO useful to _me_.  I think you're kidding
> yourself if it matters to the users who want to get an answer from
> Plone-users, but don't want to read anybody else's posts.  They'll take the
> first answer they see on SO, and if it mostly works, they'll never go back.
> They won't care about the source of the answer.

I think if they get an answer that's down-voted, they'll know the
answer is probably crap. And vice-a-versa for up-voted answers.

I think that most users won't stick around long enough to see if an answer is voted down.  Especially since they can't vote themselves, unless they're prepared to stick around quite a while.

> No, it solves some issues, it creates whole new ones. It's never a good idea
> to let yourself believe that any piece of software (except, of course,
> Plone!) will sove all your problems.   The one that really worries me is
> that knowledgeable people will NOT see the questions.  If a user can't even
> find basic answers via Google, you can't imagine they can tag a question
> correctly to get it seen on StackOverflow.  If you're prepared to ditch the
> users who can't ask adequate questions, then you're not improving service,
> but you _will_ improve the SNR.

Why don't we let the experiment run for a bit before we decide it's
dead, at least?

Please don't get me wrong - as I said, I like SO.  What's distressing to me is the apparent willingness of people like you and Jon to kill _this_  medium.
 
Here's an anecdote: I've just helped a relatively inexperienced team
through a complex Java implementation project. We coined a term: SODD
- StackOverflow Driven Development.
 
Personally I rely on PPDD: /Professional Plone Development/ development. :-)
--
derek

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What You Don't Know About Data Connectivity CAN Hurt You
This paper provides an overview of data connectivity, details
its effect on application quality, and explores various alternative
solutions. http://p.sf.net/sfu/progress-d2d
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Re: How has stackoverflow taken off?

On 3/3/11 10:05 PM, Derek Broughton wrote:
> Please don't get me wrong - as I said, I like SO.  What's distressing
> to me is the apparent willingness of people like you and Jon to kill
> _this_  medium.
I haven't heard anybody say they're ready to kill plone-users. I've
heard people say that they're ready to try Stack Overflow as an
experiment, and that we should explore having plone-users may change or
go away *if* Stack Overflow fulfills the same goal better. Given the
length of this thread, I don't think that's a foregone conclusion by any
means. I doubt we can judge that till we've been promoting Stack
Overflow for a month or two.


----------
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Re: How has stackoverflow taken off?

On Thu, Mar 3, 2011 at 7:14 PM, David Glick <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 3/3/11 10:05 PM, Derek Broughton wrote:
>> Please don't get me wrong - as I said, I like SO.  What's distressing
>> to me is the apparent willingness of people like you and Jon to kill
>> _this_  medium.
> I haven't heard anybody say they're ready to kill plone-users. I've
> heard people say that they're ready to try Stack Overflow as an
> experiment, and that we should explore having plone-users may change or
> go away *if* Stack Overflow fulfills the same goal better. Given the
> length of this thread, I don't think that's a foregone conclusion by any
> means. I doubt we can judge that till we've been promoting Stack
> Overflow for a month or two.

Waaay to much is being read into an off-the-cuff remark.  I'm not
ready to "kill" plone-users, and I don't think anyone else is yet
either. We're just trying an experiment (which was not my idea, but
one I'm personally pretty excited to see happening) to see whether SO
works well for us.  If it does, great, we'll figure out what that
means for how to refactor Plone's support spaces.  If SO doesn't work
for us, then we won't make any changes.  Or we'll come up with
different experiments.  Regardless, there will be a lot more
conversation before any final changes get made.  If there's not an
obvious working consensus, I'd personally be in favor of some sort of
community poll or advisory vote.

I do think we need to acknowledge, as Martin has eloquently pointed
out, that while the status quo has some good points, it also has some
real pain points for the inexperienced.  Thus, I think open-minded
experimentation is very worthwhile.

:jon

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Balazs Ree-2 Balazs Ree-2
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Re: How has stackoverflow taken off?

In reply to this post by Martin Aspeli
On 2011-03-04 00:28:44 +0100, Martin Aspeli said:

>
> Here's an anecdote: I've just helped a relatively inexperienced team
> through a complex Java implementation project. We coined a term: SODD
> - StackOverflow Driven Development. Whenever we were stuck, we'd tend
> to Google the question. Invariably, we got some answers on SO and some
> on mailing list archives and some in blogs. Almost always, we got the
> best answer out of SO. After a while, we just went straight there and
> searched, and when we couldn't find an answer, we asked. It worked
> very well. If we'd have had to sign up to the half dozen relevant
> mailing lists (we were using a variety of technologies), decide which
> ones to search/post to, interact with them through something like
> Nabble or Outlook, I doubt we would've been as effective.
>

Although the following points can be questioned and discussed on their
own, I firmly believe that

- we will want to move towards a web-based tool

- instead of rolling our own solution, we want to use something that
exists, has proven its merits, and already used by a large group of
people

So the real question is imo, not mailinglist versus stackoverflow. The
real question is, what other web-based solution exists out there, that
satisfies our goal? Then we could compare the alternatives with
stackoverflow, and choose the best tool currently available.

This is the kind of decision that is always difficult for Plone,
because we will want to make a community decision about the switch.
Many times this decision is not made because we cannot make the "best
decision", and we never know what better alternative may pop up at some
point.

However, nothing is perfect at any given point of time. Also, tools
will loose popularity or go away and new, better tools will eventually
pop up. So, even when we make a switch, we are not bound to use the
same solution for ever. If the situation changes, and something better
arrives, we need to be flexible, and be ready to adopt.

So as Martin said, let's gather some experience with stackoverflow.
Also, let's keep our eyes open: if there are other tools available to
consider, let's consider them too in an upcoming decision.

--
Balazs Ree, Greenfinity, LLC



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What You Don't Know About Data Connectivity CAN Hurt You
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Re: How has stackoverflow taken off?

In reply to this post by David Glick (GW)
On 4 March 2011 03:14, David Glick <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 3/3/11 10:05 PM, Derek Broughton wrote:
>>
>> Please don't get me wrong - as I said, I like SO.  What's distressing to
>> me is the apparent willingness of people like you and Jon to kill _this_
>>  medium.
>
> I haven't heard anybody say they're ready to kill plone-users. I've heard
> people say that they're ready to try Stack Overflow as an experiment, and
> that we should explore having plone-users may change or go away *if* Stack
> Overflow fulfills the same goal better. Given the length of this thread, I
> don't think that's a foregone conclusion by any means. I doubt we can judge
> that till we've been promoting Stack Overflow for a month or two.

David is correct - I never meant to imply otherwise.

Martin

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What You Don't Know About Data Connectivity CAN Hurt You
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Re: How has stackoverflow taken off?

In reply to this post by Martin Aspeli
Martin Aspeli wrote at 2011-3-3 20:25 +0000:
> ...
>Stackoverflow ...
>It's
>easier for core developers to follow (with RSS).

I find my email "inbox" rather convenient to multiplex messages
from different channels. I am sure I will forget to check dozens
of RSS feeds regularly.



--
Dieter

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