OK, the forum is coming..

Andreas Kostyrka andreas at kostyrka.org
Tue Jul 24 19:19:44 CEST 2007

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No, it's just habits. And it's not about Engineers, it's about long time
 email users. (I mean the generation before the invention of the "http
protocol". If one can consider HTTP 0.9 to be a protocol ;) )

And yes, email is important to these old timers. Mailing lists are quite
well standardized, there are less than half a dozen mailing list
management packages that matter, and even these have mostly the same
behaviour. I'm subscribed on more than 20 mailing lists (most of these
in the Linux/Python/PostgreSQL realm), that I follow more or less
depending upon work pressure. I can keep a tab on these mailing lists,
because they use a standard interface.

Navigating 20 different "forums", is not feasible:

- -) I need to actively pull information. That's time I could be already
using to read messages.

- -) the UI of forums is really not uniform. I need to join, login
(depending upon the forum and my browser setting each time, every 2
weeks, never), manage to find if new messages that might interest me, ...

- -) the UI of mailing lists is my known standard mail client.

You can see the difference, e.g. my wife participates in a forum based
cooking community. Notice: "relative newcomer" (less than a decade
Internet experience), 1 community (not dozens of mailing lists needed).

Basically, mailing lists are more efficient. Not necessarily easy on
newbies. (And yes, efficient does not mean easy. Efficient is measured
in units like "transaction" per "time unit". And I can clearly "process"
(or decide not to "process") more messages per hour in my mailer than
with my browser)


Daniel Robinson wrote:
> What is it about engineers that they act like any idea other than theirs
> is not worthy of consideration?
> I don't know any of you, and I am only responding to this email because
> it is typical of the kind of traffic that has been going back and forth
> about this issue.
> Don't build your house on ice?  This is typical of the dismissiveness
> with which people have responded about this issue.  The straw man being
> used here, that wanting one position or the other is as meritorious as
> building one's house on ice, is not valid.  It smacks of sanctimony and
> that should be avoided.
> On 7/24/07, *Ted Lemon* <mellon at fugue.com <mailto:mellon at fugue.com>> wrote:
>     > Quite frankly I am completely, totally,
>     > overwhelmingly baffled at the resistance to the forums.  Quite a few
>     > people have expressed their dislikes of mailing lists and how they
>     were
>     > *very* reluctant (like myself) to join.
>     Worrying about your email address being exposed is pretty silly.
>     That's like worrying that the ice on a pond will break when it melts in
>     the spring and your house will fall in.   Don't build your house on
>     ice.
>     As for forums, they are very nice for casual use.   They are terrible
>     for staying in touch, unless you visit them obsessively.   The nice
>     thing about a mailing list is that the mail keeps arriving in your
>     inbox, you see it go by, and you can pay attention or not as you choose.
>     And if you miss something, it's easy to go back and find it.
>     Forums aren't bad - they're just different.   I think it would be great
>     if the casual traffic migrated to a forum.
>     _______________________________________________
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>     community at lists.openmoko.org <mailto:community at lists.openmoko.org>
>     http://lists.openmoko.org/mailman/listinfo/community
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