[dojo-contributors] Google Groups management

Nikolai Onken nikolai at nikolaionken.com
Tue May 26 06:35:52 EDT 2009

> * making sure all questions get answered
> * making sure highly useful or correct answers filter to the top for
> future use
> * email/forum/[insert other system] unification so all messages get
> routed and received in the user's choice of mechanisms


> * mechanism mark a question as answered
> * mechanism to easily assign questions to the subject experts for that
> question


I think all the points you mention are great and describe a support  
system which could solve a lot of our issues.

I have a few points we should ask ourselves though:

- 	Do we have the resources to do the job of setting up and  
maintaining such a system and if, what timelines are we talking about?  
Is this not just another burdon on our shoulders?
-	Are we deciding on a potentially "unknown" system which might reveal  
issues in the long run and is the system simple enough to not be  
dependent on someones commitment and fundamental knowledge?
	As a counterpoint - though google groups is not an as powerful  
solution as for example Clearspace, it _just_ works and we could bend  
it to our needs at least to some extend (tags, filters, yahoo pipes,  
datastores, DTL).
- 	Are we trying to solve too much? Is it really our job to give such  
a high level of support (I think ideally it is :) but still we should  
ask that question). Can we ask such a high commitment from the people  
who help?
-	Will this actually eliminate the need for a simple thread based  
solution or is that included?

Other random thoughts I have:

- 	How about using google groups while having a FAQ style system (with  
answer ranking, etc.) on DojoCampus - something like http://stackoverflow.com/ 
	I don't necessarily see those two types of support be in conflict  
with each other.
	This would allow us to move forward on the topic while being able to  
improve support by adding extra features.
-	We should use a solution which lets us focus on writing JavaScript -  
this is what we do every day and what we do best and this is how we  
can "impress" people the most.
	We already have tons of ways we can use/manipulate data to our needs  
(dojo.data, DTL, etc.), let's use those.

At this point I tend to favour a solution which lets us be lean,  
flexible, fast and reliable - and which lets us focus on what we need  
to do. To me google groups is giving a feeling of least magic and  
covers most ground on the issues I am seeing.
Currently we are missing that flexibility, that leaniness and that  
potential of reacting fast to the needs of the community - until we  
haven't covered that base (and we still have lots of work to do) I am  
hesitant towards more complex solutions.


...oh, in regards to code examples - Imho we should have our own  
pastebin (independent of what solution we will be going for), make  
sure it highlights well and off we go.

> My guess is that if we define clearly what we need and expect, we can
> get a few people moving in the right direction to create something  
> that
> actually solves our needs.  Without a clear sense of purpose and
> direction, we just keep discussing it and then time passes.  Let's  
> write
> a multi-stage spec. for what we need, and see who's interested in  
> making
> it happen, and do it.
> I also think the result should be a great, high-traffic real-world
> application of how to make great use of Dojo + something.  I know
> resources are limited, but I think a solid roadmap will make it much
> easier for anyone that wants to help get involved to get involved.
> Regards,
> -Dylan
> Bill Keese wrote:
>> Eugene Lazutkin wrote:
>>> I am the guy who routinely moves questions from one forum to  
>>> another ---
>>> remember "[editor: moving to the appropriate forum]"? So I have a
>>> mini-statistics on this topic.
>> BTW, thanks for doing that and also for the email.
>>> #1 was mostly due to the fact that users associate Dojo with  
>>> everything
>>> else: "Problem with a dialog, a grid or a chart? Sounds like it is a
>>> Dojo problem => use the Dojo forum.
>> Yeah, too bad we have unfortunate naming like that.
>>> [with mailing lists] it would be impossible to
>>> move posts. Another potential problem specific to mailing lists:
>>> cross-posting, which can be a problem when we have several of them.
>> Good point.
>>> The big question is: do we really need to segment the user support  
>>> channel?
>>> django-developers averages 300-500 messages a month,
>>> django-users --- ~2500 a month => almost 100 per day. Nobody  
>>> complained
>>> yet that it is difficult to fish out relevant messages. Hmm. Food  
>>> for
>>> thought.
>> Sounds like the leaning is to just have a single support group,
>> especially with nonken's suggestion about tagging?
>>> Our forum demonstrated another huge problem: it was next to  
>>> impossible
>>> for users to post code snippets correctly.
>> I agree... wish I had a good solution; I don't see a way to do it in
>> google groups either.   There's a file-upload capability but the  
>> files
>> aren't tied to particular posts.
>> We can use the code-snippet website you mentioned but it seems like a
>> poor solution.  I guess that's one advantage of phpBB (you can  
>> surround
>> the code with [pre] and [/pre] tags, right?).
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