[dojo-contributors] Google Groups management

James Burke jburke at dojotoolkit.org
Tue May 26 14:29:31 EDT 2009


On Mon, May 25, 2009 at 1:08 AM, Dylan Schiemann <dylan at dojotoolkit.org> wrote:
> In my ideal world, the forums system would really have some of the same
> benefits of a information/knowledge management system, or a FAQs
> system... right now, the existing system has solved the performance
> issue (thanks to the tireless work of Dustin), but we're lacking three
> main things:
>
> * 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
>
> On the first point, we're missing a few things:
>
> * mechanism mark a question as answered
> * mechanism to easily assign questions to the subject experts for that
> question

http://stackoverflow.com would give us close to what Dylan outlines,
and I now believe it will be a better solution than Google Groups. I
do not believe trying to install or make a system will get us anywhere
past our current problems.

Reasons I like stackoverflow.com:
- Allows anyone to edit/modify the questions. This is helpful to
rephrase and make a canonical question.
- When you enter a new question, it lists potential matches of already
asked questions, helping to cut down on duplicates.
- It has tags, so we can filter things by dojo/dojox/dijit. Example:
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/dojo
- It allows marking a reply as "the answer".
- Has a strong, motivated community: since participants get "rep" for
participating in the site, I believe it generates higher probability
of a question getting answered.
- There is a larger community to help with the spam issue, as well as
motivated stackoverflow employees continuing to modify the system to
help mitigate it.
- It has pretty markup for inline code. Example:
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/477085/dojo-xd-js-not-recognizing-dojox-data-csvstore
- Uses OpenID for logins, so you likely do not need a new login, you
probably already have an OpenID login that works.
- Someone else hosts the infrastructure, and they are very motivated
to keep it running since this is their reason for being.
- It has strong google juice.
- stackoverflow.com is made by developers for developers:
http://stackoverflow.com/about

One thing that is missing is email notifications, but each tag has an
RSS feed you can subscribe to -- any RSS reader can give you the
read/unread feature like email. For me the stronger social features,
inline code markup and editing/marking as "the answer" make up for no
email.

The migration plan would be the following:
Change the dtk.org forum page to say "ask questions at
stackoverflow.com, and use these kinds of tags". Then have a section
saying "looking for an old question asked on the dtk.org forum? Click
here", which would take the user to a read-only view of our current
forums.

I would keep the current forum running on Drupal for now, just in
read-only mode. If someone wants to do a wget-style saving of the
current forum, then go for it, otherwise, just keep Drupal going for
another year. At that point, the forum info will not be so useful
(stackoverflow will have been populated with more relevant info) and
we can just remove it. Or not, keep it around, but we can make that
call in another year.

Kill dojo-interest, keep dojo-contributors.

James


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