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Re: The Forum

Postby bsmith » December 17th, 2007, 9:23 pm

I do understand what you're saying here Tim and I do understand where Rodney is heading, but; The extra overhead of administering/installing extra e-mail lists, writing the PHP code, researching if the new mail2forum beta supports this etc. needs to be worth the time and effort, it can't just be an ad-hoc decision made at any time. Maybe we should see how many people sign up with the forum's e-mail list before looking into this further. If it's only going to be 20 then I doubt the extra effort will be worth it.

In enterprise working as a sys admin, I'm accustomed to telling developers how to work more efficiently; Open source appears to work in complete reverse. I'm sorry I get so animated but it really does feel like I'm being told how to do my job, it's like me telling you you should be formatting your Case statements with a 20 Tab indent :)
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Postby tbyrne » December 17th, 2007, 9:43 pm

On 12/17/07, bsmith <messages@forums.vassalengine.org> wrote:
I do understand what you're saying here Tim and I do understand where Rodney is heading, but; The extra overhead of administering/installing extra e-mail lists, writing the PHP code, researching if the new mail2forum beta supports this etc. needs to be worth the time and effort, it can't just be an ad-hoc decision made at any time. Maybe we should see how many people sign up with the forum's e-mail list before looking into this further. If it's only going to be 20 then I doubt the extra effort will be worth it.

In enterprise working as a sys admin, I'm accustomed to telling developers how to work more efficiently; Open source appears to work in complete reverse. I'm sorry I get so animated but it really does feel like I'm being told how to do my job, it's like me telling you you should be formatting your Case statements with a 20 Tab indent :)


I don't see it as people telling you what to do. I think they are
offering opinions on what would be flexible for consumers of the data.
What's possible or what's pragmatic may be different than that. But
nobody ever gets anything unless they ask for it. I think waiting to
see how many users are using the mail-lists sounds like a perfectly
reasonable way to go.

You're right.. Open source is not about efficiency. Work done on open
source is at the convenience of the developers. If it isn't
convenient and seen as advantageous to the developer it probably won't
happen. Kind of like having multiple addresses for different
sections, you don't see it as convenient or advantageous, so you are
not particularly interested in doing it. ;)

Oh, and a tab and shift-width of 2 is the only way to go.

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Postby uckelman » December 17th, 2007, 9:55 pm

Thus spake "Tim Byrne":
I don't think Rodney is saying to use the forum for everything except
the developer list.

Joel suggested having different email addresses tied to different
forum sections. Rodney seemed to say, that he agreed, but he's fine
with giving the Developers section a separate address to start (so
they forums can be made public).

And while lately the developers list has been low traffic, that's not
always the case.

The vassalengine-devel list goes in bursts. It could easily happen that
I would post 20 message to it in one day myself---it's exactly that sort
of thing which prompted calls for a forum on the users list, if I remember
correctly---and at other times the list is quiet because we're all busy.

I would like to avoid reducing the usefulness of the lists for people
who prefer to read the lists---and that's exactly what shunting the
devel list onto the general list does for people who don't care about
the development mail. Ditto for the Tournament stuff. I'm sure that
will generate a *lot* of messages, and I'd be surprised if people who
aren't involved would want to read much of that.

I think what would be most useful in the end would be:

1 mail-list per Section
1 mail-list that's all traffic except Developers Section

That way, if someone wants to subscribe by mail to all traffic, they
go on two lists (as they do now). If they're not interested in
developer stuff, they can do that by joining just one list. And if
they're only interested in the "Players Wanted" section, they could
subscribe just to that list.

This is exactly what I was suggesting way back in September. The
problem with doing it is a technical one---the version of Mail2Forum
we're using doesn't support using multiple external lists. What I
suggest we do until then is continue to use the developers list for
development stuff. I would go hack on Mail2Forum myself to make this
work, because I think all it amounts to is adding a few if-then-elses
to the part where the mail goes out and comes in, but I have too many
other things on desk right now.

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Postby bsmith » December 17th, 2007, 9:56 pm

In Enterprise, the developers support the customer; In Open Source, developers support themselves.

Could I be forgiven for thinking Open Source is virtually (no pun intended!) Socialism in software development form?!
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Postby uckelman » December 17th, 2007, 10:02 pm

Thus spake "bsmith":
In Enterprise, the developers support the customer; In Open Source, developer
s support themselves.

Could I be forgiven for thinking Open Source is virtually (no pun intended!)
Socialism in software development form?!


In enterprise, you'd tell customers who don't pay you to shove off. :)

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Postby bsmith » December 17th, 2007, 11:26 pm

As much as it pains me to say this, I'm willing to do whatever is required to move the dev discussion to the forum. If I have to do it I have to do it but I know it's going to be a double edged sword.
What I really want to do is start working on the code myself; But I'm not prepared to do so until we have the dev discussion in forum format.

I want to see a sticky thead at the top which outlines the exact process developers need to follow to checkout and build Vassal. I bet right now there is no quick and easy way to get this information that does not involve doing funky searches through mailing lists.

Discussing anything in the mailing list is, as far as I'm concerned, writing e-mail for e-mail's sake, that stuff is going to get lost in a couple of weeks and the only refence we will have is "if I remember correctly"; So what's the point?
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Re: The Forum

Postby Tim M » December 17th, 2007, 11:43 pm

rk wrote:The forum is working fine from my point of view. I'd like to announce it and the tournaments site this week. (cut)

rk


I dont have any problem with forums going live this week once you all hash out the mailing list stuff.
I was kind of hoping though we might hold off the tournaments page till beginning of year. This would give me time during my vacation starting on wednesday to put up some info on the rules page that is clear and easy to follow - how to register, submit a game, general site area workings etc..
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Postby uckelman » December 18th, 2007, 12:00 am

Thus spake "bsmith":
As much as it pains me to say this, I'm willing to do whatever is required to
move the dev discussion to the forum. If I have to do it I have to do it bu
t I know it's going to be a double edged sword.
What I really want to do is start working on the code myself;

I think it would involve a few changes in m2f_mailinglist.php.

It might be worth asking on the Mail2Forum forum whether 2.0 is going to
have this feature, and what the state of it is right now. It could be that
we could use the development version and it would already do what we want.

But I'm not pr
epared to do so until we have the dev discussion in forum format.

Why not?

I want to see a sticky thead at the top which outlines the exact process deve
lopers need to follow to checkout and build Vassal. I bet right now there is
no quick and easy way to get this information that does not involve doing fu
nky searches through mailing lists.

It's in the wiki right now. You wouldn't find it on any of the mailing
lists. (And that's about the build setup for Eclipse. If you don't want
to use Eclipse, then you won't find anything at all except the build
scripts in my dev branches.)

Discussing anything in the mailing list is, as far as I'm concerned, writing
e-mail for e-mail's sake, that stuff is going to get lost in a couple of week
s and the only refence we will have is "if I remember correctly"; So what's t
he point?

Two points:

1. I keep all of my mail. *ALL* of it. Since 1998 or so. So I can grep for
what I'm looking for. Things on the devel list are not lost, from my point
of view. I realize that most people do not do this. Searching on the forum
sucks for me because I can't use regular expressions to do it, while I
can with grep.

2. Did you know that there's an archive of the list at Sourceforge?

http://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/foru ... gine-devel

I'd concur with you immediately on any negative thing you want to say about
their archive setup. (Similarly, for Yahoo Groups.) I don't use it because
I'm storing my own archive. It would be easy for me to add the devel list
as one of the lists I archive at nomic.net:

http://lists.ellipsis.cx/archives/

The advantage here is that they're picked up by Google, whereas
Sourceforge's list archvies seem not to be. That would go quite some
way toward making the information more visible.

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Postby bsmith » December 18th, 2007, 12:33 am

>>But I'm not prepared to do so (develop code) until we have the dev discussion in forum format.

>Why not?

I like to try and help other people, and anything I type that goes to the list is essentially lost, unless as you said, people grep for it, which just isn't going to happen.

For example, lets assume I go through the process of trying to build the code; There's a good chance I'll run into trouble and need to ask advice from you guys. In the forum I create a thread called "Cannot Build Vassal"; That thread is likely to stay on the front page of the Developers section for a very long time, possibly a few months or more; and when it does get pushed down, it'll go to Page 2 which is still only a single click away.
If I know this information is going to be easily available for everyone to read, use and learn from, the incentive to record my efforts is increased many many times. It's great that all the effort I put into building the code and resolving the problems is recorded right here and is easy to reach for everyone. It will encourage people to join the dev team and help out knowing they can get a build up and running quickly.

If, however, I post it to the mailing list; It is going to become hard to access, so users will end up asking the same questions over and over, stuff that was addressed months ago. It just creates more work for everyone and discourages people from joining our team. So the bottom line is, if I'm going to build the code and develop it, I want my observations to be visible and easy to access for everyone; It saves the same issues being brought up again by new team members. Everyone who goes through this process is effectively developing a future Vassal FAQ, and what use is a FAQ if it's hard to find?
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Postby rk » December 18th, 2007, 4:51 am

I think Ben has the right idea. Let's see how many sign up for the mailing list before we worry about whether some of them would rather not see the dev and other threads combined. Then we can look at setting up multiple lists. We're getting more and more forum-like postings in the front-page announcements so we really do want to launch the forums soon.

Tim, I'll wait to announce the tournaments site until you give the go-ahead.

rk

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Postby uckelman » December 18th, 2007, 1:11 pm

bsmith wrote:If, however, I post it to the mailing list; It is going to become hard to access, so users will end up asking the same questions over and over, stuff that was addressed months ago. It just creates more work for everyone and discourages people from joining our team. So the bottom line is, if I'm going to build the code and develop it, I want my observations to be visible and easy to access for everyone; It saves the same issues being brought up again by new team members. Everyone who goes through this process is effectively developing a future Vassal FAQ, and what use is a FAQ if it's hard to find?


Do you think it would be useful to dump the entire contents of the Yahoo Group and the vassalengine-devel list into phpBB? I can get both as mbox files for you. It might be possible to import them all by temporarily disconnecting the outgoing mail and dumping them in through the incoming mail interface.
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Postby uckelman » December 31st, 2007, 1:41 pm

Ben, I'd like to direct you to the discussion I had with one of the M2F developers about connecting different forums to different lists:

http://www.mail2forum.com/forums/viewto ... 3782#13782
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Postby bsmith » January 1st, 2008, 4:33 am

Thanks Joel.

At this point I doubt we're going to need the extra functionality; Only 5 people have joined the list since it went public and I'm guessing a couple of those are probably developers anyway.
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Postby uckelman » January 1st, 2008, 11:53 am

Thus spake "bsmith":
Thanks Joel.

At this point I doubt we're going to need the extra functionality; Only 5 pe
ople have joined the list since it went public and I'm guessing a couple of t
hose are probably developers anyway.


I'm rather concerned that we have 1566 members in the Yahoo group, but
only 63 here. (And also that we are still getting new subscriptions to
the Yahoo group---there's no indication there that they should come
here instead.)

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Postby uckelman » January 2nd, 2008, 8:10 pm

Ben, Tim Franklin is having trouble registering for the forum. (Probably
you'll be getting an email from him.) What this caused me to notice is
that there is no obvious way for people who are having difficulty
registering to contact the forum admin---they can't send you an email
since no admin address is given, and if they could post to the forum that
they're having a problem then they wouldn't need to.
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