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Re: Documentation wiki? Re: Better tools for community cohesion?
- Subject: Re: Documentation wiki? Re: Better tools for community cohesion?
- From: Chris Bennett <..hidden..>
- Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2013 12:34:27 -0500
On Mon, Jul 22, 2013 at 05:35:15PM +0200, Iserv-appbox wrote:
> Hi Chris,
> I agree with you that mailing lists are probably the best platform for discussion at the moment.
> May be mailing lists are a bit old-fashioned, but IMHO they have some benefits over forums:
> - Mailing lists invite the user more into thorough discussion
> - The user is less distracted by the Bells and Whistles of the forum site
> - Mailing lists invite less into short (negative, inproductive) comments.
> (May be it's too easy to press on the commment button in a forum.)
> However mailing lists (as well as forums) have one weak point: They are volatile.
> Usefull tips, workarounds, etc. are "lost" in the archives:
I would like to point out something about my forums volatility.
I keep a daily dump of the entire forum's data daily.
I take home a daily copy and have the forum software on my laptop and
If I see a topic that interests me, but I am busy, I can read it later
at my convenience and see the whole topic.
I actually have no internet at home, so this is great for me.
I guess I should provide a copy with the users passwords cleared out and
a local copy of the particular version of the forum software I am using.
This would only require a webserver and PostgeSQL.
If anyone is interested in this, just let me know.
> - You will have to search through the archives to get an item
> - Items can't be improved or extended
> As a solution I would suggest a wiki.
> A LSMB wiki would enable cooperation regarding to LSMB documentation.
> The LSMB Wiki could be a gathering place for all kinds of documentation:
> the Book, Howtos, Tips, etc.
> The great Book project of Erik Huelsmann could be a nice starting point.
> Kind regards,
> Marjan Waldorp,
> On 2013-07-19 15:46, Chris Travers wrote:
> > Hi Mikkel;
> > Thanks for your comments and offer for help. The forums are actually run by a contributor named
> > Chris Bennett who I am CCing for your convenience. The two of you might be able to talk about how
> > best to manage things. Even if you don't move to Discourse, perhaps a good first step would be look
> > at how to market the forums to attract new users. I would be happy to collaborate on such.
> > I do agree that some users will prefer some mailing lists and some will prefer forums. I think
> > there are a lot of reasons however why forums don't get the traction one might expect. In a lot of
> > cases, collaboration feels more natural on an email list than a forum. So I don't see forums ever
> > replacing email lists for core collaboration. What they can do is provide help for new markets we
> > are not serving well, and as such they provide an opportunity for folks such as Chris and yourself
> > to try to expand our community offerings and build presence in the community generally.
> > If the forums are targetting new users, this really is an opportunity for consultants and would-be
> > consultants to push them and thus improve their own presence in the community. I don't really see
> > us moving core functions off email lists any time soon. I don't think this should stop you, though
> > and if it is successful enough I could see gradual integration into more things in which we do, and
> > such would certainly bring more visibility to those involved.
> > Best Wishes,
> > Chris Travers
> > On Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 4:40 AM, Mikkel Høgh <..hidden.. <mailto:..hidden..>> wrote:
> > Hi LedgerSMB people,
> > I'm mostly a lurker here, but I'd like to see LedgerSMB get more traction.
> > I think one of the great barriers to building a larger community is the tools currently in use.
> > The main channel of communication is the mailing lists. However, mailing lists are a bit
> > usability challenged. It's hard to keep track of what's going on, and harder still to chime in.
> > It depends a lot on the user being able to configure filters in his e-mail client, enable
> > treading, etc.
> > In addition to that, there are the forums at http://forums.ledgersmb.org/ which seem to be used
> > very sparingly.
> > In short, I'd like to suggest replacing both with Discourse: http://www.discourse.org/
> > A few salient points:
> > 1. It's much more friendly to new users (single click login, helpful tips when posting, etc.)
> > 2. It can be used much like a mailing list (subscription, replying via e-mail)
> > 3. It can be configured to send out digests to users who have not been logged in for a while,
> > giving them a quick overview of what happened since they checked the last time.
> > 4. Much better handling of images, code samples, and multimedia. Makes it much easier to support
> > users.
> > 5. It has a great search, and it is very search engine friendly, making it much easier to find
> > earlier answers.
> > 6. A healthy open source project with a large community. Widely (and successfully) deployed.
> > Take a gander at http://discuss.howtogeek.com/ http://meta.discourse.org/ or
> > http://meta.discourse.org/t/please-visit-our-discourse-forum-directory/3102 for examples of
> > existing communities.
> > I could go on, I think Discourse is one of the most interesting open source projects and an
> > awesome tool for building communities. If you want to know more, check out
> > http://www.discourse.org/about/ or Jeff Atwood's keynote from ForumCon:
> > http://blog.discourse.org/2013/06/forums-are-dead-long-live-forums/
> > For the practical side, I'm willing to handle hosting, sysadmin'ing, etc, as well as conversion
> > of the existing forums.
> > --
> > Kind regards,
> > Mikkel Høgh <..hidden.. <mailto:..hidden..>>
> > --
> > Best Wishes,
> > Chris Travers
As far as the rest of this topic, what I am seeing is that everyone
I sure don't want to lose the mailing list.
I use a text only mail app, mutt.
I access my mail directly with ssh. Very happy. No need to start X if I
am in a rush.
I also keep accessible a tar.gz file with my whole mail folder.
I can download it and read at home.
As far as the forum goes, it's there.
I have to do essentially no maintenance.
Use it if you want. Or don't.
Want a new topic board, just let me know.
I also get some questions through the contact form and answer them as
best as I can and always suggest they get a subscription to a mailing
I use OpenBSD, so I share that same mindset :)
"Shut up and send a diff!"
If you believe that one of these other methods is a good idea, then you
should go do it and see if anyone likes it and wants to use it.
We all have different preferences.
Offer someone a refreshing beverage and one person will say milk, another
will ask for hot chocolate and the third will ask for whiskey!
I did not get a very positive response to the forum idea originally.
But I wanted it, so I did it.
Enjoy using LSMB!
It's free, you don't have to pay for tech support and you can change and
customize to your hearts content. Heck, you could even send a diff!
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