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Re: QTS ( was Re: user support - Shapado instance for Debian)

Hi, Stefano:

On Friday 08 October 2010 10:22:24 Stefano Zacchiroli wrote:
> On Thu, Oct 07, 2010 at 11:03:42PM +0100, MJ Ray wrote:
> > Lars Wirzenius <liw@liw.fi> wrote:
> > > ask.debian.net is not taking anything away from you. You can ignore it
> > > the way you ignore Debian web forums, for example. ask.debian.net is
> > > not there to replace mailing lists, it is there to add to them, for
> > > those who want to use it.
> AOL.
> > It makes us look bad if there are bad answers or no answers there.
> > ask.debian.net seems unconnected to the lists - it adds nothing to them
> > and that's disappointing.
> I wonder if you forget a "at least for me" in the last sentence or not.

> It's a triviality that, for the mail only user, ask.d.n adds
> nothing. But it adds a lot for the web user.

Does it?  With regards to any assymetric relationship, benefit is in finding 
common grounds.  What I mean is, think of an extreme scenario, one where only 
newbies asking for help visit, say, a web forum with no expert over there.  
This extreme case would be worse than no help at all, since it would be bound 
to rise both cargo cult (I saw once a so called expert and he did something 
like this, though I don't know why, I know it worked) and bad practices 
(think of ten year old children explaining one another how babies are made).

I for one would want an expert coming to my workplace instead of me, do for 
free my stuff and allow me to stay at home, but I know that won't work: if I 
want the expert advice I should go where the expert is, not the other way 
around.  And for a utilitary/communitary point of view is better to "cattle" 
all the experts on a single place, even if it's not the best one, than split 
them away (I already explained my point of view about that in a previous 

> Luckily, it also gets 
> nothing away from the mail only users—as Lars commented above—since I'm
> confident not a single mail only user will move from a mailing list to a
> web-based system like ask.d.n.

Not my experience.  I did great use of NNTP and I still find it lightyears 
beyond anything else, including mail lists.  But communities are basically 
expressions of the network effect, so here I am using a mail list.  More on 
that: due to the popularity of web forums you end up with a lot of projects 
that rely *only* on them, even for things like announcing new versions or, 
even worse, having a mail list which is of no use but misleading people 
(since it's not used by the developers themselves).

> Do-ocracy is still the main thrust in the Debian community

Do-ocracy is a great thing, probably the best way to drive achievements, but 
it's not free of problems, the most obvious one being that there's nothing 
within do-ocracy that ables "the system" to avoid self-destructive practices.  
As an extreme and crazy example, taking a gun and start firing people down is 
a meritable action from the sole do-ocracy point of view, while telling "do 
not do that" is not.


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