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Good Forums?

by pileofrogs (Priest)
on Aug 20, 2008 at 18:57 UTC ( #705583=perlquestion: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??
pileofrogs has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Perlmonks is possibly the best thing on the internet.

Perlmonks has smart people who really know their stuff and can answer just about any question.

I'm often disappointed that I've never found forums (fori?) of similar quality for other topics, EG Apache, Linux etc.. I'm sick of all those linux forums where 1000 people can tell you how to configure your 3D driver but no one can help you figure out how the file cache really works. (Because they're all gamers and none of them is a sysadmin.)

Are there other forums out there covering other topics that are as good as (or at least in the same league as) Perlmonks?

I know there are mailing lists, but I hate mailing lists. (I just started ranting about why, and then decided to spare you. If you actually want to know why, let me know).

Comment on Good Forums?
Re: Good Forums?
by bruno (Friar) on Aug 20, 2008 at 19:16 UTC
    If you actually want to know why, let me know

    Oh, please do tell us!

      Okay fella, you asked for it... but I'm putting it in a <readmore> because you're just screwing with me and no one actually cares why I hate mailing lists.

      --Pileofrogs

        I was most certainly not screwing with you. I admit though that the tone of my message was joyful.

        But I sympathize with you; I recently subscribed to the bioperl mailing list and it's just as you said. Conversations and topics are hard to follow, and there's no quick way to reply to someone (at least not for me). At first I thought that it was me that wasn't able to set up my filters properly, but reading your post made me realize that it actually IS less convenient than a regular forum for other people as well.

        You know, some of these issues can be solved by creating a gmail account that you use just for mailing lists. Lots of space, good threading, search is fast, easy to separate by list, and no danger to your regular mailbox.
        I care. It's always nice to read about amusing new ways in which people can be wrong :-)
          You can read and possibly even search mailing list archives OK, but if you want to ask a question or answer a question, you have to sign up for the list. Then you get all these emails from the list which are a pain. OK, you set up a filter and put them all in a nice little sub-folder, which you forget about until your mailbox is full. And it's a pain to search that sub-folder. And it's not easy to browse through the emails to find the ones you're interested in, like it's easy to browse around on a forum. And the data is organised chronologically rather than by topic (if you have a mail client that can sort by threads, it's a little better). ...

        I use GMail, and it intelligently links related messages together, just like a forum post. So instead of hunting around for the replies to a message, they're all linked together.

        All E-Mail programs should be like that -- E-Mail messages are related to each other, so why not link them visually? I see my wife's Inbox on Outlook with 500 messages and I'm not surprised it takes her an hour to go through all the messages.

        I'm on the mod_perl and REST mailing lists -- haven't read a thing on either list in six months, but when I get back into those topics, I'll have months of reading to peruse, in my own mailbox (I'm still at 21% on GMail -- have been for about a year -- mail comes in, but they keep giving me more disk space), and not on some cranky mailing list server either.

        Alex / talexb / Toronto

        "Groklaw is the open-source mentality applied to legal research" ~ Linus Torvalds

        As a mutt user as well, it sounds like your problem is not so much with mailing lists as with lousy email clients.
        --
        andrew

        Wow!

        There's a unique and savoury pleasure in being absolutely and totally wrong about something. Apparently, the only (well, not only) part of my message that people were interested in was why I hate mailing lists... Dang...

        Ironically, I'm a gmail user who recently migrated from mutt. So, my own mailing-list phobia isn't cured by those. I'm happy they help other, less phobic people though.

        In an abstract world, though, forums are superior in every way to mailing lists. Mailing lists started before web forums were around. If they had started at the same time, head to head, there would be no mailing lists.

        OR... Maybe the things that irritate me about mailing lists filter out the less dedicated users and produce a higher concentration of quality? EG it takes fewer steps to jump onto a forum and say "Hey, can you do my homework for me?" than on a mailing list.

        It sounds like I'm going to have to knuckle down and get into them mailing lists.

        Thanks everyone!

        Sounds like you have a bad client. And you've got serious problems if emails are making you run out of disk space in this age.
Re: Good Forums?
by perrin (Chancellor) on Aug 20, 2008 at 20:35 UTC
    I think you're out of luck. Almost all of the good information is on mailing lists, not web forums. PM is the only web forum I've ever seen with useful answers on it.

      (I agree but I accidentally --'d you, sorry!)

Re: Good Forums?
by moritz (Cardinal) on Aug 20, 2008 at 21:58 UTC
    I can share your experience that good web forums are really rare.

    If you happen to speak German there are two that I can recommend, though

    The German debianforum.de is rather good. I only used it a few times yet, but most threads that I skimmed over contained rather good answers.

    There's a (comercially driven, but not very ads bloated) general purpose forum called wer-weiss-was. It has a huge list of topics to discuss, and in some of these topics you can get really competent answers. For example you can ask about Mathematics, Physics, Astronomy and Chemistry, if you want at University level, and you'll usually get very good answers. Some of the computer and programming topics are also quite good, but they can't reach perlmonks standards.

Re: Good Forums?
by dragonchild (Archbishop) on Aug 20, 2008 at 22:51 UTC
    This place exists because of vroom. Go be vroom for one of those other topics. If there was a useful SQLMonks, I'd be on there as much as I am on here. Same with ProgrammingPracticeMonks, TestingMonks, etc. I'm not stopping you.

    My criteria for good software:
    1. Does it work?
    2. Can someone else come in, make a change, and be reasonably certain no bugs were introduced?

      Okay... uh.. how do I do that?

      Seriously, how did vroom pull it off? Why does perlmonks succeed where everything else fails? Hmm... This needs to be it's own thread...

        PerlMonks succeeds because of the dedication of a select few and the contributions of many.

Re: Good Forums?
by busunsl (Vicar) on Aug 21, 2008 at 05:36 UTC
    There is http://www.dbforums.com/ about almost all databases in the world.

    A lot of really good dbas hangs around there.

Re: Good Forums?
by gloryhack (Deacon) on Aug 21, 2008 at 05:54 UTC
    Although it's decidedly lower volume than our beloved Monastery, Debian-Administration.org is useful and populated by lots of folks who enjoy sharing their (Debian, some Ubuntu) system administration knowledge.
Re: Good Forums?
by Gavin (Canon) on Aug 21, 2008 at 10:38 UTC

    "Perlmonks has smart people who really know their stuff and can answer just about any question".

    I think you have the answer to your question there. I too have been in a similar position asking questions and getting no answer or useless information from other forums.

    I had hoped that it would be possible to start an OT section within PM, but it does not seem to have sufficient support as yet to be adopted, but I live in hope!

    There is however a workaround that I have found has helped me in the past, and that's the CB and the message system.

    Ask your question in the CB, on just about any subject and you will either get an answer or a pointer in the right direction or the name of a Monk who may be able to help.

    I'm continually being surprised at the wealth of knowledge that is PerlMonks on every imaginable subject.

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