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Best way to do distributed development discussion

by Elian (Parson)
on May 30, 2003 at 19:50 UTC ( #261926=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: Re: Re: Perl 6 feature that scares me the most:
in thread Perl 6 feature that scares me the most:

Well, list the alternatives:

  1. NNTP-transports (though not necessarily part of the Great Usenet Cloud)
  2. Web-boards (such as, but not necessarily like, perlmonks)
  3. Phone calls
  4. In-person meetings
We can toss out the last two easily enough. Having solid, permanent records of either is a pain, and actually participating in either is also very limiting. #4 is geographically limiting, and #3 is financially limiting. (Conference calls are expensive to set up, and expensive for many users to participate in, so they're out.

#2, web boards, are more accessible, but they suffer from a requirement to be online to participate, and actually doing so requires dealing with the godawful user-torturing editing widgets that the browsers inflict on people. Yes, I know, some Clever People use Emacs as a browser, but 99.9% of the folks are stuck with a Netscape, Mozilla, or IE variant, and they all suck.

#1, news, generally requires you to be online as well to participate, though at least most newsreaders have decent editors, and let you use an external editor if they don't. Some (very few) newsreaders let you work off-line, but they're quite rare.

Mail is really the only option that has the combination of good editors, off-line usage, decent web archiving, and NNTP gatewaying, giving the broadest group of people access to the discussion. (A well-administered NNTP system, with a mail gateway, is about equivalent, though slightly more trouble to set up)


Comment on Best way to do distributed development discussion
Re: Best way to do distributed development discussion
by BrowserUk (Pope) on May 30, 2003 at 20:09 UTC

    It just seems to make more sense to have one central copy of the information rather than sending a gazillion copies of the same stuff to every subscriber. Especially as most of the content of each mail is 30 lines of header, 500 lines of c&p from the previous thread(s), 1 line on new information (or, more usually, a sarcastic comment:), then 10 more lines of sig.

    I exagerate I know -- I have had an inherent hatred of mailing lists since I spent some time working inside IBM using the APAR system. Every damn message contains a copy of everything thats gone before.

    I'm not really convinced by the arguments of offline use or bad editors. I produced this reply in my own editor and the c&p'd into the edit field. I realise, I way to late to effect the process, but I thought I'd ask.

    Now, if only groups.google.com didn't insist that my browser has the cookies turned off (which it doesn't, though I'm pretty selective about which one I let through), then I could interact that way. I'll work it out one day.


    Examine what is said, not who speaks.
    "Efficiency is intelligent laziness." -David Dunham
    "When I'm working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong." -Richard Buckminster Fuller


      Well, if you really like web interfaces that much... yay you, I guess. Most of us involved find them useful for archival access, but sub-optimal for everything else. We sometimes work off-line, we sometimes find ourselves with limited 'net access, and we sometimes find that the central server's gone toes-up and is unavailable. (And I'm pretty sure if I put forth "You just edit all your messages in an external editor and cut'n'paste them into the web form" to the list as a whole they'd hunt me down and kill me....)

      The web's good for a lot of stuff. This just doesn't happen to be one of them.

        Fair enough. It's JARA! (Just another religious argument) -- like emacs -v- vi etc. etc. -- and I'm on the wrong side of it:) I'll live with it.

        Thanks for the feedback.


        Examine what is said, not who speaks.
        "Efficiency is intelligent laziness." -David Dunham
        "When I'm working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong." -Richard Buckminster Fuller


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