Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (502 mails)

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[opensuse-project] Re: Come and help!
  • From: Jim Henderson <hendersj@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2011 15:44:30 +0000 (UTC)
  • Message-id: <io9p4u$44i$>
On Fri, 15 Apr 2011 16:31:51 +0200, Per Jessen wrote:

I think it's entirely appropriate to redirect someone when better help
is available elsewhere. That it happens to be to another openSUSE forum
or list, that's life, we chose it that way.

You choose to use e-mail lists, Per, and that's fine - others in
overwhelming numbers use the forums: We currently have 56769 registered
users there.

Now it is true that not all of those users are active users, we do see
what looks to be an average of 400 messages a day that are posted. 2100
messages a week, and about 10,000 messages a month.

Comparatively, the opensuse-users list looks to average about 65 messages
a day (based on the stats available at, which covers a period
from February 2006 through today). Most of the traffic in the forums, if
it were in the MLs, would be on that list (a small number would be
project related, and there'd be some for factory as well - but the
majority are users with installation or usage problems with the standard

At some point, *we* have to go where the *users* are and use what the
users find most convenient to them. Otherwise, as Carlos said, they'll
go somewhere else. Ubuntu, perhaps. Fedora, perhaps. Doesn't really
matter - it'll be *not* openSUSE. Why? Because users like forums, and
Ubuntu and Fedora both provide forums.

You can't often push users to use what you want them to use, they'll
gravitate towards what *they* want to use, and if you make it
inconvenient to them (and that's a question of personal preference), the
users will jump ship.

So I for one (as one of the administrators of the openSUSE Forums) really
appreciate people like Greg K-H and the members of the board who take the
time to come to where the users are to interact with them.

Look at it this way, Per: You're resisting going to the forums because
it isn't what you're used to, doesn't work well for your way of working.
(which is fine by me, BTW), and look at how you're reacting.

Now recognise (please) that that's exactly what you're saying to 56,000
other people - and the vast majority of those people are people who took
the time to look at something you had a part in creating. Do you really
think it's in the project's best interests to alienate them by telling
them that if they have problems, they need to not use a forum (like they
could with every other major distro on the planet) but rather come to a
mailing list, which they perceive (right or wrong) as an archaic way of
getting help?

Heck, we get pushback from some people about the fact that our forum has
an NNTP interface for people who 'have failed to keep up with the
times' (to paraphrase one person who has continued to come back and
occasionally chastise us for providing two methods of access) because OSF
is unique in the market for doing so - Ubuntu, Fedora - they don't
provide that interface to the forums, and those used to web forums
regularly complain about not being able to edit their messages more than
10 minutes after they post and other things that they take for granted in
web-based forums.

Jim Henderson
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