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 20:58:33 +0000 (UTC)
  • Message-id: <ioabho$la4$1@dough.gmane.org>
On Fri, 15 Apr 2011 22:46:03 +0200, Kim Leyendecker wrote:

To add some more thoughs of myself:

* The whole discussion remembers me to a discussion what´s belongs to a
good operating system:
- The "normal" users will say: "A browser, An office suite and some
multimedia tools"
- The nerd/geek/developer/Kim will say: " A compiler, make, internet
access, a shell and a kernel"

So, you see, it all depends on the knowledge of the user. It´s the same
thing with mailinglists and forums. For the normal user a forum is
easier, because he needs to click a few buttons and write text. For us,
it´s easy too: Just write text, click to send, read the answer, click to
reply list. finish

IMHO, the forums I know are so confusing and haven´t a clear GUI, so I
try to do the most via mailinglists.

That is a perfect analogy. Mailing lists work quite well for people who
have a long-term sustained interest in more than just getting one or two
questions answered. That's why they work so well for developers and
people who are actually involved in project-related decisions.

Nobody's saying "developers should stop using mailing lists for their
needs". It's about understanding that user needs are inherently
different, and a different tool makes more sense for users than for
developers.

(Though I would note that I access both the mailing lists and the forums
using the exact same tool - Pan - because the MLs are gated to NNTP via
gmane.org - and the forums are also gated to NNTP through our own
gateway).

What those of us on the forums side of the discussion are saying is that
it might be good if developers occasionally dropped by (or looked to a
focused group, like Larry Finger does with the wireless forum or Greg K-H
is doing with the Tumbleweed forum) to just see what's going on with the
users.

We don't have any kind of formal (or even informal) escalation path in
place to take common issues in the forums and report them upstream to
developers. (Well, we have bugzilla, but honestly, there's a world of
difference to me between a software defect and usability questions that
are commonly happening - not everything that could be reported upstream
is necessarily a bug). Some developers I know outside of the openSUSE
project cruise relevant forums because they want to know first-hand what
the users think. That's not everybody's cup of tea. I understand that.

But that won't stop me from promoting the forums as someplace where
developers might pick up useful bits of information about how users are
using the software they've created.

Jim
--
Jim Henderson
Please keep on-topic replies on the list so everyone benefits

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