[Haskell-cafe] IRC for spreading information

John Goerzen jgoerzen at complete.org
Tue Oct 4 10:08:09 EDT 2005

I've got a bit of a concern to raise regarding reliance on IRC for
spreading information important to the community.

As I was preparing this week's HWN, I made the comment on #haskell that
it's been a quiet week.  Several people that were at ICFP and the
workshops disagreed, saying there had been a lot of activity.  But none
of it appeared on the Haskell lists.  With the help of some IRCers, I
found information in Autrijus' blog and a link to some IRC logs.  There
*was* a lot going on.

I would like to make a friendly request that important things like this
be posted to the mailing lists.  I don't have a problem with them being
on IRC as well, but there are several problems with it being "IRC only"
or "IRC mostly" or even "conference only":

 * The only way to participate effectively is to be in the IRC room
   at the exact same time as the other participants.  Very difficult to
   include everyone in a global community such as that.

 * It is very cumbersome, and sometimes even impossible, to extract
   conversations from IRC logs, given that several conversations could
   have been happening at once in the channel.  Mailing list archives,
   with support for threads, are much easier to read.

As an aside, I will not be writing up summaries of IRC logs for HWN,
though if someone else cares to do so and send them to me, I'd put them
in.  I simply don't have the time or the desire for a pounding headache
that most people get from reading IRC logs ;-)

-- John

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