[Haskell] Making Haskell more open

Sebastian Sylvan sebastian.sylvan at gmail.com
Tue Nov 15 12:00:25 EST 2005

On 11/15/05, Victor Blomqvist <viblo at dtek.chalmers.se> wrote:
> "Tomasz Zielonka" <tomasz.zielonka at gmail.com> writes:
> > On Fri, Nov 11, 2005 at 03:12:40PM +0000, Duncan Coutts wrote:
> >> I would tend to disagree. I think the combination of the mailing lists,
> >> a wiki and the IRC channel cover most of our communication needs.
> >
> > Personally I prefer to use mailing lists, but they have one disadvantage
> > - if you don't set up filters to split incoming mail into multiple
> > folders, you can be flooded with messages.
> >
> >> I don't think that yet another variant would help us much. Web boards
> >> tend to be harder to use than email since it requires a web browser.
> >> Having too many differnt types of communication channel would reduce the
> >> readership of any one of them.
> "...most of our communication needs" Yes, I can agree on that, everyone
> here are obviosly happy (more or less) with the mailinglists, and also I
> agree that a forum would not be of any use if it was only me there. :) But
> I think that especially outside the *nix/academic world, most people like
> web forums better than mailing lists.
> Actually, I heard the same arguments when disucssing webforum vs news at
> my institution, most old *nix-hackers prefered the news, and newer (non
> *nix-hacker) students liked web forum better. Just recently a forum was
> opened, but I wasn't active in the news at the time so I don't know what
> tipped it over. But I definatly think it will be more used than the news
> system once everything is moved there.
> My suggestion was aimed outside the haskell community of today, even if I
> now see that some of the other points in Simons message was more about how
> to get the users already here contribute more and better. For example, a
> very large part of the users that answered Johns survey had connections to
> the academic world (37% Students and 29% Working in a university) and from
> my experience, those intrested in programming languages are also more used
> to mailing lists than the rest of the group (at least at my university).
> But maybe the rest (such Algorithm or Human Interaction students) is not
> intrested in Haskell anyway, so theres no point with a forum..
> >
> > How about a forum integrated with mailing lists?
> An integrated forum is not a bad idea. As we all agree, it is not a good
> idea to split the readers in 2 and I don't think its possible to get you
> all to switch over at once ;) Or just a link to gmane/google/whatever
> where its possible to read the mailinglist in a good way from your web
> browser if such a thing already exists. But as it is now, at least I have
> trouble browsing the archive compared to forums I visit.

I bet that if "someone" installed HSP on the server there'd be tons of
people willing to write a forum which is integrated into the
mailinglists (ie a mail to the mailing list gets posted to the forum
with correct threading, and a post to the forum gets sent to the
mailing list from either some forum at haskell.org email adress or the
adress of the user who posted).
Plus, there's something deeply wrong about using anything PHP-based on
a web site promoting Haskell as a general purpose language. Not to
mention that there's something deeply wrong about using PHP period :-)

Personally I like mailing lists since I used web-based email with
threading capabilities anyway, but I can see how a web forum may be
more accessible to the average Joe.
In fact, the first time I went to haskell.org (about a year before I
actually learnt the language, back in 2001) is just said "forget it"
because it just didn't seem all that accessible (no forums, no
easy-to-find tutorials etc.). That's certainly changed a whole lot
over the last 4 years though (especially with #haskell at freenode).


Sebastian Sylvan
UIN: 44640862

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