Linuxcnc.org forum

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15 Apr 2009 11:20 #97 by BigJohnT
Replied by BigJohnT on topic Re:Linuxcnc.org forum
Seems like that none of the communication methods we currently have are the best for all.

Mailing lists are great if your the first one or two to answer then after that it becomes imposible to follow with the miles of quotes in each message without spending the time to read each one over and over. If you don't have an always on connection and log in and check messages once a day it is overwhelming when you get 50 - 100 messages and try and read and figure out who has answered what and which message is first etc... I usually just give up and delete them all. And as Alex said sourceforge is slower than my dial up connection :) so searching is a pia. And then you have to set up and subscribe to a mailing list just to get started. It took me a couple of months just to get it set up for me. Once it was going then the messages poured in every day. My e mail software has a spell checker and that is great for me :) Mailing lists are great for seasoned linux users with an always on connection!

Forums are great if your wanting to follow a topic from start to finish or your not used to mailing lists or the linux way of life. New posts are flagged for easy finding. New replies are flagged as well. If you have replied to a post or created one you get an e mail when anyone replies. As John pointed out if your an answer guy then you have to read each new post... but you have to do that with e mails as well. At this time you have to log on to see new posts or just leave that page up and running. I don't see a spell checker on the forum and that is bad for me :). You can attach pictures to posts which sometimes helps in describing a problem or a fix.

IRC is great if your wanting live answers or wanting to chat with someone. Sometimes this is the only way to solve a complex problem or discuss an idea. We have all seen this in action... test this, got this, ok test this, got this... and on and on. This kind of help can be painfully slow on mailing lists and forums. But you have to catch someone at their keyboard to get an answer. If your not on when someone who can answer your question is at their keyboard then the question goes unanswered.

I'm just a dumb hillneck but I see advantages and disadvantages to all three. I don't see any one as the answer all for everyone. I don't think the forum should replace anything but rather complement the IRC and the mailing lists.

And the moment I hit submit everyone who replied to this thread will get an e-mail.

John

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15 Apr 2009 12:02 #98 by jimlas53
Replied by jimlas53 on topic Re:Linuxcnc.org forum
John, I understand what you're saying, and I can appreciate the difficulty a forum might represent. However, one of the greatest benefits of forums is that the answers come from other forum participants, not always the developers or the few who are the most knowledgeable. Obviously there is the potential to get incorrect information from another user, but most of the time that is corrected by someone else.
If I had a particularly sticky question I wouldn't hesitate to use the mailing list, but I might also post it on the forum, just to help increase the knowledge base.

-Doug

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15 Apr 2009 12:40 #99 by BigJohnT
Replied by BigJohnT on topic Re:Linuxcnc.org forum
Doug,

Your liable to get a wrong answer from any place. :) Just because you use the mailing list, the IRC, the EMC forum, the CNCzone forum, the manuals, the man pages, the EMC wiki, google etc. doesn't mean one is more likly to give you a better answer than the other. That is a true statment that answers will come from the participants of that medium. If you really want to target the developers then you should use the emc-devel irc channel or the developers mailing list.

IMHO it is a mistake to think you can force users to use the mailing list if you don't have a forum. People who like forums will just go somewhere else like the CNCZone or other places. People who like to read will use the manuals, seasoned Linux users will use the man pages. People who like wiki will use that and on and on.

You never hear about the questions that get solved by using the manuals or the man pages or the wiki... unless there is a mistake :)

Anything we can do to improve the knowledge base for EMC will improve EMC.

John

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15 Apr 2009 13:28 #100 by jmkasunich
Replied by jmkasunich on topic Re:Linuxcnc.org forum

It is a mistake to think you can force users to use the mailing list if you don't have a forum. People who like forums will just go somewhere else like the CNCZone or other places. People who like to read will use the manuals, seasoned Linux users will use the man pages. People who like wiki will use that and on and on.


In other words, you are saying that we can and should have the list, the forum, the IRC channel, the wiki, etc - all at the same time. To be honest, that is my feeling as well. However, one thing we really want to avoid is dividing the EMC community up into a bunch of islands.

Today, for better or for worse, the the 600 or so people who are subscribed to the emc-users mailing list ARE the EMC community. When we have a board election, we send ballots to list members. When we want to know the users opinion of something, we ask on the list, etc. People who only use CNCZone are "second class citizens". Nobody planned it that way, or wants it that way, but when users are divided between many different places, it is hard to keep them all connected.

At least some members of the board are struggling with the question: "do we shut down the list and switch to a forum". This comes from a strong desire NOT to fragment the community by having a bunch of different "gathering places".

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15 Apr 2009 14:33 #101 by jimlas53
Replied by jimlas53 on topic Re:Linuxcnc.org forum
I think the forum will serve the folks who may lurk and never ask questions of the list. Some people are intimidated by the depth of knowledge represented on the list, and would never ask the question they have for a desire not to appear ignorant. I've rarely asked any questions on the list - but I've read every digest since I subscribed in 2003.
I go to CNCZone occasionally, but I almost never look at the EMC forum. I guess I prefer to go where the developers are going to be.
I think we should keep both the mailing list and the forum, for no less than 6 months, and maybe the results will help define the next step.

-Doug

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15 Apr 2009 23:18 #107 by BigJohnT
Replied by BigJohnT on topic Re:Linuxcnc.org forum
jmkasunich wrote:

In other words, you are saying that we can and should have the list, the forum, the IRC channel, the wiki, etc - all at the same time. To be honest, that is my feeling as well. However, one thing we really want to avoid is dividing the EMC community up into a bunch of islands.


I think most people would agree with trying to keep the EMC community together strengthens EMC.

jmkasunich wrote:

At least some members of the board are struggling with the question: "do we shut down the list and switch to a forum". This comes from a strong desire NOT to fragment the community by having a bunch of different "gathering places".


I don't think the forum would ever replace the mailing list. At least here we can advise those folks that want to participate in elections and other things that are more logical to have on the mailing list in the Forum Announcements section. And guide them to the IRC and wiki and the documents as needed. I kind of think of the forum as an entry point for the non Linux person. Someplace comfortable and easy to navigate... then we can guide them along on the rest of the journey to Linux and EMC world.

John

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15 Apr 2009 23:58 #108 by jimlas53
Replied by jimlas53 on topic Re:Linuxcnc.org forum
JohnT, I think you have it there. The forum will be the first step for many folk who will come from a non-Linux world. There is a large learning curve for EMC. Mostly, learning how to work with Linux. I'm glad Ubuntu has made that process easier, but it is still a lot for a new user to get hold of.

-Doug

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19 Apr 2009 20:25 #121 by Ironhorse13
Replied by Ironhorse13 on topic Re:Linuxcnc.org forum
jimlas53 wrote:

There are folks who just want to have a working CNC system. They aren't Linux programmers, they shouldn't need to be. I've subscribed to the mailing list since 2003, spending countless hours going through the numerous digests filling up my inbox to sift out what I can use. I find forums to be very helpful, the Ubuntu forums are a great example. I started with Ubuntu right when Dapper was released (I think) and the forums provided all the help I needed to get comfortable with Ubuntu.
The EMC community should find this forum to be helpful, especially as more posts capture some of the common issues new users run into. Much easier to search this forum than go through the digest archives!

-Doug


My 2cents... Have to agree with Doug cause I'm one of those people wants to adapt EMC to my machine and started trying to figure out how back around 2004 or 2005 which is when I also installed my first working Linux OS. I use MEPIS Linux OS and anyone with question as to the usefullness, need, or value of a good forum should check out the mepislovers.org forum for an eyeopener of how it's done. It grew from conception around that time to an invaluable & integral part of the development of the disto and a true lifeline to all users from newbie to pro. I believe the same thing will happen here if given the chance as I think there are more folks wanting to use this and only need this forum to get started. Take care all, Jerry;)

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29 Apr 2009 15:22 #191 by dfarrell
Replied by dfarrell on topic Re:Linuxcnc.org forum
My opinions is that Forums are more productive than lists or wikis. Read
my topic for 5I20 in Hardware,Driverboard. This was a challenging
problem that was resolved with little extra chatter you normally get from
sideline readers on lists. Now the 5I20 topic exists as a record that is
pretty easy for people to follow. Although they do exist on forums, flame
wars seem easily triggered on lists.

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