W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webplatform@w3.org > October 2012

Re: Purpose of IRC and Q&A

From: <jonathan@garbee.me>
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2012 06:30:55 -0400
To: <public-webplatform@w3.org>
Message-ID: <da1bc4832b4e976ef065bd2e4d25e0ff@garbee.me>

The only real thing I'm not seeing here is people asking questions
related to the content. I think if someone asks a question about
something written on the site (and hopefully also links directly to the
page they are having issues understanding) then we should help and
answer them. That way we can get valuable information to help us correct
or improve the documentation so it makes more sense to the most people.

On 12.10.2012 04:36am, Chris Mills wrote: 

> I've written the
following guidelines to try to make some sense of where we are in terms
of things being on topic and off topic
> How do these
sound? Ok? Completely off base?
> Chris Mills
> Open standards
evangelist and dev.opera.com editor, Opera Software
> Co-chair, web
education community group, W3C
> Author of "Practical CSS3: Develop and

> * Try Opera: http://www.opera.com
> * Learn about the latest open
standards technologies and techniques: http://dev.opera.com
> *
Contribute to web education: http://www.w3.org/community/webed/
> On
11 Oct 2012, at 20:54, Tony Crockford <tonyc@boldfish.co.uk> wrote:

>> On 11 Oct 2012, at 20:21, Tobie Langel wrote: 
>>> There
absolutely needs to be a split between the channel for people working on
the site and a channel for questions about the site's content. Answering
questions in irc channels is exhausting and a poor use of resources
which could be creating lasting content instead.
>> I've always seen a
distinction where the form of communication media moulds the nature of
the conversation. I wonder if I'm alone in this? For a specific problem
with a specific site I'll seek out a related web forum, (like SO,
doctype.com etc) search for answers with a SE and/or ask on a mailing
list or social media. For a general issue relating to best practice I
might do the same or more likely look in the W3C specs, or sitepoint.com
or similar, but I'm hoping to be able to find those answers in WPD in
future. I'd probably only use IRC if I wanted a very specific answer
from a very small specialist group - e.g. a particular software that was
troubling me, I'd seek out the IRC for the development team. For WPD I'm
looking to the IRC for help with understanding the "what is WPD?"
question at the moment, as I expected to find those closest to the core
team lurking there. As I see it WPD provides a large body of reference
material and accopanying site infrastructure which includes a forum
called Q&A and a Chat option(IRC). The questions *at the moment* appear
to fall into (broadly speaking) "How do I do x within the WPD
site/wiki/Q&A forums?" and more general "I want to be seen to be getting
involved so I'll ask a question" I don't see many "my site's broken how
do I fix it?" yet. I'd be very much inclined to see the future of the
Q&A forums as a place to ask about implementation of a specific web
element/technology in general, e.g "When should I use as opposed to ?"
or "I read this in the docs Why is it that way, not this?" Clearly in
the early stages there will also be questions about how to use the site.
(the sooner there's a sticky post for that the better!) Since the IRC
channel gets impossible to follow with a lot of voices, I suspect it
will be more a sort of second level support or inner circle where the
thornier questions are asked before they are brought to the wider
mailing list for general discussion. My opinion would be that specific
questions about a particular site with a problem are inappropriate in
any of the three WPD channels (mailing list, IRC, Q&A forum) but that in
all likelihood most of the questions about *how* the site works or how a
web thing is implemented will start on the mailing list (for more
immediate response) or in the Q&A forums for a wider audience and a more
drawn out discussion. IRC will be a subsection of both where more
immediacy or higher technical levels of discussion take place. Are we
imagining a problem that isn't there (specific site problem questions)
and couldn't we just make it go away by referring the questioners to the
appropriate support group? That said, explaining the purpose of the WPD
community channels more clearly "at the door" might make the *problem*
go away before it starts. I read this article earlier, (via WaxEagle) it
seems apt:
[1] :)


Received on Friday, 12 October 2012 10:31:24 UTC

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