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

Re: Purpose of IRC and Q&A

From: Tobie Langel <tobie@fb.com>
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2012 14:06:30 +0000
To: Divya Manian <manian@adobe.com>, "<jonathan@garbee.me>" <jonathan@garbee.me>
CC: "public-webplatform@w3.org" <public-webplatform@w3.org>
Message-ID: <F9981AFB970564408FEB7DFCF62D440843679DA4@SC-MBX01-4.TheFacebook.com>
We should do one thing and do it well.

Stackoverflow has been doing a pretty awesome job of providing a Q&A site
for Web technology for a number of years now. It has a very big head-start
and a lot more resources focused on it then we do. Q&A it is also their
main product. I see little to no value for us to compete in this space.
And even if there were, the chances of being successful would be meager.

On the other hand, we've identified a clear gap (reference/documentation)
which is waiting to be filled. Lets first build an amazing documentation
center and a great community around it. We can always revisit in a year
and open-up to doing Q&A / support if we feel there's a value in doing so
then.


--tobie

On 10/12/12 2:22 PM, "Divya Manian" <manian@adobe.com> wrote:

>The section on Q & A answers that I think? Perhaps we should not
>encourage such questions on IRC but instead direct them to ask on the Q &
>A site? 
>
>- divya
>
>
>On 12 Oct 2012, at 03:30, <jonathan@garbee.me> wrote:
>
>> 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
>>> 
>>> 
>>> http://docs.webplatform.org/wiki/WPD:Keeping_on_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 Design" (
>>> 
>>>http://my.opera.com/chrismills/blog/2012/07/12/practical-css3-my-book-is
>>>-finally-published
>>> )
>>> 
>>> * 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:
>>>>http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/07/the-7-essential-meta-questions-of
>>>>-every-beta/ :)
>>  
>>  
>
>
Received on Friday, 12 October 2012 14:07:02 UTC

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