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

Re: Purpose of IRC and Q&A

From: Chris Mills <cmills@opera.com>
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2012 15:10:01 +0100
Cc: Divya Manian <manian@adobe.com>, "<jonathan@garbee.me>" <jonathan@garbee.me>, "public-webplatform@w3.org" <public-webplatform@w3.org>
Message-Id: <6AF53C82-CCD0-42AC-85FA-794E5355CCDC@opera.com>
To: Tobie Langel <tobie@fb.com>
+10.

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 12 Oct 2012, at 15:06, Tobie Langel <tobie@fb.com> wrote:

> 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 14:10:43 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Wednesday, 8 May 2013 19:57:34 UTC