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

Purpose of IRC and Q&A

From: <jonathan@garbee.me>
Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2012 13:30:00 -0400
To: <public-webplatform@w3.org>
Message-ID: <2a3e17fd346967247372470d830e7d3e@garbee.me>

We all need to decide what the purpose of the IRC and Q&A is. There
has been quite a bit of talk among people in IRC about what exactly we
should allow and not allow. Paul has brought this up earlier in his
email about just the IRC room, but this needs to be decided for that and
the Q&A along with any further avenue's that could be used. 

First I
feel it necessary to define two things so we are all on the same page:

 	* "Meta content" is content or questions that is specific to
webplatform.org and its documentation.
 	* "General content" is content
or questions that don't specifically relate to content from the

For example: 
A meta question: " How would I use HTML's Target
attribute to open in a new window?" (Ref:
http://docs.webplatform.org/wiki/html/attributes/target [1] ) 
A general
question: "How do I get Y jQuery plugin to work on my site?" Y being
http://pagescroller.com/ [2] if you really need an example. 
hopefully we are all on the same page as far as these two types of
Here is a chatlog from a discussion in a chatroom
earlier about it. The conversation started in the main room but we moved
to another to keep the main room clean so here is what occured after we
switched rooms which basically recovered the prior conversation as well
as added some more information: 
----Start Log---- 

Oct 11 11:01:02
<shepazu> in my opinion, #webplatform should be the landing space where
people can ask general questions, and those of us who want to go meta
can meet here
Oct 11 11:01:16 <tobie> WFM
Oct 11 11:01:21 * _WiZZarD
seconds that
Oct 11 11:01:33 <tobie> I don't have the bandwidth to
answer dev questions
Oct 11 11:01:43 * mdel
(~mdelcx@23-24-38-161-static.hfc.comcastbusiness.net) has joined
Oct 11 11:01:45 <shepazu> if you only want to go meta,
then just hang out here
Oct 11 11:02:28 <shepazu> if you don't have the
time to answer dev questions, which is fine, then hang out here, but
don't swim against the tide of people wanting a clear place to ask
Oct 11 11:02:43 <Garbee> Then we should let this room be known
for that. Right now it is kindof hidden away.
Oct 11 11:02:53 <tobie>
Oct 11 11:02:54 <shepazu> we can get a log bot in here, too
11 11:02:59 <shepazu> Garbee: agreed
Oct 11 11:03:26 <Garbee> I think
all this arguing over what forum is for what needs to end quick, because
it is only hurting us overall.
Oct 11 11:03:33 <mdel> so wait, what is
the new idea for what THIS channel is supposed to be for?
Oct 11
11:03:53 <Garbee> mdel, If I am getting this right, then this channel is
for organizing contributions to the site.
Oct 11 11:04:04 <Garbee> Then
again, that is what the other one is for as well.
Oct 11 11:04:16
<NotTomato> Garbee, I don't think anyone is upset or arguing, just
opinions, at least I hope no one is upset.
Oct 11 11:04:29 * mdel is
Oct 11 11:04:34 <Garbee> bickering might be more accurate
Oct 11 11:04:38 <NotTomato> Hahaha.
Oct 11 11:04:43 * _WiZZarD
proposes to keep this channel for discussions about how the site should
be set up , etc.
Oct 11 11:04:50 <shepazu> I think, long-term, the meta
questions will not be as much of an issue, or as interesting
Oct 11
11:04:55 <_WiZZarD> like we're cluttering the main channel all day
Oct 11 11:05:20 <mdel> the only reason meta questions are even
a thing right now is because the site is new and major questions are
Oct 11 11:05:21 <shepazu> so, 3 months from now, if that's
all they were used for, then they will be dead
Oct 11 11:05:28 <shepazu>
yes, mdel
Oct 11 11:05:30 <tobie> shepazu: well, there'll always be need
to sync on documenting new technology, etc/
Oct 11 11:05:34 <Garbee> I
simply think for the short term we need to focus on content organization
and additions, not supporting people.
Oct 11 11:06:01 <shepazu> Garbee:
short term, you're right, but we can't just think short-term
Oct 11
11:06:22 <shepazu> we need to do both from the start, or the discussion
will die
Oct 11 11:06:41 <mdel> short term goals like content
organization will foster discussion in the long term
Oct 11 11:06:41
<tobie> imho an irc channel for all-questions-web is going to be a night
mare really quickly
Oct 11 11:06:42 <Garbee> So, #webplatform for
anything general about the web and #webplatform-dev for things relating
specifically to the sites content?
Oct 11 11:06:51 <shepazu> so we need
to find people willing to do one, or the other, or both
Oct 11 11:07:00
<mdel> tobie: agreed
Oct 11 11:07:07 <_WiZZarD> basically : let the devs
handle short term, and fix some people (like me) for short term support,
bug sorting, etc.
Oct 11 11:07:10 <Garbee> #webplatform can also be for
the site as well, but those of us that know will come here and discuss
Oct 11 11:07:21 <mdel> Q&A and IRC should both have the same
Oct 11 11:07:26 <_WiZZarD> correct
Oct 11 11:07:27 <mdel> IRC
= instant, live Q&A
Oct 11 11:07:28 <tobie> and we'd be duplicating
loads of other channels, think ##javascript, #jquery, etc.
Oct 11
11:07:40 <Garbee> ofc, otherwise we get splintered and things jut fall
Oct 11 11:08:00 <mdel> no need to duplicate the other channels,
and no need to duplicate SO
Oct 11 11:08:12 <mdel> which is why I think
code questions in general should be discouraged
Oct 11 11:08:28
<shepazu> tobie: even if all the #webplatform channel is, is a way for
us to direct people to the right channel for questions, that's still
Oct 11 11:08:33 <mdel> theory, best-practice, how does X work
type questions should be the norm
Oct 11 11:08:38 <Garbee> I see that
point mdel, but I'm also the kind of guy who just likes to help
whereever I can.
Oct 11 11:08:58 <mdel> right, and that might work for
you as an individual (im the same way)
Oct 11 11:09:09 <mdel> but for
this project to be a success, it needs clear goals and guidelines
Oct 11
11:09:24 <mdel> and if its the wildwest of code questions and a mashup
of other sites and channels, it will fail
Oct 11 11:09:27 <mdel>
Oct 11 11:09:49 <Garbee> I think if we could get things organized
and known then things will be much better off. Right now the launch had
no real structure or ruleset so things are just everywhere and people
have differing ideas on what should and shouldn't be allowed.
Oct 11
11:10:16 <mdel> yeah that's definitely the case... and I came in here
late, so feel free to tell me to STFU
Oct 11 11:10:30 <Garbee> nah it's
Oct 11 11:10:45 <Garbee> You only missed like 3 or 4 lines of
Oct 11 11:10:46 <mdel> i just see this project as being able to
fill a void
Oct 11 11:10:58 <Garbee> Yea, and tech support isn't a
Oct 11 11:11:01 <mdel> and im hoping it doesnt go in the opposite
Oct 11 11:11:16 <mdel> Garbee: i meant like late as in just
yesterday :)
Oct 11 11:12:09 <Garbee> mdel, Oh, still everything is
completely fine.
Oct 11 11:12:56 * NotTomato has quit (Read error:
Connection reset by peer)
Oct 11 11:13:33 <shepazu> ok, so I need to
spend more time in the forums
Oct 11 11:13:59 <shepazu> I *don't* want
the forums just to be meta questions about the site itself, that will
get boring very quickly
Oct 11 11:14:05 * NotTomato
(~nottaylor@c-67-173-237-149.hsd1.co.comcast.net) has joined
Oct 11 11:14:14 <mdel> i dont think forums should be
about the site at all, personally
Oct 11 11:14:18 <mdel> we can talk
about that here
Oct 11 11:14:30 <mdel> perhaps I missed where that was
Oct 11 11:16:09 <shepazu> mdel: so, what sort of scope do you
have in mind for the QA?
Oct 11 11:16:22 <Garbee> Why wouldn't the
forums be about the site? If someone has a question on the content and
why it is done a certain way or wants to get more information then they
should ask. But jumping in to ask about why their custom javascript code
to do Y isn't working I'm still on the fence about.
Oct 11 11:16:22
<shepazu> not just mdel, everyone?
Oct 11 11:17:17 <Garbee> I think the
IRC and Forums should serve the same purpose. One is for trying to get
instant feedback and the other is for more long-term (and more eyes)
Oct 11 11:18:12 <Garbee> shepazu, Also I have a text log of this,
once we are done really discussing this here I can host it or throw it
on a pastebin and we should put it to the Mailing List as well to get
there thoughts.
Oct 11 11:18:26 <Garbee> That way they will have a full
log of the discussion we already are having.
Oct 11 11:18:32 <shepazu> I
don't mind there being questions about the site on the QA, but they
should be categorized as such
Oct 11 11:18:38 <shepazu> Garbee: same
here :)
Oct 11 11:18:50 <shepazu> does anyone have a bot they can invite
Oct 11 11:18:57 <mdel> shepazu: IMO, Q&A should be for questions
about topics in the documentation, questions about best-practices and
the theory behind the documentation ("why is X the preferred method of
doing Y")
Oct 11 11:19:04 <Garbee> Mine isn't logging yet... Still need
to work on that.
Oct 11 11:19:12 <Garbee> It flushes immediately.
Oct 11
11:19:36 <mdel> and yea, i think meta questions are fine if tagged as
such, but I thought the suggestion was that the Q&A was SOLEY for
Oct 11 11:19:42 <mdel> which probably means I misrea
Oct 11
11:19:44 <mdel> d
Oct 11 11:20:26 <mdel> we're talking about 2 things,
and I may be confusing them
Oct 11 11:21:00 <mdel> meta questions to me
= about the site operations
Oct 11 11:21:28 <shepazu> mdel: yes, or site
structure, etc
Oct 11 11:21:29 <mdel> general questions about the
on-site docs and best-practices are what I envision being more the
target of the Q&A
Oct 11 11:21:56 <Garbee> The site *is* web standards
and best practices. So *anything* about the site directly (meta) or the
content (the standards) is fine to me. But *general* support for peoples
code just seems like it is replicating a lot of other places and adding
on top of what is in the system. So for those of us that want to only
see things not general support it adds cruft. Then for those only
looking for general questions, it adds
Oct 11 11:21:56 <Garbee>
Oct 11 11:22:20 <mdel> i do understand it may be difficult to
keep "why is dis not work" type questions out of Q&A but I also think
they should be discouraged and downvoted unless generalized
Oct 11
11:22:26 <Garbee> That also seems like it invites a lot of content that
is very narrowly helpful.
Oct 11 11:22:58 <mdel> yeah I agree, think
we're saying the same thing
Oct 11 11:23:03 * _WiZZarD going afk
Oct 11
11:23:10 <_WiZZarD> time to shop for a new house
Oct 11 11:23:16
<_WiZZarD> il be back ;)
Oct 11 11:23:21 <mdel> _WiZZarD: join the club
: it sucks
Oct 11 11:23:29 <mdel> good luck
Oct 11 11:23:31 <_WiZZarD>
no it doesnt ;)
Oct 11 11:23:41 <shepazu> good luck _WiZZarD
Oct 11
11:23:48 <_WiZZarD> i get to draw the plans myselve ;)
Oct 11 11:23:48
<mdel> you must not be from around me :) market is terrible...
Oct 11 11:24:02 <_WiZZarD> < Netherlands
Oct 11 11:24:10 * mdel
is from murica
Oct 11 11:24:46 <shepazu> Garbee: what technical
questions, if any, do you se as in scope for the forums?
Oct 11 11:26:25
* chrismills (~chrismill@ has joined #webplatform-dev
11 11:26:36 <Garbee> I think if someone says "Hey guys, I'm looking at
<link to somewhere in docs here> and want to know more about how to
implament it." Then that would be fine, since it allows us to see
possible areas that need improving. But having just random stuff thrown
in out of left field seems out of place.
Oct 11 11:26:59 <chrismills>
wow, how many IRC channels can I monitor in one day and ever get any
work done? ;-)
Oct 11 11:27:12 * NotNotTomato
(~nottaylor@c-67-173-237-149.hsd1.co.comcast.net) has joined
Oct 11 11:27:15 <shepazu> Garbee: so, you want *only*
meta questions?
Oct 11 11:27:51 <shepazu> that seems pretty restrictive
to me
Oct 11 11:27:52 <Garbee> Yes, that would be it I guess.
Oct 11
11:28:25 <mdel> meta != questions about the on-site docs
Oct 11 11:28:26
<mdel> in my mind
Oct 11 11:28:33 <mdel> meta = "i think we should have
a X tag"
Oct 11 11:28:47 <Garbee> Then we need people to tag
correctly... :/
Oct 11 11:29:05 * NotTomato has quit (Ping timeout: 244
Oct 11 11:29:22 <mdel> i think depending on the definition of
meta, its either really restrictive
Oct 11 11:29:27 <mdel> or exactly
what we are after
Oct 11 11:30:00 <mdel> webdev questions that are
related to the documentation... isnt that what we want
Oct 11 11:31:24
<Garbee> I think I need to chill out for a bit. Think some more. And
come back to it later.
Oct 11 11:31:34 <mdel> ^^
Oct 11 11:31:38 <mdel>
except I need to work :(
Oct 11 11:31:45 * shepazu too
Oct 11 11:32:11
<Garbee> We have basically been saying roughly the same thing for like
20 minutes now with no true progress one way or the other.
Oct 11
11:32:31 <Garbee> So, lets break and come back to it later when we all
have fresh ideas and have gotten other things done.
Oct 11 11:32:38
<shepazu> let's take it to the email list :)

----End log----

Received on Thursday, 11 October 2012 18:33:11 UTC

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