W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > January 2012

Re: Forums

From: Matthew Wilcox <elvendil@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Jan 2012 22:54:37 +0000
Cc: Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>, WWW Style <www-style@w3.org>
Message-Id: <52BC8360-3E8F-45AC-8582-C8B964E7E2C3@gmail.com>
To: "Kang-Hao (Kenny) Lu" <kennyluck@csail.mit.edu>
There are good points there. I don't think that forums will work while mailing lists exist side-by-side. The committed mailing list users would simply use the list and be absent from the forum. New people wanting to get involved with the www-style would try using the forums, think it's dead and abandon. I don't think forums and lists can exist successfully together.

I would also like to take argument against one (strange) assumption that's been made in this thread: forums are not about people randomly entering in to follow one topic and then bugger off again. They're not "mailing list lite". They are intended to do what mailing lists do, better. Yes, better is subjective. But, there is a very big reason why there are a lot of forums in the owrld and not very many mailing lists. Your preferences may be different, but you're statistically outnumbered if you prefer mailing lists (which doesn't mean mailing lists are wrong for www-style, I'm specifying a trend for general web users).

The reason I have proposed Forums is because it is much more familiar to the average web user, and therefor far simpler to get started with. That doesn't mean people come, do one thing and go. It means people can start to get involved much more easily than having to dig through W3C web pages (notorious for being hard to find), to find out 

a) what a mailing list is
b) the criteria to join one
c) set up their mail account to handle a list
d) subscribe via email
e) then learn that to see an archive they have to abandon the list and go to a web page. Somewhere.

A forum is a central repository where all past activity and future activity can be accessed, searched, and shared. No faffing.

I am, however, sensing that the list won't get shut down in favour of forums. Which, effectively, rules out forums alltogether. So, I like the idea of radically improving the existing web side of the list, making it much more usable and giving much clearer instruction on how to get involved. That would solve a lot of the issues I have and be far more encouraging to 'outsiders'.
Received on Thursday, 5 January 2012 22:55:09 UTC

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