[Samba] Samba Forum vs. Mailing List?`!

Tom H. Lautenbacher mailinglists at lautenbacher.biz
Tue Jun 29 18:11:44 MDT 2010

Hi Linda!


> > I wanted to ask if there is an official Samba Forum


>     No need?

>     Why do you need a forum with a mailing list?


Because a forum IMHO has certain advantages over a mailing list.


> Forums are non-standard.  Mailing lists have software to process them 

> in many ways.  Many are archived -- not something you get with forums.


@Standard: Yes, I agree. This is a disadvantage for forums in comparison to
other means of communication, such as mailing lists or usenet-news.

@Software: What software is there and in which ways can you process mails?

@Archive: Anybody running a forum can decide on his own, if he wants to
archive things or not.


> Forums seems to be a 'windows' thing for users when companies want to 

> be able to ignore their user base.

> Emails cause the companies too much headache because the user's emails 

> end up in employee inboxes and cause distractions from doing "real 

> work", so they try to put users in forums, so they won't distract the 

> companies'

> employees.


Uffff, well.. I am self employed and feel distracted and annoyed by all
those useless emails from all those mailing-lists that I have to attend,


My opinion is:

Every means of communication has it's functional range.


Mailing lists are existing since many years. They were perfect in those
pioneer years, when a small group of people worked together on a small
thing: Everyone needed to be informed about everything and everybody had to
discuss everything. Until today mailing lists serve such small development
groups very good.


But as projects grow bigger and the group of users with them, IMHO there
arises the need for further means of communication.


Speaking for me: I am a Samba user since about 2002, using Samba as
Administrator of some small-midsized Networks. I do not contribute code or
help developing. From time to time I am having a problem with implementing
Samba and need quick advice and help.


For me now to get help, I needed to subscribe to this mailing list. From
this moment on I received approx. 20 emails which do not concern me or my
problem. I do not know the answer to all of those questions either, so I
can't help anybody. I am just annoyed and bothered by my mailbox getting
literally spammed. Since Samba is not the only open source community who's
mailing list I am attending, I am receiving daily approx. 30-40 of those


For my case a forum would server much better. I could go there, post my
question and subscribe to my thread, getting email-notification just about
my question. Furthermore I could quickly browse the forum to see, if there
are any open topics where I think that I could help someone else out.

Given that the forum settings are saving all postings for ever, the whole
forum would serve everybody as a very valuable knowledge base, making it
easy to find answers for common problems, without bugging anybody or
spamming everybody with the 10,000 versions of the same question.


Both means of communication can easily live in harmony! Developers or hard
core members, who need to stay in touch very intensively and want to
participate to ALL communication can continue participating at the mailing
list (although it would be easily possible to just subscribe to an analogue
topic in the forum and get automatically all messages, but anyway..).


Another great plus of Forums is the possibility to use HTML and other
"functionality". Well I know guys, all hardcore old-school guys among you
roll their eyes, because you love plain text stuff.


But the reality is that it does make sense and does bring communication
again to a much higher level of productivity, when you are able e.g. to
implement screenshots or diagrams to your answers, instead of having to e.g.
draw a network diagram with ASCII art...



Well there are many pros and cons to everything.


Fact is, that I am having a problem with Samba to that I can't find any
information, but instead get "spammed" with 30 emails that do not really
concern me. Fact is that although Windows 7 is out for a long time now, I
had to find all the information about the needed registry patches in some
other forums or spread over some archived mailing-list fragments, hard to
read and difficult to find. A decent userforum/knowledgebase would have
served in a much more efficient way!


So my final question:

If I would help making a Samba-Forum, would there be anybody here who would
appreciate and would like to use it? Would the "official" guys among you
want to implement it to the samba-homepage?


All the best

Tom H. Lautenbacher


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