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

Chris Smith smb_77 at chrissmith.org
Wed Jun 30 11:01:32 MDT 2010

On Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 12:14 PM, Tom H. Lautenbacher
<mailinglists at lautenbacher.biz> wrote:
> 1. If you come to Samba (or any other community project) as a NEW user, you
> could find all the previous information and communication nicely organized
> in the forum. The forum serves as a knowledgebase, which helps new users to
> integrate quickly and supports them in getting the things setup without
> pain. You can find the threads sorted in different subject-categories and
> start browsing them, or you can start a forum search, which has a much
> higher relevance of results, than a global google search.

I don't find forums all that useful as a knowledge base. The search
capabilities of most are generally sub-optimal and the information
isn't all that well organized.

> Opposed to this: If you join NEW to a mailing list initially you do not find
> ANYTHING, but have to start collecting emails in a personal archive over the
> years (as you do). But if you need certain information NOW, the only
> alternative is to do a Google-Search which is very sub-optimal to do,
> compared to a forum search, or the logical division of subjects in a Forum.

Not true there are other alternatives. Here's one:

And with a good newsreader you have much flexibility.

> As a result what a mailing list does is: It servers super for long-time
> members of a project, who have collected all emails over the last past years
> on their private harddisks and it makes it very difficult for new users to
> access information. It serves well to the hard core of a project but makes
> unnecessary barriers for newcomers.

(and with a good newsreader you can have your own local copy)

> 2. Forum software commonly enables the threads to be enriched with binary or
> with html-code. Thus explanations/help/etc. can be enriched with
> screenshots, photos, links, diagrams, etc.

Picasa, Flickr, your own site, etc. Pastebin for code. Links are
allowed here, lets the reader decide on whether or not to use the time
and bandwidth.

> 3. A Forum has the advantage that I can subscribe to certain subjects! E.g.
> I can say: Send me all future postings about "Windows 7 & Samba PDC".

And you can star/filter a conversation or thread with email readers
and news readers.

> 4. And last but not least: Since a forum does not only gather messages but
> also users, with profiles, maybe even pictures, etc. helps
> community-spirit-building, a subject that gains importance those days.

But will you recognize them in a dark alley?

> As for the CONS:
> I know them all. It is exactly the same discussion as with the never-ending
> comparison of Usenet ("News servers") and Webforums.

I lament the loss of newsgroups - always seemed just right. Post once,
read many.


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