[typo] Typo Forums?

facedown@mac.com facedown at mac.com
Sun Dec 4 13:47:32 EST 2005


I've been reading this thread; it's time to throw my pennies into the  
ring.

I am a writer. I have background in programming, I know how to find  
my way through code, I can follow any instructions you send me, but  
primarily, I am a writer. I am an informed and intelligent end user.

I'm familiar with mailing lists, not scared of them at all. While  
many of the threads are over my head, I don't mind hanging with the  
developers, but this really isn't my place. I'm willing to be helpful  
where I can with the project, but my help is mostly going to come by  
relating my experiences as a user and suggesting areas the project  
can grow.

At some point, Typo needs to ask itself whether it wants to break  
into mainstream blogging or remain a tool for developers and geeks.  
Typo has the features, but is missing documentation and support. The  
README installation instructions are incomplete. Trac is overwhelming  
to a non-developer. I see those patches and .diff files, but couldn't  
find anything to tell me what to do with them. This mailing list has  
been helpful, but I never would have known there was a web interface  
somewhere other than the simple Mailman archive interface. I did surf  
through 10 months of old threads, looking for subject lines that  
might be helpful, but a search feature would have been nice.

If I'm a developer coming in to help with a new project, there's  
nothing wrong with expecting me to play around with the software and  
lurk on the list for a week or so as I get a feel for what is going  
on. It's asking an awful lot of an end user to tell him he needs to  
wait a week after downloading the program before he can start asking  
for  help. A mailing list might be the best tool for the developers,  
but it isn't going to help develop a growing user base.

If you want to grow a base of users (and that's a question worth  
pausing to answer—maybe you don't want that at this time), you need  
documentation and a place for the less-technically-adept to ask  
questions and help one another. A standard forum script (as bloated  
and ugly as it might sound) can help with both of those. Writing  
answers to newb questions is a good intermediate step toward a user  
manual.

My recommendation is that you see a forum not as a replacement for  
the mailing list, but as an additional tool. Not all of you on the  
list necessarily have to join or take part in the forum. What you'll  
need is a few of the developers and a couple people like me, who can  
act as translators between developers and the complete newbs.

Regards,
Kevin

On Dec 2, 2005, at 7:56 PM, Freedom Dumlao wrote:

> Why don't we have any typo forums? I think a forum might be easier to
> access than the mailing list, and the solutions and such would be
> much easier to search through and access for new users?
>
> If it is needed, I can provide hosting and a forums install very
> easily (donated, of course), just wondering if there was any
> particular reason this hadn't been done already.
> _______________________________________________
> Typo-list mailing list
> Typo-list at rubyforge.org
> http://rubyforge.org/mailman/listinfo/typo-list




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