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From Bob Tiernay <btier...@hotmail.com>
Subject RE: Discourse: A proposed alternative to the Spark User list
Date Thu, 22 Jan 2015 03:06:29 GMT
Very well stated. Thanks for putting in the effort to formalize your thoughts of which I agree
entirely.
How are these type of decisions made traditionally in the Spark community? Is there a formal
process? What's the next step?
Thanks again

From: nicholas.chammas@gmail.com
Date: Thu, 22 Jan 2015 02:55:33 +0000
Subject: Re: Discourse: A proposed alternative to the Spark User list
To: petar.zecevic@gmail.com; user@spark.apache.org

I think a few things need to be laid out clearly:

This mailing list is the “official” user discussion platform. That is, it is sponsored
and managed by the ASF.
Users are free to organize independent discussion platforms focusing on Spark, and there is
already one such platform in Stack Overflow under the apache-spark and related tags. Stack
Overflow works quite well.
The ASF will not agree to deprecating or migrating this user list to a platform that they
do not control.
This mailing list has grown to an unwieldy size and discussions are hard to find or follow;
discussion tooling is also lacking. We want to improve the utility and user experience of
this mailing list.
We don’t want to fragment this “official” discussion community.
Nabble is an independent product not affiliated with the ASF. It offers a slightly better
interface to the Apache mailing list archives. 

So to respond to some of your points, pzecevic:

Apache user group could be frozen (not accepting new questions, if that’s possible) and
redirect users to Stack Overflow (automatic reply?).

From what I understand of the ASF’s policies, this is not possible. :( This mailing list
must remain the official Spark user discussion platform.

Other thing, about new Stack Exchange site I proposed earlier. If a new site is created, there
is no problem with guidelines, I think, because Spark community can apply different guidelines
for the new site.

I think Stack Overflow and the various Spark tags are working fine. I don’t see a compelling
need for a Stack Exchange dedicated to Spark, either now or in the near future. Also, I doubt
a Spark-specific site can pass the 4 tests in the Area 51 FAQ:

Almost all Spark questions are on-topic for Stack Overflow
Stack Overflow already exists, it already has a tag for Spark, and nobody is complaining
You’re not creating such a big group that you don’t have enough experts to answer all
possible questions
There’s a high probability that users of Stack Overflow would enjoy seeing the occasional
question about Spark

I think complaining won’t be sufficient. :)

Someone expressed a concern that they won’t allow creating a project-specific site, but
there already exist some project-specific sites, like Tor, Drupal, Ubuntu…

The communities for these projects are many, many times larger than the Spark community is
or likely ever will be, simply due to the nature of the problems they are solving.
What we need is an improvement to this mailing list. We need better tooling than Nabble to
sit on top of the Apache archives, and we also need some way to control the volume and quality
of mail on the list so that it remains a useful resource for the majority of users.
Nick
​
On Wed Jan 21 2015 at 3:13:21 PM pzecevic <petar.zecevic@gmail.com> wrote:
Hi,

I tried to find the last reply by Nick Chammas (that I received in the

digest) using the Nabble web interface, but I cannot find it (perhaps he

didn't reply directly to the user list?). That's one example of Nabble's

usability.



Anyhow, I wanted to add my two cents...



Apache user group could be frozen (not accepting new questions, if that's

possible) and redirect users to Stack Overflow (automatic reply?). Old

questions remain (and are searchable) on Nabble, new questions go to Stack

Exchange, so no need for migration. That's the idea, at least, as I'm not

sure if that's technically doable... Is it?

dev mailing list could perhaps stay on Nabble (it's not that busy), or have

a special tag on Stack Exchange.



Other thing, about new Stack Exchange site I proposed earlier. If a new site

is created, there is no problem with guidelines, I think, because Spark

community can apply different guidelines for the new site.



There is a FAQ about creating new sites: http://area51.stackexchange.com/faq

It says: "Stack Exchange sites are free to create and free to use. All we

ask is that you have an enthusiastic, committed group of expert users who

check in regularly, asking and answering questions."

I think this requirement is satisfied...

Someone expressed a concern that they won't allow creating a

project-specific site, but there already exist some project-specific sites,

like Tor, Drupal, Ubuntu...



Later, though, the FAQ also says:

"If Y already exists, it already has a tag for X, and nobody is complaining"

(then you should not create a new site). But we could complain :)



The advantage of having a separate site is that users, who should have more

privileges, would need to earn them through Spark questions and answers

only. The other thing, already mentioned, is that the community could create

Spark specific guidelines. There are also  'meta' sites for asking questions

like this one, etc.



There is a process for starting a site - it's not instantaneous. New site

needs to go through private beta and public beta, so that could be a

drawback.





Like btiernay, I must say: there might be something about Apache projects

and mailing lists that I do not know, so excuse me if that is the case...









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