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Re: ANNOUNCE: Theres a new Linux list...

On Sun, Nov 04, 2001 at 09:45:54PM -0600, Mike808 wrote:
> Jordan Bettis on LUCI wrote:
> > I'd be happy to host your mailing list.
> Part of what we're attempting is to offer resources *beyond* just a mailing 
> list. Also to provide resources that cut across each LUG's mailing list 
> in order to foster a synergy between them, instead of several separate 
> parochial mailing lists, which seems to be the status quo.

Uhh, sorry, my parser choked on all of the buzzwords. Are you sure you
didn't just generate <http://www.dack.com/web/bullshit.html> that paragraph?

> That's not to say I don't appreciate your offer. It's the rest of the stuff
> that Yahoo offers that I didn't have to do diddly to "turn on". If the
> functioning of the members is such that we want to put together dedicated
> resources to replace the Yahoo features we like, then we may just as easily
> pursue that path (and may take you up on your offer). But that will take
> far, far more time and effort than it took me to do it on Yahoo.

I was about to ask which features, but I went ahead and checked out the URL
in your original post. I couldn't actually see any of the stuff without 
subscribing, so I'll just go down the list.

Messages: I assume that's the mailing list. I really can't tell if it has
any nifty features mailman and majordomo lack, but it does lack a public
archive. I, as well as most people experienced with the Internet, like to
research questions before they start asking them. I find that the vast 
majority of my questions have already been answered and that answer, since
it was posted on a public mailing list or USENET group, is only a google
search away. Non subscribers to your list do not have that option.

Chat: Why not just start an IRC channel on one of the public networks, like
<http://www.openprojects.net> or <http://www.slashnet.org>? I assume the
chat feature uses Yahoo Messenger. If so, you'd be restricting your group
from people who do not have access to a client. I know of no platform 
in use today for which an IRC client does not exist.

Files: This is something you mentioned in your original email, but I can't
really see how it would be useful. if it's a anonymous ftp type system, those
already exist, in fact, check out ftp://ftp.luci.org. If it's peer to peer
filesharing, people could just keep using MIME like they have been for years,
or you could do something really creative like use an opennap server. I'm
not sure if that'd be more useful than just using MIME or throwing it up
on a web page, but you could try it if you really think it's that important.

Photos: See the web page thing for files. Anyhow, a guy in a group up here
in Chicago is compiling a huge collection <http://www.tastytronic.net/main>
of group submitted pictures.

Database: Uhh, what?

Polls: Ok, first of all, no. Polls are cute, but they're way over-used 
already. I don't care how many people claim that their favorite programming
language is Cowboyneal. It really is a pretty pointless exercise. That
being said, there are many cgi poll programs, you can get the one for
slashdot from slashcode, the one from kuro5hin from scoop, that's in addition
to <http://freshmeat.net/search/?site=Freshmeat&q=poll+cgi&section=projects>

Promote: I don't even want to ask what this is.

Calendar: How is this better than having an announcements page like

> I'm thinking there's an analogy from Yahoo!Groups to groups like our LUGs
> as SourceForge is to Open Source projects. I'm not equating the two, just
> noting that both provide instant access to some pretty sophisticated 
> resources at no charge and with little administrative effort.

Well, I hate sourceforge. Were it not for that, all of the people running
the projects hosted there would have found a different host, and then we
all wouldn't be worried what's going to happen to all of them when VA
finishes driving itself into the ground. Plus, its interface sucks. Were
it not for Sourceforge, perhaps those projects would actually be running
a decent bugtracking system, like <http://bugs.debian.org> or 

If you're looking into using Yahoo because it's the easiest, perhaps you
should reconsider your motivations for this project. As far as I can tell,
synergies aside, you're trying to make a 'blanket' group for a number of
LUGs. That seems a bit pointless to me as the entire purpose of a LUG is
to serve a small geographic area. There are already services set up that
serve the worldwide free-software community.

Anyhow, free software users don't, as a rule, tend to be people who like
to color within the lines, which is perhaps one of the reasons we have
an aversion to a service set up using Yahoo's "cookie cutter" tools. Of
course, the fact that the Yahoo set up is so closed (I have to sign up
with my email address to see the calendar?) certainly doesn't help

So if you really think your setup is useful, get a shell on a public box
(I can probably hook you up with one of those) and try using the free
tools available to you. You'll end up making a system that's allot more
useful than what Yahoo provides, plus, you'll learn allot and hopefully have
fun along the way. 

Those are some of the things that Free Software is all about.

Jordan Bettis <http://www.hafd.org/~jordanb>
It is easier to change the specification to fit the program than vice versa.
          -- Alan J Perlis: Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN 1982
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