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FOSS projects should not use mailing lists for help

Posted 09-04-2012 at 09:58 AM by Skaperen

Mailing lists are fine among a limited group of developers. But this is a bad idea for offering help to refer to a mailing list.

Mailing lists are limiting submissions to their subscribers, or not. These days, no one, not even hard core developers, would want their email box polluted by spammers. So that means no open (anyone can send) mailing lists. But that also means anyone just needing some quick help has to become a subscriber to the mailing list, first. Not only is that a hassle in many cases, it is also annoying because the subscriber now gets their mailbox stuffed with everyone else's questions (depending on how busy the list is).

I've completely written off mailing lists for help. At one point in life I was subscribed to as many as 160. It was worse than spam. I've managed to cut that down to just 4, and they are on a completely separate mailbox.

No more. I refuse to add any more. I will not subscribe. Actually, I made that decision a few years ago. This does not apply to participating in a development group where the list does not answer all those help questions. A forum is the way to go for user help for free open source software projects. Those which the developers do not want to offer help in a forum, I'll simply consider them to be projects which the developers do not want to offer end user help (there is no obligation for that in any case).
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  1. Old Comment
    +100^google. i can add no more.
    Posted 09-04-2012 at 10:05 AM by Web31337 Web31337 is offline


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