> - are alerted immediately. Blind alleys get closed off nearly immediately.
Forums do have "subscribe to topic" option, so you can keep up with it via
e-mail without having to (re)visit the page.
A couple of clarifications:
My proposal with forum.linuxaudio.org is not to supersede lau/lad lists, but
rather complement. I see it beneficial that we offer as many tools and means
for end user to communicate with developers as possible. Naturally, not all
of the resources will be utilized by all of us, but this is where users will
provide the means of cross-pollinating these resources. For instance,
someone may post tons of questions on a mailing list regarding a particular
topic and once they learn enough about it, they may convey that info in
terse user friendly way to other end users via a forum post, a mailing list
e-mail, wiki contribution, or something else (this certainly is the case
with Ubuntu, for instance see following examples which are mostly OT when it
comes to sound but hopefully you get the point:
http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=131267). I think we need more
of this kind of documentation which will overshadow tons of dead-ends and
stale how-tos that are readily available via Google search.
Yes, forums have problems, but IMHO mailing lists are no better. They simply
have a different set of advantages and disadvantages. For instance, on a
forum you can "sticky" important topics so that they always show on top.
This helps minimize noise which is also present at lau/lad lists (i.e.
endless asoundrc questions we get which arguably persist due to poor
documentation, but in this respect a forum provides that documentation-like
navigation mailings lists miss; while searching mailing lists for asoundrc
stuff may be easy, provided that you know about asoundrc in the first place,
if a newcomer searches for "pcmcia sound" because they are having problems
with hdsp but are not aware of the lspci/setpci and hence unable to include
that in their search to get the right results, will yield tons of bad hits,
whereas on a forum you could have a forum topic "Soundcards" and a sub-forum
"Pcmcia" which would make it much easier to navigate and/or locate what you
Another advantage of forums over mailing lists is that one can delete
old/obsolete/defunct how-tos, topics, threads, and posts. Mailing list with
time simply introduces more noise as google stores old posts, making google
searches decreasingly accurate. In that respect a forum is something between
a mailing list and a wiki.
It is also worth considering that maintenance does not have to be demanding
if we attract the right group of newcomers who wish to contribute by
maintaining specific topics and/or threads which makes the whole thing a lot
So, in short, it would be IMHO nice to complement
lad/lau/consortium/alsa/etc. lists with a forum and the docs wiki. We
already do have:
1) mailing lists (LAA/LAU/LAD/Consortium/Alsa/etc.)
2) Linuxaudio IRC channel reserved and maintained (see consortium website
for more info)
3) Free hosting and webspace offered via Consortium for
The lingering question is who will volunteer to help with the roll-out of
the proposed technologies.