[Sugar-devel] Sugar-devel Digest, Vol 24, Issue 36 9Re: how to ask a question)

David Farning dfarning at gmail.com
Sat Oct 9 17:10:14 EDT 2010

On Sat, Oct 9, 2010 at 2:10 PM, Yioryos Asprobounitis
<mavrothal at yahoo.com> wrote:
> --- On Sat, 10/9/10, David Farning <dfarning at gmail.com> wrote:
>> From: David Farning <dfarning at gmail.com>
>> Subject: Re: [Sugar-devel] Sugar-devel Digest, Vol 24, Issue 36 9Re: how to ask a question)
>> To: "Sebastian Silva" <sebastian at somosazucar.org>
>> Cc: "Yioryos Asprobounitis" <mavrothal at yahoo.com>, sugar-devel at lists.sugarlabs.org, "Walter Bender" <walter.bender at gmail.com>
>> A couple of months ago we (Activity Central) set up a new
>> IRC channel
>> #sugar-newbies which is staffed by alsroot.  Alsroot
>> is available to
>> help new developers.
> But IRC although a valuable avenue for certain things, directly contradicts the views expressed earlier about the value of answering in public vs  private. No?
> And yet it is used a lot :-\

Sorry I was not arguing against the importance of private conversation.

>From my experience at Sugar Labs and Activity Central -- private help
is expensive.  It is time consuming for volunteers and costly for
staffed help lines.  +1 to any one willing set up something like
this.... Adam Holt created a pretty amazing support gang.

Until Sugar Labs can get the volunteers or one of the companies in the
sugar/olpc ecosystem can pay to staff help lines, I will try to
support three options:
1. Improving communication on sugar-devel by emphasize how to ask a
question.  I did not touch the issue of what is a good question.  Just
how to ask a question in a way which is more likely to get a good

For full disclosure. I am paying several of the 'new developers'
participating on sugar-devel.  My primary goal is _not_ to reduce the
load on the people answering the questions.  My goal is to help new
developer become more productive, more quickly.  'Asking questions
well' will improve new developer productivity because they are more
likely to get an answer.  All core developers are volunteers who are
much more likely to answer questions that are asked well.

2.  Improving IRC. #sugar-newbie is logged while #sugar is not logged.
 Both have advantages.  Sugar tends to have cryptic messages... as
tends to happen when people work together for long periods of time.
Watching a discussion between cjb and tomue makes me think of people
playing chess by email.  Sugar-newbie tends to be a bit more

3.  Incubating a forum.  Based solely on personal experience I find
when I google for an answer to a question, 25% of the time I get a
forum discussion as a result.


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