Varnish Project migration and mailing lists future

Devon H. O'Dell dho at
Wed Mar 9 18:47:41 CET 2016

On Wed, Mar 9, 2016 at 6:28 AM, Dridi Boukelmoune <dridi at> wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 9, 2016 at 9:55 AM, Nils Goroll <slink at> wrote:
>> I really see no relevant points to veto walking in the direction we're heading,
>> except for the general unhappyness about centralism.
> I'm with Nils but *also* unhappy because github feels very crippling
> to me, especially its web interface. I sincerely hope we'll never
> press the merge button of a pull request but instead keep a linear git
> history as we usually manage to do.
> Also I will not participate in Stackoverflow Q&As because:
> 1. I don't want to create yet another account to some random online service
> 2. I've had bad experiences with SO-driven-developers (copy-paste-madness)
> 3. I'm currently lagging significantly on the lower traffic -misc list

I also worry about using SO as a support mechanism. Apart from the
concerns that Dridi mentioned, there are other problems with the
entire SO model of having questions answered.

Very fundamentally, it is up to the person who asks the question to
accept an answer. The difference between "what works" and "what is
correct" is in many cases quite stark. This sometimes has the effect
of driving knowledgeable folks away from answering questions, which in
turn produces more poor quality answers. Unless a question is
extremely popular, it is also unlikely that community involvement
results in a better answer becoming the selected answer. People who
ask questions also frequently skip the whole part of accepting
answers. This can make it confusing as to which answer is correct
(upvotes aren't always a great indicator), and for people who take SO
karma seriously, this also tends to drive down answer quality
(especially when the asker is a guest / has 0 karma).

If SO is inevitable for -misc traffic, I would recommend a slightly
different approach: "Please ask your question at SO, and then link it
here." And then encourage people to be good denizens, seeing questions
through to resolution.

Digging through the -misc archive, it appears that most questions at
least result in discussion, whether or not they are resolved to the
satisfaction of the asker. So it isn't a black hole. SO questions
tagged with "varnish" currently has 5 pages of questions not marked as
answered out of 25 pages of questions with the tag. Without looking at
all of them, this illustrates that 20% questions are not being handled
according to SO community guidelines. Driving more people to SO who
are unfamiliar with its model is likely to make the support experience
worse if there is no strategy for actually monitoring the questions.


> Anyway I still hope this change is for the best :)
> Dridi
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