I'd make two recommendations. I think it's great that people send out
interesting links and articles, and while I agree with Eric that it's
fairly overwhelming on this list, I think that's fine. If you have the
time to follow the link and discover something useful in the process, more
power to you. If you don't have time to follow the links, you're no worse
off than you were before.
I do think that we can do a better job of organizing the links from
archived e-mails in a useful way. One solution, which has nice synergy
with OHS development, is to create a localized back-link database from all
of the e-mails posted to this list. The result would be something similar
to the DayPop site that Alex brought to our attention (which,
incidentally, I think is brilliant).
To address Eric's main gripe, however, I'd propose a non-technical
solution that, ironically enough, has its roots in Doug's lab 30 years
ago: RFCs. If you'd like to bring something to people's attentions, just
post it to the list. If you'd really like people to pay attention to
something, put together an RFC.
In the past few years, many open source communities have adopted this
practice. In the Tcl community, all sorts of people would post all sorts
of ideas and recommendations about features and so forth, and it was
impossible for Ousterhout and others to treat all of these ideas equally.
So the community developed TIPs -- Tcl Improvement Proposals.
If you want to propose a feature, you write a TIP, and submit it. If
accepted, the TIP gets assigned an ID, and is published under version
control. There is a format for writing TIPs, and a procedure for
discussing and voting on TIPs. TIPs are a wonderful mechanism for
focusing attention and separating the wheat from the chaff. It's a good
example of using formalisms when you're ready to use them.
Other open source communities have adopted this practice, to good effect.
Perl 6 development is a wonderful example of these RFC-style proposals in
I think that we can use RFCs in our own community to good effect. For
instance, many people in our community (including myself) believe that we
should use a Groves-like architecture for the OHS. Jack has proposed an
XTM-style API for manipulating information in the OHS. Other people have
made very legitimate proposals, but the attention that these proposals
have attracted has varied.
I think the best way to draw more serious attention to these types of
proposals is for their advocates to put together RFCs. We could appoint a
librarian and develop our own procedures for creating, submitting, and
discussing RFCs, modeled closely after other communities' procedures.
-- +=== Eugene Eric Kim ===== email@example.com ===== http://www.eekim.com/ ===+ | "Writer's block is a fancy term made up by whiners so they | +===== can have an excuse to drink alcohol." --Steve Martin ===========+
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This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0.0 : Thu Oct 04 2001 - 00:22:34 PDT