Sent: Wednesday, March 12, 2003
Subject: Re: [xml-dev] FW: Tim
Bray "Let's Move XML-DEV"
In a message dated 12/03/2003 08:42:26 GMT Standard Time,
[quoting Tim Bray]
To the extent that there is such a thing as an XML
community, it's found at
a few conferences and on the xml-dev mailing list. Like many electronic
communities, xml-dev suffers from a few tedious permathreads, from regular
childish ranting, and from side-trips into the abstruse. But if you ask a
hard technical question on XML there, you'll probably get an answer, almost
immediately. The problem is that the mailing list is mismanaged, broken,
unreliable, inaccessible, and really ought to find a new home with competent
I have just been silently dumped off the list membership for the second time
in the last year. I went to check the list archive to make sure that it
wasn't just an extended quiet spell, except for the list archive is broken.
I tried to re-subscribe, but I got an air-headed error message and no
This kind of egregious stupidity has been going on for years.
I'm not going to dignify the organization that allegedly runs xml-dev by
naming them here, but if someone in the community who's reasonably neutral
and had the resources wanted to stick up their hand and offer to host the
mailing list, I'd be delighted to help with the migration.
Perhaps I am the only person on XML-Dev who read Tim's blog and was tempted to
classify it in the "childish ranting" category. Frustration does
terrible things to perspective on an issue. Doesn't the sentence,
"The problem is that the mailing list is mismanaged, broken, unreliable,
inaccessible, and really ought to find a new home with competent grownup
minders." suggest just a tinge of overreaction? Or is that perception only
in my mind?
It seems to me that the "Let's move [fill in mailing list name]" is a
recurrent but intermittent topic on very many mailing lists. <sigh/> ....
So I guess Tim's comments are a kind of intermittent permathread too.
I wonder if the immediacy of blogging which allows the semi-permanent recording
of outbursts of emotion / frustration is a healthy thing or not. It's a little
like the times you shout at the wife / husband / partner and kick the
apocryphal cat. Don't we all sometimes breathe a sigh of relief that nobody was
videoing *that*? <grin/>
My view on this list echoes many of Tim's positive comments about the content
and helpfulness of the list, but I think we should also acknowledge that the
uptime of the list is high and significant problems are rare.
Encountering occasional software difficulties as users is good for us. ... It,
hopefully, gives us insight into how *our* users view the times when the
software that *we* write doesn't work as they expected/hoped. ... Amazingly,
they too become very frustrated at times.
I suggest that we put the present, hopefully temporary, difficulties with the
list into perspective. Naturally hoping that Oasis fixes the problem quickly.
Of course, if this bounces from XML-Dev I reserve the right to indulge in a
little ranting of my own. <grin/>
P.S. In a world where we can likely expect tens of thousands of human beings to
be killed in the next couple of weeks and many thousands more to be seriously
injured and perhaps millions made homeless, it seems to me that a temporary
inability to access a mailing list is hardly the most important issue around.