[Bioc-devel] Please help us try out our new support site!

Marc Carlson mcarlson at fhcrc.org
Tue Aug 19 02:38:01 CEST 2014


So CodersCrowd looks like a pretty neat tool.  But here what we are 
trying to accomplish is something that is less ambitious. Basically 
there are a host of problems that crop up from using a mailing list at 
the scale that we currently use the main bioconductor mailing list.  And 
here we are hoping that our new support site will help out with some of 
them.  To give you an idea about what we were thinking here I will list 
just a few of these problems (in no particular order):

1 - Scale:  With 3500 subscribers to the bioconductor mailing list, 
there is a lot of traffic.  This means that a lot of people will either 
only guess post or they will post and then immediately unsubscribe.  
This basically means that a lot of the people who could most make use of 
this information are currently having trouble getting access to it.  
Having a web site means that we can make sure these questions (and their 
answers) are easily search able and can be read by anyone.  The other 
side of this change is that if you are carefully answering questions, 
that your well earned reputation and your careful answers should now 
find a wider audience.

2 - Repetition:  A lot of times the same questions get asked over and 
over again.  This is bad for everyone, but is especially annoying for 
our package authors who sometimes have to spend a lot of their time 
answering the similar questions over and over again.  Our hope is that 
by capturing your responses into a search able format the 1st time more 
users will be able to discover your hard work and thus benefit from it 
later on.

3 - Mistakes:  Sometimes some spam or something embarrassing will get 
through.  And with mailing lists everything that happens is written in 
permanent ink.  We would rather that we were able to delete spam from 
the public record and that when appropriate you were able to amend 
statements so that they better reflected what you intended.  It's also 
our hope that by amending your answers to questions, you can keep your 
answers current instead of crafting new responses from scratch each time.

Anyhow, those are just some of the problems that we were hoping to 
address.  I hope that the new site helps with these.


On 08/18/2014 03:56 PM, Aniba, Radhouane wrote:
> Hi Marc,
> I am a bit surprised to see that move to a biostars-like website ? Why another QA website ?
> Why don't you consider a sandbox like website like CodersCrowd that has already a docker image of R and Bioconductor where users can reproduce their bugs ? Just saying ...
> R & Bioconductor is more a deep programming problem solving kind of interactions, and so should be the support for it, not just a copy and paste (fork) of biostars ( I have nothing against biostars btw)
> That's my personal opinion of course :)
> Rad
> On Aug 18, 2014, at 12:15 PM, Marc Carlson <mcarlson at fhcrc.org> wrote:
>> Hello!
>> This is a message to announce the beta test for our new support site.
>> We hope to replace the regular Bioconductor mailing list with this
>> site soon and we have imported the past 11+ years of mailing list
>> discussion into this new site.  If you would like to help us test it
>> out you can do that by logging in here:
>> https://support.bioconductor.org
>> For those of you who have posted to the bioconductor mailing list
>> before, you will probably want to recover your well earned reputation
>> from previous posts and answers.  To do that you will need to scroll
>> to the bottom of the log in page and click the link that says 'Forgot
>> Password?'.  This should get you started with your mailing list email
>> address which will already be linked to your previous posts.
>> And if you have never posted, then you can start a new account from
>> that same page.
>> As you explore the beta, you may come across things that you would
>> like to see changed or that you feel are not working right.  This site
>> is based on a fork of Biostars, and we ask that you please post such
>> questions to our github repository for this:
>> https://github.com/Bioconductor/support.bioconductor.org/issues
>> We aspire to switch over to this new site in early September, but we are
>> leaving the schedule flexible depending on how well the beta site
>> works.  Also: please note that posts made to the new site during the
>> beta will dissappear after the test period.  We want you to help us
>> test it, but this is not the live deployment phase quite yet.
>> I expect there will probably be some other questions about this big
>> transition. So please ask them as needed and we will try to answer
>> them the best we can.
>>   Marc
>> _______________________________________________
>> Bioc-devel at r-project.org mailing list
>> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/bioc-devel

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