[antlr-interest] contemplating a move of mailing list to stackoverflow.com

Bart Kiers bkiers at gmail.com
Thu Apr 12 11:26:28 PDT 2012

Hi Richard, list,

On Thu, Apr 12, 2012 at 5:46 PM, Richard Matthias <richardmatthias at gmail.com
> wrote:

> Getting people to ask questions on SO makes sense, but bear in mind that
> the whole design of SO is actively hostile to any kind of debate and so
> it's fine if a question has one specific answer like "where is the
> ambiguity that ANTLR is complaining about here?", but it really gets in the
> way when someone needs more general help with input from more than one
> person. Essentially you have a tree of depth one with the question as the
> root and each answer as a leaf - although more than one person can answer,
> the ordering is changed by votes and changed randomly when there are no
> votes.

Most of the questions asked on the mailing list are the type that can be
answered by a "best" answer. So these would be well suited for

However, you raise a valid point about question to which no single correct
answer exists: these are (very) likely to be closed by the community.
Discussions are indeed out of the question over there. I don't follow the
developers-mailing list of ANTLR, but I could imagine that discussions are
not uncommon over there.

> They do have comments on both the question and each answer that are ordered
> chronologically - these were added as a 'sink' to dissuade people from
> getting into debates in the answers themselves, but they are limited in
> size and editability in order to further be hostile to the users desire to
> actually communicate with eachother.

If the number comments beneath a question or answer get too large, a link
to chat room is automatically created where people can continue their
discussion. So yes, SO wants to keep the site "clean" from (large)
discussions, but they do facilitate a means to have one.

> And of course if you want to announce anything or get feedback like this
> thread, you'll still need a mailing list or forum of your own.

Also a good point.
But this wouldn't necessarily have to be a mailing list: it could just be
http://www.antlr.org/news, but if there's still going to be a mailing list
for the developers of ANTLR, perhaps an announce-list might also be created.

Personally I use ANTLR, but I don't post on this so I don't know if my
> opinion counts much.

I'm not too active on the list as well, but as long as you raise valid
points, I think they will be taken into account.

> However, I read (or at least skim) every mailing list
> thread. I probably won't see any SO questions because I don't use the site
> that much any more due to the way it tries to turn people into faceless
> question-answering automatons.

 That's a bit of an exaggeration, IMHO.



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