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[O] Suggestion: Stackoverflow for Orgmode

From: Thomas Renkert
Subject: [O] Suggestion: Stackoverflow for Orgmode
Date: Wed, 20 Jul 2011 08:10:11 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: Loom/3.14 (http://gmane.org/)


I have been using Orgmode for the last two years. In fact, I started learning
Emacs only to use orgmode (btw: a huge thank you to Carsten and the other

I noticed that - as more people with a diverse range of background knowledge
start to use orgmode - the mailing list is getting more and more difficult to
navigate: a lot of threads are long and winding and many of the posts are basic
questions from beginners and questions about special use cases or scenarios from
more experienced users. 

Long story short:

Orgmode is in itself so complex and powerful and its use cases and the demands
of its users are so diverse that I think we need a better method of "getting
quickly to the answer". 

To clarify: the manual, worg and the mailing list are superb! I just think we
could speed up things, especially for new users. This could also attract new
users and make the mailing list a bit "leaner" in the end.

An idea:

Many of you may be familiar with the Q&A-Sites www.stackoverflow.com or
www.superuser.com. This is pretty much what I have in mind. The closest to
Orgmode is maybe http://tex.stackexchange.com which is the same concept for a
similarly large and powerful system, LaTeX. 

The biggest advantage, IMO, is the aspect of self-organization: Good questions
get upvoted and attract better answers. "Good" can mean anything here: a
fundamental / innovative / original / detailed / effective question. Questions
and answers can be tagged. Contributors are rewarded with badges.

New users will find basic answers without extended searches and experienced
users can discuss about new and interesting problems basically in realtime. 

And: Good solutions, once they are found, don't get buried in long threads. 

It is hard to explain it this way: just have a look at
http://tex.stackexchange.com and try to find the answers to a simple and to a
more obscure problem in LaTeX: No matter what your level of knowledge is, you
will get to the solution very quickly. 

My proposal: could we have something like this for Orgmode as well?

There are basically 4 viable options, IMO:

1. Hosted by stackexchange: 

Stackexchange is commercial, but they host a dedicated Q&A-Site if it attracts
enough interest in their sandbox:

We could propose an Orgmode-stackexchange site to them and then vote for it.
This may take some time, if it happens at all.

2. Hosted by shapado.com (commercial)
Looks less polished but seems to work (maybe with ads?). They have a free plan
http://shapado.com/plans (at the bottom of the page)

3. Self-hosted with http://askbot.org/ (FOSS and looks good)

4. Self-hosted with http://www.osqa.net (FOSS)

If there is enough capacity on our server, I would suggest to try askbot (or
osqa) because of the level of autonomy and independence this would give us. If
we don't have the capacity, it might be worth it to set up a test site on
shapado or to propose this to stackexchange. A site hosted by stackexchange
might itself attract new users.

What do you think? 

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