Livecode Mailing List and Livecode Forums

Anything beyond the basics in using the LiveCode language. Share your handlers, functions and magic here.

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okk
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Livecode Mailing List and Livecode Forums

Post by okk » Wed May 20, 2020 5:43 pm

In this thread related to the sad passing away of John Conway a discussion came up about the two different facebook groups etc.
https://forums.livecode.com/viewtopic.p ... 7&start=15
I did not want to hijack that thread so I started a new one here. (Not sure if it is the best forum, so moderators feel free to move it to the right place). This issue has been on my mind for a while and it was discussed earlier in some threads on the forum...

I personally dont mind two facebook groups etc. My larger concern would be the paralelle existence of the mailing list and the forum. There is so much knowledge in the mailinglist, but I personally find the mailinglist very difficult to use and read. As discussed earlier there is probably no way that people would agree for one or the other, but would it be possible to import the mailing list archives into the forum, like with an automated script? Than there would be at laest some consolidation of the knowledge while people can continue to use their preferred platform.

just an idea.
Best
Oliver
Last edited by okk on Wed May 20, 2020 11:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Livecode Mailing List and Livecode Forums

Post by richmond62 » Wed May 20, 2020 7:16 pm

consolidation of the knowledge
Well, for the start I'd ask what constitutes knowledge as LiveCode
artifacts hardly lead themselves to ostensive definition; and if they
did, that would just be pointing at things rather than knowledge.

Possibly "consolidation of solutions to ways to achieve results" might make some sense.

But, frankly, I'd avoid words like 'knowledge' and 'facts' in conjunction with what is
a way of communicating with a machine.

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Re: Livecode Mailing List and Livecode Forums

Post by FourthWorld » Wed May 20, 2020 8:14 pm

Thanks for posting this, Oliver. This comes up from time to time, but most often as part of a sprawling off-topic sub-thread, so it's nice to have a thread of its own.

There is indeed benefit in both venue, the mailing list and this forum, and folks prefer each strongly enough that they're both likely to remain in place for the foreseeable future.

We have other resources as well, like ones on Facebook and LinkedIn in the thread you linked to, and even some language-specific forums (German, Spanish, etc.). This seems reflective of the organic growth patterns of healthy communities, where multiple wateringholes tend to spring up in various places.

Your focus on the two company-sponsored venues is helpful because they're also the largest and most active.

It may be possible to import the mailing list archive here, but it poses both technical and taxonomical questions. Even if we find a way to automate the replication of that content in this database in addition to its the repository it already has, what would we do with it here? Thread identification is an inexact science with mailing lists, and attempting to sort topics into the most relevant forum here would be a daunting semantic analysis task that could easily take months to approximate but never get quite right.

One solution would be for someone in our community to make a nice aggregator for the two, perhaps also including LC's blog and the Stack Overflow feed for LiveCode as well. I made a rudimentary version as inspiration, available in LiveNet - in the IDE see Development -> Plugins -> GoLiveNet, where the aggregator is in the second tab, the one marked with an RSS icon.

Or even simpler, you can use the forum feature in the Control Panel for subscribing to digests of forum activity, to have them delivered right to your In Box along with the mailing list content you're already getting:
PHPBB-CP-Digests.png
This wouldn't address one of your core concerns, though: "I personally find the mailinglist very difficult to use and read". Can you describe what it is about the format of the email that makes it difficult to use? I wonder if there may be options in your mail client to help with some of that. What email client do you use?

As I write this it also occurs to me that there's another option: if you prefer a web interface to the mailing list, I wonder if the Nabble archive might be a good solution? It's threaded, sortable, and searchable:
http://runtime-revolution.278305.n4.nabble.com/
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Re: Livecode Mailing List and Livecode Forums

Post by dunbarx » Wed May 20, 2020 8:24 pm

Richard.

I would likely prefer just the opposite. What is the "other" way, not the nabble archive, to, er, use the use-list?

Craig

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Re: Livecode Mailing List and Livecode Forums

Post by FourthWorld » Wed May 20, 2020 10:05 pm

dunbarx wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 8:24 pm
I would likely prefer just the opposite. What is the "other" way, not the nabble archive, to, er, use the use-list?
In any standard email client.
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Re: Livecode Mailing List and Livecode Forums

Post by SparkOut » Wed May 20, 2020 10:47 pm

The mailing list is terribly hard to follow posts in order, the nabble list arranges things in chronological order with threads broken up and interspersed with other posts. Responses are threaded according to the post being replied to, not the topic as a whole. Trying to follow a conversation there is tough - following the "next in thread" link is hit and miss sometimes (often miss) and completely loses those sub-threads unless you hack about. It is not easily searched, doesn't have convenient grouping of topics.
I personally find it arcane, archaic and unusable. That's just me, I know, and I am not going to convince people to change, but I am bewildered by its popularity.
I don't participate there but I mourn the valuable but unknown content that is dead to me there. I dread seeing a reference to something on the use-list that I think is important because on following it up, I know I will be frustrated with trying to navigate around the thread.

The best suggestion I saw for consolidation of material there and here was for encouraging people to "post content" here and over there to post a link to the content here. I doubt that's been much taken up.

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Re: Livecode Mailing List and Livecode Forums

Post by kdjanz » Wed May 20, 2020 11:33 pm

I was subscribed to the Nabble daily digest for a year or two, and it was great for getting a background to LiveCode and seeing what people were doing and actively working at. Because it was the digest though, I was always 24 hours behind and effectively read only - it was too difficult to ask a question. As I became more active with LiveCode, I switched to the live feed and the overflowing mailbox (on my developer mail account only, thank you!) and I started adding small comments where I felt I could add to the conversation.

Likewise on the forums... I take a look at least once a day, using the "New Posts" quick link on the menu. Mostly following, but now occasionally commenting. To increase my knowledge, I'm working my way back through the "Unread Posts" to catch up on back dated material. I'm back to mid July 2019 now. It is interesting how often the same topics come up again and again, and the same commenters make the same comments - just like a broken record, which makes it easy to skim. It also helps me get to know who I consider to be "gold" and who is "noise".

I see the two as very different, with a few different people in the different locations. I learn from both & value both, so I take a "both/and" approach.

Glad to have both - now that I have the time in retirement to follow both usefully.

Kelly

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Re: Livecode Mailing List and Livecode Forums

Post by okk » Wed May 20, 2020 11:41 pm

Hi all,
thanks Richard for pointing to GoLiveNet. I am not sure why, but I never noticed this before in the IDE. Livecode is always surprising...

Probably you are right, an aggregator is most likely the way to go. This would allow anyone to stick with their personal preferences of communicating but still would consolidate the knowledge in one place. I leave the discussion what constitutes knowledge to some higher authorities. The aggregator would need a search function in order to be usable, and if possible, it should reformat the mailing list messages into some human readable form. I am here with SparkOut: from an UX perspective this is the worst possible way of presenting "knowledge". Responses are sometimes on top, sometimes after the whole quoted original post, interspersed with timestamps and emails, code is difficult to discern from normal text and so on. It is archane. I am old enough to know about mailing lists and how it all started, but I am young enough to not get emotional attached to them.

Best
Oliver

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Re: Livecode Mailing List and Livecode Forums

Post by anmldr » Thu May 21, 2020 5:56 am

Oliver, have you ever tried reading the archives of the mailing list here?

http://lists.runrev.com/pipermail/use-livecode/

You can easily sort by Thread or Subject, etc. That is usually where I read it rather than in my email client.

HTH,
Linda

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Re: Livecode Mailing List and Livecode Forums

Post by SparkOut » Thu May 21, 2020 8:03 am

Still suffers from exactly the same problems, if you'll allow me to jump back in. Sorting by thread suffers from the same broken hierarchy as people reply to different messages in the same thread. Sorting by subject gives an apparently random order of posts, the top one of the thread is a reply to the OP. You can't easily tell who is quoting what, nor easily separate code from comment, question or reply. It's impossible to identify what area to return to in order to review older threads of interest without making a specific bookmark.

The stream of LiveCode community knowledge is like a fast-flowing river. The forum here provides a boat that I can steer to cross to the other side, potter about among the turtles or steer upstream or down, and I can land wherever I want. The use-list is more like noticing a log floating by and jumping in the water to cling onto it, while the current takes you downstream until you get washed out on a rock or crash over the falls.

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Re: Livecode Mailing List and Livecode Forums

Post by richmond62 » Thu May 21, 2020 10:05 am

The stream of LiveCode community knowledge is like a fast-flowing river. The forum here provides a boat that I can steer to cross to the other side, potter about among the turtles or steer upstream or down, and I can land wherever I want. The use-list is more like noticing a log floating by and jumping in the water to cling onto it, while the current takes you downstream until you get washed out on a rock or crash over the falls.
Dead groovy similes.

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Re: Livecode Mailing List and Livecode Forums

Post by FourthWorld » Thu May 21, 2020 4:25 pm

If you're looking for focused Q & A for practical problem-solving, one resource popular with other languages but underutilized in our community is Stack Overflow:
https://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/livecode

In both email lists and web forums a best answer will usually emerge, but both formats require the reader to sift through everything and evaluate for themselves what it is. This expedition is often made more challenging with any number of peripherally-related replies, sometimes entirely off-topic.

The designers of Stack Overflow see this as inherent in any free-form discussion venue, and sought to make a solution focused exclusively on helping readers find the best answer to technical questions.

For example, replies aren't listed in order of the happenstance in which they were written, but instead are ranked by peer vote.

There's also an effort to distinguish between a proposed solution and a comment about a proposal. This keeps subthreads grouped together around the post they relate to, rather than generic time-based discussions where adequate quoting is an ongoing need for the reader to understand how they relate (quoting habits do not appear to be necessarily better in a web forum than an email list; the same mind will make the same effort in either venue type).

An additional benefit to our community in using a tool like Stack Overflow is that it's used by devs enjoying a wide range of languages, allowing an opportunity for introducing newcomers to the language. Any LiveCode-exclusive forum or mailing list is effectively an island, isolated from cross-pollination potentials (another reason why I really like LinkedIn as well, esp given its focus on professionals and business owners).

All that said, I don't believe Stack Overflow is ideal. It's quite good, and there are many reasons to encourage folks to use it, esp. where direct support for a specific problem is what's needed. But "ideal" is an infinitely high bar, so nothing will ever be truly ideal.

But it's definitely worth becoming familiar with if for no other reason than to see one option for what can happen when designers seek a purpose-built solution for an ongoing need every dev community faces

Perhaps it will inspire someone here to best it. Even better if the solution were driven with LiveCode Server, and supported both a web client and a LC client that could be run as a plug-in in the IDE...
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Re: Livecode Mailing List and Livecode Forums

Post by dunbarx » Thu May 21, 2020 5:19 pm

I have responded, now and then, on Stack Overflow for a few years. I find it only slightly more friendly that the use-list, that is, not very. Your answers can either be applauded or be pummeled with fruit.

But there is little activity there, only a few posts per month.

Give me the Forum every time.

Craig

EDIT:

I just posted a little help on Stack Overflow. That venue supports code "windows", not as well as the Forum but much better than the use list, which does not at all. I put Stack OverFlow in second place. I wish there was more going on over there...

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Re: Livecode Mailing List and Livecode Forums

Post by jameshale » Fri May 22, 2020 3:32 am

I am a tad old fashioned and also in a unfavourable timezone so being able to promptly respond on either the forum or mailing list is usually out of the question. So, rather than get dribs and drabs I subscribe to the digest edition of both the list and the forum.
If I need to do an online search of the list I use google’s archive https://www.mail-archive.com/use-livec ... unrev.com/ which doesn’t hide the actual poster of each message.
I sometimes search the forum but I must admit that I am not really happy with the results oft times. Especially when wanting to search for posts that included stacks!
As I am on a Mac and although I find the online options we have now really helpful I pre-date the internet as we now know it and I prefer to have things at my fingertips, i.e. locally where possible. To this end I download the mailing list archives every month or so and use an app called “eaglefiler” https://c-command.com/eaglefiler/ to index and display them. A really nice little app I have supported since its inception.

As to which is better, list or forum, well as it has I think been shown in this discussion its six of one and half a dozen of the other. (And we didn’t even mention the dev list.)

But I do wish there was a way to dump the forum content so I could have it locally as well :D

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Re: Livecode Mailing List and Livecode Forums

Post by bogs » Fri May 22, 2020 11:35 am

jameshale wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 3:32 am
I sometimes search the forum but I must admit that I am not really happy with the results oft times.
I'm curious, when searching the forum, do you use the forum's built in search, or an actual search engine? I've never seen a forum that has a search that works well, myself, I almost always drop to a tool actually designed to search.
...although I find the online options we have now really helpful I pre-date the internet as we now know it and I prefer to have things at my fingertips, i.e. locally where possible.
Heh, we have quite a bit in common, punch cards anyone? Sneaker net? Transfer rates were great back then, but oh MY the latency... :D
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