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Re: Blackhole mailing list issues

M_Boosten wrote:
> Hello,
> Tom wrote:
> > Do we need two lists - java-threads and occam-com. I certainly don't want to
> > get everything twice.
> >
> > I'd like to see a separate language design list as there seems to be a lot
> > of interest. If there was one, I would leave the current lists, but I guess
> > some of you would want to be on all three and it would be even worse!
> I think: The mailing list behaves a bit like a black hole.
> Very useful comments are sent across the list, however,
> the are only momentarilly applicable and highly context sensitive.
> It would be nice if SOMEONE/SOMETEAM would extract summaries from the
> mailing list, and build up a Frequently Asked Questions list, or in
> general some kind of knowledge/experience database.
> I was thinking of some kind of WEB-based databank, on which people can
> post and read messages.  The messages are automatically forwarded via
> the mailing list, reactions via the mailing list, or via the WEB
> are automatically recorded.
> I would expect suitable public domain systems to be available.  You
> see them everywhere on the WEB.  I remember the Linux Kernel Hackers
> Guide WEB site to be a reasonable example.
> E.g., Tom could maintain a section on language design issues.
>   - He collects people's reactions.
>   - He makes summaries (parts of his thesis/articles)
>   - He determines the relevance (score) of each reaction.
> Advantages of such an approach:
> - Older issues remain open (black hole effect is gone)
> - The system becomes more open to outsiders.
> - The reaction trace becomes clearer.
> - There is categorisation, it is easier to find solutions.
> - Research in CSP is highly distributed.  This approach could
>   become the basis for efficient distributed research.
> What do people think...?
> If it is liked, maybe some WoTuG money could be invested in this
> medium...

I agree in principle, and often wish that we had an archive. But I at
least use the occam list to float ideas, often half-baked, sometimes
with silly errors, in the belief that I am talking to set of like minded
friends who understand this.  If we set up some sort of persistent
database, I think that I would be inhibited in sending anything that was
not fully thought through and carefully constructed. Which some of you
might enthusiastically welcome especially since the volume of email
might be dramatically reduced :-)
But this sort of chat has often sparked off discussions leading to
sensible ideas.

The fact the the list is closed also means that we can have some
confidence that the members understand the paradigm (damn, that word
again)... There is also the matter of floating ideas that might lead to
publications which one might be more carefull about in a public forum.

If we retain the current informal style, a database would need to be
carefully constructed and reviewed and we would need to include keywords
are some such to indicate joke| half-baked idea, probably wrong|
concrete suggestion|...

Dr A E Lawrence