[developers] [Matrix-dev] poll: stack exchange?

Olga Zamaraeva olzama at uw.edu
Mon Jul 24 20:38:27 CEST 2017

(resending with slight edits; sent the previous message from a wrong

Thanks, Ann and Guy!

Guy, I thought that often it is the "best" answer that gets a checkmark,
not necessarily the "correct" answer.

For me that is actually the most important feature; in practice that is
what makes good solutions so easily discoverable.

However, you are absolutely right that we can't hope for 10 questions a
day, and I also am not sure we would be a good fit for one of the big sites
as a tag... Which is not to say that I am sure we won't be though.

A forum sounds like a good compromise, perhaps closer in spirit to the
mailing list than to stack exchange (mainly in that it doesn't promote
quality question/answering). At least it is supposed to be
easily searchable. It is not as easy to identify what the best solution is
but oh well.


On Mon, Jul 24, 2017 at 11:12 AM Guy Emerson <gete2 at cam.ac.uk> wrote:

> I think having a better public-facing Q&A site would be a great idea, but
> I don't think Stack Exchange is the way to go.  Following Mike's link, it
> says that "10 questions per day on average is a healthy beta, 5 questions
> or fewer per day needs some work".  So we're unlikely to be able to set up
> a Delph-in Stack Exchange site.  We could try to create a Delph-in tag, as
> Mike suggested, and to answer Emily, it's possible to subscribe to a tag,
> which would give high precision and recall.
> However, if we use an existing site, we have to stick to their rules - and
> looking through the most recent threads in the developers list archive, it
> looks like the majority of threads would not be considered appropriate as
> Stack Exchange questions, because they can't be marked as having a correct
> answer (asking for advice, starting discussions, making announcements) and
> even the ones that would be appropriate (asking how to solve a bug, asking
> how to do a specific thing) often lead to a back-and-forth discussion that
> would be awkward on Stack Exchange.  So I don't think we can replace the
> mailing lists with Stack Exchange.
> A forum with threads might be more appropriate, and would have a
> friendlier interface than http://lists.delph-in.net/archives/
> 2017-07-21 21:08 GMT+01:00 Ann Copestake <aac10 at cl.cam.ac.uk>:
>> Hi Olga,
>> It's a very good point to raise.  I am sure that something like this
>> would help with new users.  I had an interesting conversation at CLIN with
>> someone who had used the LKB for a project (undergrad, I think).  He was
>> completely sure that, for his peers, we needed to use something like
>> stackexchange rather than mailing lists.  He actually said that he'd
>> assumed that DELPH-IN was dead, based on our lack of use of modern
>> interactive technology (don't shoot the messenger ...)
>> I don't think the linguist/non-linguist distinction is so clear that a
>> forum should be set up specifically for `grammar engineering' though.  For
>> instance, there are people trying to use the ERG/Redwoods for various
>> machine learning and NN things right now.   So somewhere where people could
>> also ask questions about details of ERS or the best configuration of ACE or
>> how to get things out of Redwoods/Wikiwoods etc etc would be helpful.
>> I think the requirement for 60 people for stackexchange is sensible - I
>> can't see it working without that number.  If some such forum did take off,
>> and we got more traffic than developers, then personally I'd probably use
>> an email filter to avoid my normal inbox getting even more cluttered than
>> it is now.
>> stackexchange works best when people can ask rather specific questions, I
>> feel, so I don't think we should broaden to all computational linguistics
>> or all parsing.  But possibly there's something other than stackexchange we
>> should consider.
>> All best,
>> Ann
>> On 21/07/2017 20:39, Emily M. Bender wrote:
>> From my perspective I'd only want to move off of our own mailing lists
>> (which I see
>> in my inbox) to some external service if I could get notifications from
>> that service
>> that were high precision/high recall for questions that I really should
>> be replying to.
>> IOW, I don't want to subscribe to a "linguistics" tag just to be able to
>> catch the 0.01%
>> of it that would be questions about the Matrix (let alone "nlp" where it
>> would be more
>> like 0.00000000000001%).
>> Emily
>> On Fri, Jul 21, 2017 at 12:36 PM, Michael Wayne Goodman <goodmami at uw.edu>
>> wrote:
>>> Hi Olga,
>>> I think a similar idea was brought up at Stanford last year, partially
>>> as a way to make what we're doing more visible and to lower some barriers
>>> for asking questions.
>>> But a separate stackexchange forum might not be the best path forward as
>>> it's too narrow a topic. People have asked questions about HPSG on
>>> StackOverflow, and you could create an [hpsg] tag if you have 1500+
>>> reputation points, but they have to be used in at least 1 question every 6
>>> months or they get removed. Alternatively, we could reuse other tags, like
>>> [nlp], [grammar], or [linguistics].
>>> There's also a linguistics forum in beta:
>>> https://linguistics.stackexchange.com/. Its stats (
>>> https://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/6673/linguistics) show that
>>> it's doing ok, but it needs more questions per day, so if we join up with
>>> that forum we can both benefit.
>>> What do you think?
>>> On Fri, Jul 21, 2017 at 12:03 PM, Olga Zamaraeva <olzama at uw.edu> wrote:
>>>> I was curious how many people on these lists would be interested in
>>>> participating in a stack exchange site (like stackoverflow, tex-exchange,
>>>> math-exchange etc), as an alternative/supplement to this mailing list?
>>>> The site would house questions about grammar engineering with HPSG, I
>>>> imagine, particularly using the Grammar Matrix.
>>>> These sites both promote quality question/answering and provide a very
>>>> convenient way to look up things which had already been answered/discussed.
>>>> I created a proposal for such a site on stackexchange.com but I
>>>> suspect we won't have enough users? They want 60 users or something like
>>>> that, to send the proposal "live".
>>>> In any case, here's the proposal, if you think it is a good idea and
>>>> would like to follow.
>>>> https://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/111508/grammar-engineering
>>>> Alternatively, if you think it is a bad idea, also let me know!
>>>> Thank you,
>>>> Olga
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> Matrix-dev mailing list
>>>> Matrix-dev at u.washington.edu
>>>> http://mailman13.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/matrix-dev
>>> --
>>> Michael Wayne Goodman
>>> Ph.D. Candidate, UW Linguistics
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Matrix-dev mailing list
>>> Matrix-dev at u.washington.edu
>>> http://mailman13.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/matrix-dev
>> --
>> Emily M. Bender
>> Professor, Department of Linguistics
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