[developers] DELPH-IN Discourse (Q&A)

Luis Morgado da Costa luis.passos.morgado at gmail.com
Sat Nov 18 11:49:49 CET 2017

Dear all,

I believe it was the mailing lists, and not the Wiki, that people were
finding not being properly indexed by search engines.

I did a quick test with a couple of known headers in some mail sent to the
developers' list and I couldn't get any meaningful results. E.g.: "Docu of
the MaxEnt .mem file structure?"

But I do get mixed results... when searching "and typical
unknown-word-aware DELPH-IN grammars use constraints on generic", I did get
a result that linked to the developers' list.

I'm not sure the reason behind this inconsistency.

Anyway, I believe this is the reason why Olga is talking about importing
the mailing lists to new Delph-in Discourse forum.


On Sat, Nov 18, 2017 at 6:33 PM Francis Bond <bond at ieee.org> wrote:

> My apologies, I had thought they weren't but clearly they are.
> On Sat, Nov 18, 2017 at 6:10 PM, Stephan Oepen <oe at ifi.uio.no> wrote:
>> thanks for the reminder, francis.
>> i believe someone voiced the impression at the summit already that the
>> DELPH-IN wiki is not indexed by search engines.  i admit i never looked
>> into interactions with search engines specifically, but i would be very
>> surprised if there were any settings on the oslo DELPH-IN servers that
>> would scare off search engines.
>> why do you believe we are not indexed?  i just did a quick test, which
>> seems to give the result one would expect (see below).
>> all best, oe
>> On Sat, 18 Nov 2017 at 10:08 Francis Bond <bond at ieee.org> wrote:
>>> Thank you for taking the initiative Olga!   I hope that this make
>>> information flow even better.
>>> I think one of the problems with the wiki is that it does not seem to
>>> be indexed by, e.g. google.   Stephan: is there a setting you can
>>> change to get it indexed?   I think this would make the information
>>> there a lot more discoverable, ...
>>> On Sat, Nov 18, 2017 at 7:02 AM, Olga Zamaraeva <olzama at uw.edu> wrote:
>>> > Dear developers,
>>> >
>>> > In the last summit in Oslo, we discussed a possibility of having a Q&A
>>> forum
>>> > in stackexchange style.
>>> >
>>> > Many people were enthusiastic, and, thanks to University of Washington
>>> > staff, we were able to set up a forum powered by Discourse:
>>> >
>>> > https://delphinqa.ling.washington.edu/
>>> >
>>> > I would like to invite each of you to create an account and try it out!
>>> >
>>> > The forum was created very recently, but at this point, there should
>>> not be
>>> > too many hiccups. We need to decide a few things soon (see below), so,
>>> we
>>> > want to involve the entire community at this point, even if we are
>>> still
>>> > testing the forum.
>>> >
>>> > A few notes, for those inclined to read them :).
>>> >
>>> > 1) The primary purpose of this forum is to accumulate concrete
>>> solutions to
>>> > technical problems and make them easily discoverable. So the primary
>>> > scenario is for one to encounter an error message, and, instead of
>>> trying to
>>> > locate the answer somewhere on the wiki or in the email archives and
>>> ending
>>> > up emailing the list for the 100th time anyway, one would query the
>>> forum
>>> > (using e.g. the text of the error message). If their question was
>>> already
>>> > answered, the assumption is they will be able to immediately find out
>>> what
>>> > the working solution is. This is, in my opinion, the most important
>>> feature
>>> > of stackexchange Q&A style, and one that other types of support lack.**
>>> > Moreover, the forum is also a fine platform for open-ended
>>> discussions, with
>>> > a nice addition of the upvote button which makes better, clearer posts
>>> more
>>> > salient in the thread.
>>> >
>>> > **(Some people oppose this style since, in their opinion, finding the
>>> right
>>> > solution "too easily" leads to lack of understanding of why the right
>>> answer
>>> > is the right answer. I agree  that there may be some truth to that but
>>> I
>>> > also think that this ultimately depends on the user and how much and
>>> in what
>>> > style they are willing to learn; there is also a question of
>>> priorities:
>>> > sometimes what is needed the most is to fix the problem asap.)
>>> >
>>> > 2) I will be the admin of the forum for now. This means I am the
>>> person to
>>> > whom you can complain about things if something is not working for
>>> you. It
>>> > also means I can do various things for you, such as create/merge
>>> categories
>>> > and so forth. If you would like to also be an admin or a moderator,
>>> let me
>>> > know. It will probably help to have more admins, especially in other
>>> time
>>> > zones.
>>> >
>>> > 3) You do not need to monitor the forum or anything like that, unless
>>> you
>>> > would like to. Instead, you can subscribe to categories or tags, and
>>> the
>>> > forum will email you when a new post is created in the category or
>>> with that
>>> > tag. You can choose whether you will be notified about the first post
>>> only
>>> > or each reply.
>>> >
>>> > 4) Some developers expressed concern that we are thus fragmenting our
>>> > support platforms. I understand this concern and would like to address
>>> it by
>>> > both making an effort to import the email archives into the new forum
>>> > (unless it proves too messy) and by pointing out that the email+wiki
>>> do not
>>> > and cannot really serve the purpose that I think this forum will
>>> serve. It
>>> > seems that the wiki, the email list, and the forum can very happily
>>> coexist,
>>> > just like python documentation and python-related sections of
>>> stackoverflow
>>> > (and presumably some people exchange emails about python when they
>>> want to
>>> > discuss something in a manner they don't think the general public will
>>> > necessarily benefit from). Obviously, the wiki should be linked to
>>> from the
>>> > forum (and vice versa) and instructions on the wiki can be updated
>>> whenever
>>> > it makes sense to do so.***
>>> >
>>> > ***(Note however that it can be rather impractical to try and
>>> incorporate
>>> > every single detail into the wiki, especially if the detail only makes
>>> sense
>>> > in the context of a concrete question. In fact, every time one adds
>>> > something to the wiki, one in a way is adding a new dimension to the
>>> space
>>> > in which people will be searching for solutions... without adding a
>>> starting
>>> > point for the search, necessarily.)
>>> >
>>> > 5) The forum is hosted by the University of Washington, so, there is no
>>> > danger of some external host interfering in our affairs. Discourse is
>>> > open-source software. It is also a very flexible system already, with
>>> > various plugins etc. We can customize it as we like.
>>> >
>>> > If you would like to discuss any of this, we can do it here over email
>>> or on
>>> > the forum; there is already a topic there regarding the email archives:
>>> > https://delphinqa.ling.washington.edu/t/importing-email-archives/28/5
>>> In
>>> > particular, that topic invites you to participate in a poll.
>>> >
>>> > Thank you for considering,
>>> >
>>> > Olga
>>> >
>>> > P.S.: You will see that there are already some users and topics; I
>>> hadn't
>>> > advertised the forum here earlier because it was not yet working in a
>>> stable
>>> > fashion, but it should be now :). Note also that for now, this is all
>>> in the
>>> > testing stage. For example, if we do decide to import the mailing list
>>> > archives, we may need to purge the existing content.
>>> --
>>> Francis Bond <http://www3.ntu.edu.sg/home/fcbond/>
>>> Division of Linguistics and Multilingual Studies
>>> Nanyang Technological University
> --
> Francis Bond <http://www3.ntu.edu.sg/home/fcbond/>
> Division of Linguistics and Multilingual Studies
> Nanyang Technological University

*Luis MORGADO DA COSTA (Mr) |* Ph.D. Student *| *Global Asia * |* Nanyang
Technological University

Interdisciplinary Graduate School* |* 50 Nanyang Avenue, S(639798)

Tel: (65) 90541507  GMT+8h *|* Email: depa0003 at e.ntu.edu.sg
<XXXXX at e.ntu.edu.sg>* |* Web: http://igs.ntu.edu.sg/
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