OT: A cygwin mailing list experiment

Christopher Faylor cgf@redhat.com
Mon May 7 18:09:00 GMT 2001

Corinna and I have decided to be conspicuously absent from the cygwin
mailing list for this week (at least).  I'd like to see what this does
to the traffic there.

It has occurred to me that one of the interesting reasons for excessive
traffic on the list is that people are *too* helpful sometimes.  If
someone has a problem, there are often many attempts to help, resulting
in multiple pieces of mail being sent to thousands of people.

The other result of being overly helpful is that people are not apt to
use whatever resources they have available, regardless of the number of
times that we say "use the archives", or we point people at the FAQ, or
Earnie gives his suggestion to use google.com (which I particularly like
because it should be a superset of information available on cygwin.com).

So, we're going to be conducting an experiment.  If you are a frequent
contributor to the mailing list, I'd invite you to join in.  I'm really
interested in seeing what happens.  Try not responding to anything other
than direct questions for a week or two.  I think that the results will
be interesting.

Btw, the reason for doing this is that cygwin and cygwin-xfree are
pretty much swamping the sources.redhat.com server.  I've tried a couple
of times to compose mail asking for suggestions for reducing the
traffic.  But, I couldn't bring myself to send it because I knew that it
would either be ignored, or it would result in a flurry of clueless
responses (not too cynical, am I?), which would aggravate the problem.


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