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[rest-for-beginners] group?

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  • Alan Dean
    I ve had an idea floated past me that I would like to get feedback on. I suspect that many people come to [rest-discuss] with the hope of on- boarding their
    Message 1 of 25 , Dec 4, 2008
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      I've had an idea floated past me that I would like to get feedback on.

      I suspect that many people come to [rest-discuss] with the hope of on-
      boarding their knowledge of REST but finding many of our discussions
      very obtuse and 'theoretical'. Soon enough, they become disenchanted
      and wander off muttering about 'architects with their heads in the
      clouds' ... and, yes, the pun was intentional ;-)

      The idea I would like to discuss is a [rest-for-beginners] group to be
      created, with a focus on practical answers to get people going with
      REST. Any discussions that head off into minutiae can be pushed over
      into this group for more in-depth discussion.

      Thoughts?

      Regards,
      Alan Dean
      http://twitter.com/adean
    • Colin Jack
      ... Yeah, as you know from our twitter discussions I think this would be a very useful idea. At the moment getting your head around REST is quite difficult
      Message 2 of 25 , Dec 4, 2008
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        --- In rest-discuss@yahoogroups.com, "Alan Dean" <alan.dean@...> wrote:
        >
        > I've had an idea floated past me that I would like to get feedback on.
        >
        > I suspect that many people come to [rest-discuss] with the hope of on-
        > boarding their knowledge of REST but finding many of our discussions
        > very obtuse and 'theoretical'. Soon enough, they become disenchanted
        > and wander off muttering about 'architects with their heads in the
        > clouds' ... and, yes, the pun was intentional ;-)
        >
        > The idea I would like to discuss is a [rest-for-beginners] group to be
        > created, with a focus on practical answers to get people going with
        > REST. Any discussions that head off into minutiae can be pushed over
        > into this group for more in-depth discussion.
        >
        > Thoughts?
        >
        > Regards,
        > Alan Dean
        > http://twitter.com/adean
        >

        Yeah, as you know from our twitter discussions I think this would be a
        very useful idea.

        At the moment getting your head around REST is quite difficult (few
        enough good resources out there) and I'm not sure that this forum is
        helping me learn REST as much as I'd have expected.

        So yeah a second forum seems a great idea.

        - Colin
      • Mark Baker
        Initially, rest-discuss was for beginners, and we had rest-advanced for advanced topics. That never caught on though, and I expect rest-beginners would see a
        Message 3 of 25 , Dec 4, 2008
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          Initially, rest-discuss was for beginners, and we had rest-advanced
          for advanced topics. That never caught on though, and I expect
          rest-beginners would see a similar fate.

          On Thu, Dec 4, 2008 at 10:53 AM, Alan Dean <alan.dean@...> wrote:
          > I've had an idea floated past me that I would like to get feedback on.
          >
          > I suspect that many people come to [rest-discuss] with the hope of on-
          > boarding their knowledge of REST but finding many of our discussions
          > very obtuse and 'theoretical'. Soon enough, they become disenchanted
          > and wander off muttering about 'architects with their heads in the
          > clouds' ... and, yes, the pun was intentional ;-)
          >
          > The idea I would like to discuss is a [rest-for-beginners] group to be
          > created, with a focus on practical answers to get people going with
          > REST. Any discussions that head off into minutiae can be pushed over
          > into this group for more in-depth discussion.
          >
          > Thoughts?
          >
          > Regards,
          > Alan Dean
          > http://twitter.com/adean
          >
          >
          >
          > ------------------------------------
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
        • Colin Jack
          ... Normally I would think 2 forums would be counter-productive but as someone whose been monitoring this forum for a few months (maybe more) I m really not
          Message 4 of 25 , Dec 4, 2008
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            > Initially, rest-discuss was for beginners, and we had rest-advanced
            > for advanced topics. That never caught on though, and I expect
            > rest-beginners would see a similar fate.

            Normally I would think 2 forums would be counter-productive but as
            someone whose been monitoring this forum for a few months (maybe more)
            I'm really not sure its content that's written for people who are
            relatively new to REST.

            Perhaps the beginner/advanced discussions can sit happily in one forum
            but my worry is that any beginner (or intermediate) discussions would
            probably just end up mired in discussions of details.

            The very detailed oriented discussions would probably be fine but from
            what I've seen there is a lack of consistently good REST content out
            there on the Web. Perhaps I'm wrong, I would at least say that it's
            difficult to identify the good content and furthermore some of the
            best content isn't really written to be accessible to those who
            haven't been using REST for quite some time. So getting to the point
            where you can actually get value from the discussions you guys are
            having is pretty difficult.

            I'm sure the same is true for other forums, but I've found that in
            general they find a happy balance (often helped by having
            authoritative detailed resources that beginners can be pointed at).

            Personally I'm sold on many of the ideas of REST and I find the
            approach very interesting, so I want to move on to having discussions
            of topics like resource/mime type design but I'm not sure this forum
            is really setup for that.

            - Colin
          • Alan Dean
            Mark, Perhaps it would work better now as we have a very different audience expressing an interest in REST. With Microsoft pushing REST on Azure and off WCF,
            Message 5 of 25 , Dec 4, 2008
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              Mark,

              Perhaps it would work better now as we have a very different audience
              expressing an interest in REST.

              With Microsoft pushing REST on Azure and off WCF, there are a whole
              bunch of LoB developers who want to figure out what this new thing (to
              them) is all about. Many of that audience don't have the time or
              inclination to deep-dive on REST - they are looking for quick 'n'
              dirty answers.

              What caused the failure of the [rest-advanced] / [rest-discuss]
              differentiation back then? Lack of interest? Lack of clear separation?
              Some other issue?

              Alan

              On Thu, Dec 4, 2008 at 4:07 PM, Mark Baker <distobj@...> wrote:
              > Initially, rest-discuss was for beginners, and we had rest-advanced
              > for advanced topics. That never caught on though, and I expect
              > rest-beginners would see a similar fate.
              >
              > On Thu, Dec 4, 2008 at 10:53 AM, Alan Dean <alan.dean@...> wrote:
              >> I've had an idea floated past me that I would like to get feedback on.
              >>
              >> I suspect that many people come to [rest-discuss] with the hope of on-
              >> boarding their knowledge of REST but finding many of our discussions
              >> very obtuse and 'theoretical'. Soon enough, they become disenchanted
              >> and wander off muttering about 'architects with their heads in the
              >> clouds' ... and, yes, the pun was intentional ;-)
              >>
              >> The idea I would like to discuss is a [rest-for-beginners] group to be
              >> created, with a focus on practical answers to get people going with
              >> REST. Any discussions that head off into minutiae can be pushed over
              >> into this group for more in-depth discussion.
              >>
              >> Thoughts?
              >>
              >> Regards,
              >> Alan Dean
              >> http://twitter.com/adean
            • Subbu Allamaraju
              Alan - do you feel that beginner questions will be left unanswered, or that they will be swamped with advanced threads? Subbu ... http://subbu.org
              Message 6 of 25 , Dec 4, 2008
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                Alan - do you feel that beginner questions will be left unanswered, or
                that they will be swamped with advanced threads?

                Subbu
                On Dec 4, 2008, at 7:53 AM, Alan Dean wrote:

                > I've had an idea floated past me that I would like to get feedback on.
                >
                > I suspect that many people come to [rest-discuss] with the hope of on-
                > boarding their knowledge of REST but finding many of our discussions
                > very obtuse and 'theoretical'. Soon enough, they become disenchanted
                > and wander off muttering about 'architects with their heads in the
                > clouds' ... and, yes, the pun was intentional ;-)
                >
                > The idea I would like to discuss is a [rest-for-beginners] group to be
                > created, with a focus on practical answers to get people going with
                > REST. Any discussions that head off into minutiae can be pushed over
                > into this group for more in-depth discussion.
                >
                > Thoughts?
                >
                > Regards,
                > Alan Dean
                > http://twitter.com/adean
                >
                >

                ---
                http://subbu.org
              • Mark Baker
                ... The newbies didn t mind listening in on the (very) occasional advanced topic, and the gurus didn t mind answering newbie questions. I haven t seen any
                Message 7 of 25 , Dec 4, 2008
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                  On Thu, Dec 4, 2008 at 11:30 AM, Alan Dean <alan.dean@...> wrote:
                  > Mark,
                  >
                  > Perhaps it would work better now as we have a very different audience
                  > expressing an interest in REST.
                  >
                  > With Microsoft pushing REST on Azure and off WCF, there are a whole
                  > bunch of LoB developers who want to figure out what this new thing (to
                  > them) is all about. Many of that audience don't have the time or
                  > inclination to deep-dive on REST - they are looking for quick 'n'
                  > dirty answers.
                  >
                  > What caused the failure of the [rest-advanced] / [rest-discuss]
                  > differentiation back then? Lack of interest? Lack of clear separation?
                  > Some other issue?

                  The "newbies" didn't mind listening in on the (very) occasional
                  advanced topic, and the gurus didn't mind answering newbie questions.
                  I haven't seen any evidence that either group's attitude has changed.

                  If somebody wants to create the group though, feel free, I can't stop you.

                  Mark.
                • Colin Jack
                  ... There probably is that, but even if you do want to deep-dive it is quite difficult. In my case I m on my second read of RESTful WS, have read ridiculous
                  Message 8 of 25 , Dec 4, 2008
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                    > Many of that audience don't have the time or inclination to
                    > deep-dive on REST - they are looking for quick 'n' dirty answers.

                    There probably is that, but even if you do want to deep-dive it is
                    quite difficult.

                    In my case I'm on my second read of RESTful WS, have read ridiculous
                    amounts of Web pages/forum posts but if you sat me down and said
                    "right, how will we design our resources" I'd have very little expert
                    content to go on (it's obviously relatively easy for simple
                    situations, but even in that case in one day you managed to get me
                    rethinking my assumptions).

                    Truth is trying to deep-dive with REST right now is not that easy,
                    which leaves me with a lot of respect for those of you who have
                    managed it.

                    P.S Sorry my replies are not being added correctly, for some reason if
                    I reply directly it doesn't make it to the forum so I have to use the
                    Post option on the left hand bar. No idea why.

                    - Colin
                  • Jon Hanna
                    ... Network effects?
                    Message 9 of 25 , Dec 4, 2008
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                      Alan Dean wrote:
                      > What caused the failure of the [rest-advanced] / [rest-discuss]
                      > differentiation back then? Lack of interest? Lack of clear separation?
                      > Some other issue?

                      Network effects?
                    • Alan Dean
                      More like a beginner asks a question and gets an advanced answer which leaves them feeling stupid and/or frustrated. Alan
                      Message 10 of 25 , Dec 4, 2008
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                        More like a beginner asks a question and gets an advanced answer which
                        leaves them feeling stupid and/or frustrated.

                        Alan

                        On Thu, Dec 4, 2008 at 4:34 PM, Subbu Allamaraju <subbu@...> wrote:
                        > Alan - do you feel that beginner questions will be left unanswered, or that
                        > they will be swamped with advanced threads?
                        >
                        > Subbu
                        > On Dec 4, 2008, at 7:53 AM, Alan Dean wrote:
                        >
                        >> I've had an idea floated past me that I would like to get feedback on.
                        >>
                        >> I suspect that many people come to [rest-discuss] with the hope of on-
                        >> boarding their knowledge of REST but finding many of our discussions
                        >> very obtuse and 'theoretical'. Soon enough, they become disenchanted
                        >> and wander off muttering about 'architects with their heads in the
                        >> clouds' ... and, yes, the pun was intentional ;-)
                        >>
                        >> The idea I would like to discuss is a [rest-for-beginners] group to be
                        >> created, with a focus on practical answers to get people going with
                        >> REST. Any discussions that head off into minutiae can be pushed over
                        >> into this group for more in-depth discussion.
                        >>
                        >> Thoughts?
                        >>
                        >> Regards,
                        >> Alan Dean
                        >> http://twitter.com/adean
                        >>
                        >>
                        >
                        > ---
                        > http://subbu.org
                        >
                        >
                      • Alan Dean
                        Mark, I did not post to get permission. Obviously I can set up a new group any time I choose to. It was more to see what the collective wisdom of the group
                        Message 11 of 25 , Dec 4, 2008
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                          Mark,

                          I did not post to get permission. Obviously I can set up a new group
                          any time I choose to. It was more to see what the collective wisdom of
                          the group thought.

                          It's altogether possible that someone has an idea that meets the
                          objective better and if so then that is what should be done.

                          Alan

                          On Thu, Dec 4, 2008 at 4:38 PM, Mark Baker <distobj@...> wrote:
                          > On Thu, Dec 4, 2008 at 11:30 AM, Alan Dean <alan.dean@...> wrote:
                          >> Mark,
                          >>
                          >> Perhaps it would work better now as we have a very different audience
                          >> expressing an interest in REST.
                          >>
                          >> With Microsoft pushing REST on Azure and off WCF, there are a whole
                          >> bunch of LoB developers who want to figure out what this new thing (to
                          >> them) is all about. Many of that audience don't have the time or
                          >> inclination to deep-dive on REST - they are looking for quick 'n'
                          >> dirty answers.
                          >>
                          >> What caused the failure of the [rest-advanced] / [rest-discuss]
                          >> differentiation back then? Lack of interest? Lack of clear separation?
                          >> Some other issue?
                          >
                          > The "newbies" didn't mind listening in on the (very) occasional
                          > advanced topic, and the gurus didn't mind answering newbie questions.
                          > I haven't seen any evidence that either group's attitude has changed.
                          >
                          > If somebody wants to create the group though, feel free, I can't stop you.
                          >
                          > Mark.
                          >
                        • Steve Bjorg
                          ... From experience, I ve seen that splitting a forum into two only makes sense when the forum in inundated with requests of a certain kind. Then the split
                          Message 12 of 25 , Dec 4, 2008
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                            On Dec 4, 2008, at 7:53 AM, Alan Dean wrote:

                            > The idea I would like to discuss is a [rest-for-beginners] group to be
                            > created, with a focus on practical answers to get people going with
                            > REST. Any discussions that head off into minutiae can be pushed over
                            > into this group for more in-depth discussion.

                            From experience, I've seen that splitting a forum into two only makes
                            sense when the forum in inundated with requests of a certain kind.
                            Then the split acts as a specialization for those care and avoids
                            distracting those who don't.

                            This principle has been applied to our company forums, which have
                            grown to a bit over 20,000 posts in the last two years, and it has
                            worked great. Early on we did make the mistake of pre-categorizing
                            things early and it just caused confusion and isolation. Building it
                            in the hope that they come has not worked in practice.

                            - Steve

                            --------------
                            Steve G. Bjorg
                            http://mindtouch.com
                            http://twitter.com/bjorg
                          • Alan Dean
                            I should also say that if I engage with the group before dashing off and doing it then I believe that I am more likely to get support and engagement in return.
                            Message 13 of 25 , Dec 4, 2008
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                              I should also say that if I engage with the group before dashing off
                              and doing it then I believe that I am more likely to get support and
                              engagement in return.

                              Without the support of at least a reasonable proportion of the
                              participants in [rest-discuss] then I doubt it would work anyway.

                              Alan

                              On Thu, Dec 4, 2008 at 4:58 PM, Alan Dean <alan.dean@...> wrote:
                              > Mark,
                              >
                              > I did not post to get permission. Obviously I can set up a new group
                              > any time I choose to. It was more to see what the collective wisdom of
                              > the group thought.
                              >
                              > It's altogether possible that someone has an idea that meets the
                              > objective better and if so then that is what should be done.
                              >
                              > Alan
                              >
                              > On Thu, Dec 4, 2008 at 4:38 PM, Mark Baker <distobj@...> wrote:
                              >> On Thu, Dec 4, 2008 at 11:30 AM, Alan Dean <alan.dean@...> wrote:
                              >>> Mark,
                              >>>
                              >>> Perhaps it would work better now as we have a very different audience
                              >>> expressing an interest in REST.
                              >>>
                              >>> With Microsoft pushing REST on Azure and off WCF, there are a whole
                              >>> bunch of LoB developers who want to figure out what this new thing (to
                              >>> them) is all about. Many of that audience don't have the time or
                              >>> inclination to deep-dive on REST - they are looking for quick 'n'
                              >>> dirty answers.
                              >>>
                              >>> What caused the failure of the [rest-advanced] / [rest-discuss]
                              >>> differentiation back then? Lack of interest? Lack of clear separation?
                              >>> Some other issue?
                              >>
                              >> The "newbies" didn't mind listening in on the (very) occasional
                              >> advanced topic, and the gurus didn't mind answering newbie questions.
                              >> I haven't seen any evidence that either group's attitude has changed.
                              >>
                              >> If somebody wants to create the group though, feel free, I can't stop you.
                              >>
                              >> Mark.
                              >>
                              >
                            • Bob Haugen
                              Alternatively, people in this list could exercise a little more self-discipline when replying to beginners. Or to each other. Recent threads have gone on
                              Message 14 of 25 , Dec 4, 2008
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                                Alternatively, people in this list could exercise a little more
                                self-discipline when replying to beginners.

                                Or to each other. Recent threads have gone on forever with circular
                                arguments about arcana.
                              • Steve Bjorg
                                ... That was one of the reasons why I had started http:// restpatterns.org/ . There were some early contributions, but otherwise I ve been pretty much the
                                Message 15 of 25 , Dec 4, 2008
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                                  On Dec 4, 2008, at 8:58 AM, Alan Dean wrote:

                                  > It's altogether possible that someone has an idea that meets the
                                  > objective better and if so then that is what should be done.


                                  That was one of the reasons why I had started http://
                                  restpatterns.org/ . There were some early contributions, but
                                  otherwise I've been pretty much the lonely occasional contributor.
                                  Hence, it has taken on a characteristic that suits my needs more than
                                  anybody else's. That said, I find it highly useful. :)

                                  We've all blogged about REST this-and-that, but we haven't pooled
                                  together our collective resources to build a reference site.
                                  Capturing responses and/or blog posts where some individuals have put
                                  a lot of effort into and making it easy to find them again and
                                  reference them would probably help at lot. Just my 2 cents.

                                  - Steve

                                  --------------
                                  Steve G. Bjorg
                                  http://mindtouch.com
                                  http://twitter.com/bjorg
                                • Steve Bjorg
                                  ... No doubt I m part of the culprits, but what do you expect? Questions such as about URI construction have been beaten to death (at least since I joined).
                                  Message 16 of 25 , Dec 4, 2008
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                                    On Dec 4, 2008, at 9:05 AM, Bob Haugen wrote:

                                    > Alternatively, people in this list could exercise a little more
                                    > self-discipline when replying to beginners.
                                    >
                                    > Or to each other. Recent threads have gone on forever with circular
                                    > arguments about arcana.


                                    No doubt I'm part of the culprits, but what do you expect? Questions
                                    such as about URI construction have been beaten to death (at least
                                    since I joined). Furthermore, there are very different opinions on
                                    the matter on this discussion list. So anyone who proposes something
                                    with specificity will probably get a rebuttal. Also, if the response
                                    only required posting a link to a community wiki page rather than
                                    reviving an entire discussion, then it would also be more likely that
                                    one of us would help.

                                    - Steve

                                    --------------
                                    Steve G. Bjorg
                                    http://mindtouch.com
                                    http://twitter.com/bjorg
                                  • Alan Dean
                                    My suspicion (and that s all it is) is that many people (me included) tend to regard wiki s as storing definitive information rather than being a forum for
                                    Message 17 of 25 , Dec 4, 2008
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                                      My suspicion (and that's all it is) is that many people (me included)
                                      tend to regard wiki's as storing definitive information rather than
                                      being a forum for discussion. Maybe this is partly why the
                                      http://restpatterns.org/ wiki hasn't seen significant acceptance (not
                                      intended to be a loaded word but another doesn't jump to mind). The
                                      other side of the wiki question may be that people regard their blogs
                                      as the right place to publish stuff that they author.

                                      Maybe there is an ancillary question to my group proposal: How do we
                                      improve the experience of REST beginners?

                                      Bob Haugan just said:

                                      "Alternatively, people in this list could exercise a little more
                                      self-discipline when replying to beginners.

                                      Or to each other. Recent threads have gone on forever with circular
                                      arguments about arcana."

                                      To me, this drives to the nub of the matter. Is it realistic to expect
                                      this group to significantly change it's modus operandi? Referring back
                                      to the comments from Mark Baker, I wonder if [rest-discuss] actually
                                      hosts the discussions originally intended for [rest-advanced]. I
                                      strongly suspect that we have historically served beginners very
                                      poorly and I am not at all sure that this is likely to change (if, for
                                      no other reason, that there needs to be a home for advanced
                                      discussions).

                                      So, how do we serve beginners better? I imagine that we all want those
                                      who seek to on-board to REST to be facilitated in doing so.

                                      Alan

                                      On Thu, Dec 4, 2008 at 5:08 PM, Steve Bjorg <steveb@...> wrote:
                                      > On Dec 4, 2008, at 8:58 AM, Alan Dean wrote:
                                      >
                                      >> It's altogether possible that someone has an idea that meets the
                                      >> objective better and if so then that is what should be done.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > That was one of the reasons why I had started http://restpatterns.org/ .
                                      > There were some early contributions, but otherwise I've been pretty much
                                      > the lonely occasional contributor. Hence, it has taken on a characteristic
                                      > that suits my needs more than anybody else's. That said, I find it highly
                                      > useful. :)
                                      >
                                      > We've all blogged about REST this-and-that, but we haven't pooled together
                                      > our collective resources to build a reference site. Capturing responses
                                      > and/or blog posts where some individuals have put a lot of effort into and
                                      > making it easy to find them again and reference them would probably help at
                                      > lot. Just my 2 cents.
                                      >
                                      > - Steve
                                      >
                                      > --------------
                                      > Steve G. Bjorg
                                      > http://mindtouch.com
                                      > http://twitter.com/bjorg
                                      >
                                      >
                                    • Steve Bjorg
                                      ... A wiki page is merely a piece of captured knowledge at a given time. Similar to a published article. But the benefit of the wiki page is that it s
                                      Message 18 of 25 , Dec 4, 2008
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                                        On Dec 4, 2008, at 9:30 AM, Alan Dean wrote:

                                        > My suspicion (and that's all it is) is that many people (me included)
                                        > tend to regard wiki's as storing definitive information rather than
                                        > being a forum for discussion.

                                        A wiki page is merely a piece of captured knowledge at a given time.
                                        Similar to a published article. But the benefit of the wiki page is
                                        that it's malleable and can morph over time while preserving the
                                        original URI and therefore any references issued to it.

                                        That said, a wiki page is a terrible place to have a discussion.
                                        That's what page comments or mailing lists are for.

                                        > Maybe this is partly why the
                                        > http://restpatterns.org/ wiki hasn't seen significant acceptance (not
                                        > intended to be a loaded word but another doesn't jump to mind). The
                                        > other side of the wiki question may be that people regard their blogs
                                        > as the right place to publish stuff that they author.

                                        Yes, that's one of the problems. Everybody wants to be the next Jesse
                                        James Garret and only publish knowledge on their blog so they can
                                        claim credit for it. As long as that mentality persists, there is not
                                        going to be a collective reference, which is a loss for all of us,
                                        imo. Alternatively, once an idea has evolved enough from a personal
                                        blog into a piece of insight, why not re-publish it on the wiki site
                                        with a link on this mailing list for all to know about?

                                        The other problem is that there has been no effort put into focusing
                                        our collective capabilities. If we wanted to pool together our
                                        knowledge, we could get organized easily. Question is, who is willing
                                        to participate?

                                        > So, how do we serve beginners better? I imagine that we all want those
                                        > who seek to on-board to REST to be facilitated in doing so.


                                        I'm all for serving beginners better, but I suspect if a new list were
                                        started, only the first few posters would be well served while the
                                        novelty of the new mailing list is still fresh. As the same questions
                                        come up again, the responses to them will become shorter and shorter.

                                        A great example of this was the recent response of using an Accept
                                        header to influence the representation sent by the browser rather than
                                        to use ?format=XML or /xml in the URI. The response was accurate, but
                                        without further context, rather useless.

                                        How long until the new mailing list for beginners will end up in the
                                        same spot? If we don't capture the outcome of long discussions, we're
                                        either bound to repeat them or we've only helped ourselves.

                                        - Steve

                                        --------------
                                        Steve G. Bjorg
                                        http://mindtouch.com
                                        http://twitter.com/bjorg
                                      • Subbu Allamaraju
                                        ... That s an interesting statement! Subbu
                                        Message 19 of 25 , Dec 4, 2008
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                                          On Dec 4, 2008, at 10:02 AM, Steve Bjorg wrote:

                                          > Everybody wants to be the next Jesse
                                          > James Garret and only publish knowledge on their blog so they can
                                          > claim credit for it.


                                          That's an interesting statement!

                                          Subbu
                                        • Bob Haugen
                                          ... I wasn t naming names. And those are all good suggestions. A few more suggestions: * When you see a thread turn into a circular argument (with two or more
                                          Message 20 of 25 , Dec 4, 2008
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                                            On Thu, Dec 4, 2008 at 11:22 AM, Steve Bjorg <steveb@...> wrote:
                                            > On Dec 4, 2008, at 9:05 AM, Bob Haugen wrote:
                                            >
                                            >> Alternatively, people in this list could exercise a little more
                                            >> self-discipline when replying to beginners.
                                            >>
                                            >> Or to each other. Recent threads have gone on forever with circular
                                            >> arguments about arcana.
                                            >
                                            > No doubt I'm part of the culprits, but what do you expect? Questions
                                            > such as about URI construction have been beaten to death (at least
                                            > since I joined). Furthermore, there are very different opinions on
                                            > the matter on this discussion list. So anyone who proposes something
                                            > with specificity will probably get a rebuttal. Also, if the response
                                            > only required posting a link to a community wiki page rather than
                                            > reviving an entire discussion, then it would also be more likely that
                                            > one of us would help.

                                            I wasn't naming names. And those are all good suggestions.

                                            A few more suggestions:

                                            * When you see a thread turn into a circular argument (with two or
                                            more people just restating the same arguments over and over), put it
                                            out of its misery, possibly by invoking some new variant of Godwin's
                                            Law. Or at least do not state your same opinion one more time.

                                            * If it's a permathread, refer back to a previous instance instead of
                                            continuing the current one.

                                            * If the question is from a beginner, be nice and explain more.

                                            But those are all obvious, too.
                                          • Alan Dean
                                            Taking on board the feedback from Mark that a separate discussion group hasn t worked in the past and the feedback from Steve that perhaps the group doesn t
                                            Message 21 of 25 , Dec 4, 2008
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                                              Taking on board the feedback from Mark that a separate discussion
                                              group hasn't worked in the past and the feedback from Steve that
                                              perhaps the group doesn't take enough traffic to warrant a split I
                                              have an alternative idea to put forward for discussion:

                                              1. Start a brand new forum targeted at beginners and surface it at
                                              http://forums.restpatterns.org (this forum should have the ability to
                                              internally link new questions to old answers and the ability to mark a
                                              question as 'answered')

                                              2. [rest-discuss] keeps going in the same way as before - any linking
                                              between forums and [rest-discuss] to be done manually (either raising
                                              a question from the forum into [rest-discuss] or referencing a
                                              previous discussion on [rest-discuss] in a forum q&a item)

                                              3. Bonus points for ability to auto-link forum item tags to wiki
                                              entries on http://restpatterns.org/

                                              The idea is to provide an environment where beginners can go to 'get
                                              questions answered'. It may also make sense to send
                                              technology-specific questions to the forum as well, leaving
                                              [rest-discuss] to be a more architectural discussion group.

                                              Is this a better idea than [rest-for-beginners]? Would participants on
                                              this group engage with the forums? I don't mind handling .NET-specific
                                              questions, for example.

                                              If you think it is a good idea - does anyone know of forums providers
                                              that we could use for this purpose?

                                              Are there other ideas that might be better than either
                                              http://forums.restpatterns.org or [rest-for-beginners]?

                                              Regards,
                                              Alan Dean
                                              http://twitter.com/adean
                                            • Stefan Tilkov
                                              I don t really think there s a problem with the current focus of the group. I don t feel newbies don t get answers to their questions here. And if there were a
                                              Message 22 of 25 , Dec 5, 2008
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                                                I don't really think there's a problem with the current focus of the
                                                group. I don't feel newbies don't get answers to their questions here.
                                                And if there were a rest-beginner group, those who answer questions
                                                would start arguing about their respective answers.

                                                If we care about beginners getting good answers, I suggest we simply
                                                try to provide them here.

                                                It might also make sense to do a little editorial work on the FAQ and
                                                link to it more often:
                                                http://rest.blueoxen.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?RestFaq

                                                Stefan
                                                --
                                                Stefan Tilkov, http://www.innoq.com/blog/st/




                                                On 04.12.2008, at 22:40, Alan Dean wrote:

                                                > Taking on board the feedback from Mark that a separate discussion
                                                > group hasn't worked in the past and the feedback from Steve that
                                                > perhaps the group doesn't take enough traffic to warrant a split I
                                                > have an alternative idea to put forward for discussion:
                                                >
                                                > 1. Start a brand new forum targeted at beginners and surface it at
                                                > http://forums.restpatterns.org (this forum should have the ability to
                                                > internally link new questions to old answers and the ability to mark a
                                                > question as 'answered')
                                                >
                                                > 2. [rest-discuss] keeps going in the same way as before - any linking
                                                > between forums and [rest-discuss] to be done manually (either raising
                                                > a question from the forum into [rest-discuss] or referencing a
                                                > previous discussion on [rest-discuss] in a forum q&a item)
                                                >
                                                > 3. Bonus points for ability to auto-link forum item tags to wiki
                                                > entries on http://restpatterns.org/
                                                >
                                                > The idea is to provide an environment where beginners can go to 'get
                                                > questions answered'. It may also make sense to send
                                                > technology-specific questions to the forum as well, leaving
                                                > [rest-discuss] to be a more architectural discussion group.
                                                >
                                                > Is this a better idea than [rest-for-beginners]? Would participants on
                                                > this group engage with the forums? I don't mind handling .NET-specific
                                                > questions, for example.
                                                >
                                                > If you think it is a good idea - does anyone know of forums providers
                                                > that we could use for this purpose?
                                                >
                                                > Are there other ideas that might be better than either
                                                > http://forums.restpatterns.org or [rest-for-beginners]?
                                                >
                                                > Regards,
                                                > Alan Dean
                                                > http://twitter.com/adean
                                                >
                                                >
                                              • Ed Summers
                                                ... I agree. I consider myself a REST beginner and I like seeing the advanced discussion on here. I ve found the discussion to be helpful, informative and
                                                Message 23 of 25 , Dec 5, 2008
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                                                  On Fri, Dec 5, 2008 at 7:21 AM, Stefan Tilkov <stefan.tilkov@...> wrote:
                                                  > I don't really think there's a problem with the current focus of the
                                                  > group. I don't feel newbies don't get answers to their questions here.
                                                  > And if there were a rest-beginner group, those who answer questions
                                                  > would start arguing about their respective answers.
                                                  >
                                                  > If we care about beginners getting good answers, I suggest we simply
                                                  > try to provide them here.

                                                  I agree. I consider myself a REST beginner and I like seeing the
                                                  advanced discussion on here. I've found the discussion to be helpful,
                                                  informative and friendly.

                                                  That being said I would love to see the http://restpatterns.org wiki
                                                  (or something like it) used more.I think it would be valuable to write
                                                  up strawman proposals, ideas, patterns etc on the wiki to center
                                                  discussion on here -- similar to how the AtomPub folks used their wiki
                                                  and Paces to center discussion about AtomPub. Perhaps what's missing
                                                  from restpatterns is something that connects the wiki with this
                                                  discussion list community, something like:

                                                  http://www.intertwingly.net/wiki/pie/HowToGetInvolved

                                                  As for web forums, don't we kind of have one already?

                                                  http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/rest-discuss/

                                                  //Ed
                                                • Alan Dean
                                                  Ed, That is interesting because I have have quite a lot of feedback from beginners both face-to-face and on twitter that [rest-discuss] doesn t serve their
                                                  Message 24 of 25 , Dec 5, 2008
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                                                    Ed,

                                                    That is interesting because I have have quite a lot of feedback from
                                                    beginners both face-to-face and on twitter that [rest-discuss] doesn't
                                                    serve their needs very well, with discussions quickly becoming arcane
                                                    (from their perspective).

                                                    Alan

                                                    On Fri, Dec 5, 2008 at 1:42 PM, Ed Summers <ehs@...> wrote:
                                                    > On Fri, Dec 5, 2008 at 7:21 AM, Stefan Tilkov <stefan.tilkov@...>
                                                    > wrote:
                                                    >> I don't really think there's a problem with the current focus of the
                                                    >> group. I don't feel newbies don't get answers to their questions here.
                                                    >> And if there were a rest-beginner group, those who answer questions
                                                    >> would start arguing about their respective answers.
                                                    >>
                                                    >> If we care about beginners getting good answers, I suggest we simply
                                                    >> try to provide them here.
                                                    >
                                                    > I agree. I consider myself a REST beginner and I like seeing the
                                                    > advanced discussion on here. I've found the discussion to be helpful,
                                                    > informative and friendly.
                                                    >
                                                    > That being said I would love to see the http://restpatterns.org wiki
                                                    > (or something like it) used more.I think it would be valuable to write
                                                    > up strawman proposals, ideas, patterns etc on the wiki to center
                                                    > discussion on here -- similar to how the AtomPub folks used their wiki
                                                    > and Paces to center discussion about AtomPub. Perhaps what's missing
                                                    > from restpatterns is something that connects the wiki with this
                                                    > discussion list community, something like:
                                                    >
                                                    > http://www.intertwingly.net/wiki/pie/HowToGetInvolved
                                                    >
                                                    > As for web forums, don't we kind of have one already?
                                                    >
                                                    > http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/rest-discuss/
                                                    >
                                                    > //Ed
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                  • Ed Summers
                                                    ... Well, maybe I m not such a beginner after all. Thanks! //Ed
                                                    Message 25 of 25 , Dec 5, 2008
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                                                      On Fri, Dec 5, 2008 at 10:01 AM, Alan Dean <alan.dean@...> wrote:
                                                      > That is interesting because I have have quite a lot of feedback from
                                                      > beginners both face-to-face and on twitter that [rest-discuss] doesn't
                                                      > serve their needs very well, with discussions quickly becoming arcane
                                                      > (from their perspective).

                                                      Well, maybe I'm not such a beginner after all. Thanks!

                                                      //Ed
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