In my opinion we have two very different types of ‘contact me off list’ things going on here.
We have commercial solicitations and people looking to make contacts for buying transport circuits, capacity, etc.
And then on the other hand we have ‘contact me off list’ asks related to network operational issues, when the subject pertains to what’s going on inside a particular AS, or in some peering or traffic routing problem. Not everybody wants their own or their peer’s dirty laundry aired in public if something is broken or misconfigured in their relationship to the rest of the global routing table. And particularly not in a context where it will go in a public archive forever.
- Arguing about the sub-categorization
- Staffing to police it
Thread or poster-based plonking is and always has been the winner,
with private, direct reporting to admins for egregious cases.
I've built quite a library of procmail filters directing problematic
posters and threads to null or review-when-needed bin. Automated
tagging could be helpful to facilitate such, but that mediation
would need some investment and maintenance.
:: The board has been thinking about enhancements to the NANOG list for a couple of years now
Please let me put in my $0.02. I would like to ask that there're no changes. For myself, it has been 24 years here and I see no problems. I enjoy the off-topic as much as the on-topic...most times. If a person can't figure out how to filter out a subject or sender in an email client they will have way more problems trying to be a network engineer on anything but the tiniest of networks. I would think a person who can't figure out how use filters on a mail client would rather configure routers through the HTTP GUI, rather than the CLI. Of course, one would not find an HTTP GUI on the bigger networks dealt with on this list; only on the tiny networks. So they're beginning learners and are, of course, welcome. They will lean a lot, just as I did in the early days and do every day now days.
In agreement with others here, randy's comment:
"i do not find the volume or diversity on the nanog list problematic.
in fact, i suspect its diversity and openness are major factors in
it being the de facto global anything-ops list. perhaps we do not
need to fix that."
Is spot on.
And last, John Covici also hit the nail on the head and all network engineers will recognize his comment "Keep it simple, please" as a very nice way of saying KISS, which any network engineer who has had time on a network will realize as the basic design principle.
Of course, one would
not find an HTTP GUI on the bigger networks dealt with on this list;
only on the tiny networks. So they’re beginning learners and are, of
course, welcome. They will lean a lot, just as I did in the early days
and do every day now days.
Yahoo/VerizonMedia: Yahoo Mail
I’d have to say, there’s some pretty big networks on this list that
use HTTP GUIs for their email.
Of course, you might be big enough that you look down on the
networks of Google, Microsoft, and VZM as “tiny networks” – in
which case, you’re definitely entitled to your opinion, as all 8000
pound gorillas that look down on the puny 800 lb gorillas are.
…not to mention that all mature networks are moving more towards GUI front ends for their automated network. As the complexity of a network increases, CLI access becomes considerably more risky.
The idea that “real engineers use the CLI” is dinosaur thinking that will eventually land those with that philosophy out of a job. Just my personal $.02 (though I’m certainly not alone in my opinion).
But I’d like to reiterate that the board’s goal with modernization is not to alienate anyone from the existing community by forcing them into a web-interface. Discourse is under evaluation, and if it doesn’t accomplish the goal we’ll try something else or build our own tool.
It’s one thing to use a GUI tool when it’s convenient and quick. I think anyone that’s ever experienced setting up a Unifi controller would probably prefer provisioning a new 802.11ac AP from the GUI rather than doing it manually at a command line.
But it’s another thing to consider that we have a whole new generation of people who don’t know and don’t care what’s going underneath the GUI and might not be able to do anything with the OS running on bare metal, if they have to.
If we intend to abstract away configuring devices to a GUI level only and not care about what’s going on under the hood, then it’s time for everyone to just run out and renew their MCSE certifications and buy Meraki subscriptions.
there used to be a thing called USENET.
it facilitated a forum-like interface to mailing-lists, with the ability for
anyone to create their own sub-forums.
it was quite popular for a while.
Can we end this troll here
...not to mention that all mature networks are moving more towards GUI
front ends for their automated network. As the complexity of a network
increases, CLI access becomes considerably more risky.
The idea that "real engineers use the CLI" is dinosaur thinking that will
eventually land those with that philosophy out of a job. Just my personal
$.02 (though I'm certainly not alone in my opinion).
real engineers write code to do it. and gooeys get in the way something
awful. remember cascade?
And some of the lessons of group creation on USENET was:
1. You don't create a sub-topic to try to generate discussion. So for
example you don't create talk.baseball.redsox because no one ever
posts about the redsox in talk.baseball. It doesn't work. Not really
relevant here tho it might become relevant.
2. You create a sub-topic to split large amounts of traffic like when
there's just too much talk about the redsox and yankees in
talk.baseball so you create talk.baseball.redsox and
talk.redsox.yankees so those discussions can find each other. It's
generally best when you're trying to split an overflow of traffic
rather than enumerate or classify it or enforce some policy.
3. You don't create a sub-topic because some people don't want to see
certain posts like talk.baseball.fights hoping to draw talk of
on-field fights off talk.baseball.
I think what's going on here is #3 mostly trying to pose as #2 and
probably is unwise because it probably won't work plus or minus how
much one can try to force the occasional off-topic poster off the list
or to shame them.
That is, people will seek their audience.
P.S. Getto was a (mostly involuntary) Jewish neighborhood in Venice,
Italy which is where the term Ghetto derives. I've been there
(voluntarily.) "Getto" means "foundry" in Italian, it was a less
desirable area because of the foundry there.
Perhaps this discussion should return to topic (communicating between humans with common interests over extremely diverse languages and environments).
Facilitating communication with hardware should be a discussed as a separate topic.
- Deliberately posted on top.
Usually efforts like this suck, but whatever WISPA did this year with the migration from a mailman system to an integrated forum\mailing list solution seems to work really well. It’s not exactly like mailman, but it works very well.
I’m not complaining about the volume or diversity, just trying to help solve the concerns of those that are.
That said, officially allowing some of the other types of conversation would likely increase the volume and diversity. How much, who knows?
I would love to have HTTP GUI that just does all of the dirty work. However, a sufficient number of people affiliated with that organization do indeed need to be able to CLI their way through the troubleshooting process for when the HTTP GUI inevitably fails (everything inevitably fails).
I used to read that, and ISP-Wireless prior, but after the migration it just
stopped working. After migration the content quality went down and the
pagination on a forum sucks.
The other major issue with a forum is it allows any admin to go in and edit
your message/post. Unless you've setup moderation on the mailing list, this
is generally not possible. The other advantage to a list is you can sign your
messages to prevent these sorts of shenanigans.
Simply put, if the option is there, it will be used.
The migration happened just a month or two ago. Are we talking about the same thing?
TBH, most discussion in the WISP space has moved to Facebook. The busy WISPA mailing lists used to get about 20k messages per year. When I last checked, they were down to 5k or so and on a downward trend. Meanwhile, the Facebook groups have exploded, both in members per group and the number of groups.
Discourse?!? It's a great "forum" by some accounts, but it is one of
the most seriously crappy mailing lists I have ever been subjected to.
Without a word of exaggeration, it operates as if the developers had
never seen a working mailing list. Quoting, signatures, sender
addresses, reply-to addresses, HTTP vs text, archiving, threading,
configuration - you name it, they screwed it up. Not in minor ways
I hope all the above is wrong. My experience is about a year old. Maybe
the software has been improved.
At very least, make sure that your beta testers include a proper
proportion of email-only users, and then listen to them.