A little while back, there were a few requests to switch from the mailing list format to a web-based forum for our official communication channel. The coreboot leadership wanted to see what the actual preferences of the coreboot community was, so I posted a poll. The poll was publicized in IRC and on the mailing list itself, so should have been communicated to the people who would be most directly affected by any change.
Here are the overall results from all responses:
We had a total of 60 valid responses, and I think the overall results pretty clearly indicate that the coreboot project should NOT move away from the mailing list.
One suggestion was to split the communication into the mailing list for Developers, and a forum for non-developers. To see what the various groups thought, I made a few more charts:
So not unexpectedly, the coreboot developers even more overwhelmingly prefer the mailing list to the general results
So even within the non-developer group, there was a definite preference for the mailing list format.
Finally, I broke the Non-developer group down into the group that said they were coreboot users, as opposed to those that mainly read the mailing list.
coreboot users (non-developers):
That group had the highest percentage of people who preferred the forum, but it was still well under 40%.
We also asked people what we should do to improve the mailing list. Here’s a summary of the suggestions:
- Show people how to set up their (or a different) email client to make reading the mailing list easier.
- Have people be more polite.
- Add a FAQ showing previously asked question and answers.
- A netiquette should be established like on the Linux kernel mailing list.
- Several suggestions to improve the coreboot mailing list archive at https://www.coreboot.org/pipermail/coreboot/
- Fix the archive so that long threads aren’t spread into different sections by months.
- Add a search function to the archive
- Create monthly archives that can be downloaded (This exists.)
- Update from Pipermail to a more modern archiver like Hyperkitty – https://pypi.python.org/pypi/HyperKitty
Since it doesn’t look like we’re going to switch to a forum, I’m not going to list the suggestions that people had for that.
Over the upcoming weeks, we’ll look at our options, and discuss our options and plans in the bi-weekly coreboot community meetings.