WordPress Mailing Lists Issues
Jeff twitted a reply and talked about the mailing list, so here it is, an explanation.
First, what is wp-hackers and wp-testers. The wp-hackers mailing list is for discussions dealing with the core, plugins, and themes of the WordPress. As well as addressing issues with official web sites (which probably better to be on wp-testers, but not everyone subscribes to wp-testers).
The wp-testers mailing list is for testing the core of WordPress. Any issues people are unsure of or inquirying of possible issues are sent here.
The great thing about the wp-testers is that it has low traffic and if any issue comes up, you can usually get a reply to your discussion and confirmation or why it isn't an accurate report.
I suppose the primary issue with wp-hackers is that there is no general WordPress mailing list (use of the forums is probably meant for this).
The second issue is that there aren't many core discussions with WordPress that are discussed on the mailing list and then fixed (I can pretty much count them on my fingers of the threads I've followed and tracked). If you are going to solve problems, then you are going to do it on Trac, where the issue can be tracked and the patch applied.
Issues and topics of improvements or defects on wp-hackers can not be tracked, so there is no way to know whether they have been solved. This also causes topics of said improvements and defects to appear over and over again until they are finally addressed. Those who are veterans kind of roll their eyes, because the n00b didn't read over the past discussions (no blaming them, there is a lot to read).
So I mean, I kind of caused the first (at least for me) thread for moderating wp-hackers back when I joined the community. I was very outspoken. So I mean, for me hearing the same topic that had no conclusion other than, "We would have to solve that problem with moderation, but that isn't ever going to happen because we aren't communists."
Sort of leads me to make fun of the subject. I know nothing is going to come of the discussion, unless moderation is finally implemented (which would hinder productivity, but minimize shit on the list).
When you hear the same topics replay over and over again, you sort of have to tune it out, because you already know where it is going to naturally head. You can pretty much predict the reply before it is even sent or the reply to the post. It is predictable, and that does not make any sense.
Now the issue of why DD32 left, that is reasonable. If I was him and I had to explain the same thing over and over again to people, some of which are unreasonable, then I probably would start a flame war with my responses. I don't have as much class.
For those of you who don't know why DD32 left (I don't know either, but I can guess).
That is not to say that solutions weren't created and that the mailing list didn't play a huge part in providing the solutions. It is to say that those that did take the next step provided action on top of the discussion.
My problem is that when you have only talk and nothing is done, then you are wasting my time. Do something in the mean time and add meaning to the discussion and I might care a little bit more.
I don't understand the point in the mailing list at all. Wouldn't a forum be a much better place to discuss these types of things? Email responses to and fro seems like a rather antiquated way of conversing with a large group of people.
On the other hand, the convenience of having the messages delivered directly to your inbox might be an issue here. (Then of course there's the flip side. Who wants their inbox filled with messages they may not read).
Hopefully with places like WPTavern, people can discuss ideas and issues with WordPress and Automattic, without filling up either the mailing list or the development threads. Maybe WPTavern should be mentioned to people who want to discuss "non-dev related" topics on wp-hackers.
I've always considered the hackers mailing list the advanced topic mailing list especially for those hacking around and doing actual development of the software. The testers mailing list a bit more laid back and is used for those who use the latest and greatest of the software.
I do agree with Jacob in that, there is no GENERAL discussion area for WordPress unless you use the forums which is a nightmare. For instance, talking about the IDEAS section of the project, I'm not sure where to go to discuss matters like that because it's not meant for the hackers mailing list or the hackers mailing list.
But i can certainly see where you, Viper and DD32 are coming from. At some point, you have to get off the train that keeps going around in circles.