[SciPy-dev] Suggest Trac instead of Plone

Fernando Perez Fernando.Perez at colorado.edu
Wed Aug 31 19:42:01 CDT 2005

Robert Kern wrote:
> Tim Cera wrote:
>>As I am just starting to use sci-py in a serious way, the topic of how a 
>>casual developer could help out with patches or features has been a concern 
>>of mine.  I put this comment on the Plone wiki, which has gone unanswered.   
>>I have made other suggestions on the wiki, hopeful for some discussion, but 
> By and large, active discussion happens here while semi-permanent (but
> still fluid) information goes up on the Wiki.

 From recently using Trac extensively for all new ipython development 
(http://projects.scipy.org/ipython/ipython for the curious), I can offer at 
least my take on this issue, which aligns with Robert's comment.

I've found that back-and-forth productive discussion is much better handled on 
mailing lists.  Part of the problem is that a discussion in a wiki requires 
that you remember to go and check that wiki, and I already have way too many 
things to track as it is.

What wikis are _great_ for, IMO, is tracking ideas which have 'gelled' a bit. 
  This requires that somebody does the extra work of summarizing a discussion 
and putting it up on the wiki, but it's excellent as a reference point once a 
certain consensus has been reached on a given topic.  The wiki still allows 
ideas to evolve, but it really doesn't lend itself well to the kind of active 
argument that is well supported by a mailing list.

Another area where wikis shine is for keeping community-based information 
centers: 'cookbooks' like mayavi's and matplotlib's , the scipy 
TopicalSoftware wiki, etc, are good examples of this.  Anyone can contribute 
new information, and as time goes by the wiki improves and becomes a useful 
resource which is easier to find than a maling list archive.

I guess it's just a case of 'right tool for the job'.  Wikis are great and I 
_love_ Trac, but they are not the end-all be-all of communications.  For some 
things, a plain mailing list (or its usenet equivalent thanks to gmane, which 
can be used via a browser or a news client) just works better.

At least that's been my experience.



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