Spread Thin

With the profusion of “community” web sites around today, it’s getting hard to keep track of where your “community” is.

For example, the “Clojure community” exists in 7 places:

  1. clojure.org (main documentation)
  2. Github (source code)
  3. Assembla (bug tracking)
  4. Wikibooks (more documentation)
  5. Google Groups (discussion)
  6. Google Code (downloads)
  7. Freenode (chat)

That doesn’t include the defunct Sourceforge page or the Hudson build server at build.clojure.org. Nor does it take into account the groups dedicated to specific Clojure libraries.

If I want to know what’s going on in Clojure, I have to monitor at least half a dozen channels. If I want to reach a broad spectrum of Clojure users, I have to post the same content in multiple places.

Weren’t all-in-one services like Launchpad supposed to save us from this insanity? Maybe. But they never can, because everyone has different tastes when it comes to bug tracking, version control, and mailing lists.

I wish that “community” sites, rather than trying to provide all-in-one services, would make it easier to connect with other sites. Assembla, for example, connects to Github. But relating an Assembla ticket to a Groups discussion to an IRC chat to a wiki page is all but impossible.

Better yet, I wish sites like Github offered subdomain hosting, e.g. github.clojure.org.

8 Replies to “Spread Thin”

  1. Hi Stuart,

    This is exactly what I am trying to do with disclojure.org, trying to become the go-to website for news on clojure. It is not an aggregator, because that would bury good information amongst less meaningful posts. Instead, the news are filtered and edited so that every day you can get only the most relevant ones (with some context to boot).

    Sorry for the shameless plug…

  2. […] Sierra poses that question in a blog post where he bemoans the fact that the Clojure community is spread out across a number of places. As a result, being an active member of the community, he needs to pay attention to half a dozen, […]

  3. Ah! You can do that too. But you have to sign up for one of GitHub’s non-free payment plans, the lowest starting at $7/month for 600 MB. I myself would immediately use GitHub for my hosting needs otherwise.

  4. Wait, no, I misunderstood you. Never mind, I see you meant hosting of *code* under clojure.org. Yeah, that’d be nice too.

  5. “Better yet, I wish sites like Github offered subdomain hosting, e.g. github.clojure.org.”

    Is that a tongue-in-cheek statement? GitHub does actually provide hosting, but I’m not sure if it’d help this problem.

    I for one am really glad of blogs like Disclojure.org, which neatly summarizes daily what Clojure people have done on blogs, the Google group, libraries, and events.

  6. Joshua- By hosting, I meant running an instance of Github’s services under a completely different domain, like clojure.org.

  7. If you’re not already aware of it, gitorious lets you host git-repositories & manage them in a similar way to github (the gitorious code is open, unlike github). I set it up at a previous job, it seems to work pretty well.

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