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The Scala community

101 replies
Martin Odersky
Joined: 2009-10-07,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.

Here's a recent mail on reddit, which we should take very seriously.

I agree with the points in the mail. I think the community has a major job to do to help people get into the language instead being obscure and riding academic high horses.

I would like to start with this list. Please everyone, remember: This list is for helping people getting into Scala and getting their questions answered. That's the primary purpose of scala-user. If you are after intellectual arguments, no problem, but please use scala-debate. If you want to force an intellectual argument on a newbie that asked a simple question, that's just bad style.

Thanks

 -- Martin

=======================================================================

I tried to use Scala, and found it has one major disadvantage going for it, the community.

Most of the developers for Scala and community members I interacted with were very focused on being right from a computer science perspective, and from their own view on how things should be done. They were not at all focused on helping developers actually get work done. This extended to the libraries that come with Scala. If they didn't like how you did something, they made the libraries much harder to accomplish that task with. As an example, appending to a list requires a rather cryptic syntax (myList :::= "something").

Along with that, Scala seems to be in love with symbols. They use them everywhere, and many times portions of the syntax are optional, so you can see different incarnations of the same syntax look very different in different places.

Also Scala has a very high learning curve for traditional Java developers. Instead of making this curve workable by gradually introducing developers to advanced features, the Scala libraries and all it's documentation force you to see all the concepts all at once. They often do a very poor job of explaining why they force you to do things their way, and just tell you to do them.

While the Scala language technically lets you program in a way similar to Java, but with advanced features as needed, the libraries are written in a way to make this nearly impossible.

What all this means is that a developer from any traditional OOP language, or less complex language is going to have a very very hard time learning Scala, and in the end the time you lost learning won't make up for any advantage Scala's 'way' provides.

As long as the Scala community is so obtuse and focused on being right their way, as opposed to helping developers get into the language, Scala will remain a nitch language.

paulbutcher
Joined: 2010-03-08,
User offline. Last seen 10 weeks 5 days ago.
Re: The Scala community

On 6 Oct 2011, at 08:56, martin wrote:
> I think the community has a major job to do to help people get into the language instead being obscure and riding academic high horses.

Thank you for this, Martin - I wholeheartedly agree. A language is much more than syntax, semantics, tools and libraries - the community that grows up around a language is *very* important to its success.

This list is one of Scala's primary shop windows, and normally it's great. But occasionally we manage to confirm many of Scala's negative stereotypes. Martin's suggestions, if we manage to follow them, are a great way to address this.

--
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H-star Development
Joined: 2010-04-14,
User offline. Last seen 2 years 26 weeks ago.
Re: The Scala community

to pour in my experience:
* the community was mostly helpful to me. in most cases, i got some academic and some pragmatic answers. the pragmatic ones are the ones i wanted and needed at first.
later, as my understanding grew, the academic ones became more interesting.

* my biggest obstacle when learning scala coming from java were to understand "method signature rampages". immutable datastructures where quite easy, the collections were easy to use, and closures were easy to understand.

-------- Original-Nachricht --------
> Datum: Thu, 6 Oct 2011 00:56:41 -0700 (PDT)
> Von: martin
> An: scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com
> Betreff: [scala-user] The Scala community

>
>
> Here's a recent mail on reddit, which we should take very seriously.
>
> I agree with the points in the mail. I think the community has a major job
> to do to help people get into the language instead being obscure and
> riding
> academic high horses.
>
> I would like to start with this list. Please everyone, remember: This list
> is for helping people getting into Scala and getting their questions
> answered. That's the primary purpose of scala-user. If you are after
> intellectual arguments, no problem, but please use scala-debate. If you
> want
> to force an intellectual argument on a newbie that asked a simple
> question,
> that's just bad style.
>
> Thanks
>

loverdos
Joined: 2008-11-18,
User offline. Last seen 2 years 27 weeks ago.
Re: The Scala community
Martin,
Please, do send the exact email you sent as a reminder once in a while. 
My view:scala-user is for the plain-old-user (We are *all* such users. Let me say it again: We are ALL such users)scala-debate is for the user with a higher-order (or higher-kinded) curiosity [please excuse the parlance].
Thanks,Christos
On Oct 6, 2011, at 10:56, martin wrote:

Here's a recent mail on reddit, which we should take very seriously.

I agree with the points in the mail. I think the community has a major job to do to help people get into the language instead being obscure and riding academic high horses.

I would like to start with this list. Please everyone, remember: This list is for helping people getting into Scala and getting their questions answered. That's the primary purpose of scala-user. If you are after intellectual arguments, no problem, but please use scala-debate. If you want to force an intellectual argument on a newbie that asked a simple question, that's just bad style.

Thanks

 -- Martin

=======================================================================

I tried to use Scala, and found it has one major disadvantage going for it, the community.

Most of the developers for Scala and community members I interacted with were very focused on being right from a computer science perspective, and from their own view on how things should be done. They were not at all focused on helping developers actually get work done. This extended to the libraries that come with Scala. If they didn't like how you did something, they made the libraries much harder to accomplish that task with. As an example, appending to a list requires a rather cryptic syntax (myList :::= "something").

Along with that, Scala seems to be in love with symbols. They use them everywhere, and many times portions of the syntax are optional, so you can see different incarnations of the same syntax look very different in different places.

Also Scala has a very high learning curve for traditional Java developers. Instead of making this curve workable by gradually introducing developers to advanced features, the Scala libraries and all it's documentation force you to see all the concepts all at once. They often do a very poor job of explaining why they force you to do things their way, and just tell you to do them.

While the Scala language technically lets you program in a way similar to Java, but with advanced features as needed, the libraries are written in a way to make this nearly impossible.

What all this means is that a developer from any traditional OOP language, or less complex language is going to have a very very hard time learning Scala, and in the end the time you lost learning won't make up for any advantage Scala's 'way' provides.

As long as the Scala community is so obtuse and focused on being right their way, as opposed to helping developers get into the language, Scala will remain a nitch language.


--    __~O  -\ <,       Christos KK Loverdos(*)/ (*)      http://stepsinscala.com



Detering Dirk
Joined: 2008-12-16,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
RE: The Scala community

Thank you, Martin, for this reprehension which indeed should be
taken seriously. Everyone should meditate by himself about what
that could mean for him.

OTOH, as considering myself such a non-academic Java guy who tries
to grok the Scala world, and working ten years now in a commercial
environment together with a good bunch of other average Java developers,
the original mail gave me a bad aftertaste.

From my perspective it is understandable but should not be taken
without a thorough differenciation.

While here every once in a while a thread comes up about the
uselessness and arrogance of some answers, I feel nevertheless
on the Java side often a resistance to step away from the way
how Java does things and how Java looks at problems.
I feel a resistance to approach to Scala as a different language
instead of Just-Another-Java.

For me as an non-academic every day Java developer Scala is indeed
not a learn-on-weekend switch-Java-with-Scala language, but it is
a gate to step into another room full of new approaches to some
problems or even to programming in general.
And I become sad when I meet Java-people who expect the entrance
hall of a new first-class hotel to look as familiar as their home's
living room.

If Scala people not being "focused on being right" involves designing
libraries in a worse way -against the authors knowledge- only to attact
people that keep thinking in Java language, then something is utterly wrong.

That said, I do not agree with the way the original poster laments
about the un-Java-ness of Scala's libraries by throwing that back upon
the community as "bad attitude", especially not the community as a whole,
which consists of many people I really appreciate.

The statement, that the effort to learn Scala does not pay back simply
is wrong. Learning Scala indeed changed the way I look on my own Java
code, approach problems and structure my solutions.
I feel like I did not simply "learn" Scala but much more "studied" it
to get there, and I am not finished!

Once again, yes community, watch your attitudes, but I could not let
that original post stand uncommented.

KR
Dirk Detering

> -----Original Message-----
> From: scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com [mailto:scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com]
> On Behalf Of martin
> Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2011 9:57 AM
> To: scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com
> Subject: [scala-user] The Scala community
>
> Here's a recent mail on reddit, which we should take very seriously.
>
>
> I agree with the points in the mail. I think the community has a major
> job to do to help people get into the language instead being obscure
> and riding academic high horses.
>
>
> I would like to start with this list. Please everyone, remember: This
> list is for helping people getting into Scala and getting their
> questions answered. That's the primary purpose of scala-user. If you
> are after intellectual arguments, no problem, but please use scala-
> debate. If you want to force an intellectual argument on a newbie that
> asked a simple question, that's just bad style.
>
>
> Thanks
>

Tim P
Joined: 2011-07-28,
User offline. Last seen 1 year 4 weeks ago.
Re: The Scala community

I think there's a fundamental problem with this list and its contents,
from that perspective: most of the questions here and certainly most
of the debate and the answers are in the esoteric/academic camp. There
are relatively few "pragmatic" questions but those that do exist tend
to be answered quite quickly and helpfully. So in terms of helping
newbies, the list functions quite effectively - certainly I received
help when required.

The problem is that if you just scan the list as a newbie, most of the
questions are incomprehensible, let alone the answers.

I don't know whether it would work, but what about splitting the list
- maybe "scala-advanced" and "scala-help" or something like that? It
might work as long as a few of you (helpful) experts out there were
prepared to hang around in the scala-help list

Tim

On 6 October 2011 10:19, Dennis Haupt wrote:
> to pour in my experience:
> * the community was mostly helpful to me. in most cases, i got some academic and some pragmatic answers. the pragmatic ones are the ones i wanted and needed at first.
> later, as my understanding grew, the academic ones became more interesting.
>
> * my biggest obstacle when learning scala coming from java were to understand "method signature rampages". immutable datastructures where quite easy, the collections were easy to use, and closures were easy to understand.
>
> -------- Original-Nachricht --------
>> Datum: Thu, 6 Oct 2011 00:56:41 -0700 (PDT)
>> Von: martin
>> An: scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com
>> Betreff: [scala-user] The Scala community
>
>>
>>
>> Here's a recent mail on reddit, which we should take very seriously.
>>
>> I agree with the points in the mail. I think the community has a major job
>> to do to help people get into the language instead being obscure and
>> riding
>> academic high horses.
>>
>> I would like to start with this list. Please everyone, remember: This list
>> is for helping people getting into Scala and getting their questions
>> answered. That's the primary purpose of scala-user. If you are after
>> intellectual arguments, no problem, but please use scala-debate. If you
>> want
>> to force an intellectual argument on a newbie that asked a simple
>> question,
>> that's just bad style.
>>
>> Thanks
>>
>>  -- Martin
>>
>> =======================================================================
>>
>> I tried to use Scala, and found it has one major disadvantage going for
>> it,
>> the community.
>>
>> Most of the developers for Scala and community members I interacted with
>> were very focused on being right from a computer science perspective, and
>> from their own view on how things should be done. They were not at all
>> focused on helping developers actually get work done. This extended to the
>> libraries that come with Scala. If they didn't like how you did something,
>> they made the libraries much harder to accomplish that task with. As an
>> example, appending to a list requires a rather cryptic syntax (myList :::=
>> "something").
>>
>> Along with that, Scala seems to be in love with symbols. They use them
>> everywhere, and many times portions of the syntax are optional, so you can
>> see different incarnations of the same syntax look very different in
>> different places.
>>
>> Also Scala has a very high learning curve for traditional Java developers.
>> Instead of making this curve workable by gradually introducing developers
>> to
>> advanced features, the Scala libraries and all it's documentation force
>> you
>> to see all the concepts all at once. They often do a very poor job of
>> explaining why they force you to do things their way, and just tell you to
>> do them.
>>
>> While the Scala language technically lets you program in a way similar to
>> Java, but with advanced features as needed, the libraries are written in a
>> way to make this nearly impossible.
>>
>> What all this means is that a developer from any traditional OOP language,
>> or less complex language is going to have a very very hard time learning
>> Scala, and in the end the time you lost learning won't make up for any
>> advantage Scala's 'way' provides.
>>
>> As long as the Scala community is so obtuse and focused on being right
>> their
>> way, as opposed to helping developers get into the language, Scala will
>> remain a nitch language.
>

Alex Repain
Joined: 2010-07-27,
User offline. Last seen 1 year 31 weeks ago.
Re: The Scala community


2011/10/6 Tim Pigden <tim [dot] pigden [at] optrak [dot] com>
I think there's a fundamental problem with this list and its contents,
from that perspective: most of the questions here and certainly most
of the debate and the answers are in the esoteric/academic camp. There
are relatively few "pragmatic" questions but those that do exist tend
to be answered quite quickly and helpfully. So in terms of helping
newbies, the list functions quite effectively - certainly I received
help when required.

The problem is that if you just scan the list as a newbie, most of the
questions are incomprehensible, let alone the answers.

I don't know whether it would work, but what about splitting the list
- maybe "scala-advanced" and "scala-help" or something like that? It
might work  as long as a few of you (helpful) experts out there were
prepared to hang around in the scala-help list

In a totally unrelated field, I had the occasion to experiment the dissociation advanced / beginner within the frame of an online help/learning forum. It works great. Newbies don't feel ashamed to ask their questions in the beginner's list, and don't fear to read the answers.  The only thing to remind them frequently is that questions may have already been posted and answered before, as always. 

Besides, tensions are lessened by the theoretical segregation it provides : techboys won't get pissed off by Tony's views that much because they won't see them, and Tony won't get pissed off by techies either (ideal world) because they will be warned that scala-advanced is a wild jungle with strange beasts (no offense intended!). People who will WANT to explore Scala in depth, through advanced computer science topics and advanced compiler stuff will be able to do so when they feel curious/in need/ready to do so.



Tim


On 6 October 2011 10:19, Dennis Haupt <h-star [at] gmx [dot] de> wrote:
> to pour in my experience:
> * the community was mostly helpful to me. in most cases, i got some academic and some pragmatic answers. the pragmatic ones are the ones i wanted and needed at first.
> later, as my understanding grew, the academic ones became more interesting.
>
> * my biggest obstacle when learning scala coming from java were to understand "method signature rampages". immutable datastructures where quite easy, the collections were easy to use, and closures were easy to understand.
>
> -------- Original-Nachricht --------
>> Datum: Thu, 6 Oct 2011 00:56:41 -0700 (PDT)
>> Von: martin <odersky [at] gmail [dot] com>
>> An: scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com
>> Betreff: [scala-user] The Scala community
>
>>
>>
>> Here's a recent mail on reddit, which we should take very seriously.
>>
>> I agree with the points in the mail. I think the community has a major job
>> to do to help people get into the language instead being obscure and
>> riding
>> academic high horses.
>>
>> I would like to start with this list. Please everyone, remember: This list
>> is for helping people getting into Scala and getting their questions
>> answered. That's the primary purpose of scala-user. If you are after
>> intellectual arguments, no problem, but please use scala-debate. If you
>> want
>> to force an intellectual argument on a newbie that asked a simple
>> question,
>> that's just bad style.
>>
>> Thanks
>>
>>  -- Martin
>>
>> =======================================================================
>>
>> I tried to use Scala, and found it has one major disadvantage going for
>> it,
>> the community.
>>
>> Most of the developers for Scala and community members I interacted with
>> were very focused on being right from a computer science perspective, and
>> from their own view on how things should be done. They were not at all
>> focused on helping developers actually get work done. This extended to the
>> libraries that come with Scala. If they didn't like how you did something,
>> they made the libraries much harder to accomplish that task with. As an
>> example, appending to a list requires a rather cryptic syntax (myList :::=
>> "something").
>>
>> Along with that, Scala seems to be in love with symbols. They use them
>> everywhere, and many times portions of the syntax are optional, so you can
>> see different incarnations of the same syntax look very different in
>> different places.
>>
>> Also Scala has a very high learning curve for traditional Java developers.
>> Instead of making this curve workable by gradually introducing developers
>> to
>> advanced features, the Scala libraries and all it's documentation force
>> you
>> to see all the concepts all at once. They often do a very poor job of
>> explaining why they force you to do things their way, and just tell you to
>> do them.
>>
>> While the Scala language technically lets you program in a way similar to
>> Java, but with advanced features as needed, the libraries are written in a
>> way to make this nearly impossible.
>>
>> What all this means is that a developer from any traditional OOP language,
>> or less complex language is going to have a very very hard time learning
>> Scala, and in the end the time you lost learning won't make up for any
>> advantage Scala's 'way' provides.
>>
>> As long as the Scala community is so obtuse and focused on being right
>> their
>> way, as opposed to helping developers get into the language, Scala will
>> remain a nitch language.
>



--
Tim Pigden
Optrak Distribution Software Limited
+44 (0)1992 517100
http://www.linkedin.com/in/timpigden
http://optrak.com
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--
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BORDEAUX I      - master's student
SCALA           - enthusiast


Alan Burlison
Joined: 2011-08-26,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: The Scala community

On 06/10/2011 10:30, Tim Pigden wrote:

> I don't know whether it would work, but what about splitting the list
> - maybe "scala-advanced" and "scala-help" or something like that? It
> might work as long as a few of you (helpful) experts out there were
> prepared to hang around in the scala-help list

I believe scala-debate (as Martin pointed out) is already available for
such discussions, and scala-user is supposed to be for the "how do I?"
questions.

Alan Burlison
Joined: 2011-08-26,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: The Scala community

Thank-you.

And as a counterpoint, I'd like to say I've had some very helpful
replies (on and off-list) from several notables in the Scala community
and which definitely helped sustain my interest in Scala. Thank-you to
those people as well.

anli 2
Joined: 2011-05-18,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: The Scala community

On Thursday 06 October 2011 12:20:41 Alex Repain wrote:
> ... within the frame of an online help/learning forum. It works great.

I agree a good forum engine (phpBB, vBulletin, ...) is much more handy form
for... forum :-) To my taste it isn't even comparable with ML/Google Group.
I will not list all the advantages - everyone participated in any forum can
compose own infinite list.

OTOH forum software running will probably demand more administrative resources
from Scala team rather ML. But it would be the only forum instead of multiple
MLs.

Andrew

Matthew Pocock 3
Joined: 2010-07-30,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: The Scala community
I've had a generally positive experience from scala-users and #scala. Some threads and some people have left me rather cold. Perhaps I've contributed (directly or by trolling) to some of the more off-putting content - I hope not. However, first impressions disproportionately count. Whether that is a brief scan through google hits to the ml or the reply you get to your first couple of questions. I would like to see scala as a widely-used, general purpose, main-stream language, and for this to happen, average-ability, average-skill, average-knowledge programmers need to feel comfortable with it without taking a course in discrete maths just to understand a reply about how to double each element of a list. A good 90% of getting going with a language or library is monkey-see-monkey-do, not deep philosophising. It would be great if both the scala-users experience and documentation recognised this.
Matthew

On 6 October 2011 11:30, Alan Burlison <alan [dot] burlison [at] gmail [dot] com> wrote:
Thank-you.

And as a counterpoint, I'd like to say I've had some very helpful replies (on and off-list) from several notables in the Scala community and which definitely helped sustain my interest in Scala.  Thank-you to those people as well.

Jason Zaugg
Joined: 2009-05-18,
User offline. Last seen 38 weeks 5 days ago.
Re: The Scala community
On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 12:39 PM, Andrew Gaydenko <andrew [dot] gaydenko [at] gmail [dot] com> wrote:
On Thursday 06 October 2011 12:20:41 Alex Repain wrote:
> ... within the frame of an online help/learning forum. It works great.

I agree a good forum engine (phpBB, vBulletin, ...) is much more handy form
for... forum :-) To my taste it isn't even comparable with ML/Google Group.
I will not list all the advantages - everyone participated in any forum can
compose own infinite list.

OTOH forum software running will probably demand more administrative resources
from Scala team rather ML. But it would be the only forum instead of multiple
MLs.

There are close to 6000 questions on StackOverflow.
A new addition is a nicely curated landing page that can be used to explore the archives:
  http://stackoverflow.com/tags/scala/info 
-jason
Alan Burlison
Joined: 2011-08-26,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: The Scala community

On 06/10/2011 12:00, Jason Zaugg wrote:

> There are close to 6000 questions on StackOverflow.
>
> A new addition is a nicely curated landing page that can be used to explore
> the archives:

I agree - I've found the Scala content on SO useful and I've added
http://stackoverflow.com/feeds/tag?tagnames=scala&sort=newest to my RSS
feed - I'm finding reading the daily stream of questions and answers is
helping sediment things into my head.

H-star Development
Joined: 2010-04-14,
User offline. Last seen 2 years 26 weeks ago.
Re: The Scala community

another thing that came to my mind:

what i missed was a really easy tutorial that shows scala's features step by step, islolated from each other. on scala-lang.org, i found documentation/examples about lots of features, but most of them required me to already know about other features.

you can tutorial someone about many features isolated from each other:
closures (start at anonymous classes, then go to closure, then go to "use method as parameter that becomes a closure)
match (simple version, without unapply)
tuples
type parameter variance
case classes (auto equals & hashcode, maybe intrudoce unapply here)
automatic fields in classes (a contructor parameter automatically becoming a field)
collections (start at arraybuffer, listbuffer and mutable hashmap since they are the most common ones used in OOP, then go to immutable collections)
_ (by _ i really mean _, the wildcard thing. i do not meant _ as a wildcard in a sense of "anything else". i literally meant _)

then the libary builder / DSL stuff:
implicits, manifests, currying....

-------- Original-Nachricht --------
> Datum: Thu, 06 Oct 2011 11:19:32 +0200
> Von: "Dennis Haupt"
> An: scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com, scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com
> Betreff: Re: [scala-user] The Scala community

> to pour in my experience:
> * the community was mostly helpful to me. in most cases, i got some
> academic and some pragmatic answers. the pragmatic ones are the ones i wanted and
> needed at first.
> later, as my understanding grew, the academic ones became more
> interesting.
>
> * my biggest obstacle when learning scala coming from java were to
> understand "method signature rampages". immutable datastructures where quite easy,
> the collections were easy to use, and closures were easy to understand.
>
> -------- Original-Nachricht --------
> > Datum: Thu, 6 Oct 2011 00:56:41 -0700 (PDT)
> > Von: martin
> > An: scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com
> > Betreff: [scala-user] The Scala community
>
> >
> >
> > Here's a recent mail on reddit, which we should take very seriously.
> >
> > I agree with the points in the mail. I think the community has a major
> job
> > to do to help people get into the language instead being obscure and
> > riding
> > academic high horses.
> >
> > I would like to start with this list. Please everyone, remember: This
> list
> > is for helping people getting into Scala and getting their questions
> > answered. That's the primary purpose of scala-user. If you are after
> > intellectual arguments, no problem, but please use scala-debate. If you
> > want
> > to force an intellectual argument on a newbie that asked a simple
> > question,
> > that's just bad style.
> >
> > Thanks
> >
> > -- Martin
> >
> > =======================================================================
> >
> > I tried to use Scala, and found it has one major disadvantage going for
> > it,
> > the community.
> >
> > Most of the developers for Scala and community members I interacted with
> > were very focused on being right from a computer science perspective,
> and
> > from their own view on how things should be done. They were not at all
> > focused on helping developers actually get work done. This extended to
> the
> > libraries that come with Scala. If they didn't like how you did
> something,
> > they made the libraries much harder to accomplish that task with. As an
> > example, appending to a list requires a rather cryptic syntax (myList
> :::=
> > "something").
> >
> > Along with that, Scala seems to be in love with symbols. They use them
> > everywhere, and many times portions of the syntax are optional, so you
> can
> > see different incarnations of the same syntax look very different in
> > different places.
> >
> > Also Scala has a very high learning curve for traditional Java
> developers.
> > Instead of making this curve workable by gradually introducing
> developers
> > to
> > advanced features, the Scala libraries and all it's documentation force
> > you
> > to see all the concepts all at once. They often do a very poor job of
> > explaining why they force you to do things their way, and just tell you
> to
> > do them.
> >
> > While the Scala language technically lets you program in a way similar
> to
> > Java, but with advanced features as needed, the libraries are written in
> a
> > way to make this nearly impossible.
> >
> > What all this means is that a developer from any traditional OOP
> language,
> > or less complex language is going to have a very very hard time learning
> > Scala, and in the end the time you lost learning won't make up for any
> > advantage Scala's 'way' provides.
> >
> > As long as the Scala community is so obtuse and focused on being right
> > their
> > way, as opposed to helping developers get into the language, Scala will
> > remain a nitch language.

Tim P
Joined: 2011-07-28,
User offline. Last seen 1 year 4 weeks ago.
Re: The Scala community

i'm not even looking at stack overflow atm. Why do we "have" 2 similar lists?

On 6 October 2011 12:18, Alan Burlison wrote:
> On 06/10/2011 12:00, Jason Zaugg wrote:
>
>> There are close to 6000 questions on StackOverflow.
>>
>> A new addition is a nicely curated landing page that can be used to
>> explore
>> the archives:
>
> I agree - I've found the Scala content on SO useful and I've added
> http://stackoverflow.com/feeds/tag?tagnames=scala&sort=newest to my RSS feed
> - I'm finding reading the daily stream of questions and answers is helping
> sediment things into my head.
>
> --
> Alan Burlison
> --
>

dcsobral
Joined: 2009-04-23,
User offline. Last seen 38 weeks 5 days ago.
Re: The Scala community

On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 06:30, Tim Pigden wrote:
> I think there's a fundamental problem with this list and its contents,
> from that perspective: most of the questions here and certainly most
> of the debate and the answers are in the esoteric/academic camp. There
> are relatively few "pragmatic" questions but those that do exist tend
> to be answered quite quickly and helpfully. So in terms of helping
> newbies, the list functions quite effectively - certainly I received
> help when required.
>
> The problem is that if you just scan the list as a newbie, most of the
> questions are incomprehensible, let alone the answers.
>
> I don't know whether it would work, but what about splitting the list
> - maybe "scala-advanced" and "scala-help" or something like that? It
> might work  as long as a few of you (helpful) experts out there were
> prepared to hang around in the scala-help list

There's scala-debate and scala-language for more advanced stuff. Or,
at least, that's the way I see it.

Scala-user should be for "Hey, I'm a user, I need help with X", "Ok,
here's how you do/what you need to know about X".

Razvan Cojocaru 3
Joined: 2010-07-28,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
RE: The Scala community

I don’t follow reddit – did anyone reply there that ListBuffer has methods like myList.append(x) and myList.appendAll(otherList), which are quite intuitive? I use += all the time… when using mutables J

 

It is however true that I got mixed up in the :: and ::: in the beginning, if using the immutables… for some reason, they dind’t work as nicely with all the types as they should. I guess there is also union()…

 

List(1,2,3).union(List(4,5,6))

 

I have seen this argument before that it’s not easy to figure out how to do something. This were true if people were using VIM but with Eclipse, there’s no excuse, although the plugin misses often and shows Object’s generic methods in the drop-down…

 

From: scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com [mailto:scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com] On Behalf Of martin
Sent: October-06-11 3:57 AM
To: scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com
Subject: [scala-user] The Scala community

 

Here's a recent mail on reddit, which we should take very seriously.

I agree with the points in the mail. I think the community has a major job to do to help people get into the language instead being obscure and riding academic high horses.

I would like to start with this list. Please everyone, remember: This list is for helping people getting into Scala and getting their questions answered. That's the primary purpose of scala-user. If you are after intellectual arguments, no problem, but please use scala-debate. If you want to force an intellectual argument on a newbie that asked a simple question, that's just bad style.

Thanks

 -- Martin

=======================================================================

I tried to use Scala, and found it has one major disadvantage going for it, the community.

Most of the developers for Scala and community members I interacted with were very focused on being right from a computer science perspective, and from their own view on how things should be done. They were not at all focused on helping developers actually get work done. This extended to the libraries that come with Scala. If they didn't like how you did something, they made the libraries much harder to accomplish that task with. As an example, appending to a list requires a rather cryptic syntax (myList :::= "something").

Along with that, Scala seems to be in love with symbols. They use them everywhere, and many times portions of the syntax are optional, so you can see different incarnations of the same syntax look very different in different places.

Also Scala has a very high learning curve for traditional Java developers. Instead of making this curve workable by gradually introducing developers to advanced features, the Scala libraries and all it's documentation force you to see all the concepts all at once. They often do a very poor job of explaining why they force you to do things their way, and just tell you to do them.

While the Scala language technically lets you program in a way similar to Java, but with advanced features as needed, the libraries are written in a way to make this nearly impossible.

What all this means is that a developer from any traditional OOP language, or less complex language is going to have a very very hard time learning Scala, and in the end the time you lost learning won't make up for any advantage Scala's 'way' provides.

As long as the Scala community is so obtuse and focused on being right their way, as opposed to helping developers get into the language, Scala will remain a nitch language.

Erik Peterson
Joined: 2010-08-02,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: The Scala community
Thank you for sharing this valuable feedback Martin. A few thoughts to help:
1) It is important to understand the funnel developers go to adopt Scala...and make that funnel frictionless so the benefits of Scala can flow more freely. Learn-by-example documentation, IDE integration with SBT, best practices, etc. are example points of friction. What are the top 10?
2) A helpful way to change culture is to recognize those who exhibit the "good" behavior. There are many on this list, Stack Overflow, and dozens of Scala lists that are both very bright *and* very helpful to beginners. Who are the top 10?
Razvan Cojocaru 3
Joined: 2010-07-28,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
RE: The Scala community

I found this to be an excellent introduction, back when I started. I think a lot of people could do much worse than starting here as well?

http://www.codecommit.com/blog/scala/roundup-scala-for-java-refugees

it could use some updating and simplification / cleanup, but overall I think it accomplishes its goal...

-----Original Message-----
From: scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com [mailto:scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com] On Behalf Of Dennis Haupt
Sent: October-06-11 7:26 AM
To: Dennis Haupt; scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com; scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com
Subject: Re: [scala-user] The Scala community

another thing that came to my mind:

what i missed was a really easy tutorial that shows scala's features step by step, islolated from each other. on scala-lang.org, i found documentation/examples about lots of features, but most of them required me to already know about other features.

you can tutorial someone about many features isolated from each other:
closures (start at anonymous classes, then go to closure, then go to "use method as parameter that becomes a closure) match (simple version, without unapply) tuples type parameter variance case classes (auto equals & hashcode, maybe intrudoce unapply here) automatic fields in classes (a contructor parameter automatically becoming a field) collections (start at arraybuffer, listbuffer and mutable hashmap since they are the most common ones used in OOP, then go to immutable collections) _ (by _ i really mean _, the wildcard thing. i do not meant _ as a wildcard in a sense of "anything else". i literally meant _)

then the libary builder / DSL stuff:
implicits, manifests, currying....

-------- Original-Nachricht --------
> Datum: Thu, 06 Oct 2011 11:19:32 +0200
> Von: "Dennis Haupt"
> An: scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com, scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com
> Betreff: Re: [scala-user] The Scala community

> to pour in my experience:
> * the community was mostly helpful to me. in most cases, i got some
> academic and some pragmatic answers. the pragmatic ones are the ones i
> wanted and needed at first.
> later, as my understanding grew, the academic ones became more
> interesting.
>
> * my biggest obstacle when learning scala coming from java were to
> understand "method signature rampages". immutable datastructures where
> quite easy, the collections were easy to use, and closures were easy to understand.
>
> -------- Original-Nachricht --------
> > Datum: Thu, 6 Oct 2011 00:56:41 -0700 (PDT)
> > Von: martin
> > An: scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com
> > Betreff: [scala-user] The Scala community
>
> >
> >
> > Here's a recent mail on reddit, which we should take very seriously.
> >
> > I agree with the points in the mail. I think the community has a
> > major
> job
> > to do to help people get into the language instead being obscure and
> > riding academic high horses.
> >
> > I would like to start with this list. Please everyone, remember:
> > This
> list
> > is for helping people getting into Scala and getting their questions
> > answered. That's the primary purpose of scala-user. If you are after
> > intellectual arguments, no problem, but please use scala-debate. If
> > you want to force an intellectual argument on a newbie that asked a
> > simple question, that's just bad style.
> >
> > Thanks
> >
> > -- Martin
> >
> > ====================================================================
> > ===
> >
> > I tried to use Scala, and found it has one major disadvantage going
> > for it, the community.
> >
> > Most of the developers for Scala and community members I interacted
> > with were very focused on being right from a computer science
> > perspective,
> and
> > from their own view on how things should be done. They were not at
> > all focused on helping developers actually get work done. This
> > extended to
> the
> > libraries that come with Scala. If they didn't like how you did
> something,
> > they made the libraries much harder to accomplish that task with. As
> > an example, appending to a list requires a rather cryptic syntax
> > (myList
> :::=
> > "something").
> >
> > Along with that, Scala seems to be in love with symbols. They use
> > them everywhere, and many times portions of the syntax are optional,
> > so you
> can
> > see different incarnations of the same syntax look very different in
> > different places.
> >
> > Also Scala has a very high learning curve for traditional Java
> developers.
> > Instead of making this curve workable by gradually introducing
> developers
> > to
> > advanced features, the Scala libraries and all it's documentation
> > force you to see all the concepts all at once. They often do a very
> > poor job of explaining why they force you to do things their way,
> > and just tell you
> to
> > do them.
> >
> > While the Scala language technically lets you program in a way
> > similar
> to
> > Java, but with advanced features as needed, the libraries are
> > written in
> a
> > way to make this nearly impossible.
> >
> > What all this means is that a developer from any traditional OOP
> language,
> > or less complex language is going to have a very very hard time
> > learning Scala, and in the end the time you lost learning won't make
> > up for any advantage Scala's 'way' provides.
> >
> > As long as the Scala community is so obtuse and focused on being
> > right their way, as opposed to helping developers get into the
> > language, Scala will remain a nitch language.

Tim P
Joined: 2011-07-28,
User offline. Last seen 1 year 4 weeks ago.
Re: The Scala community

This type of link, also blogs with useful teaching content, things
like Tony M's exercise with Option should all be on some sort links or
resources page in scala-lang.org. At present the Learning Scala page
doesn't seem to permit any end-user comments or amendments and there
is no other obvious place for logged in users to put stuff.

Who controls the scala-lang site?

Tim

On 6 October 2011 14:13, Razvan Cojocaru wrote:
> I found this to be an excellent introduction, back when I started. I think a lot of people could do much worse than starting here as well?
>
> http://www.codecommit.com/blog/scala/roundup-scala-for-java-refugees
>
> it could use some updating and simplification / cleanup, but overall I think it accomplishes its goal...
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com [mailto:scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com] On Behalf Of Dennis Haupt
> Sent: October-06-11 7:26 AM
> To: Dennis Haupt; scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com; scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com
> Subject: Re: [scala-user] The Scala community
>
> another thing that came to my mind:
>
> what i missed was a really easy tutorial that shows scala's features step by step, islolated from each other. on scala-lang.org, i found documentation/examples about lots of features, but most of them required me to already know about other features.
>
> you can tutorial someone about many features isolated from each other:
> closures (start at anonymous classes, then go to closure, then go to "use method as parameter that becomes a closure) match (simple version, without unapply) tuples type parameter variance case classes (auto equals & hashcode, maybe intrudoce unapply here) automatic fields in classes (a contructor parameter automatically becoming a field) collections (start at arraybuffer, listbuffer and mutable hashmap since they are the most common ones used in OOP, then go to immutable collections) _ (by _ i really mean _, the wildcard thing. i do not meant _ as a wildcard in a sense of "anything else". i literally meant _)
>
> then the libary builder / DSL stuff:
> implicits, manifests, currying....
>
>
>
>
>
> -------- Original-Nachricht --------
>> Datum: Thu, 06 Oct 2011 11:19:32 +0200
>> Von: "Dennis Haupt"
>> An: scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com, scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com
>> Betreff: Re: [scala-user] The Scala community
>
>> to pour in my experience:
>> * the community was mostly helpful to me. in most cases, i got some
>> academic and some pragmatic answers. the pragmatic ones are the ones i
>> wanted and needed at first.
>> later, as my understanding grew, the academic ones became more
>> interesting.
>>
>> * my biggest obstacle when learning scala coming from java were to
>> understand "method signature rampages". immutable datastructures where
>> quite easy, the collections were easy to use, and closures were easy to understand.
>>
>> -------- Original-Nachricht --------
>> > Datum: Thu, 6 Oct 2011 00:56:41 -0700 (PDT)
>> > Von: martin
>> > An: scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com
>> > Betreff: [scala-user] The Scala community
>>
>> >
>> >
>> > Here's a recent mail on reddit, which we should take very seriously.
>> >
>> > I agree with the points in the mail. I think the community has a
>> > major
>> job
>> > to do to help people get into the language instead being obscure and
>> > riding academic high horses.
>> >
>> > I would like to start with this list. Please everyone, remember:
>> > This
>> list
>> > is for helping people getting into Scala and getting their questions
>> > answered. That's the primary purpose of scala-user. If you are after
>> > intellectual arguments, no problem, but please use scala-debate. If
>> > you want to force an intellectual argument on a newbie that asked a
>> > simple question, that's just bad style.
>> >
>> > Thanks
>> >
>> >  -- Martin
>> >
>> > ====================================================================
>> > ===
>> >
>> > I tried to use Scala, and found it has one major disadvantage going
>> > for it, the community.
>> >
>> > Most of the developers for Scala and community members I interacted
>> > with were very focused on being right from a computer science
>> > perspective,
>> and
>> > from their own view on how things should be done. They were not at
>> > all focused on helping developers actually get work done. This
>> > extended to
>> the
>> > libraries that come with Scala. If they didn't like how you did
>> something,
>> > they made the libraries much harder to accomplish that task with. As
>> > an example, appending to a list requires a rather cryptic syntax
>> > (myList
>> :::=
>> > "something").
>> >
>> > Along with that, Scala seems to be in love with symbols. They use
>> > them everywhere, and many times portions of the syntax are optional,
>> > so you
>> can
>> > see different incarnations of the same syntax look very different in
>> > different places.
>> >
>> > Also Scala has a very high learning curve for traditional Java
>> developers.
>> > Instead of making this curve workable by gradually introducing
>> developers
>> > to
>> > advanced features, the Scala libraries and all it's documentation
>> > force you to see all the concepts all at once. They often do a very
>> > poor job of explaining why they force you to do things their way,
>> > and just tell you
>> to
>> > do them.
>> >
>> > While the Scala language technically lets you program in a way
>> > similar
>> to
>> > Java, but with advanced features as needed, the libraries are
>> > written in
>> a
>> > way to make this nearly impossible.
>> >
>> > What all this means is that a developer from any traditional OOP
>> language,
>> > or less complex language is going to have a very very hard time
>> > learning Scala, and in the end the time you lost learning won't make
>> > up for any advantage Scala's 'way' provides.
>> >
>> > As long as the Scala community is so obtuse and focused on being
>> > right their way, as opposed to helping developers get into the
>> > language, Scala will remain a nitch language.
>
>

Philippe Lhoste
Joined: 2010-09-02,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: The Scala community

On 06/10/2011 11:30, Tim Pigden wrote:
> I don't know whether it would work, but what about splitting the list
> - maybe "scala-advanced" and "scala-help" or something like that? It
> might work as long as a few of you (helpful) experts out there were
> prepared to hang around in the scala-help list

I tend to see scala-users as scala-help, and scala-language as scala-advanced.
From the site [1]:

scala-language: The main forum for discussions and news about the Scala language. (OK,
that's quite generic, but a bit on the theoretical side.)

scala-users: The main forum for questions and discussions about the Scala programming. In
particular, the following should go to this list:
newbie questions.
programming experiences and questions.

[1] http://www.scala-lang.org/node/199

Chris Marshall
Joined: 2009-06-17,
User offline. Last seen 44 weeks 3 days ago.
RE: Re: The Scala community
My understanding was that scala-language is essentially for scala committers.
If we add scala-advanced and scala-beginner, this is what will probably happen (it certainly did on the old Java forums).
 - 25% of newbies ask questions on scala-advanced, for no readily apparent reason. This results in sharp responses - 5% of newbies cross-post questions to both scala-advanced and scala-beginner. This also results in sharp responses - 70% of newbies ask question on scala-beginner. They get no answers, or inaccurate answers because the only people watching the deluge of omg-this-was-asked-last-week-rofl questions are other newbies. They then re-post on scala-advanced, resulting in sharp responses
There are a ton of resources out there for Java people. There is Stack Overflow, Daniel Spiewak's blogs, Tony's exercises, videos, slides. You name it. There's even the whole 1st edition of PiS for free. I'm not saying that sometimes this community can't be a little intimidating but we should sometimes pause and ask ourselves whether someone who runs off at the first sight of three colons (and I am not talking about the Human Centipede) might just *not* be the type of person who is going to get into scala, regardless of what steps are taken to accommodate them.
Chris

> To: scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com
> From: PhiLho [at] GMX [dot] net
> Subject: [scala-user] Re: The Scala community
> Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2011 15:55:36 +0200
>
> On 06/10/2011 11:30, Tim Pigden wrote:
> > I don't know whether it would work, but what about splitting the list
> > - maybe "scala-advanced" and "scala-help" or something like that? It
> > might work as long as a few of you (helpful) experts out there were
> > prepared to hang around in the scala-help list
>
> I tend to see scala-users as scala-help, and scala-language as scala-advanced.
> From the site [1]:
>
> scala-language: The main forum for discussions and news about the Scala language. (OK,
> that's quite generic, but a bit on the theoretical side.)
>
> scala-users: The main forum for questions and discussions about the Scala programming. In
> particular, the following should go to this list:
> newbie questions.
> programming experiences and questions.
>
> [1] http://www.scala-lang.org/node/199
>
> --
> Philippe Lhoste
> -- (near) Paris -- France
> -- http://Phi.Lho.free.fr
> -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
>
Chris Marshall
Joined: 2009-06-17,
User offline. Last seen 44 weeks 3 days ago.
RE: Re: The Scala community
I also suggest an official Scala "I have felt the back of Tony Morris' hand" T-shirt. It would be a revenue raiser, if nothing else.
Chris

From: oxbow_lakes [at] hotmail [dot] com
To: philho [at] gmx [dot] net; scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com
Subject: RE: [scala-user] Re: The Scala community
Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2011 14:12:58 +0000

.ExternalClass .ecxhmmessage P {padding:0px;} .ExternalClass body.ecxhmmessage {font-size:10pt;font-family:Tahoma;} My understanding was that scala-language is essentially for scala committers.
If we add scala-advanced and scala-beginner, this is what will probably happen (it certainly did on the old Java forums).
 - 25% of newbies ask questions on scala-advanced, for no readily apparent reason. This results in sharp responses - 5% of newbies cross-post questions to both scala-advanced and scala-beginner. This also results in sharp responses - 70% of newbies ask question on scala-beginner. They get no answers, or inaccurate answers because the only people watching the deluge of omg-this-was-asked-last-week-rofl questions are other newbies. They then re-post on scala-advanced, resulting in sharp responses
There are a ton of resources out there for Java people. There is Stack Overflow, Daniel Spiewak's blogs, Tony's exercises, videos, slides. You name it. There's even the whole 1st edition of PiS for free. I'm not saying that sometimes this community can't be a little intimidating but we should sometimes pause and ask ourselves whether someone who runs off at the first sight of three colons (and I am not talking about the Human Centipede) might just *not* be the type of person who is going to get into scala, regardless of what steps are taken to accommodate them.
Chris

> To: scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com
> From: PhiLho [at] GMX [dot] net
> Subject: [scala-user] Re: The Scala community
> Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2011 15:55:36 +0200
>
> On 06/10/2011 11:30, Tim Pigden wrote:
> > I don't know whether it would work, but what about splitting the list
> > - maybe "scala-advanced" and "scala-help" or something like that? It
> > might work as long as a few of you (helpful) experts out there were
> > prepared to hang around in the scala-help list
>
> I tend to see scala-users as scala-help, and scala-language as scala-advanced.
> From the site [1]:
>
> scala-language: The main forum for discussions and news about the Scala language. (OK,
> that's quite generic, but a bit on the theoretical side.)
>
> scala-users: The main forum for questions and discussions about the Scala programming. In
> particular, the following should go to this list:
> newbie questions.
> programming experiences and questions.
>
> [1] http://www.scala-lang.org/node/199
>
> --
> Philippe Lhoste
> -- (near) Paris -- France
> -- http://Phi.Lho.free.fr
> -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
>
Jefferson Andrade
Joined: 2010-04-09,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: Re: The Scala community
Hi.

I personally know people that have left the list, and the will to use the language because of sharp answers (that was not even directed to them).

"They are lame or weak!" You may say. And this is nice and good, as long as we just want this to be our small closed little club of fraking-awesome-uber-smart people that can program in scala and "few the back of Tony Morris' hand" and smile (a little too much S&M for my taste, but I'm not judging). But, if we want scala to become more main stream and to succeed, it is just the wrong road to take.

Jeff.



On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 11:15 AM, Chris Marshall <oxbow_lakes [at] hotmail [dot] com> wrote:
I also suggest an official Scala "I have felt the back of Tony Morris' hand" T-shirt. It would be a revenue raiser, if nothing else.
Chris

From: oxbow_lakes [at] hotmail [dot] com
To: philho [at] gmx [dot] net; scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com
Subject: RE: [scala-user] Re: The Scala community
Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2011 14:12:58 +0000

My understanding was that scala-language is essentially for scala committers.
If we add scala-advanced and scala-beginner, this is what will probably happen (it certainly did on the old Java forums).
 - 25% of newbies ask questions on scala-advanced, for no readily apparent reason. This results in sharp responses - 5% of newbies cross-post questions to both scala-advanced and scala-beginner. This also results in sharp responses  - 70% of newbies ask question on scala-beginner. They get no answers, or inaccurate answers because the only people watching the deluge of omg-this-was-asked-last-week-rofl questions are other newbies. They then re-post on scala-advanced, resulting in sharp responses
There are a ton of resources out there for Java people. There is Stack Overflow, Daniel Spiewak's blogs, Tony's exercises, videos, slides. You name it. There's even the whole 1st edition of PiS for free. I'm not saying that sometimes this community can't be a little intimidating but we should sometimes pause and ask ourselves whether someone who runs off at the first sight of three colons (and I am not talking about the Human Centipede) might just *not* be the type of person who is going to get into scala, regardless of what steps are taken to accommodate them.
Chris

> To: scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com
> From: PhiLho [at] GMX [dot] net
> Subject: [scala-user] Re: The Scala community
> Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2011 15:55:36 +0200
>
> On 06/10/2011 11:30, Tim Pigden wrote:
> > I don't know whether it would work, but what about splitting the list
> > - maybe "scala-advanced" and "scala-help" or something like that? It
> > might work as long as a few of you (helpful) experts out there were
> > prepared to hang around in the scala-help list
>
> I tend to see scala-users as scala-help, and scala-language as scala-advanced.
> From the site [1]:
>
> scala-language: The main forum for discussions and news about the Scala language. (OK,
> that's quite generic, but a bit on the theoretical side.)
>
> scala-users: The main forum for questions and discussions about the Scala programming. In
> particular, the following should go to this list:
> newbie questions.
> programming experiences and questions.
>
> [1] http://www.scala-lang.org/node/199
>
> --
> Philippe Lhoste
> -- (near) Paris -- France
> -- http://Phi.Lho.free.fr
> -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
>



--
"You question the worthiness of my Code? I should kill you where you stand!"

Cay Horstmann
Joined: 2009-09-04,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: Re: The Scala community
It is important that we get this straight. I am at Java One right now, and I can't tell you how many people I've met who had a negative impression of Scala. Some of it is from pure hearsay, but the mailing list really doesn't help.

If we want Scala to succeed as a language that is widely used and not just admired, let's come to grips with the fact that not all users have the same needs. The mailing list is an important contact point, so let's fix it.

I think Tim's suggestion of scala-help and scala-advanced hits the nail on the head.

I just looked at http://groups.google.com/group/scala-user/browse_thread/thread/770172e72892d8f3. It is a good example of the kind of discussion that, while of legitimate interest to some, is off-putting to others. 

That discussion doesn't really belong to scala-language or to scala-debate.

scala-advanced would be just the right place for it.

Cheers,

Cay

PS. @Phillippe: Old-timers know how to translate scala-users to scala-help, and SOME old-timers know to move advanced discussions to scala-language. Someone who just comes to Scala won't know of those conventions. Why not help them out?


On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 6:55 AM, Philippe Lhoste <PhiLho [at] gmx [dot] net> wrote:
On 06/10/2011 11:30, Tim Pigden wrote:
I don't know whether it would work, but what about splitting the list
- maybe "scala-advanced" and "scala-help" or something like that? It
might work  as long as a few of you (helpful) experts out there were
prepared to hang around in the scala-help list

I tend to see scala-users as scala-help, and scala-language as scala-advanced.
From the site [1]:

scala-language: The main forum for discussions and news about the Scala language. (OK, that's quite generic, but a bit on the theoretical side.)

scala-users: The main forum for questions and discussions about the Scala programming. In particular, the following should go to this list:
   newbie questions.
   programming experiences and questions.

[1] http://www.scala-lang.org/node/199

Maxime Lévesque
Joined: 2009-08-18,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: Re: The Scala community

The world righ now runs on code that is far worst than what theorem hugging purists on this list
will brush off as an intellectual insult. ... But it still runs !
Don't get me wrong, I think that sound theory is a very
useful and practical thing, but when a newbe comes to this list, he very likely has a job to get done, and
will likely have some reluctant colleagues or boss to convince, to try something new,
the best way to turn him off is with sharp condescendant responses.


There is a phenomenom called group think :  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groupthink
Sometimes I sense it in this community


ML

2011/10/6 Jefferson Andrade <joandrade [at] gmail [dot] com>
Hi.

I personally know people that have left the list, and the will to use the language because of sharp answers (that was not even directed to them).

"They are lame or weak!" You may say. And this is nice and good, as long as we just want this to be our small closed little club of fraking-awesome-uber-smart people that can program in scala and "few the back of Tony Morris' hand" and smile (a little too much S&M for my taste, but I'm not judging). But, if we want scala to become more main stream and to succeed, it is just the wrong road to take.

Jeff.



On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 11:15 AM, Chris Marshall <oxbow_lakes [at] hotmail [dot] com> wrote:
I also suggest an official Scala "I have felt the back of Tony Morris' hand" T-shirt. It would be a revenue raiser, if nothing else.
Chris

From: oxbow_lakes [at] hotmail [dot] com
To: philho [at] gmx [dot] net; scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com
Subject: RE: [scala-user] Re: The Scala community
Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2011 14:12:58 +0000

My understanding was that scala-language is essentially for scala committers.
If we add scala-advanced and scala-beginner, this is what will probably happen (it certainly did on the old Java forums).
 - 25% of newbies ask questions on scala-advanced, for no readily apparent reason. This results in sharp responses - 5% of newbies cross-post questions to both scala-advanced and scala-beginner. This also results in sharp responses  - 70% of newbies ask question on scala-beginner. They get no answers, or inaccurate answers because the only people watching the deluge of omg-this-was-asked-last-week-rofl questions are other newbies. They then re-post on scala-advanced, resulting in sharp responses
There are a ton of resources out there for Java people. There is Stack Overflow, Daniel Spiewak's blogs, Tony's exercises, videos, slides. You name it. There's even the whole 1st edition of PiS for free. I'm not saying that sometimes this community can't be a little intimidating but we should sometimes pause and ask ourselves whether someone who runs off at the first sight of three colons (and I am not talking about the Human Centipede) might just *not* be the type of person who is going to get into scala, regardless of what steps are taken to accommodate them.
Chris

> To: scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com
> From: PhiLho [at] GMX [dot] net
> Subject: [scala-user] Re: The Scala community
> Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2011 15:55:36 +0200
>
> On 06/10/2011 11:30, Tim Pigden wrote:
> > I don't know whether it would work, but what about splitting the list
> > - maybe "scala-advanced" and "scala-help" or something like that? It
> > might work as long as a few of you (helpful) experts out there were
> > prepared to hang around in the scala-help list
>
> I tend to see scala-users as scala-help, and scala-language as scala-advanced.
> From the site [1]:
>
> scala-language: The main forum for discussions and news about the Scala language. (OK,
> that's quite generic, but a bit on the theoretical side.)
>
> scala-users: The main forum for questions and discussions about the Scala programming. In
> particular, the following should go to this list:
> newbie questions.
> programming experiences and questions.
>
> [1] http://www.scala-lang.org/node/199
>
> --
> Philippe Lhoste
> -- (near) Paris -- France
> -- http://Phi.Lho.free.fr
> -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
>



--
"You question the worthiness of my Code? I should kill you where you stand!"


Alex Repain
Joined: 2010-07-27,
User offline. Last seen 1 year 31 weeks ago.
Re: Re: The Scala community


2011/10/6 Chris Marshall <oxbow_lakes [at] hotmail [dot] com>
My understanding was that scala-language is essentially for scala committers.
If we add scala-advanced and scala-beginner, this is what will probably happen (it certainly did on the old Java forums).
 - 25% of newbies ask questions on scala-advanced, for no readily apparent reason. This results in sharp responses

  These, we can't help. Or at least not totally. A system that would preventively enumerate the guidelines, or make them obvious to the eye, would help. I'm thinking subforums short descriptions, but it's obviously not the way mailing lists would implement that.
 
 - 5% of newbies cross-post questions to both scala-advanced and scala-beginner. This also results in sharp responses

Same answer, almost entirely. Plus, asking a question this way is sharp. I assume these kind of askers won't be afraid or suprised by the sharpness of the answers ; and if they don't realize that their way is itself sharp, well, it's a duty of ours to teach them :).
 
 - 70% of newbies ask question on scala-beginner. They get no answers, or inaccurate answers because the only people watching the deluge of omg-this-was-asked-last-week-rofl questions are other newbies. They then re-post on scala-advanced, resulting in sharp responses

a scala-beginner list is not meant to be a kid pool. Obviously most of the users of scala-advanced should stay on scala-beginner and orient the answers. This is a question of good will. If the smart people here don't have the good will to help others get the correct answers that they know, when needed, then I don't know why we are even discussing this thread.
Although I'm not very fond of the idea of a user hierarchy, users that play advanced and humble newbies should be distinguishable, so that the first can orient the second with some authority. The stack overflow system is very fair for that matter. Once again I don't know if we're still talking mailing lists or something else, with this ideas. So maybe the question is : what kind of knowledge sharing system is the most appropriate for our purpose. Forums ? mailing lists ? Q&A, StackOverflow-style ? Collaborative wiki ? A stack of all these ? A complex mix of all these ?


There are a ton of resources out there for Java people. There is Stack Overflow, Daniel Spiewak's blogs, Tony's exercises, videos, slides. You name it. There's even the whole 1st edition of PiS for free. I'm not saying that sometimes this community can't be a little intimidating but we should sometimes pause and ask ourselves whether someone who runs off at the first sight of three colons (and I am not talking about the Human Centipede) might just *not* be the type of person who is going to get into scala, regardless of what steps are taken to accommodate them.

Agreed. I don't think the lists should be elitist, but neither do I think that we should give away healthy habits and healthy speeches about complex concepts for popularity. A good-willing, smart list user is able to make the difference between advanced and (currently) affordable topics. I still consider myself as a noob, but I take pleasure to read some topics just for the sake of pushing my knowledge further. My point is, you should welcome users, but you shouldn't change what/who the community is made of, not just for the sake of community growth.


Chris

> To: scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com
> From: PhiLho [at] GMX [dot] net
> Subject: [scala-user] Re: The Scala community
> Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2011 15:55:36 +0200
>
> On 06/10/2011 11:30, Tim Pigden wrote:
> > I don't know whether it would work, but what about splitting the list
> > - maybe "scala-advanced" and "scala-help" or something like that? It
> > might work as long as a few of you (helpful) experts out there were
> > prepared to hang around in the scala-help list
>
> I tend to see scala-users as scala-help, and scala-language as scala-advanced.
> From the site [1]:
>
> scala-language: The main forum for discussions and news about the Scala language. (OK,
> that's quite generic, but a bit on the theoretical side.)
>
> scala-users: The main forum for questions and discussions about the Scala programming. In
> particular, the following should go to this list:
> newbie questions.
> programming experiences and questions.
>
> [1] http://www.scala-lang.org/node/199
>
> --
> Philippe Lhoste
> -- (near) Paris -- France
> -- http://Phi.Lho.free.fr
> -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
>



--
Alex REPAIN
ENSEIRB-MATMECA - student
TECHNICOLOR R&D - intern
BORDEAUX I      - master's student
SCALA           - enthusiast


Alex Repain
Joined: 2010-07-27,
User offline. Last seen 1 year 31 weeks ago.
Re: Re: The Scala community


2011/10/6 Maxime Lévesque <maxime [dot] levesque [at] gmail [dot] com>

The world righ now runs on code that is far worst than what theorem hugging purists on this list
will brush off as an intellectual insult. ... But it still runs !
Don't get me wrong, I think that sound theory is a very
useful and practical thing, but when a newbe comes to this list, he very likely has a job to get done, and
will likely have some reluctant colleagues or boss to convince, to try something new,
the best way to turn him off is with sharp condescendant responses.


There is a phenomenom called group think :  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groupthink
Sometimes I sense it in this community

It's a very common dilemma. If you feel attached to a group, you may ideally want it to be recognized, but feel the intrusion of numerous new members as a perversion of the original spirit :). Decisions will be centered on the group's survival as it currently is, to avoid loss of interest and melancholia. Sometimes called "the Underground effect". People who you may accept are only people in whom you sense the group's spirit (here, knowledge) already.

Frankly, I think the lists are quite far from that.


ML

2011/10/6 Jefferson Andrade <joandrade [at] gmail [dot] com>
Hi.

I personally know people that have left the list, and the will to use the language because of sharp answers (that was not even directed to them).

"They are lame or weak!" You may say. And this is nice and good, as long as we just want this to be our small closed little club of fraking-awesome-uber-smart people that can program in scala and "few the back of Tony Morris' hand" and smile (a little too much S&M for my taste, but I'm not judging). But, if we want scala to become more main stream and to succeed, it is just the wrong road to take.

Jeff.



On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 11:15 AM, Chris Marshall <oxbow_lakes [at] hotmail [dot] com> wrote:
I also suggest an official Scala "I have felt the back of Tony Morris' hand" T-shirt. It would be a revenue raiser, if nothing else.
Chris

From: oxbow_lakes [at] hotmail [dot] com
To: philho [at] gmx [dot] net; scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com
Subject: RE: [scala-user] Re: The Scala community
Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2011 14:12:58 +0000

My understanding was that scala-language is essentially for scala committers.
If we add scala-advanced and scala-beginner, this is what will probably happen (it certainly did on the old Java forums).
 - 25% of newbies ask questions on scala-advanced, for no readily apparent reason. This results in sharp responses - 5% of newbies cross-post questions to both scala-advanced and scala-beginner. This also results in sharp responses  - 70% of newbies ask question on scala-beginner. They get no answers, or inaccurate answers because the only people watching the deluge of omg-this-was-asked-last-week-rofl questions are other newbies. They then re-post on scala-advanced, resulting in sharp responses
There are a ton of resources out there for Java people. There is Stack Overflow, Daniel Spiewak's blogs, Tony's exercises, videos, slides. You name it. There's even the whole 1st edition of PiS for free. I'm not saying that sometimes this community can't be a little intimidating but we should sometimes pause and ask ourselves whether someone who runs off at the first sight of three colons (and I am not talking about the Human Centipede) might just *not* be the type of person who is going to get into scala, regardless of what steps are taken to accommodate them.
Chris

> To: scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com
> From: PhiLho [at] GMX [dot] net
> Subject: [scala-user] Re: The Scala community
> Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2011 15:55:36 +0200
>
> On 06/10/2011 11:30, Tim Pigden wrote:
> > I don't know whether it would work, but what about splitting the list
> > - maybe "scala-advanced" and "scala-help" or something like that? It
> > might work as long as a few of you (helpful) experts out there were
> > prepared to hang around in the scala-help list
>
> I tend to see scala-users as scala-help, and scala-language as scala-advanced.
> From the site [1]:
>
> scala-language: The main forum for discussions and news about the Scala language. (OK,
> that's quite generic, but a bit on the theoretical side.)
>
> scala-users: The main forum for questions and discussions about the Scala programming. In
> particular, the following should go to this list:
> newbie questions.
> programming experiences and questions.
>
> [1] http://www.scala-lang.org/node/199
>
> --
> Philippe Lhoste
> -- (near) Paris -- France
> -- http://Phi.Lho.free.fr
> -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
>



--
"You question the worthiness of my Code? I should kill you where you stand!"





--
Alex REPAIN
ENSEIRB-MATMECA - student
TECHNICOLOR R&D - intern
BORDEAUX I      - master's student
SCALA           - enthusiast


Maxime Lévesque
Joined: 2009-08-18,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: Re: The Scala community

Ok, you might have noriced that I like to exagerate ;-) 

What I meant was more like : lets not get into group think, and lets welcome external criticism and not dismiss it to quickly...

ML

2011/10/6 Alex Repain <alex [dot] repain [at] gmail [dot] com>


2011/10/6 Maxime Lévesque <maxime [dot] levesque [at] gmail [dot] com>

The world righ now runs on code that is far worst than what theorem hugging purists on this list
will brush off as an intellectual insult. ... But it still runs !
Don't get me wrong, I think that sound theory is a very
useful and practical thing, but when a newbe comes to this list, he very likely has a job to get done, and
will likely have some reluctant colleagues or boss to convince, to try something new,
the best way to turn him off is with sharp condescendant responses.


There is a phenomenom called group think :  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groupthink
Sometimes I sense it in this community

It's a very common dilemma. If you feel attached to a group, you may ideally want it to be recognized, but feel the intrusion of numerous new members as a perversion of the original spirit :). Decisions will be centered on the group's survival as it currently is, to avoid loss of interest and melancholia. Sometimes called "the Underground effect". People who you may accept are only people in whom you sense the group's spirit (here, knowledge) already.

Frankly, I think the lists are quite far from that.


ML

2011/10/6 Jefferson Andrade <joandrade [at] gmail [dot] com>
Hi.

I personally know people that have left the list, and the will to use the language because of sharp answers (that was not even directed to them).

"They are lame or weak!" You may say. And this is nice and good, as long as we just want this to be our small closed little club of fraking-awesome-uber-smart people that can program in scala and "few the back of Tony Morris' hand" and smile (a little too much S&M for my taste, but I'm not judging). But, if we want scala to become more main stream and to succeed, it is just the wrong road to take.

Jeff.



On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 11:15 AM, Chris Marshall <oxbow_lakes [at] hotmail [dot] com> wrote:
I also suggest an official Scala "I have felt the back of Tony Morris' hand" T-shirt. It would be a revenue raiser, if nothing else.
Chris

From: oxbow_lakes [at] hotmail [dot] com
To: philho [at] gmx [dot] net; scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com
Subject: RE: [scala-user] Re: The Scala community
Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2011 14:12:58 +0000

My understanding was that scala-language is essentially for scala committers.
If we add scala-advanced and scala-beginner, this is what will probably happen (it certainly did on the old Java forums).
 - 25% of newbies ask questions on scala-advanced, for no readily apparent reason. This results in sharp responses - 5% of newbies cross-post questions to both scala-advanced and scala-beginner. This also results in sharp responses  - 70% of newbies ask question on scala-beginner. They get no answers, or inaccurate answers because the only people watching the deluge of omg-this-was-asked-last-week-rofl questions are other newbies. They then re-post on scala-advanced, resulting in sharp responses
There are a ton of resources out there for Java people. There is Stack Overflow, Daniel Spiewak's blogs, Tony's exercises, videos, slides. You name it. There's even the whole 1st edition of PiS for free. I'm not saying that sometimes this community can't be a little intimidating but we should sometimes pause and ask ourselves whether someone who runs off at the first sight of three colons (and I am not talking about the Human Centipede) might just *not* be the type of person who is going to get into scala, regardless of what steps are taken to accommodate them.
Chris

> To: scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com
> From: PhiLho [at] GMX [dot] net
> Subject: [scala-user] Re: The Scala community
> Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2011 15:55:36 +0200
>
> On 06/10/2011 11:30, Tim Pigden wrote:
> > I don't know whether it would work, but what about splitting the list
> > - maybe "scala-advanced" and "scala-help" or something like that? It
> > might work as long as a few of you (helpful) experts out there were
> > prepared to hang around in the scala-help list
>
> I tend to see scala-users as scala-help, and scala-language as scala-advanced.
> From the site [1]:
>
> scala-language: The main forum for discussions and news about the Scala language. (OK,
> that's quite generic, but a bit on the theoretical side.)
>
> scala-users: The main forum for questions and discussions about the Scala programming. In
> particular, the following should go to this list:
> newbie questions.
> programming experiences and questions.
>
> [1] http://www.scala-lang.org/node/199
>
> --
> Philippe Lhoste
> -- (near) Paris -- France
> -- http://Phi.Lho.free.fr
> -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
>



--
"You question the worthiness of my Code? I should kill you where you stand!"





--
Alex REPAIN
ENSEIRB-MATMECA - student
TECHNICOLOR R&D - intern
BORDEAUX I      - master's student
SCALA           - enthusiast



Tim P
Joined: 2011-07-28,
User offline. Last seen 1 year 4 weeks ago.
Re: Re: The Scala community

Thinking about format - I reckon forums work better than google groups
in this respect because you can have sticky stuff so newbies will
always see the resource list, the faq list, the instructions (please
use this list only for ...). Maybe this also works in google groups
but it's not particularly obvious. Is there a particular advantage in
google groups?

ichoran
Joined: 2009-08-14,
User offline. Last seen 2 years 3 weeks ago.
Re: The Scala community
On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 3:56 AM, martin <odersky [at] gmail [dot] com> wrote:
I think the community has a major job to do to help people get into the language instead being obscure and riding academic high horses.

I absolutely agree with that.  But I disagree with almost every point in the email otherwise.  However, if the community did a better job to help people get into the language, I don't think the writer would have made most of the other points.
 
Most of the developers for Scala and community members I interacted with were very focused on being right from a computer science perspective, and from their own view on how things should be done. They were not at all focused on helping developers actually get work done.

This isn't mutually exclusive, but it is essential to show developers _why_ doing things the "right way" from a computer science perspective actually helps developers get their work done.  It doesn't necessarily let developers get their work done without having to learn anything new, but I think there is plenty of room for non-Scala languages that enable the most obvious approach even though that approach has serious flaws.
 
This extended to the libraries that come with Scala. If they didn't like how you did something, they made the libraries much harder to accomplish that task with. As an example, appending to a list requires a rather cryptic syntax (myList :::= "something").

This is a perfect example--if you don't show the elegance of
  a :: b :: c :: rest
and how naturally it looks like the list, instead of
  rest.prepend(c).prepend(b).prepend(a)
and then explain how more colons is a natural way to join lists
  xs ::: ys
and then explain how handy it is to have whatever= be a shortcut for x = x whatever y, of course it will look like gibberish.

But after that is explained and internalized, it makes Scala dramatically more readable than, say, the equivalent Java.
 

Along with that, Scala seems to be in love with symbols. They use them everywhere, and many times portions of the syntax are optional, so you can see different incarnations of the same syntax look very different in different places.

There are equally good reasons for most of these.
 

Also Scala has a very high learning curve for traditional Java developers. Instead of making this curve workable by gradually introducing developers to advanced features, the Scala libraries and all it's documentation force you to see all the concepts all at once. They often do a very poor job of explaining why they force you to do things their way, and just tell you to do them.

More explanation is valuable, agreed.
 

While the Scala language technically lets you program in a way similar to Java, but with advanced features as needed, the libraries are written in a way to make this nearly impossible.

I'm not sure what the complaint is here.  Java interop is pretty good; one can use Java collections if one wants.  If the complaint is that Scala should have the same limited collections libraries that Java does in order to avoid making Java programmers feel that they have a lot to learn, I completely disagree.
 

What all this means is that a developer from any traditional OOP language, or less complex language is going to have a very very hard time learning Scala, and in the end the time you lost learning won't make up for any advantage Scala's 'way' provides.

This would only be true for someone who doesn't spend much time programming.
 

As long as the Scala community is so obtuse and focused on being right their way, as opposed to helping developers get into the language, Scala will remain a nitch language.

The writer seems to be conflating two things--library and language design, and how friendly the community might be to people who start out being grumpy about Scala not being Java, and therefore having a lot to learn.

The easy but usually wrong way to approach this is to be grumpy back.

The harder but usually more beneficial way is to explain why Scala is the way it is with well-crafted examples that show a case where something is _actually much easier in Scala_.  There are too many examples that show cases where it is _harder_ in Scala and then handwavy statements about how this has superior properties.  (Functional I/O examples strike me as almost _always_ having that flaw; fortunately, Scala doesn't include functional I/O in the core library and expect people to use it without clear examples.)  For someone who wants to get things done, the tutorial has to go all the way to the point where it demonstrates clear benefit, not just so that it demonstrates a feature and then only describes a clear benefit.

Anyway, in summary, my points are
  * Scala is mostly fine as it is
  * Be good-natured towards newcomers even if they seem unreasonably grumpy
  * Point to or write examples that show a compelling case for the "right" way to do things

  --Rex

Cay Horstmann
Joined: 2009-09-04,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: Re: The Scala community
I too would favor the move to a forum, but that may take some time. A scala-advanced list can be done quickly.

2011/10/6 Tim Pigden <tim [dot] pigden [at] optrak [dot] com>
Thinking about format - I reckon forums work better than google groups
in this respect because you can have sticky stuff so newbies will
always see the resource list, the faq list, the instructions (please
use this list only for ...). Maybe this also works in google groups
but it's not particularly obvious. Is there a particular advantage in
google groups?

Russel Winder 2
Joined: 2010-04-06,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: Re: The Scala community

The forum vs. email issue intrudes here. There are people who like
forums and hate email lists and others who hate forums and demand use of
email lists. A good community requires a system that satisfies both
varieties of people.

On Thu, 2011-10-06 at 08:47 -0700, Cay Horstmann wrote:
> I too would favor the move to a forum, but that may take some time. A
> scala-advanced list can be done quickly.
>
> 2011/10/6 Tim Pigden
> Thinking about format - I reckon forums work better than
> google groups
> in this respect because you can have sticky stuff so newbies
> will
> always see the resource list, the faq list, the instructions
> (please
> use this list only for ...). Maybe this also works in google
> groups
> but it's not particularly obvious. Is there a particular
> advantage in
> google groups?
>

Razvan Cojocaru 3
Joined: 2010-07-28,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
RE: Re: The Scala community

A mailing list is just basically a notification of all new activity in a forum. Growth is good, but this list in this form has become too time consuming to follow, for me at least. I delete days a time sometimes...

I vote forum. I would setup one but then someone from scala-lang.org would do it and then my efforts would be wasted - why not skip that debate and have someone setup a forum.scala-lang.org? with moderators and everything...

With something like pphb3 or whatever it's called, It's easy... I think it allows posts via "reply" or if not we can find one that does, so people on the move can easily work it as well....

In fact, a combination wiki-forum is what would be best. Haven't seen a great one yet. Seeing all these good explanations here go to waste - it saddens me.

Anyways, the-right-one-for-the-job will eventually figure it out... it's called evolution...

-----Original Message-----
From: scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com [mailto:scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com] On Behalf Of Russel Winder
Sent: October-06-11 12:01 PM
To: Cay Horstmann
Cc: Tim Pigden; Maxime Lévesque; Alex Repain; Jefferson Andrade; Chris Marshall; philho [at] gmx [dot] net; scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com
Subject: Re: [scala-user] Re: The Scala community

The forum vs. email issue intrudes here. There are people who like forums and hate email lists and others who hate forums and demand use of email lists. A good community requires a system that satisfies both varieties of people.

On Thu, 2011-10-06 at 08:47 -0700, Cay Horstmann wrote:
> I too would favor the move to a forum, but that may take some time. A
> scala-advanced list can be done quickly.
>
> 2011/10/6 Tim Pigden
> Thinking about format - I reckon forums work better than
> google groups
> in this respect because you can have sticky stuff so newbies
> will
> always see the resource list, the faq list, the instructions
> (please
> use this list only for ...). Maybe this also works in google
> groups
> but it's not particularly obvious. Is there a particular
> advantage in
> google groups?
>

--
Russel.
=============================================================================
Dr Russel Winder t: +44 20 7585 2200 voip: sip:russel [dot] winder [at] ekiga [dot] net
41 Buckmaster Road m: +44 7770 465 077 xmpp: russel [at] russel [dot] org [dot] uk
London SW11 1EN, UK w: www.russel.org.uk skype: russel_winder

Philippe Lhoste
Joined: 2010-09-02,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: The Scala community

On 06/10/2011 16:12, Chris Marshall wrote:
> My understanding was that scala-language is essentially for scala committers.

I thought scala-internals was for them...

hohonuuli
Joined: 2009-08-30,
User offline. Last seen 3 years 9 weeks ago.
Re: Re: The Scala community

On Thursday, October 6, 2011 at 7:15 AM, Chris Marshall wrote:
> I also suggest an official Scala "I have felt the back of Tony Morris' hand" T-shirt. It would be a revenue raiser, if nothing else.
That's a brilliant suggestion. Done. See http://www.zazzle.com/i_have_felt_the_back_of_tony_morris_hand_tshirt-23...

The back of the shirt is the scalaz page on GitHub. If anyone actually buys one, I'll donate the proceeds to a local non-profit at http://www.spectordance.org/

Cheers

Philippe Lhoste
Joined: 2010-09-02,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: The Scala community

On 06/10/2011 18:00, Russel Winder wrote:
> The forum vs. email issue intrudes here. There are people who like
> forums and hate email lists and others who hate forums and demand use of
> email lists. A good community requires a system that satisfies both
> varieties of people.

Gradle have put up a forum, with exactly these reactions in the mailing list...
They have set up an e-mail notification system for the e-mail lovers.

I believe forums are well suited to beginners (easy to search/read old threads, more
familiar interface, etc.) while MLs are more used by seasoned users.
Of course, this categorization isn't absolute!

Chris Marshall
Joined: 2009-06-17,
User offline. Last seen 44 weeks 3 days ago.
RE: Re: The Scala community
You are absolutely right: my mistake

> To: scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com
> From: PhiLho [at] GMX [dot] net
> Subject: [scala-user] Re: The Scala community
> Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2011 18:07:16 +0200
>
> On 06/10/2011 16:12, Chris Marshall wrote:
> > My understanding was that scala-language is essentially for scala committers.
>
> I thought scala-internals was for them...
>
> --
> Philippe Lhoste
> -- (near) Paris -- France
> -- http://Phi.Lho.free.fr
> -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
>
Alex Repain
Joined: 2010-07-27,
User offline. Last seen 1 year 31 weeks ago.
Re: Re: The Scala community
2011/10/6 Brian Schlining <bschlining [at] gmail [dot] com>
On Thursday, October 6, 2011 at 7:15 AM, Chris Marshall wrote:
>  I also suggest an official Scala "I have felt the back of Tony Morris' hand" T-shirt. It would be a revenue raiser, if nothing else.
That's a brilliant suggestion. Done. See http://www.zazzle.com/i_have_felt_the_back_of_tony_morris_hand_tshirt-235612893044049936


If you sell even one , you may have to pull up a new design : "I have felt the back of Tony Morris' lawyers' hand" :)

About forums, I pointed out some advantages of the forum model, but there is one sad point which seems concerning to me. A forum can easily get out of control without a moderation-dedicated staff, which means time-consuming work for the typeSafe, scala-lang guys, or whoever puts it up. We're talking about a computer language forum, not the kind of forum where I used to moderate 13-year-old brats, we may be able to self-moderate. Still pointing this out.

A "real online place" where to concentrate scala discussions is likely to strengthen the community, and provides great organisational tools, but like mentioned above, beware of group think.

Despite those points, I think a forum and the easy categorization that it can provide is likely to improve the way we welcome users, the way we offer them more accurate, more targetted answers.
 
The back of the shirt is the scalaz page on GitHub. If anyone actually buys one, I'll donate the proceeds to a local non-profit at http://www.spectordance.org/

Cheers

--
Brian Schlining


Brian Clapper 2
Joined: 2011-10-06,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: Re: The Scala community

On 10/06/2011 01:25 PM, Alex Repain wrote:
> 2011/10/6 Brian Schlining >
>
> On Thursday, October 6, 2011 at 7:15 AM, Chris Marshall wrote:
> > I also suggest an official Scala "I have felt the back of Tony Morris'
> hand" T-shirt. It would be a revenue raiser, if nothing else.
> That's a brilliant suggestion. Done. See
> http://www.zazzle.com/i_have_felt_the_back_of_tony_morris_hand_tshirt-23...
>
>
> If you sell even one , you may have to pull up a new design : "I have felt the
> back of Tony Morris' lawyers' hand" :)

How is this any better than the behavior of which Tony is being accused? More
to the point, if Tony's views are "damaging to the community" (which I've
witnessed a few people write, though I don't especially buy), how is a T-shirt
like this, advertised on this mailing list, any less "damaging"?

Seriously, I get that it's funny. I've done (and do) that kind of thing
myself, but mailing it to the list? Really?

I don't see how that's especially constructive.

Russel Winder 2
Joined: 2010-04-06,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: Re: The Scala community

On Thu, 2011-10-06 at 18:13 +0200, Philippe Lhoste wrote:
> On 06/10/2011 18:00, Russel Winder wrote:
> > The forum vs. email issue intrudes here. There are people who like
> > forums and hate email lists and others who hate forums and demand use of
> > email lists. A good community requires a system that satisfies both
> > varieties of people.
>
> Gradle have put up a forum, with exactly these reactions in the mailing list...
> They have set up an e-mail notification system for the e-mail lovers.

Indeed, and I am one of the people shouting from the rooftops :-)

> I believe forums are well suited to beginners (easy to search/read old threads, more
> familiar interface, etc.) while MLs are more used by seasoned users.
> Of course, this categorization isn't absolute!

I am not sure I agree with that categorization, but I do agree that
there are two camps that both need to be handled, and GetSatisfaction
clearly does not satisfy.

Meredith Gregory
Joined: 2008-12-17,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: The Scala community
Dear Martin, et al,
Thanks so much for your continued attention to nourishing and maintaining the community! This is vital. i would like to add that many times those of us who come to computing from a background in maths and logic come with humility. i continually find computers and languages bafflingly complex. Moreover, i've watched codebase after codebase cease to serve their original intentions because of increasing complexity cost. The spirit -- if not always the practice -- of formal methods is all about finding that core or inner simplicity -- call it abstraction or design pattern or what you will -- inside the phenomena we are engaging computationally. This is just as real as production code -- precisely because of the earlier point: technical debt can wipe away years of blood, sweat and toil. i'm willing to bet that everybody on this list has had some experience with this.
i submit that it is right at the beginner "monkey see, monkey do" stage that the spirit of finding simplicity needs to be introduced. Holding that simultaneously with holding the intention to write working code that serves a real purpose is -- in my experience -- what makes for quality, long-lasting code. It's harder. Yes, it requires more work. Yes, at the beginning (middle and end) it can feel like it takes more time. Yet, this sort of slowing down has the benefit -- when it's working -- of appearing as though the programmer is moving at light speed because the consequences of the code so written are so far reaching. Further, i am convinced that everyone can do it -- from theorem-hugging purists to ruggedly pragmatic hackers. Everyone has their challenges when approaching quality. 
An open forum which includes calls (as difficult as they may be to hear) for simplicity, precision and practical code that serves a purpose will serve the beginner, the journeyman and the master programmer -- stations we are all likely to visit now and again.

Best wishes,
--greg

On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 4:25 AM, Dennis Haupt <h-star [at] gmx [dot] de> wrote:
another thing that came to my mind:

what i missed was a really easy tutorial that shows scala's features step by step, islolated from each other. on scala-lang.org, i found documentation/examples about lots of features, but most of them required me to already know about other features.

you can tutorial someone about many features isolated from each other:
closures (start at anonymous classes, then go to closure, then go to "use method as parameter that becomes a closure)
match (simple version, without unapply)
tuples
type parameter variance
case classes (auto equals & hashcode, maybe intrudoce unapply here)
automatic fields in classes (a contructor parameter automatically becoming a field)
collections (start at arraybuffer, listbuffer and mutable hashmap since they are the most common ones used in OOP, then go to immutable collections)
_ (by _ i really mean _, the wildcard thing. i do not meant _ as a wildcard in a sense of "anything else". i literally meant _)

then the libary builder / DSL stuff:
implicits, manifests, currying....





-------- Original-Nachricht --------
> Datum: Thu, 06 Oct 2011 11:19:32 +0200
> Von: "Dennis Haupt" <h-star [at] gmx [dot] de>
> An: scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com, scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com
> Betreff: Re: [scala-user] The Scala community

> to pour in my experience:
> * the community was mostly helpful to me. in most cases, i got some
> academic and some pragmatic answers. the pragmatic ones are the ones i wanted and
> needed at first.
> later, as my understanding grew, the academic ones became more
> interesting.
>
> * my biggest obstacle when learning scala coming from java were to
> understand "method signature rampages". immutable datastructures where quite easy,
> the collections were easy to use, and closures were easy to understand.
>
> -------- Original-Nachricht --------
> > Datum: Thu, 6 Oct 2011 00:56:41 -0700 (PDT)
> > Von: martin <odersky [at] gmail [dot] com>
> > An: scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com
> > Betreff: [scala-user] The Scala community
>
> >
> >
> > Here's a recent mail on reddit, which we should take very seriously.
> >
> > I agree with the points in the mail. I think the community has a major
> job
> > to do to help people get into the language instead being obscure and
> > riding
> > academic high horses.
> >
> > I would like to start with this list. Please everyone, remember: This
> list
> > is for helping people getting into Scala and getting their questions
> > answered. That's the primary purpose of scala-user. If you are after
> > intellectual arguments, no problem, but please use scala-debate. If you
> > want
> > to force an intellectual argument on a newbie that asked a simple
> > question,
> > that's just bad style.
> >
> > Thanks
> >
> >  -- Martin
> >
> > =======================================================================
> >
> > I tried to use Scala, and found it has one major disadvantage going for
> > it,
> > the community.
> >
> > Most of the developers for Scala and community members I interacted with
> > were very focused on being right from a computer science perspective,
> and
> > from their own view on how things should be done. They were not at all
> > focused on helping developers actually get work done. This extended to
> the
> > libraries that come with Scala. If they didn't like how you did
> something,
> > they made the libraries much harder to accomplish that task with. As an
> > example, appending to a list requires a rather cryptic syntax (myList
> :::=
> > "something").
> >
> > Along with that, Scala seems to be in love with symbols. They use them
> > everywhere, and many times portions of the syntax are optional, so you
> can
> > see different incarnations of the same syntax look very different in
> > different places.
> >
> > Also Scala has a very high learning curve for traditional Java
> developers.
> > Instead of making this curve workable by gradually introducing
> developers
> > to
> > advanced features, the Scala libraries and all it's documentation force
> > you
> > to see all the concepts all at once. They often do a very poor job of
> > explaining why they force you to do things their way, and just tell you
> to
> > do them.
> >
> > While the Scala language technically lets you program in a way similar
> to
> > Java, but with advanced features as needed, the libraries are written in
> a
> > way to make this nearly impossible.
> >
> > What all this means is that a developer from any traditional OOP
> language,
> > or less complex language is going to have a very very hard time learning
> > Scala, and in the end the time you lost learning won't make up for any
> > advantage Scala's 'way' provides.
> >
> > As long as the Scala community is so obtuse and focused on being right
> > their
> > way, as opposed to helping developers get into the language, Scala will
> > remain a nitch language.



--
L.G. Meredith
Managing Partner
Biosimilarity LLC
7329 39th Ave SWSeattle, WA 98136

+1 206.650.3740

http://biosimilarity.blogspot.com
dcsobral
Joined: 2009-04-23,
User offline. Last seen 38 weeks 5 days ago.
Re: Re: The Scala community

On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 13:13, Philippe Lhoste wrote:
> On 06/10/2011 18:00, Russel Winder wrote:
>>
>> The forum vs. email issue intrudes here.  There are people who like
>> forums and hate email lists and others who hate forums and demand use of
>> email lists.  A good community requires a system that satisfies both
>> varieties of people.
>
> Gradle have put up a forum, with exactly these reactions in the mailing
> list...
> They have set up an e-mail notification system for the e-mail lovers.

A "notification system"? You mean, like, "oh, there's new stuff on the
forums"? Ugh.

Disclaimer: I've used some form or other of e-mail for some 25 years
now. First, BBS (which worked either like a forum or a webmail), then
Bitnet, then Internet. My own personal experience is:

* I never use forums. The sole exception seems to be reading the
occasional flamewar on some Ars Technica articles (through e-mail
notifications).
* I subscribe to tons of mailing lists. When I have time, I read them.
When I don't, I mark the messages as read. The Scala mailing lists
mostly fall into the category "read everything".

Given that, a move to a forum format would mean I'd cease to be an
active member of the community (for this medium, anyway). Even with
notifications.

bmjsmith
Joined: 2010-03-12,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: Re: The Scala community
For those who prefer forums, what's lacking with the google groups forum view?
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/scala-user
On 6 October 2011 17:00, Russel Winder <russel [at] russel [dot] org [dot] uk> wrote:
The forum vs. email issue intrudes here.  There are people who like
forums and hate email lists and others who hate forums and demand use of
email lists.  A good community requires a system that satisfies both
varieties of people.

On Thu, 2011-10-06 at 08:47 -0700, Cay Horstmann wrote:
> I too would favor the move to a forum, but that may take some time. A
> scala-advanced list can be done quickly.
>
> 2011/10/6 Tim Pigden <tim [dot] pigden [at] optrak [dot] com>
>         Thinking about format - I reckon forums work better than
>         google groups
>         in this respect because you can have sticky stuff so newbies
>         will
>         always see the resource list, the faq list, the instructions
>         (please
>         use this list only for ...). Maybe this also works in google
>         groups
>         but it's not particularly obvious. Is there a particular
>         advantage in
>         google groups?
>

--
Russel.
=============================================================================
Dr Russel Winder      t: +44 20 7585 2200   voip: 3Arussel [dot] winder [at] ekiga [dot] net" rel="nofollow">sip:russel [dot] winder [at] ekiga [dot] net
41 Buckmaster Road    m: +44 7770 465 077   xmpp: russel [at] russel [dot] org [dot] uk
London SW11 1EN, UK   w: www.russel.org.uk  skype: russel_winder

Brian Clapper 2
Joined: 2011-10-06,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: Re: The Scala community

On 10/06/2011 03:22 PM, Daniel Sobral wrote:

> A "notification system"? You mean, like, "oh, there's new stuff on the
> forums"? Ugh.
>
> Disclaimer: I've used some form or other of e-mail for some 25 years
> now. First, BBS (which worked either like a forum or a webmail), then
> Bitnet, then Internet. My own personal experience is:
>
> * I never use forums. The sole exception seems to be reading the
> occasional flamewar on some Ars Technica articles (through e-mail
> notifications).
> * I subscribe to tons of mailing lists. When I have time, I read them.
> When I don't, I mark the messages as read. The Scala mailing lists
> mostly fall into the category "read everything".
>
> Given that, a move to a forum format would mean I'd cease to be an
> active member of the community (for this medium, anyway). Even with
> notifications.

+1.

How is a forum materially different from what Google Groups already provides?

Lex
Joined: 2010-02-28,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: Re: The Scala community
Mailing lists cannot be edited like forums. And it's impossible to delete anything. This adds more noise and makes it harder to moderate.

On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 2:32 PM, Brian Smith <bmjsmith [at] gmail [dot] com> wrote:
For those who prefer forums, what's lacking with the google groups forum view?
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/scala-user
Bill Venners
Joined: 2008-12-18,
User offline. Last seen 31 weeks 5 days ago.
Re: Re: The Scala community

Hi All,

New users come here to scala-users by and large, so I would vote for
creating a scala-advanced list and then encouraging the kinds of
"higher kinded" discussions that intimidate new users off of this list
and onto scala-advanced. It shouldn't offend anyone to ask them to
move something to an "advanced" list. Asking someone to move something
to debate doesn't feel the same. scala-debate to me feels like the
place to ship heated arguments that have gone on too long. Most of the
high end topics that get discussed here aren't heated debates, they
are just unhelpful (and to some extent discouraging) topics for new
users. They are important and useful for more advanced Scala folks,
who I don't think would at all mind joining a list called
scala-advanced.

Bill

On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 12:32 PM, Brian Smith wrote:
> For those who prefer forums, what's lacking with the google groups forum
> view?
> https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/scala-user
> On 6 October 2011 17:00, Russel Winder wrote:
>>
>> The forum vs. email issue intrudes here.  There are people who like
>> forums and hate email lists and others who hate forums and demand use of
>> email lists.  A good community requires a system that satisfies both
>> varieties of people.
>>
>> On Thu, 2011-10-06 at 08:47 -0700, Cay Horstmann wrote:
>> > I too would favor the move to a forum, but that may take some time. A
>> > scala-advanced list can be done quickly.
>> >
>> > 2011/10/6 Tim Pigden
>> >         Thinking about format - I reckon forums work better than
>> >         google groups
>> >         in this respect because you can have sticky stuff so newbies
>> >         will
>> >         always see the resource list, the faq list, the instructions
>> >         (please
>> >         use this list only for ...). Maybe this also works in google
>> >         groups
>> >         but it's not particularly obvious. Is there a particular
>> >         advantage in
>> >         google groups?
>> >
>>
>> --
>> Russel.
>>
>> =============================================================================
>> Dr Russel Winder      t: +44 20 7585 2200   voip:
>> sip:russel [dot] winder [at] ekiga [dot] net
>> 41 Buckmaster Road    m: +44 7770 465 077   xmpp: russel [at] russel [dot] org [dot] uk
>> London SW11 1EN, UK   w: www.russel.org.uk  skype: russel_winder
>
>

Markus Jais
Joined: 2011-06-14,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: Re: The Scala community
Hi all,
I agree with Bill here. A list for advanced stuff would be great (and I would subscribe in order to learn) but scala-user (or scala-help) couldbe for the more common tasks new developers (particularly those who come from Java, Ruby, C++, Python, etc and want to learn Scala) face.
For example, on scala-user there could be stuff like:- How to effectively copy a file in Scala?- Why is my parallel collection not faster than my non parallel collection?- Why does my actor not respond?
And on scala-advanced stuff like:- How to port this advanced monadic Haskell stuff to Scala?- Who can explain me the details of the inner workings of the Scala collections?

Just my thoughts,
Markus
P.S. I would like to note that the people here in scala-user have been very helpful to me and I've also learned a lot from some really good blog posts out there.


Von: Bill Venners <bill [at] artima [dot] com>
An: scala-user [at] googlegroups [dot] com
Gesendet: 22:09 Donnerstag, 6.Oktober 2011
Betreff: Re: [scala-user] Re: The Scala community

Hi All,

New users come here to scala-users by and large, so I would vote for
creating a scala-advanced list and then encouraging the kinds of
"higher kinded" discussions that intimidate new users off of this list
and onto scala-advanced. It shouldn't offend anyone to ask them to
move something to an "advanced" list. Asking someone to move something
to debate doesn't feel the same. scala-debate to me feels like the
place to ship heated arguments that have gone on too long. Most of the
high end topics that get discussed here aren't heated debates, they
are just unhelpful (and to some extent discouraging) topics for new
users. They are important and useful for more advanced Scala folks,
who I don't think would at all mind joining a list called
scala-advanced.

Bill

On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 12:32 PM, Brian Smith <bmjsmith [at] gmail [dot] com> wrote:
> For those who prefer forums, what's lacking with the google groups forum
> view?
> https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/scala-user
> On 6 October 2011 17:00, Russel Winder <russel [at] russel [dot] org [dot] uk> wrote:
>>
>> The forum vs. email issue intrudes here.  There are people who like
>> forums and hate email lists and others who hate forums and demand use of
>> email lists.  A good community requires a system that satisfies both
>> varieties of people.
>>
>> On Thu, 2011-10-06 at 08:47 -0700, Cay Horstmann wrote:
>> > I too would favor the move to a forum, but that may take some time. A
>> > scala-advanced list can be done quickly.
>> >
>> > 2011/10/6 Tim Pigden <tim [dot] pigden [at] optrak [dot] com>
>> >         Thinking about format - I reckon forums work better than
>> >         google groups
>> >         in this respect because you can have sticky stuff so newbies
>> >         will
>> >         always see the resource list, the faq list, the instructions
>> >         (please
>> >         use this list only for ...). Maybe this also works in google
>> >         groups
>> >         but it's not particularly obvious. Is there a particular
>> >         advantage in
>> >         google groups?
>> >
>>
>> --
>> Russel.
>>
>> =============================================================================
>> Dr Russel Winder      t: +44 20 7585 2200   voip:
>> sip:russel [dot] winder [at] ekiga [dot] net
>> 41 Buckmaster Road    m: +44 7770 465 077   xmpp: russel [at] russel [dot] org [dot] uk
>> London SW11 1EN, UK   w: www.russel.org.uk  skype: russel_winder
>
>



--
Bill Venners
Artima, Inc.
http://www.artima.com


Tom Switzer
Joined: 2011-07-19,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: Re: The Scala community
I'm going to disagree. I really don't like the idea of separating scala-user out into 2 groups (beginner/advanced).
First, I think scala-user just doesn't get the traffic to justify a split. I can spend 5 minute breaks here and there throughout the day reading this list and have no problem keeping caught up.
I also think the idea of "beginner" questions is incredibly vague. I've learned a lot from the answers to rather simple questions on this list. A split would also mean that an otherwise smart and possibly helpful user may not see a question they can answer because they only subscribed to scala-advanced. And on the flip-side, the amount of traffic to scala-advanced may be so small that most folks just ignore it.
As a long time user of mailing lists, I can usually gauge pretty well how "advanced" the question is by its subject. Even then, I think most people (myself included) would not be "scared" off a list because people were talking about advanced things; on the contrary, it may inspire more learning.
Unless scala-user has a sudden surge in traffic, I think we can safely keep it as is.
On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 4:09 PM, Bill Venners <bill [at] artima [dot] com> wrote:
Hi All,

New users come here to scala-users by and large, so I would vote for
creating a scala-advanced list and then encouraging the kinds of
"higher kinded" discussions that intimidate new users off of this list
and onto scala-advanced. It shouldn't offend anyone to ask them to
move something to an "advanced" list. Asking someone to move something
to debate doesn't feel the same. scala-debate to me feels like the
place to ship heated arguments that have gone on too long. Most of the
high end topics that get discussed here aren't heated debates, they
are just unhelpful (and to some extent discouraging) topics for new
users. They are important and useful for more advanced Scala folks,
who I don't think would at all mind joining a list called
scala-advanced.

Bill

On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 12:32 PM, Brian Smith <bmjsmith [at] gmail [dot] com> wrote:
> For those who prefer forums, what's lacking with the google groups forum
> view?
> https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/scala-user
> On 6 October 2011 17:00, Russel Winder <russel [at] russel [dot] org [dot] uk> wrote:
>>
>> The forum vs. email issue intrudes here.  There are people who like
>> forums and hate email lists and others who hate forums and demand use of
>> email lists.  A good community requires a system that satisfies both
>> varieties of people.
>>
>> On Thu, 2011-10-06 at 08:47 -0700, Cay Horstmann wrote:
>> > I too would favor the move to a forum, but that may take some time. A
>> > scala-advanced list can be done quickly.
>> >
>> > 2011/10/6 Tim Pigden <tim [dot] pigden [at] optrak [dot] com>
>> >         Thinking about format - I reckon forums work better than
>> >         google groups
>> >         in this respect because you can have sticky stuff so newbies
>> >         will
>> >         always see the resource list, the faq list, the instructions
>> >         (please
>> >         use this list only for ...). Maybe this also works in google
>> >         groups
>> >         but it's not particularly obvious. Is there a particular
>> >         advantage in
>> >         google groups?
>> >
>>
>> --
>> Russel.
>>
>> =============================================================================
>> Dr Russel Winder      t: +44 20 7585 2200   voip:
>> 3Arussel [dot] winder [at] ekiga [dot] net" rel="nofollow">sip:russel [dot] winder [at] ekiga [dot] net
>> 41 Buckmaster Road    m: +44 7770 465 077   xmpp: russel [at] russel [dot] org [dot] uk
>> London SW11 1EN, UK   w: www.russel.org.uk  skype: russel_winder
>
>



--
Bill Venners
Artima, Inc.
http://www.artima.com

Bill Venners
Joined: 2008-12-18,
User offline. Last seen 31 weeks 5 days ago.
Re: Re: The Scala community

Hi Tom,

On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 1:49 PM, Tom Switzer wrote:
> I'm going to disagree. I really don't like the idea of separating scala-user
> out into 2 groups (beginner/advanced).
>
Actually I don't think its as much a beginner/advanced split as a
user/advanced. Advanced would just be a home for esoteric topics (the
kind that make Scala look hard to outsiders), user for everything
else. And this would be done for helping facilitate Scala adoption. If
you like the high end kind of discussion too could you not just join
both lists?

We did already try this splitting-the-list concept with scala-debate,
though, and it didn't really work. I'm wondering if it is because
there's a difference between "debate" and "advanced." Sending someone
to debate is like saying, "would you guys please stop beating this
dead horse and get out of my bandwidth?" Asking someone to move over
to debate feels kind of rude. Whereas pointing a discussion to
advanced might feel more like a compliment. It may be that list
splitting just doesn't work, but if a scala-advanced list were created
I'd certainly join it.

Bill

> First, I think scala-user just doesn't get the traffic to justify a split. I
> can spend 5 minute breaks here and there throughout the day reading this
> list and have no problem keeping caught up.
> I also think the idea of "beginner" questions is incredibly vague. I've
> learned a lot from the answers to rather simple questions on this list. A
> split would also mean that an otherwise smart and possibly helpful user may
> not see a question they can answer because they only subscribed to
> scala-advanced. And on the flip-side, the amount of traffic to
> scala-advanced may be so small that most folks just ignore it.
> As a long time user of mailing lists, I can usually gauge pretty well how
> "advanced" the question is by its subject. Even then, I think most people
> (myself included) would not be "scared" off a list because people were
> talking about advanced things; on the contrary, it may inspire more
> learning.
> Unless scala-user has a sudden surge in traffic, I think we can safely keep
> it as is.
> On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 4:09 PM, Bill Venners wrote:
>>
>> Hi All,
>>
>> New users come here to scala-users by and large, so I would vote for
>> creating a scala-advanced list and then encouraging the kinds of
>> "higher kinded" discussions that intimidate new users off of this list
>> and onto scala-advanced. It shouldn't offend anyone to ask them to
>> move something to an "advanced" list. Asking someone to move something
>> to debate doesn't feel the same. scala-debate to me feels like the
>> place to ship heated arguments that have gone on too long. Most of the
>> high end topics that get discussed here aren't heated debates, they
>> are just unhelpful (and to some extent discouraging) topics for new
>> users. They are important and useful for more advanced Scala folks,
>> who I don't think would at all mind joining a list called
>> scala-advanced.
>>
>> Bill
>>
>> On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 12:32 PM, Brian Smith wrote:
>> > For those who prefer forums, what's lacking with the google groups forum
>> > view?
>> > https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/scala-user
>> > On 6 October 2011 17:00, Russel Winder wrote:
>> >>
>> >> The forum vs. email issue intrudes here.  There are people who like
>> >> forums and hate email lists and others who hate forums and demand use
>> >> of
>> >> email lists.  A good community requires a system that satisfies both
>> >> varieties of people.
>> >>
>> >> On Thu, 2011-10-06 at 08:47 -0700, Cay Horstmann wrote:
>> >> > I too would favor the move to a forum, but that may take some time. A
>> >> > scala-advanced list can be done quickly.
>> >> >
>> >> > 2011/10/6 Tim Pigden
>> >> >         Thinking about format - I reckon forums work better than
>> >> >         google groups
>> >> >         in this respect because you can have sticky stuff so newbies
>> >> >         will
>> >> >         always see the resource list, the faq list, the instructions
>> >> >         (please
>> >> >         use this list only for ...). Maybe this also works in google
>> >> >         groups
>> >> >         but it's not particularly obvious. Is there a particular
>> >> >         advantage in
>> >> >         google groups?
>> >> >
>> >>
>> >> --
>> >> Russel.
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> =============================================================================
>> >> Dr Russel Winder      t: +44 20 7585 2200   voip:
>> >> sip:russel [dot] winder [at] ekiga [dot] net
>> >> 41 Buckmaster Road    m: +44 7770 465 077   xmpp: russel [at] russel [dot] org [dot] uk
>> >> London SW11 1EN, UK   w: www.russel.org.uk  skype: russel_winder
>> >
>> >
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> Bill Venners
>> Artima, Inc.
>> http://www.artima.com
>
>

Kevin Wright 2
Joined: 2010-05-30,
User offline. Last seen 26 weeks 4 days ago.
Re: Re: The Scala community
My theory is that we're looking to split at the wrong end of the spectrum.
scala-internals and scala-debate are clearly for advanced topics and for people "working through" problems. Their names clearly disambiguate the sort of material you can expect to find there.
At the other hand, we have scala-language and scala-user. From the names alone, it's *not* clear which of these should be targeted at newcomers and which is more general-purpose.  Perhaps one of these two lists should be deprecated, and scala-basics introduced instead.
And yes, we should be directing folk towards StackOverflow whenever it makes sense to do so.  It's already proven itself time and time again as being a fantastic source of answers for the community, and seems to fill the hole that many are looking to fill with a forum.

On 6 October 2011 22:50, Bill Venners <bill [at] artima [dot] com> wrote:
Hi Tom,

On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 1:49 PM, Tom Switzer <thomas [dot] switzer [at] gmail [dot] com> wrote:
> I'm going to disagree. I really don't like the idea of separating scala-user
> out into 2 groups (beginner/advanced).
>
Actually I don't think its as much a beginner/advanced split as a
user/advanced. Advanced would just be a home for esoteric topics (the
kind that make Scala look hard to outsiders), user for everything
else. And this would be done for helping facilitate Scala adoption. If
you like the high end kind of discussion too could you not just join
both lists?

We did already try this splitting-the-list concept with scala-debate,
though, and it didn't really work. I'm wondering if it is because
there's a difference between "debate" and "advanced." Sending someone
to debate is like saying, "would you guys please stop beating this
dead horse and get out of my bandwidth?" Asking someone to move over
to debate feels kind of rude. Whereas pointing a discussion to
advanced might feel more like a compliment. It may be that list
splitting just doesn't work, but if a scala-advanced list were created
I'd certainly join it.

Bill

> First, I think scala-user just doesn't get the traffic to justify a split. I
> can spend 5 minute breaks here and there throughout the day reading this
> list and have no problem keeping caught up.
> I also think the idea of "beginner" questions is incredibly vague. I've
> learned a lot from the answers to rather simple questions on this list. A
> split would also mean that an otherwise smart and possibly helpful user may
> not see a question they can answer because they only subscribed to
> scala-advanced. And on the flip-side, the amount of traffic to
> scala-advanced may be so small that most folks just ignore it.
> As a long time user of mailing lists, I can usually gauge pretty well how
> "advanced" the question is by its subject. Even then, I think most people
> (myself included) would not be "scared" off a list because people were
> talking about advanced things; on the contrary, it may inspire more
> learning.
> Unless scala-user has a sudden surge in traffic, I think we can safely keep
> it as is.
> On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 4:09 PM, Bill Venners <bill [at] artima [dot] com> wrote:
>>
>> Hi All,
>>
>> New users come here to scala-users by and large, so I would vote for
>> creating a scala-advanced list and then encouraging the kinds of
>> "higher kinded" discussions that intimidate new users off of this list
>> and onto scala-advanced. It shouldn't offend anyone to ask them to
>> move something to an "advanced" list. Asking someone to move something
>> to debate doesn't feel the same. scala-debate to me feels like the
>> place to ship heated arguments that have gone on too long. Most of the
>> high end topics that get discussed here aren't heated debates, they
>> are just unhelpful (and to some extent discouraging) topics for new
>> users. They are important and useful for more advanced Scala folks,
>> who I don't think would at all mind joining a list called
>> scala-advanced.
>>
>> Bill
>>
>> On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 12:32 PM, Brian Smith <bmjsmith [at] gmail [dot] com> wrote:
>> > For those who prefer forums, what's lacking with the google groups forum
>> > view?
>> > https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/scala-user
>> > On 6 October 2011 17:00, Russel Winder <russel [at] russel [dot] org [dot] uk> wrote:
>> >>
>> >> The forum vs. email issue intrudes here.  There are people who like
>> >> forums and hate email lists and others who hate forums and demand use
>> >> of
>> >> email lists.  A good community requires a system that satisfies both
>> >> varieties of people.
>> >>
>> >> On Thu, 2011-10-06 at 08:47 -0700, Cay Horstmann wrote:
>> >> > I too would favor the move to a forum, but that may take some time. A
>> >> > scala-advanced list can be done quickly.
>> >> >
>> >> > 2011/10/6 Tim Pigden <tim [dot] pigden [at] optrak [dot] com>
>> >> >         Thinking about format - I reckon forums work better than
>> >> >         google groups
>> >> >         in this respect because you can have sticky stuff so newbies
>> >> >         will
>> >> >         always see the resource list, the faq list, the instructions
>> >> >         (please
>> >> >         use this list only for ...). Maybe this also works in google
>> >> >         groups
>> >> >         but it's not particularly obvious. Is there a particular
>> >> >         advantage in
>> >> >         google groups?
>> >> >
>> >>
>> >> --
>> >> Russel.
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> =============================================================================
>> >> Dr Russel Winder      t: +44 20 7585 2200   voip:
>> >> 3Arussel [dot] winder [at] ekiga [dot] net" rel="nofollow">sip:russel [dot] winder [at] ekiga [dot] net
>> >> 41 Buckmaster Road    m: +44 7770 465 077   xmpp: russel [at] russel [dot] org [dot] uk
>> >> London SW11 1EN, UK   w: www.russel.org.uk  skype: russel_winder
>> >
>> >
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> Bill Venners
>> Artima, Inc.
>> http://www.artima.com
>
>



--
Bill Venners
Artima, Inc.
http://www.artima.com


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