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StackOverflow and Scala

15 replies
Kevin Wright
Joined: 2009-06-09,
User offline. Last seen 49 weeks 3 days ago.
I've noticed that every so often a poster to one of the Scala lists will also put their question upon StackOverflow and direct respondants to post their answers there.

I appreciate that (in some cases) this is a thinly-veiled attempt to encourage up-votes on the question and so increase their Stack Overflow reputation.  However, I'm starting to wonder if they don't have the right idea anyway, and perhaps we should start encouraging more people to redirect questions there.
As the mailing lists grow ever older and longer, I'm finding it becomes increasingly hard to separate questions/answers from ongoing discussions about bugs and the direction that the language is taking.  MY gut feeling is that a general shift to using StackOverflow would make it easier for newcomers to find answers to old and frequently asked questions.  The tagging system also wouldn't hurt (especially for distinguishing Scala 2.7 queries from those about Scala 2.8)


What does everyone think?

--
Kevin Wright

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Viktor Klang
Joined: 2008-12-17,
User offline. Last seen 1 year 27 weeks ago.
Re: StackOverflow and Scala
I can appreciate that EPFL wants to be able to control the medium where questions are asked/answered, but I am inclined to agree with you.

On Sat, Jan 9, 2010 at 7:43 PM, Kevin Wright <kev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] googlemail [dot] com> wrote:
I've noticed that every so often a poster to one of the Scala lists will also put their question upon StackOverflow and direct respondants to post their answers there.

I appreciate that (in some cases) this is a thinly-veiled attempt to encourage up-votes on the question and so increase their Stack Overflow reputation.  However, I'm starting to wonder if they don't have the right idea anyway, and perhaps we should start encouraging more people to redirect questions there.
As the mailing lists grow ever older and longer, I'm finding it becomes increasingly hard to separate questions/answers from ongoing discussions about bugs and the direction that the language is taking.  MY gut feeling is that a general shift to using StackOverflow would make it easier for newcomers to find answers to old and frequently asked questions.  The tagging system also wouldn't hurt (especially for distinguishing Scala 2.7 queries from those about Scala 2.8)


What does everyone think?

--
Kevin Wright

mail/google talk: kev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] googlemail [dot] com
wave: kev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] googlewave [dot] com
skype: kev.lee.wright
twitter: @thecoda




--
Viktor Klang
| "A complex system that works is invariably
| found to have evolved from a simple system
| that worked." - John Gall

Blog: klangism.blogspot.com
Twttr: twitter.com/viktorklang
Code: github.com/viktorklang
Kevin Wright
Joined: 2009-06-09,
User offline. Last seen 49 weeks 3 days ago.
Re: StackOverflow and Scala
I'm also thinking that it wouldn't exactly hurt the visibility of Scala and the perceived level of adoption if more more discussion were seen to taking place in higher-profile forums - such as StackOverflow.

2010/1/9 Viktor Klang <viktor [dot] klang [at] gmail [dot] com>
I can appreciate that EPFL wants to be able to control the medium where questions are asked/answered, but I am inclined to agree with you.

On Sat, Jan 9, 2010 at 7:43 PM, Kevin Wright <kev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] googlemail [dot] com> wrote:
I've noticed that every so often a poster to one of the Scala lists will also put their question upon StackOverflow and direct respondants to post their answers there.

I appreciate that (in some cases) this is a thinly-veiled attempt to encourage up-votes on the question and so increase their Stack Overflow reputation.  However, I'm starting to wonder if they don't have the right idea anyway, and perhaps we should start encouraging more people to redirect questions there.
As the mailing lists grow ever older and longer, I'm finding it becomes increasingly hard to separate questions/answers from ongoing discussions about bugs and the direction that the language is taking.  MY gut feeling is that a general shift to using StackOverflow would make it easier for newcomers to find answers to old and frequently asked questions.  The tagging system also wouldn't hurt (especially for distinguishing Scala 2.7 queries from those about Scala 2.8)


What does everyone think?

--
Kevin Wright

mail/google talk: kev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] googlemail [dot] com
wave: kev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] googlewave [dot] com
skype: kev.lee.wright
twitter: @thecoda




--
Viktor Klang
| "A complex system that works is invariably
| found to have evolved from a simple system
| that worked." - John Gall

Blog: klangism.blogspot.com
Twttr: twitter.com/viktorklang
Code: github.com/viktorklang



--
Kevin Wright

mail/google talk: kev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] googlemail [dot] com
wave: kev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] googlewave [dot] com
skype: kev.lee.wright
twitter: @thecoda

Erik Engbrecht
Joined: 2008-12-19,
User offline. Last seen 3 years 18 weeks ago.
Re: StackOverflow and Scala
I think that's it can be hard, especially with something as complex and rapidly evolving like Scala, to separate a question from a bug report from a discussion of future direction.
Based on observation, I'd say these days posting a Scala question on StackOverflow will probably lead to an answer much more quickly, and the answer will probably be of higher quality (or at least the responder will put more effort into composing his answer).
So my suggestion to newbies is that StackOverflow is probably a better place to get your questions answered.
However I don't think the community in general of EPFL in specific should take a stance on the issue.  People will go where they get their questions answered.  StackOverflow is neat in that it creates incentives to do a good job both asking and answering questions, but I personally find it a little too intense.
On Sat, Jan 9, 2010 at 1:43 PM, Kevin Wright <kev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] googlemail [dot] com> wrote:
I've noticed that every so often a poster to one of the Scala lists will also put their question upon StackOverflow and direct respondants to post their answers there.

I appreciate that (in some cases) this is a thinly-veiled attempt to encourage up-votes on the question and so increase their Stack Overflow reputation.  However, I'm starting to wonder if they don't have the right idea anyway, and perhaps we should start encouraging more people to redirect questions there.
As the mailing lists grow ever older and longer, I'm finding it becomes increasingly hard to separate questions/answers from ongoing discussions about bugs and the direction that the language is taking.  MY gut feeling is that a general shift to using StackOverflow would make it easier for newcomers to find answers to old and frequently asked questions.  The tagging system also wouldn't hurt (especially for distinguishing Scala 2.7 queries from those about Scala 2.8)


What does everyone think?

--
Kevin Wright

mail/google talk: kev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] googlemail [dot] com
wave: kev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] googlewave [dot] com
skype: kev.lee.wright
twitter: @thecoda




--
http://erikengbrecht.blogspot.com/
Kevin Wright
Joined: 2009-06-09,
User offline. Last seen 49 weeks 3 days ago.
Re: StackOverflow and Scala


2010/1/9 Erik Engbrecht <erik [dot] engbrecht [at] gmail [dot] com>
I think that's it can be hard, especially with something as complex and rapidly evolving like Scala, to separate a question from a bug report from a discussion of future direction.
Based on observation, I'd say these days posting a Scala question on StackOverflow will probably lead to an answer much more quickly, and the answer will probably be of higher quality (or at least the responder will put more effort into composing his answer).
So my suggestion to newbies is that StackOverflow is probably a better place to get your questions answered.
However I don't think the community in general of EPFL in specific should take a stance on the issue.  People will go where they get their questions answered.  StackOverflow is neat in that it creates incentives to do a good job both asking and answering questions, but I personally find it a little too intense.

This sound pretty close to my own thinking on the matter :) So long as it's not considered "bad form" to redirect like this, I'm going to start start suggesting that some questions be posted on stack overflow then see how it plays out.
If anyone wants to join me in the "experiment", please do feel free!

On Sat, Jan 9, 2010 at 1:43 PM, Kevin Wright <kev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] googlemail [dot] com> wrote:
I've noticed that every so often a poster to one of the Scala lists will also put their question upon StackOverflow and direct respondants to post their answers there.

I appreciate that (in some cases) this is a thinly-veiled attempt to encourage up-votes on the question and so increase their Stack Overflow reputation.  However, I'm starting to wonder if they don't have the right idea anyway, and perhaps we should start encouraging more people to redirect questions there.
As the mailing lists grow ever older and longer, I'm finding it becomes increasingly hard to separate questions/answers from ongoing discussions about bugs and the direction that the language is taking.  MY gut feeling is that a general shift to using StackOverflow would make it easier for newcomers to find answers to old and frequently asked questions.  The tagging system also wouldn't hurt (especially for distinguishing Scala 2.7 queries from those about Scala 2.8)


What does everyone think?

--
Kevin Wright

mail/google talk: kev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] googlemail [dot] com
wave: kev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] googlewave [dot] com
skype: kev.lee.wright
twitter: @thecoda




--
http://erikengbrecht.blogspot.com/



--
Kevin Wright

mail/google talk: kev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] googlemail [dot] com
wave: kev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] googlewave [dot] com
skype: kev.lee.wright
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Dan Shryock
Joined: 2010-01-07,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: StackOverflow and Scala
Maybe something like a sponsored tag, similar to what Adobe[1] is doing would be a good idea. 
That way there is some concept of it being "official" and "supported" for people asking and answering questions.
Just a thought.
Dan


[1] http://meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/23955/adobe-sponsored-tags

On Sat, Jan 9, 2010 at 11:20 AM, Kevin Wright <kev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] googlemail [dot] com> wrote:


2010/1/9 Erik Engbrecht <erik [dot] engbrecht [at] gmail [dot] com>
I think that's it can be hard, especially with something as complex and rapidly evolving like Scala, to separate a question from a bug report from a discussion of future direction.
Based on observation, I'd say these days posting a Scala question on StackOverflow will probably lead to an answer much more quickly, and the answer will probably be of higher quality (or at least the responder will put more effort into composing his answer).
So my suggestion to newbies is that StackOverflow is probably a better place to get your questions answered.
However I don't think the community in general of EPFL in specific should take a stance on the issue.  People will go where they get their questions answered.  StackOverflow is neat in that it creates incentives to do a good job both asking and answering questions, but I personally find it a little too intense.

This sound pretty close to my own thinking on the matter :) So long as it's not considered "bad form" to redirect like this, I'm going to start start suggesting that some questions be posted on stack overflow then see how it plays out.
If anyone wants to join me in the "experiment", please do feel free!

On Sat, Jan 9, 2010 at 1:43 PM, Kevin Wright <kev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] googlemail [dot] com> wrote:
I've noticed that every so often a poster to one of the Scala lists will also put their question upon StackOverflow and direct respondants to post their answers there.

I appreciate that (in some cases) this is a thinly-veiled attempt to encourage up-votes on the question and so increase their Stack Overflow reputation.  However, I'm starting to wonder if they don't have the right idea anyway, and perhaps we should start encouraging more people to redirect questions there.
As the mailing lists grow ever older and longer, I'm finding it becomes increasingly hard to separate questions/answers from ongoing discussions about bugs and the direction that the language is taking.  MY gut feeling is that a general shift to using StackOverflow would make it easier for newcomers to find answers to old and frequently asked questions.  The tagging system also wouldn't hurt (especially for distinguishing Scala 2.7 queries from those about Scala 2.8)


What does everyone think?

--
Kevin Wright

mail/google talk: kev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] googlemail [dot] com
wave: kev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] googlewave [dot] com
skype: kev.lee.wright
twitter: @thecoda




--
http://erikengbrecht.blogspot.com/



--
Kevin Wright

mail/google talk: kev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] googlemail [dot] com
wave: kev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] googlewave [dot] com
skype: kev.lee.wright
twitter: @thecoda


Kevin Wright
Joined: 2009-06-09,
User offline. Last seen 49 weeks 3 days ago.
Re: StackOverflow and Scala
Oh... now that *is* a good idea!
stick it on meta.stackoverflow and I'll +1 you :)

2010/1/9 Dan Shryock <dan [dot] shryock [at] gmail [dot] com>
Maybe something like a sponsored tag, similar to what Adobe[1] is doing would be a good idea. 
That way there is some concept of it being "official" and "supported" for people asking and answering questions.
Just a thought.
Dan


[1] http://meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/23955/adobe-sponsored-tags

On Sat, Jan 9, 2010 at 11:20 AM, Kevin Wright <kev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] googlemail [dot] com> wrote:


2010/1/9 Erik Engbrecht <erik [dot] engbrecht [at] gmail [dot] com>
I think that's it can be hard, especially with something as complex and rapidly evolving like Scala, to separate a question from a bug report from a discussion of future direction.
Based on observation, I'd say these days posting a Scala question on StackOverflow will probably lead to an answer much more quickly, and the answer will probably be of higher quality (or at least the responder will put more effort into composing his answer).
So my suggestion to newbies is that StackOverflow is probably a better place to get your questions answered.
However I don't think the community in general of EPFL in specific should take a stance on the issue.  People will go where they get their questions answered.  StackOverflow is neat in that it creates incentives to do a good job both asking and answering questions, but I personally find it a little too intense.

This sound pretty close to my own thinking on the matter :) So long as it's not considered "bad form" to redirect like this, I'm going to start start suggesting that some questions be posted on stack overflow then see how it plays out.
If anyone wants to join me in the "experiment", please do feel free!

On Sat, Jan 9, 2010 at 1:43 PM, Kevin Wright <kev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] googlemail [dot] com> wrote:
I've noticed that every so often a poster to one of the Scala lists will also put their question upon StackOverflow and direct respondants to post their answers there.

I appreciate that (in some cases) this is a thinly-veiled attempt to encourage up-votes on the question and so increase their Stack Overflow reputation.  However, I'm starting to wonder if they don't have the right idea anyway, and perhaps we should start encouraging more people to redirect questions there.
As the mailing lists grow ever older and longer, I'm finding it becomes increasingly hard to separate questions/answers from ongoing discussions about bugs and the direction that the language is taking.  MY gut feeling is that a general shift to using StackOverflow would make it easier for newcomers to find answers to old and frequently asked questions.  The tagging system also wouldn't hurt (especially for distinguishing Scala 2.7 queries from those about Scala 2.8)


What does everyone think?

--
Kevin Wright

mail/google talk: kev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] googlemail [dot] com
wave: kev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] googlewave [dot] com
skype: kev.lee.wright
twitter: @thecoda




--
http://erikengbrecht.blogspot.com/



--
Kevin Wright

mail/google talk: kev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] googlemail [dot] com
wave: kev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] googlewave [dot] com
skype: kev.lee.wright
twitter: @thecoda





--
Kevin Wright

mail/google talk: kev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] googlemail [dot] com
wave: kev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] googlewave [dot] com
skype: kev.lee.wright
twitter: @thecoda

Scot McSweeney-...
Joined: 2009-06-22,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: StackOverflow and Scala

On Sat, Jan 9, 2010 at 19:20, Kevin Wright
wrote:

>
> So long as it's not considered "bad form" to redirect like this, I'm going
> to start start suggesting that some questions be posted on stack overflow
> then see how it plays out.

Isn't there a (rather large) chance that redirecting people to
stackoverflow (or anywhere else) will be seen as saying "screw you
n00b"?

Maybe I'm a bit negative because I don't see what problem
stackoverflow is solving that isn't already been solved by mailing
lists. I feel like I should be more enthusiastic about it, but
stackoverflow feels like yet another thing to soak up time and
attention.

Scot

Kevin Wright
Joined: 2009-06-09,
User offline. Last seen 49 weeks 3 days ago.
Re: StackOverflow and Scala


2010/1/9 Scot McSweeney-Roberts <maethorechannen [at] googlemail [dot] com>
On Sat, Jan 9, 2010 at 19:20, Kevin Wright
<kev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] googlemail [dot] com> wrote:

>
> So long as it's not considered "bad form" to redirect like this, I'm going
> to start start suggesting that some questions be posted on stack overflow
> then see how it plays out.



Isn't there a (rather large) chance that redirecting people to
stackoverflow (or anywhere else) will be seen as saying "screw you
n00b"?

Maybe I'm a bit negative because I don't see what problem
stackoverflow is solving that isn't already been solved by mailing
lists. I feel like I should be more enthusiastic about it, but
stackoverflow feels like yet another thing to soak up time and
attention.


Scot

I don't think so, not if it's done in the right way:
"That's a very interesting and valid query, and I'm sure that the answer would be useful to others.  Could you post it on StackOverflow please so that it can be better tagged and is easier to find in a search"
I guess that really is the point, what StackOverflow gives us is tagging, searchability and a much more visible knowledge base (assuming that visibility can be equated to google hit rates).

--
Kevin Wright

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Erik Engbrecht
Joined: 2008-12-19,
User offline. Last seen 3 years 18 weeks ago.
Re: StackOverflow and Scala
StackOverflow is better at soaking up time and attention than mailing lists.  There's more ego involved, and answering questions is potentially more personally beneficial.  It creates a public summary of your expertise for potential clients and employers.  People can see how awesome you are without even understanding the details of why you're awesome.  Pointing someone at your mailing lists posts just doesn't have the same effect.  They have to read them, and understand them, in order to understand how awesome you are.  It's also a lot more work.  StackOverflow puts it all there on your personal profile.
I don't think anyone on the list should say "go ask on StackOverflow instead."  You're right, that would be rude.

On Sat, Jan 9, 2010 at 3:18 PM, Scot McSweeney-Roberts <maethorechannen [at] googlemail [dot] com> wrote:
On Sat, Jan 9, 2010 at 19:20, Kevin Wright
<kev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] googlemail [dot] com> wrote:

>
> So long as it's not considered "bad form" to redirect like this, I'm going
> to start start suggesting that some questions be posted on stack overflow
> then see how it plays out.



Isn't there a (rather large) chance that redirecting people to
stackoverflow (or anywhere else) will be seen as saying "screw you
n00b"?

Maybe I'm a bit negative because I don't see what problem
stackoverflow is solving that isn't already been solved by mailing
lists. I feel like I should be more enthusiastic about it, but
stackoverflow feels like yet another thing to soak up time and
attention.


Scot



--
http://erikengbrecht.blogspot.com/
Kevin Wright
Joined: 2009-06-09,
User offline. Last seen 49 weeks 3 days ago.
Re: StackOverflow and Scala


2010/1/9 Erik Engbrecht <erik [dot] engbrecht [at] gmail [dot] com>
StackOverflow is better at soaking up time and attention than mailing lists.  There's more ego involved, and answering questions is potentially more personally beneficial.
 
"It creates a public summary of your expertise for potential clients and employers.  People can see how awesome you are without even understanding the details of why you're awesome.  Pointing someone at your mailing lists posts just doesn't have the same effect.  They have to read them, and understand them, in order to understand how awesome you are.  It's also a lot more work.  StackOverflow puts it all there on your personal profile."

Just as importantly, you can substitute "you are" and "yours" with "scala is" and "scala's" in that description... 
I don't think anyone on the list should say "go ask on StackOverflow instead."  You're right, that would be rude.

On Sat, Jan 9, 2010 at 3:18 PM, Scot McSweeney-Roberts <maethorechannen [at] googlemail [dot] com> wrote:
On Sat, Jan 9, 2010 at 19:20, Kevin Wright
<kev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] googlemail [dot] com> wrote:

>
> So long as it's not considered "bad form" to redirect like this, I'm going
> to start start suggesting that some questions be posted on stack overflow
> then see how it plays out.



Isn't there a (rather large) chance that redirecting people to
stackoverflow (or anywhere else) will be seen as saying "screw you
n00b"?

Maybe I'm a bit negative because I don't see what problem
stackoverflow is solving that isn't already been solved by mailing
lists. I feel like I should be more enthusiastic about it, but
stackoverflow feels like yet another thing to soak up time and
attention.


Scot



--
http://erikengbrecht.blogspot.com/



--
Kevin Wright

mail/google talk: kev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] googlemail [dot] com
wave: kev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] googlewave [dot] com
skype: kev.lee.wright
twitter: @thecoda

dcsobral
Joined: 2009-04-23,
User offline. Last seen 38 weeks 5 days ago.
Re: StackOverflow and Scala
The problem that Stack Overflow solves is creating a repository of questions where the _right_ answer can be easily found.
Mailing lists are not adequate for that, because:
1) The interested party has pretty much to go through all thread. 2) There is often no indication whether an answer was helpful or not.3) There is no evaluation of the answers suggested, so dead wrong answers and brilliant answers pretty much look the same, until you try them.
Moreover, googling for answers for specific programming questions is often not adequate.
On Sat, Jan 9, 2010 at 6:18 PM, Scot McSweeney-Roberts <maethorechannen [at] googlemail [dot] com> wrote:
On Sat, Jan 9, 2010 at 19:20, Kevin Wright
<kev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] googlemail [dot] com> wrote:

>
> So long as it's not considered "bad form" to redirect like this, I'm going
> to start start suggesting that some questions be posted on stack overflow
> then see how it plays out.



Isn't there a (rather large) chance that redirecting people to
stackoverflow (or anywhere else) will be seen as saying "screw you
n00b"?

Maybe I'm a bit negative because I don't see what problem
stackoverflow is solving that isn't already been solved by mailing
lists. I feel like I should be more enthusiastic about it, but
stackoverflow feels like yet another thing to soak up time and
attention.


Scot



--
Daniel C. Sobral

I travel to the future all the time.
odersky
Joined: 2008-07-29,
User offline. Last seen 45 weeks 6 days ago.
Re: StackOverflow and Scala

On Sat, Jan 9, 2010 at 7:50 PM, Viktor Klang wrote:
> I can appreciate that EPFL wants to be able to control the medium where
> questions are asked/answered, but I am inclined to agree with you.
>
Not at all. I agree completely. Stackoverflow is the best place to ask
questions.

Cheers

Viktor Klang
Joined: 2008-12-17,
User offline. Last seen 1 year 27 weeks ago.
Re: StackOverflow and Scala


On Sun, Jan 10, 2010 at 11:42 AM, martin odersky <martin [dot] odersky [at] epfl [dot] ch> wrote:
On Sat, Jan 9, 2010 at 7:50 PM, Viktor Klang <viktor [dot] klang [at] gmail [dot] com> wrote:
> I can appreciate that EPFL wants to be able to control the medium where
> questions are asked/answered, but I am inclined to agree with you.
>
Not at all. I agree completely. Stackoverflow is the best place to ask
questions.

Just to clarify, I didn't mean that in any negative way at all.

Cheers,
 

Cheers

Kevin Wright
Joined: 2009-06-09,
User offline. Last seen 49 weeks 3 days ago.
Re: StackOverflow and Scala


2010/1/10 martin odersky <martin [dot] odersky [at] epfl [dot] ch>
On Sat, Jan 9, 2010 at 7:50 PM, Viktor Klang <viktor [dot] klang [at] gmail [dot] com> wrote:
> I can appreciate that EPFL wants to be able to control the medium where
> questions are asked/answered, but I am inclined to agree with you.
>
Not at all. I agree completely. Stackoverflow is the best place to ask
questions.

Cheers

Chris Marshall
Joined: 2009-06-17,
User offline. Last seen 44 weeks 3 days ago.
RE: StackOverflow and Scala
> Date: Sat, 9 Jan 2010 20:18:53 +0000
> Subject: Re: [scala-debate] StackOverflow and Scala
> From: maethorechannen [at] googlemail [dot] com
> To: scala-debate [at] listes [dot] epfl [dot] ch
>
> Maybe I'm a bit negative because I don't see what problem
> stackoverflow is solving that isn't already been solved by mailing
> lists.

 - better searchability
 - better formatting
 - editability and refinement of answers
 - indications on correctness of answers
 - indications on likely correctness of answers (i.e. reputation)
 - only need to know about one place (rather than various mailing lists)

And for scala specifically:

 - indication of community size and activity (compare scala with JRuby and Jython easily in terms of # of questions etc)
 - dull tangents around the source of our system of numerals conspicuous by their absence

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