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[eclipse-dev] Why eclipse-dev gets so many user posts -- and why they won't stop

BACKGROUND: My research at CMU is involved in improving quality of open
source projects, as such we have investigated several of them with an
aim of understanding the community (some ideas can be seen in a paper at -- hence I wanted to raise, some
hopefully helpful, suggestions from my discussions with developers of
other projects (Apache, Jakarta, KDE, Mozilla) as to why I would expect
user posts to eclipse-dev to increase.

The setup of your site is different than other successful "portal"-
oriented open source sites.  You require passwords to even look at the
user newsgroup archives -- this is bad in two respects: (1) the user to
user help should be a mailing list (spam control, the stated reason for
these access controls, can be maintained by Mailman or some other modern
mailer) newsgroups are very unusual (almost all open source projects
maintain a user mailing list), and far more importantly (2) the archive
should be open to the public without password access.  The savvy user
can search these archives quickly (via your site or Google) and get

As the open-source version of Eclipse gets popular (sure to increase
with the excellent work in version 2.0) -- more user posts will arrive
on this list due to the lack of a public user to user mailing list.

In general, I recommend archives be public -- even developer lists --
this helps new folks (like our friend who is trying to build the source
code) from asking questions that have been answered or having to join
the mailing list just to search it.  An exception, which might be of
some interest, is that Apache has a "private" mailing list for reporting
serious security problems directly to key developers (rather than public
postings which could be exploited). I don't know if this any issues of
this sort apply to Eclipse (maybe on the web-server side development?).

A good example site is your direct open source competition, NetBeans!

Lastly, I am experienced setting up open source web sites (here at CMU
we have done several Apache/Mailman/Bugzilla on Linux sites for research
projects) and am more than willing to help out (feel free to contact me
directly at hallorant(at)!

Finally, I know this post is a bit off the mark, but I didn't have a
password to the "Web-Site/Admin" mailing list :>

Take Care,
Tim Halloran
Carnegie Mellon University

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