Discussion:
Stack Exchange mainframe proposal
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Anthony Giorgio
2018-06-06 03:54:05 UTC
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For those of you who are familiar with Stack Overflow (and its ilk), we
are trying to get a mainframe version started on Stack Exchange. It's
currently a proposal, and we need people to express their interest
before moving on to the next phase. If this is something that sounds
interesting to you, please follow the link below and check it out!

https://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/118484/mainframes

Right now we need folks to ask questions and vote for the ones that they
find interesting.
--
Anthony Giorgio
Advisory Software Engineer
IBM z Systems Platform Performance Manager
Twitter: @a_giorgio

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Jantje.
2018-06-06 10:35:25 UTC
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I'll stick with IBMMAIN-L if you don't mind. Have already too many subscriptions as it is...


Jantje.

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John Arwe
2018-06-06 11:16:50 UTC
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Post by Jantje.
I'll stick with IBMMAIN-L if you don't mind. Have already too many subscriptions as it is...
If you have the impression that it's strictly a push-based system
("subscription"), that's incorrect. I believe they're asking for emails
because they do authenticated voting on the proposals ... at a very high
level, the site is a socially-influenced system where alternative
answers can be voted on, modified, etc so that the consensus tends to
float to the top.

Like most of the net, (assuming the proposal receives enough votes, and
gets past whatever other admin/process steps might follow that) anyone
can read (or search) the content without authenticating or having a
site-specific login.

If you want an example of what the resulting discussion can look like,
here is the first one from stackexchange.com today (and as a plus, it's
topical + amusing)
https://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/114033/how-can-santa-keep-his-lists-when-gdpr-is-around
--
John Arwe
z/VM Development

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Steve Smith
2018-06-06 16:03:58 UTC
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I think IBM-MAIN would work great on Stack Exchange. The voting procedure
could really help separate the good answers from the bad and the ugly.
Assuming there's sufficient intelligence and interest to skew it the right
way -- I guess we'll see how that works out.

sas

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Kirk Wolf
2018-06-06 17:12:07 UTC
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Steve,

I agree with your point on Stack Exchange voting and that a mainframe
section would be useful. But I disagree that IBM-MAIN would work great
there ;-) This list absolutely thrives on detritus such as never ending
threads on the glory days of paper tape. Even threads on the most useful
topics can only survive here a few days without being steered into a ditch
where its only interesting to the quarter-century club. Finally, Stack
Exchange has a completely different idea of what "reputation" means :-)

Kirk Wolf
Dovetailed Technologies
http://dovetail.com
Post by Steve Smith
I think IBM-MAIN would work great on Stack Exchange. The voting procedure
could really help separate the good answers from the bad and the ugly.
Assuming there's sufficient intelligence and interest to skew it the right
way -- I guess we'll see how that works out.
sas
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Steve Smith
2018-06-06 21:53:48 UTC
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All points taken ;-)
Post by Kirk Wolf
Steve,
I agree with your point on Stack Exchange voting and that a mainframe
section would be useful. But I disagree that IBM-MAIN would work great
there ;-) This list absolutely thrives on detritus such as never ending
threads on the glory days of paper tape. Even threads on the most useful
topics can only survive here a few days without being steered into a ditch
where its only interesting to the quarter-century club. Finally, Stack
Exchange has a completely different idea of what "reputation" means :-)
Kirk Wolf
Dovetailed Technologies
http://dovetail.com
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David Crayford
2018-06-07 07:50:48 UTC
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Post by Kirk Wolf
Steve,
I agree with your point on Stack Exchange voting and that a mainframe
section would be useful. But I disagree that IBM-MAIN would work great
there ;-) This list absolutely thrives on detritus such as never ending
threads on the glory days of paper tape. Even threads on the most useful
topics can only survive here a few days without being steered into a ditch
where its only interesting to the quarter-century club.
The good thing about Stack Exchange is that moderators can jump in an
close a thread when it starts to drift and delete answers/comments that
are inappropriate.
Post by Kirk Wolf
Finally, Stack
Exchange has a completely different idea of what "reputation" means :-)
Kirk Wolf
Dovetailed Technologies
http://dovetail.com
Post by Steve Smith
I think IBM-MAIN would work great on Stack Exchange. The voting procedure
could really help separate the good answers from the bad and the ugly.
Assuming there's sufficient intelligence and interest to skew it the right
way -- I guess we'll see how that works out.
sas
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Gord Tomlin
2018-06-07 14:45:53 UTC
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Post by David Crayford
The good thing about Stack Exchange is that moderators can jump in an
close a thread when it starts to drift and delete answers/comments that
are inappropriate.
Doing that on IBM-MAIN would shrink it by 90%. ;)

--

Regards, Gord Tomlin
Action Software International
(a division of Mazda Computer Corporation)
Tel: (905) 470-7113, Fax: (905) 470-6507
Support: https://actionsoftware.com/support/

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Seymour J Metz
2018-06-06 18:07:28 UTC
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There's a cap on the number of questions you can suggest. I found that out when I tried to add a question about navigating IBM documentation.


--
Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz
http://mason.gmu.edu/~smetz3

________________________________________
From: IBM Mainframe Discussion List <IBM-***@listserv.ua.edu> on behalf of Anthony Giorgio <***@LINUX.VNET.IBM.COM>
Sent: Tuesday, June 5, 2018 11:53 PM
To: IBM-***@listserv.ua.edu
Subject: Stack Exchange mainframe proposal

For those of you who are familiar with Stack Overflow (and its ilk), we
are trying to get a mainframe version started on Stack Exchange. It's
currently a proposal, and we need people to express their interest
before moving on to the next phase. If this is something that sounds
interesting to you, please follow the link below and check it out!

https://secure-web.cisco.com/1nHO1_XomCNm0bsIVF1fg5qqKoVDPQ3jVVzUrgIP5SzeVLPhfzwN0jDRUGXTfgmt7fHzej3F1CkF931znMvFpnDVP3mssFlHIjflTSd8hPpgDja77RZIz8KBrsU_ZKsa0wJCJXT1NEnUqh1I_8B7nh5i7cDMSmRunz1EvIw5UTC5Qf3SRcilBjlGz5YmqktADaxRafIiszMDnALyMlicXmjmcS7Zb3Jhb_fK65NDLPaV3KtNKC_hUP_k_in5RXgnmmOdLKOE3mNgc-_kcuy2ONqMUn7JlqnctnfpQmxENLgYrcDJBFUtR-O0ddNsm4vyaFV3kGRPgWpyHVOvb0A1eSJPGBdX-9vXEyVKWhMpnutI5KOG4lSPb0qOA1O87jOcWB02McTF9ElW4021F3Vq0YydR8ISxOo8D_0EhMqwrZoDaVFt5MoSvaH_Pe9hCPMOL4PGwq_xa5GkeZ9ytVN10pfXKqS9z2XNKYBaWcgh5djA/https%3A%2F%2Farea51.stackexchange.com%2Fproposals%2F118484%2Fmainframes

Right now we need folks to ask questions and vote for the ones that they
find interesting.


--
Anthony Giorgio
Advisory Software Engineer
IBM z Systems Platform Performance Manager
Twitter: @a_giorgio

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Brian Westerman
2018-06-06 20:49:41 UTC
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I guess I could have this wrong, but I have never been one to believe that fixing problems by consensus is a good idea. It is more than a little possible, and I'm sure we have all seen it on this list before, that a majority could "think" that some solution is "correct" when the actual correct solution is later offered by a lone individual or a minority of people.

Just because the majority of a group thinks that something is correct doesn't necessarily mean that it's the right answer.

That also leaves nothing for the "more ways to skin a cat" type of solution where there may be several ways to successfully resolve a problem, some ways being easier for a certain site and harder for others. How many times on this list was the solution provided and then someone came along and outlined a "better" way to implement that solution? Too many to count I would imagine.

Like management by committee, there are some things that can be accomplished that way, but there are many types of things that just plain can't be addressed that way. I believe that mainframes and systems programming in particular fall into the category of "one size does not really fit all", so assuming that the solution with the highest number of votes is the correct one could be less help than the current way IBM-MAIN functions.

Brian

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Jesse 1 Robinson
2018-06-06 21:14:10 UTC
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Friday look-ahead. What would the consensus of cats be on the best way to skin them?

.
.
J.O.Skip Robinson
Southern California Edison Company
Electric Dragon Team Paddler
SHARE MVS Program Co-Manager
323-715-0595 Mobile
626-543-6132 Office ⇐=== NEW
***@sce.com

-----Original Message-----
From: IBM Mainframe Discussion List [mailto:IBM-***@LISTSERV.UA.EDU] On Behalf Of Brian Westerman
Sent: Wednesday, June 06, 2018 1:50 PM
To: IBM-***@LISTSERV.UA.EDU
Subject: (External):Re: Stack Exchange mainframe proposal

I guess I could have this wrong, but I have never been one to believe that fixing problems by consensus is a good idea. It is more than a little possible, and I'm sure we have all seen it on this list before, that a majority could "think" that some solution is "correct" when the actual correct solution is later offered by a lone individual or a minority of people.

Just because the majority of a group thinks that something is correct doesn't necessarily mean that it's the right answer.

That also leaves nothing for the "more ways to skin a cat" type of solution where there may be several ways to successfully resolve a problem, some ways being easier for a certain site and harder for others. How many times on this list was the solution provided and then someone came along and outlined a "better" way to implement that solution? Too many to count I would imagine.

Like management by committee, there are some things that can be accomplished that way, but there are many types of things that just plain can't be addressed that way. I believe that mainframes and systems programming in particular fall into the category of "one size does not really fit all", so assuming that the solution with the highest number of votes is the correct one could be less help than the current way IBM-MAIN functions.

Brian


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Gord Tomlin
2018-06-06 21:40:19 UTC
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Post by Jesse 1 Robinson
Friday look-ahead. What would the consensus of cats be on the best way to skin them?
If you want to skin cats, I don't think the cats would be wanting to
provide a consensus.

--

Regards, Gord Tomlin
Action Software International
(a division of Mazda Computer Corporation)
Tel: (905) 470-7113, Fax: (905) 470-6507
Support: https://actionsoftware.com/support/

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David Purdy
2018-06-06 23:41:22 UTC
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Shameless plagerize:

Best way to skin a cat is with a phaser set on skin.

Amazing wealth of tasteless and less tasteless skinning cat jokes on the 'net.
Post by Jesse 1 Robinson
Friday look-ahead. What would the consensus of cats be on the best way to skin them?
If you want to skin cats, I don't think the cats would be wanting to
provide a consensus.

--

Regards, Gord Tomlin
Action Software International
(a division of Mazda Computer Corporation)
Tel: (905) 470-7113, Fax: (905) 470-6507
Support: https://actionsoftware.com/support/

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Steve Smith
2018-06-07 12:50:23 UTC
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Re Objections...

Contrary to a previous post, I don't think IBM-MAIN could be replaced by
S/E. And that alone might dilute the mainframe community too much to work
well.

IMHO, S/E could be a better way to handle technical questions and answers,
while this list allows more of a free-for-all discussion. S/E specifically
discourages "chit-chat", amongst other things.

​I think the S/E model may or may not work, but that it's worth a try. I
have no problem with people who don't agree, and you all may well be right.


​sas​

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Seymour J Metz
2018-06-07 17:33:58 UTC
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SE would be a useful supplement, but even for technical question it is by no means a replacement. It has both significant advantages and serious problems.


--
Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz
http://mason.gmu.edu/~smetz3

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From: IBM Mainframe Discussion List <IBM-***@listserv.ua.edu> on behalf of Steve Smith <***@gmail.com>
Sent: Thursday, June 7, 2018 8:49 AM
To: IBM-***@listserv.ua.edu
Subject: Re: Stack Exchange mainframe proposal

Re Objections...

Contrary to a previous post, I don't think IBM-MAIN could be replaced by
S/E. And that alone might dilute the mainframe community too much to work
well.

IMHO, S/E could be a better way to handle technical questions and answers,
while this list allows more of a free-for-all discussion. S/E specifically
discourages "chit-chat", amongst other things.

​I think the S/E model may or may not work, but that it's worth a try. I
have no problem with people who don't agree, and you all may well be right.


​sas​

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Mike Fulton
2018-06-06 22:54:54 UTC
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Post by Anthony Giorgio
For those of you who are familiar with Stack Overflow (and its ilk), we
are trying to get a mainframe version started on Stack Exchange. It's
currently a proposal, and we need people to express their interest
before moving on to the next phase. If this is something that sounds
interesting to you, please follow the link below and check it out!
https://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/118484/mainframes
Right now we need folks to ask questions and vote for the ones that they
find interesting.
--
Anthony Giorgio
Advisory Software Engineer
IBM z Systems Platform Performance Manager
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+1 for this post Anthony! Oh wait... Can't do that here :)
Thanks for pointing this out to the group.
Tom Marchant
2018-06-07 11:36:34 UTC
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Post by David Crayford
The good thing about Stack Exchange is that moderators can jump in an
close a thread when it starts to drift and delete answers/comments that
are inappropriate.
Censors. Terrific.

I don't know Stack Exchange, but I have had experience with other forums
where someone had a brilliant idea to "improve" the forum by replacing it with
something else. In each case, a thriving forum was killed off and the
replacement failed to serve enough of its users that the entire discussion
essentially died off.

I've seen other mainframe related discussion lists, most notably on LinkedIn.
I have not been favorably impressed by what I've seen. I'll stick with
IBM-MAIN, thank you.
--
Tom Marchant

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Pew, Curtis G
2018-06-07 13:17:24 UTC
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Post by Tom Marchant
Censors. Terrific.
I don't know Stack Exchange, but I have had experience with other forums
where someone had a brilliant idea to "improve" the forum by replacing it with
something else. In each case, a thriving forum was killed off and the
replacement failed to serve enough of its users that the entire discussion
essentially died off.
I've seen other mainframe related discussion lists, most notably on LinkedIn.
I have not been favorably impressed by what I've seen. I'll stick with
IBM-MAIN, thank you.
My experience is that StackExchange has been carefully designed to make it easy to engage in high-quality discussions, so that the result is useful and accessible. It isn’t perfect, of course, but overall it’s one of the better platforms for finding helpful information.

It wouldn’t replace IBM-MAIN, but I still think it would be a good thing.
--
Pew, Curtis G
***@austin.utexas.edu
ITS Systems/Core/Administrative Services


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David Crayford
2018-06-08 05:01:31 UTC
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Post by Tom Marchant
Post by David Crayford
The good thing about Stack Exchange is that moderators can jump in an
close a thread when it starts to drift and delete answers/comments that
are inappropriate.
Censors. Terrific.
Doesn't IBM-MAIN have a moderator? On SE moderators are peers who have
gained enough reputation points to have privileges. In my experience it
works very well. SE has a very high signal to noise ratio.
Post by Tom Marchant
I don't know Stack Exchange, but I have had experience with other forums
where someone had a brilliant idea to "improve" the forum by replacing it with
something else. In each case, a thriving forum was killed off and the
replacement failed to serve enough of its users that the entire discussion
essentially died off.
Nobody is suggesting replacing IBM-MAIN. But if some of the experts from
here would participate in different platforms it will help the mainframe
stay relevant. Using e-mail
for forums has had it's day IMO. The user experience with platforms such
as Stack Exchange is fantastic. You can use markdown, code with syntax
highlighting, create fancy graphs and votes. I feel the same
about using e-mail for any group collaboration when you have better
options with platforms like Slack.

I recently had a question about zlib  which I was using to decompress
SMF logstream data compressed with zEDC. I posted a question on Stack
Overflow and it was answered by the author of zlib within a day.
Post by Tom Marchant
I've seen other mainframe related discussion lists, most notably on LinkedIn.
I have not been favorably impressed by what I've seen. I'll stick with
IBM-MAIN, thank you.
Whatever flicks your switch! I've noticed that there are lots of IBMers
using Stack Overflow to answer questions regarding technologies like
Websphere Liberty Profile which relate to z/OS. Also, the
CICS guys from Hursley get involved. Younger people with gravitate
towards platforms like SO which they are used to and newsgroups like
IBM-MAIN will continue until they wither on the vine.
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