Please support the BeOS/Haiku Q&A site proposal at Area51

I’ve created a proposal for a Q&A site for BeOS and Haiku users and developers here:

Please support it by voting for it, upvoting good questions, or asking good example questions. If the proposal gets enough support then it may become a Q&A site that’s part of the StackExchange network!

What is Area51?
Area51 is StackExchange’s system for proposing new Q&A sites.

What is StackExchange?
StackExchange is a large network of Q&A sites, where users can ask questions, answer them, vote and discuss them, across a wide range of topics. Its most popular site is StackOverflow which is used by many many developers worldwide, and for many it’s their #1 technical resource. Other sites in the StackExchange network are also great resources for finding answers.

Why should I support a BeOS/Haiku Q&A site?
I believe that finding answers to BeOS/Haiku problems is difficult, especially for those not part of the existing community and familiar with its resources, such as the forums or mailing lists. The StackExchange Q&A sites are incredibly useful as questions are very easy to find, in a well-structured and moderated format. It can also provide more visibility to the Haiku project.

[quote=Earl Colby Pottinger]How do we post answers to the questions already there?

I never used StackExchange before.[/quote]

You can’t answer these questions at this stage.

Here’s what’s going on, briefly. Stackoverflow is a successful Q&A format site for programming. It more or less invented the modern topical Q&A site format. The people behind Stackoverflow are gradually making a family of similar sites for other topics under the “StackExchange” brand. One thing they sought to avoid from the outset with Stackoverflow is the phenomenon that you might have seen with Wikia wikis or web forums where a topic doesn’t have any lasting interest and the site becomes stale and perhaps even fills with spam. A wiki specific to the TV show “Breaking Bad” probably seemed like a great idea last year, and doubtless has active contributors today, but it’s hard to imagine what it will be useful for in five years from now.

To avoid this, rather than anyone being able to set up a StackExchange about anything they like immediately, they have “Area 51” where new topics can proposed, debated and then trialled for a period without committing to them. This “BeOS and Haiku” proposal is at the first stage, definition, where the goal is to find out whether the topic has enough interest and can be subject to many interesting questions. If the requisite number of “good” example questions are identified (forty questions with +10 or better votes from the community), then the owner can petition people to support it, and if enough members support it, then it moves to “beta” where it gets to prove itself with real questions and real answers to those questions for a period of time and it gets its own sub-domain on the StackExchange system (or even a 2LD if that seems warranted). If people keep using it, asking and answering questions on a frequent basis then it eventually leaves beta and becomes a permanent member of the family.

So, to answer questions you’d have to wait until Beta, probably if the Area 51 proposal is successful somebody will mention on these forums that Beta has been reached. At that point you can either use an OpenID or sign up with the StackExchange system itself to ask & answer questions. Asking or answering questions results in feedback from other users, and positive feedback opens up new features such as the ability to edit other people’s question or answers to clarify them, add searchable tags, and so on.

How do we post answers to the questions already there?

I never used StackExchange before.

Good initiative, congusbongus! I suggest you post this to the Haiku mailing list as well. Many people only read the forums very rarely.


Stackexchange is indispensable for working with C# code… there are just loads of well categorized/tagged information on there.

It would be a great place to consolidate BeAPI help… also once it moves into the next phases when you will be able to post Q&A’s there it is a GREAT idea and also encouraged to ask and answer your own programming or configuration questions about Haiku/BeOS.

I find mailing lists very poor places to to find help. Sure you can ask easily and get an answer but its far from efficient. Searchabiltiy is poor. Stack exchange also provides for deduplicating questions.

There also exists community wiki posts which any user can update… so things that change over time can be updated by anyone. After all Haiku as a system is not static and a 4 year old Q&A might not be valid anymore!

Just discovered the proposal completely by accident while working on a presentation about the Salesforce StackExchange site — great to see it!

I’ve followed, posted a few questions voted some others and sent a few tweets. Having been through this process before I can say to you to steel yourself for a long road ahead — the more promotion you can get for this the better, if we can get a banner on the Haiku home page it’d be a big bonus.

I was the proposer for the Salesforce StackExchange site, and it took a year of regular tweets (almost daily), blog posts and nagging to get things underway. SE actually accelerated us through the commitment phase when they saw how quickly it was gaining momentum and now the site has been in live beta for a little over a year and is due to graduate.

For those not familiar with StackExchange, GET ON BOARD; I can’t emphasise enough how good these sites are; for a bit of an overview I wrote a blog post which has a section discussing the network of sites in general (