[ros-users] Move ROS answers to StackExchange?

Tully Foote tfoote at willowgarage.com
Thu Aug 16 10:29:26 UTC 2012

Hi Markus,

When we chose to deploy answers.ros.org using Askbot we definitely
considered StackExchange, as well as every other Q&A engine we could
find. I can't fine the archives of the mailing list where we discussed the
deployment.  But below's a quick retrospective on why we chose Askbot over
StackExchange.   We chose to host our own site for several reasons.

- We've had trouble relying on external hosting sites in the past. Even
something as simple ass uptime nothings more frustrating than knowing your
server is down and not having someone who's accountable for bringing it
back online.
- Also StackExchange is very integrated in their own ecosystem and doesn't
allow much customization, at the most basic they will only host on their
domains.  And they have a very onerous system for getting started.
- We're also an advocate of open source software and try to use open source
software when possible.
- We have full control of our own servers such that we know that we have
good backups of all the data. And don't rely on a 3rd party to persist this
large (valuable) knowledge base indefinitely.
- We have been able to work with the active Askbot developers on specific
feature enhancements our users have requested.
- We can integrate better with our other services like the wiki.

And with respect to maintenance of the server, yes there is a load, but it
is not something that is noticeable once the server is setup.  The majority
of time required by the site is releated to maintaing/generating the
content not keeping the site running.


On Thu, Aug 16, 2012 at 3:21 AM, Thibault Kruse <kruset at in.tum.de> wrote:

>  Some downsides and questions:
> - Unless there is an undocumented fast-track, we'd need to suffer through
> the are 51 staging zone, where we cannot have our own css styles etc.
> - Can we keep the URL "answers.ros.com"?
> - How to migrate existing Questions and answers to a stack-exchange ROS
> site and make sure user accounts in answers.ros.org match user accounts
> in stack exchange?
> -  how can we migrate such as URLs for questions remain the same (such as
> used for marking duplicates).
> It seems that stackexchange has a small army of staff that could help with
> such questions, and developers who might help with migration.
> On 08/16/2012 11:47 AM, Marcus Liebhardt wrote:
> 2012/8/16 Arkapravo Bhaumik <arkapravobhaumik at gmail.com>
>> +1 to Jonathan Bohren
>>  On 16 August 2012 13:51, Jonathan Bohren <jonathan.bohren at gmail.com>wrote:
>>>  On Thu, Aug 16, 2012 at 3:38 AM, Marcus Liebhardt <
>>> marcus.liebhardt at yujinrobot.com> wrote:
>>>> The recent notification about a robotics Q&A site on StackExchange made
>>>> me remember an old question on ROS answers:
>>>> http://answers.ros.org/question/12386/is-ros-answer-able-to-join-stackexchange/
>>>>  It raises the question about the possibility of moving ROS Answers
>>>> to StackExchange, but unfortunately it didn't get many answers. It is
>>>> mentioned, that "our" site is not compatible with StackExchange and that
>>>> some people are not happy with how things are handled over at StackExchange
>>>> (e.g. user control).
>>>>  I'm still curious why we actually created our own Q&A site and/or why
>>>> we don't move our site over to StackExchange.
>>>> I see the following benefits in case of migrating:
>>>> * less(no) maintenance work
>>>  * ROS gets more visible (and thereby attracting more users)
>>>> * convenient for people already using other StackExchange sites, such
>>>> as StackOverflow
>>>>  If this has already been discussed in the past, please point me to
>>>> the respective information (and/or write a corresponding answer on ROS
>>>> answers). Thank you!
>>>  I think having a site that's ROS-specific decreases the noise, and
>>> helps the community support itself more efficiently. I don't think it would
>>> be a good idea to try to merge ROS answers with another support site,
>>> especially one as generic as "robotics".
>  Sorry guys, seems like I didn't make myself clear enough.
> My intention is _NOT_ merging ROS Answers into another existing Q&A site,
> such as StackOverflow (http://stackoverflow.com/) or Robotics (mentioned
> in the other thread).
> I suggest moving our Q&A to StackExchange (http://stackexchange.com/),
> which is an aggregation of various Q&A sites all sharing the same
> underlying system (software as far as I understand).
> So, we would still have our own, ROS-only Q&A site.
>  Cheers,
> Marcus
>    -j
>>>  _______________________________________________
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>>> https://code.ros.org/mailman/listinfo/ros-users
>> --
>> *Arkapravo Bhaumik*
>> E-mail : arkapravobhaumik at gmail.com
>> Website : www.mobotica.com
>> Twitter : @abhaumik
>> Facebook : arkapravo at facebook.com
>> Skype : arkapravo
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>  --
> Marcus Liebhardt
> Control Engineer
> Yujin Robot
> 주소: 대한민 국 서울시 금천구 가산동 345-30 남성프라자 #601, 153-023.
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> Email: marcus.liebhardt at yujinrobot.com
> Phone: +82-2-2104-0435
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Tully Foote
tfoote at willowgarage.com
(650) 475-2827
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