To keep the same questions from popping up again and again is indeed the strong point of SO, but the Documentation App should take care of most of these.

More generally, we have several sources of eXist-db knowledge,

The Documentation App
The eXist Wiki
The Java Docs
Adam & Erik's Book
XML Prague Presentations
YouTube videos
The XQuery Wikibook
StackOverflow Q &A
Various blogs
GitHub Issues

In my opinion, there should be a concentrated effort to improve the Documentation App, to bring it up to date by reference to the other sources (I am not saying that the Book should be pillaged for this - its way of presenting the material is anyway quite different, but to neglect it would be odd as well).

To take a few examples: there are a lot of questions involving how to monitor the database, and there is a splendid new app for this, but the Documentation App is not up to date on this (nor is there any help inside the monex itself). There have been major changes in Lucene, but this is not reflected anywhere. Also, apps are introduced in the Package Manager without explanations about how they are to be installed or used.

I know there have been calls for the improvement of the Documentation App in the past, and that nothing much have come of them, but I still think this should be a priority.


On 22 Jul 2014 at 18:00:42, Joern Turner ( wrote:

Ok, probably i've not formulated that precisely enought in the beginning. I didn't wanted to suggest to close down the list completely. Of course there needs to be a place for discussions. But i still insist on the idea that it would be better to more clearly separate questions from discussions. A mailinglist is not an effective medium if looking for answers and thus the same questions will pop up again and again.

There's nothing preventing that certain questions will evolve into discussions and a strict separation won't be enforceable anyway but IMO it would be a good thing to say - if you got a question go to stackoverflow first.

On Tue, Jul 22, 2014 at 5:53 PM, <> wrote:
I agree with Chris: the mailing list is not just a forum for posting questions and getting answers. As developer, the list gives me an idea of the things people are trying to achieve with eXist, the problems they face, the interests they have. Nearly all feature developments and bug fixes start with a discussion on this list. Users may not be aware of it, but we frequently change development priorities based on what people write. Seriously, even core features like the support for XQuery started with somebody telling us: hey, this is cool, we need it.

For example, take the discussion about HTML5: until recently, I personally did not see why eXist should deal with non-well-formed HTML5 at all? It was only because people insisted that I recognised it as something which cannot be ignored.

It is this social aspect which is missing on stack overflow. On the mailing list, important discussions often start with a simple question, then evolve, move on to other topics, just to come back later. We need this free flow of communication.

I don’t mind if people ask questions on stack overflow. They are taken care of as far as I can see. In fact, whenever I get a notification from stack overflow and go there, the question has already been answered and there’s no need for me to step in ;-) That’s great.


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