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   Revision #4 - 7/2/2009 11:37 AM     

Podcast 60


Intro, advertising


Atwood: One of the rules of StackOverflow is a little bit Fight Club like in that
we don't, we prefer that people don't discuss StackOverflow on StackOverflow.

Spolsky: Yeah.

Atwood: And...

Spolsky: You can tell by the meta site exactly why we prefer that.

Atwood: Well, really you think that's true ? I actually had one user comment on Twitter ?.com added "Man I really fought you on this meta thing and now that you've opened Pandora's Box I see what you were talking about". Why do you say that then Joel ?

Spolsky: Well the reason I don't like having meta on any discussion group is that it's something for, well, a lot of it is something for newbies right like. The first thing that happens is a newbie comes into the discussion group and starts hanging out and like "Wow this is really fun, I like this discussion group".

Spolsky: <laughs>

Atwood: But they have all kinds of feature requests and ideas and stuff like that and the first thing they want to do is start reorganising it in their image. You know...

Atwood: Really ?

Spolsky: You know they start discussing like "Why can't you sort the things here by color ?" and whatever maybe.

Atwood: Right.

Spolsky: And now because they're newbies they're noticing the same thing that all the other newbies noticed and brought up as subjects of conversation and because they're newbies they don't know that these things have been talked about endlessly. And they're boring to the people that actually live in the newsgroup and use it, for news...

Atwood: I see.

Spolsky: And discussion or whatever.

Atwood: Well isn't that the point in which you, the grizzled veteran, would point to the fact.

Spolsky: Yes.

Atwood: And force the user to go...

Spolsky: Read the fricking FAQ.

Atwood: Yeah.

Spolsky: Uhh.

Atwood:  I have noticed that, and actually that's something that came up on UserVoice a lot was that you would get the same stuff over and over and over.

Spolsky: Sure.




Atwood: So, the topic I wanted to talk about was, what came up was, open-sourcing Stack Overflow code.  Now, to be clear, this is not something that's happening tomorrow or even next week, or even this year or even maybe next year.  But eventually, I am very much for it, because I feel like that is how code... if you want code to survive in the larger world, eventually I believe in the current climate you have to open source it.  The only path is open.

Spolsky: So Windows ... is dead.

Atwood: Essentially, yes, I would agree with that.

Spolsky: The iPhone operating system ... dead!

Atwood: Mm, well, the iPhone is a little bit different because it's such a closed eco-system.  But in an eco-system where anybody can build it and where anybody can jump in and participate, there's essentially no cost to entry — a cell phone market is [not even?] a no-cost-to-entry market, it's pretty much a close eco-system, but a PC is definitely a anybody-can-play, there's-no-charge eco-system.  I think in that eco-system, open source is kind of winning.


[67:27 ends]

Outro, advertising


Last Modified: 8/9/2009 5:00 PM

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