4

To scope this question, I stress the word major in the title.

If we want this site to be the first resort for people looking for general information about open/free projects and content creation, it occurs to me that a major attractor would be to act as a kind of 'Bulletin Board' for some major projects.

Some of the types of announcements I'm thinking of

  • Relicensing of a widely used project
  • Major (significant) releases or features
  • << Other things that people can edit in here >>

As an example, libgmp changed its license from LGPLv2 to LGPLv3. The home page states that

Since version 6, GMP is distributed under the dual licenses, GNU LGPL v3 and GNU GPL v2.

Yet the licensing change actually happened on a point-release between version 4.2.1 and 4.2.2 as can be seen here

Changes between GMP version 4.2.1 and 4.2.2

  • License is now LGPL version 3.

This is the type of change which is of vital importance to companies using the library, and wanting to honor the license agreement. Yet a large consumer product may use hundreds of such libraries and, even with the best of intent, such a point-release can 'sneak in' to the production image.

Having a central 'clearing house' for announcements of this sort allows users of the projects to more easily respect the Licensor's desires.

This doesn't actually fit into a Q&A format, but would it match the intent of this site?

We could use a very specific tag for this type of question.

  • Yar, don't know where I fly... I'm slightly inclined to say no, but I'll have to think about it – Zizouz212 Jul 14 '15 at 20:04
  • Just to be clear, I'm simply proposing the idea and providing some rationale for it. Not sure I like it myself either – kdopen Jul 14 '15 at 20:07
  • 1
    Absolutely not. But you could announce it on chat. – curiousdannii Jul 14 '15 at 21:29
12

A note before I start: I don't actually know where I personally stand on this, but this is certainly one viewpoint. Not My Opinion tm.


No.

  1. It really doesn't fit the format.
    Stack Exchange sites are built for Q&A. They're not built for being forums, bulletin boards, mailing lists, et cetera. Having announcements like these clashes horribly.

  2. It's very open to abuse.
    Accepting posts like this leaves the door wide open for people to come along and spam us with promotion for some open source project they're running or involved with, and then say 'but you allow that' when we tell them it's spam. It would need very strong policing and active deletion of posts that don't fit.

  3. It gets very crowded very quickly.
    There are literally thousands of open source projects out there that could be considered big: Chromium, Linux, libgmp, Android, GCC, to name but a few. Announcements of changes, even big changes, to these would come along fairly often. That obscures the actual Q&A here (see point 1), and whatever specific tag we use for it will get full of announcements. If someone comes here looking for an announcement about X, they'll have to sift through mountains of stuff looking for it.

  4. We're not support.
    Although not directly support of a product, in posting these we're trying to support many communities of many different products, about which we each know minimal, contradictory stuff. See Why we're not customer support for [your favorite company] on MSO. The best related quote from that is this:

    We just don't know. All we can do is refer you to customer support.

    Yes, it'd be good to have information here about lots of things, and make ourselves really useful, but we can't. We're not best placed to keep information about project X's license, its developers are. Moreover, posts here can go out of date quite quickly, while posts from the devs on an official support channel will be kept up to date.


A note before I finish: I've now convinced myself that we don't want these. They just don't work here - it's a nice idea, but we can't fit it. If you think it'll help people, you can post in chat and ask your friendly neighborhood room owner to feature the message for you. Hello! :)


Another note: while debating this with myself, I've come up with the notion that Meta might be a slightly better place for it. If we had a tag on meta, heavily regulated by mods and top users, and a list of specific projects we'd announce for, that could work.

  • 3
    Meta could work. – HDE 226868 Jul 14 '15 at 20:13
  • @HDE226868 COULD – overactor Jul 15 '15 at 6:47
  • Might be worth a try when we have mods. – overactor Jul 15 '15 at 6:47
3

Announcements for individual projects strike me as being off-topic.

What could be on-topic is essentially "meta-level" announcements: things like new versions of the GNU or CC license families. If nothing else, there's an obvious question-and-answer format for this: "What are the differences between CC-BY-SA-4.0 and CC-BY-SA-4.1?"

  • That might open the door for "What's the difference between [X] 4.1 and [X] 4.2" where [X] is a project rather than license. – kdopen Jul 14 '15 at 22:18
  • 1
    @kdopen Questions about the use or functionality of projects are already offtopic. – curiousdannii Jul 14 '15 at 23:47
  • Yeah, but I'm just thinking we'd have to close a lot more of them :) – kdopen Jul 15 '15 at 0:21

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