Stack Exchange for Jewish Life and Learning

It seems like Stack Exchange is the perfect platform for questions about Jewish observance. After all, most of the Talmud reads just like Stack Overflow: a question, followed by multiple answers, usually with the highest ranking answer appearing first. The number of questions is infinite.

If you would be interested in participating in such a thing, please commit to the proposal today.

World Tour – last chance

Due to unexpected demand we’ve been working with the venues for the upcoming FogBugz World Tour 2010 (incorporating DVCS University) to find more room. We already have more than 3154 people signed up and in some cities, we moved to a larger venue to accomodate everybody.

That means there’s still room in most cities if you haven’t signed up.

If you come, you’ll see me give a demo of FogBugz 8.0 and Kiln 2.0, and we’ll give you a one hour introduction to distributed version control … how it works, how it’s different than the version control you know and love, and how to set it up to make your life easier. There will also be coffee and cookies, and a chance to meet Fog Creek people and other techies from your town.

Sign up now, it’s free! Hurry up—it all starts next week. I look forward to meeting you in person.

PS: If you get waitlisted, don’t despair. The night before each event, we will email everybody begging them to cancel if they know they can’t make it, so that we can let in people from the waitlist. What happened last year is that a few people cancelled the night before allowing us to let in all or most of the waitlist.

WebApps.stackexchange.com nothingtoinstall.com now live!

The first Stack Exchange site to make it all the way through the community creation process is now live and out of beta!

Nothing to Install screenshot

webapps.stackexchange.com is a place to get help with web applications. Want to know how to email huge files? How to delete your Facebook account? How to secretly follow someone on Twitter? How to backup WordPress blogs, ahem, Jeff? This is the site.

(Updated: Only days after launching, we changed the name from “nothingtoinstall.com” to “webapps.stackexchange.com” because nobody really liked that name!)

FogBugz and Kiln (coming soon to a city near you)

Thanks to the hard work of the Fog Creek team, including ten great summer interns, we have just released amazing new upgrades to FogBugz and Kiln.

FogBugz World Tour Kiwi LogoTo kick off the new releases, we’re about to start another one of our famous world tours. I’ll be flying to 20 (yes, twenty) different cities to demo FogBugz 8.0 to anyone who wants to come see it in person.

As an added bonus, I’m also going to bring along someone from the Kiln team to teach a one-hour course in distributed version control. If you’ve been wondering what all the fuss is about, this is a painless way to learn the basics of the new generation of version control.

The events are absolutely free but they always fill up right away, so go sign up now!


Map generated by the Great Circle Mapper – copyright © Karl L. Swartz

Merging Season

Area 51 is filling up with thousands of ideas for new Stack Exchange sites, and a pretty clear pattern has started to worry us: too many ridiculously niche proposals, overlapping proposals, and proposals that are already covered by an existing site.

Merging Season

 

A new WordPress Stack Exchange

We’ve been opening new Stack Exchanges left and right on a variety of topics. In almost every case, the Stack Exchange appears to duplicate the content of an existing community. For example, our WordPress answers site (now in beta) covers the exact same material as WordPress.org’s existing forums.

This is nothing new to us at Stack Overflow, which purported to cover the exact same material as hundreds (if not thousands) of other programming sites. There’s no rule that says that there needs to be exactly one Q&A website per topic.

There is, however, a compelling case for the Stack Exchange technology. WordPress.org’s forums don’t have voting, so you have to read through every answer and decide for yourself which one might solve your problem. They don’t have reputation, so there’s no way to see whether you’re getting an answer from someone who knows what they’re talking about. They don’t have wiki-style editing, so collaboration is impossible. You have to log on to ask or answer a question, so the burden of participation is higher. Stack Overflow is simply better than traditional forums, which is why it largely replaced proprietary forums. I remember hours of discussion with John Resig and the folks at jQuery who couldn’t decide whether to replace the jQuery Google Group with a forum or with a Stack Exchange. Ultimately it didn’t matter that much, because most of the jQuery Q&A activity happens on Stack Overflow anyway.

One day, the features that are standard on Stack Exchange will be copied everywhere. Until then, we’ll keep churning out new sites.