Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Several (Small) YDN Ruby Missteps

First things first. I hope nobody thinks I'm unhappy that Yahoo has started a Ruby-centric dvelopers network. On the contrary, I'm excited and happy to see it and think there's room for YDN Ruby to do a lot of good for the larger Ruby community. I am sorry to see that they've made some mistakes along the way though. I hope that by pointing them out here, I can help effect change there (and help others avoid the same mistakes).

Now, down to business. I was browssing the main Ruby resource page at Yahoo, and noticed some problems:

  • Under "Useful Resources", there's no pointer to the ruby-talk or rails mailing lists (or the newsgroups and fora to which they're linked). There's also no link to any of the many excellent blogs or blog aggregators (like RubyCorner) that serve the Ruby community.
  • Under "Learning Ruby", they have a link to the 1st edition of the pick-axe without a mention that it's dated or that the 2nd edition is available from the Pragmatic Programmers. They also left out off the list.
  • Perhaps the worst problem is that they don't have a convenient, well-marked mechanism for providing feedback about the page. I'd love to suggest fixes for any of the points above, but there just no obvious way to do it, so I'm stuck ranting about it here. Working together to build a community is hard enough, but trying to provide a community to users is even harder.

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