[Biopython-dev] Encouraging use of Stack Overflow for questions

Brad Chapman chapmanb at 50mail.com
Mon Jan 18 08:01:15 EST 2010

Hey all;
After the Google groups discussion kicked off by Istvan last month,
I've been thinking a bit about supplements to mailing list
discussions. I'm agreed that mailman is not great for searching and
archival purposes; we often see similar questions appear because
finding and browsing the right thread from a past discussion is not

Google groups is okay, but doesn't offer a huge improvement over
mailman. Additionally, reports indicate spamming is pretty bad,
which creates additional moderation headaches.

For handling "how do I do this biology task in Python" questions, what
do people think about something entirely different like Stack Overflow?
This presents a nice interface for asking questions, and the follow
ups are voted up and down by utility so it's easy to see what the
right answer is. Questions there are indexed well by search engines,
so it's also more likely someone might be able to find a previous

There are actually a couple of questions on there with a Biopython


>From our point of view, we would need to adjust the documentation to
point out Stack Overflow as a place to ask questions, and then
monitor the biopython tag for new posts.

Mailman is still a great option for implementation discussions, but
Stack Overflow could open up question/answers to a larger audience and
help supplement the cookbook and formal documentation.


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