Down Usenet lane…

Exactly one day after I wrote that Jeff and Joel are two of my favourite writers, both of them announce a joint venture they’re doing called stackoverflow.com which is the new Usenet/newsgroup. For the dear reader who perhaps has not seen the wonder that is the Usenet – I learnt most of my real coding through Usenet usegroups – comp.lang.c and the like, so this is a huge deal and if successful, could be insanely significant to pragmatic software development as a whole.

The idea is, prima facie, the perfect solution (massive information portal for programmers) that solves a diffcult and real problem (getting better at programming) which is borne from correct observation (programmers learn programming through Q&A with other programmers) and which has only a poor current solution (information buried in newsgroups, forums, blogs and scattered all over the Internet).

But I have to say I’m a bit skeptical of how exactly they’re going to execute this. How will it be different from a normal forum? How will they centralize the current knowledge-base of information into the new site? How will they replicate the newsgroup-like feel of the late 1990s?

At any rate, it should be very interesting to see two incisive and sharp observational software developers tackle this problem.

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