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i'm getting more and more issues submitted indicating that other people are actually using the project.module on their own sites (i know, surprising, huh?). ;)
i'd love to have a way to communicate with these people in a more structured way than leaving comments on the project node or in the issue queue. for example, the new release system completely drops support for the old "scan this directory for new releases" stuff, but i have no idea if anyone is really using/depending on that functionality in the wild. i'd love to be able to send out an email to all these people (opt-in, of course) and say "hey, i'm planning to do X, will that ruin your site?". similarly, such a community of users is an essential element in fostering a wider team of active users, testers, and eventually developers/translators/contributors for project.module.
of course, nothing i just said is specific to project.module. anyone trying to be a responsible maintainer would probably want something like this. and i'm guessing users of modules would often be thrilled to have a list of this sort.
there's the whole issue of project-specific forum posts. while that would certainly help keep the forums more useful, i don't think that's a solution to this problem, since i don't believe end users of any given module are going to be closely following those forums in the same way.
i see a few possible solutions:
- define a new type of group on http://groups.drupal.org called something like "Module users", and open the floodgates to creating and advertising the existence of these groups. g.d.o already provides all the functionality you could possibly want for this: email, RSS, web comments, moderation, etc, etc. plus, it requires almost no work. the only possible downside is a potentially large number of new groups (not sure that's even a downside, really).
- create a slew of new mailing lists. that seems like it'd be harder to maintain and would be a bigger strain on our already stretched infrastructure team. plus, you'd be stuck with a mailing list, not any of the other cooler, drupal-ish forms of communication.
- we could add some kind of crazy newsletter-like functionality directly into project.module itself, so in addition to subscribing to issue queues, you could subscribe to that module's newsletter. this wouldn't be a full blown list, and only project maintainers could post to it (replies being sent to the author, not the list, etc). i'm even less thrilled about this option.
does anyone else think this is a useful idea?
would people use it?
any other alternative solutions?