Over the year, I grew a little addicted to helping people out with their Git problems. When the new git-scm.com webpage launched, and the link to the mailing list had disappeared, I was quick to ask them to add it again. I think this mailing list fills an important hole in the Git community between:
- The Git developer mailing list email@example.com - which I find to be a bit too hard-core and scary for Git newbies. Besides, the Majordomo mailing list system is pretty archaic, and I personally can't stand browsing or searching in the Gmane archives.
- The IRC channel #git on Freenode, which is a bit out-of-reach for people who never experienced the glory days of IRC. Furthermore, when the channel is busy, it's a big pain to follow any discussion.
- StackOverflow questions tagged git, these come pretty close, but it's a bit hard to keep an overview of what questions people are asking right now. And I reckon people are also a bit afraid of asking too stupid questions here, because of the ranking system.
My favorite thing about helping out on the Git-user list (well, apart from that fuzzy warm feeling when someone says thanks) is that it keeps my Git basics sharp. Any time a colleague asks me how to set a new upstream, or rebase one branch onto another, chances are I was just practicing that recently for the mailing list. Keep in mind that if the Go-to-guy for Git questions in the team doesn't know her/his basics, people will get annoyed at Git rather quickly.
Of course there are occasionally more challenging questions, and I end up learning something from somebody else on the list. And then in a few cases, we just have to give up and bounce people over to the Git development list (usually for feature requests and bug reports).
I like to think that we are doing the Git community a big service by elevating the average Git knowledge in the field, and also shielding the development list from some of the more repeating questions.
So here's the little sales-pitch in the end: The list has gotten rather busy lately, so if you've got some Git-foo to spare, it would be great if you could answer a couple of threads. Personally I make it an evening routine to drop by groups.google.com, and see if there are any unread or unanswered threads there.