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I regularly get information from an unrelated mailing list about Stata. I would love to propose that the community to switch to the Stack Overflow Stata tag. I Statalist is old and archaic and harder to navigate/search than Stack Overflow. Simply put Stack Overflow is superior to Marjordomo. However, I can't imagine everyone abandoning the existing system and it's archives.

Would Stack Overflow ever import the old mailing list archives into the Stack Overflow. Does Stack Overflow ever do this type of thing?

I'm assuming (1) community buy-in and (2) the old emails could be scraped off the pages or dumped from the server with cooperation from the list owner.

Am I dreaming?

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You're looking to import your data to a better CMS for navigation. I don't think this is your best option. –  Incognito Dec 15 '10 at 20:14

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Stack Overflow Flash Mobs has some information about some R users getting together to manually port information over to Stack Overflow. There was also a question about Perl, Can we import the perlfaq into Stackoverflow? but it never got an official response.

I think it would be preferable in your case to have a group of people do it manually, since knowledgeable users are going to be better equipped to decide what should be moved than any script could be. I'd also guess that you'd definitely need permission, if not direct involvement, from the list owner.

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Thanks to all of you. I guess that makes a lot of sense (and probably is what I knew deep down on a subconscious level). Although, I'm not sure how well it bodes for the future of Stata on SO... –  Keith Dec 17 '10 at 15:20

It's a bad idea to try to import archives from another format into Stack Overflow or Stack Exchange.

Stack Exchange-type sites are based on questions and answers: 1 question, multiple answers. There's voting, which determines the order of the answers.

Any existing content that was generated in another format doesn't have this structure. You can't tell which topic-starters are questions and which topic-starters are just topic-starters or announcements. Some of the topic followups are proposed answers, others are comments, still others are requests for clarification.

If you tried to import it into Stack Overflow, you'd have a big mess.

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I agree, I don't see FAQ and mailing lists being the same thing as Q&A. It's not just that it's inappropriate structure, but the context of the question/answer don't match up either. This site grows the context organically from the structure. Mailing lists, man pages, docs... they don't do what SE does, which is why I'm part of this community. –  Incognito Dec 15 '10 at 20:11

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