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FME Community Answers: The Latest Chapter for the FME Nation

On 27 May, 1998, a very select few individuals woke up to this message in their inbox: The FME mailing list is a forum for FME users to ask questions,...

On 27 May, 1998, a very select few individuals woke up to this message in their inbox:

The FME mailing list is a forum for FME users to ask questions, receive help,
and generally exchange information on FME. Questions about FME formats,
processing capabilities, future plans, documentation, mapping (control) files
and coordinate conversion issues are welcomed.

The original FME mailing list ( had been born. In the beginning the majority of the messages came from Safe announcing bits of new functionality together with mapping file codesnippets (MULTI_READER gets wildcards!, a new OverlayFactory, DonutFactory can drop holes!!!), but before long, a thriving community of questioners and answerers began to accumulate.

Hosting technology changed, and soon we were, and from there, Times changed, and nearly 5 years ago, we bid adieu to Yahoo with the below post:

Dec 10, 2007:

Goodbye FME (Yahoo) Mailing List,

We’ve moved you over to Google now, as Mark has pointed out, but he
did ask me to submit the coda to this archive.

It’s hard to believe this group has been alive for nearly 10 years
now. As I flipped through the archive just now, I was left amazed at
the wealth of knowledge and fun that has been shared in the 14388
postings that line these electronic halls.

The group started in a pre-workbench era, early questions were about
how to read multiple files “without coding for hours”. We’ve come a
long way, baby.

Thanks to all of you for not only being along for the ride, but
particularly for contributing to the journey. We couldn’t have done
it without you.

See you on the other side

And so the Google-hosted FME Talk began. Today, there are more than 2,700 members of FME Talk, and more than 27,000 posts in the archive! The group remains very active, and 2012 is on track to be the most active year ever.

Graph of FME User Group Activity

Hidden behind these post counts lies an untold wealth of data transformation tips, tricks, know-how, and general time-saving-and-priceless information that has been shared over the past 14 or so years of FME community. Though the hosting has changed multiple times, and members have come and gone, the high quality of the FME community members has remained. Friendships have been started, and personalities have emerged as the back and forth information has flowed. Many, many people have shared their expertise freely in the FME Talk corridors, and the whole FME community is so much better for their efforts.

Thanks so much to each and every one of you that has participated. And I must single out Mark Ireland for championing this effort within Safe for many many years now – thanks so much Mark. And special thanks to the FME Heros and Idols like Jeff Konnen, Hans van del Maarel, Jason Birch, Klaas Dijkstra, Michael Harbata, and Peter Laulund who have contributed so much to our collective FME Talk knowledge.

Ask the FME CommunityGoogle has been a very gracious host these past 5 years, but the siren-call of SalesForce has proven too enticing to ignore. To that end, I’m pleased to announce that “FME Community Answers”, the latest chapter in our evolving community, has thrown open its doors as of today. It’s a much more modern platform for getting answers to questions, and more importantly, it is a close brother of FMEpedia and as such allows us to bring these treasure troves of FME goodies more easily to FME users everywhere. The net result of this all will be an even richer ability for FME newbies and experts alike to “ask questions, receive help, and generally exchange information on FME”.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

See you on the other FME Community Answers side…

PS: Be sure to read Mark’s excellent intro post over on the FME Evangelist.

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