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Re: Mailing list policy (stats)

I did a crude tabulation of messages in debian-devel Jan 98
from web page. (took a while doing it, thatswhy last weeks situation)
The last update was on 19:28 GMT Mon Jan 19.  There are 1178 messages.

Details available on request but I believe these are uninteresting.

Most of my grouping was by memory, I did not read messages again.
I grouped messages mainly by first messages of threads, so noise
did get under some 'relevant' heading. One should not draw too
stong conclusions from the data, since 19 days is less than the life
of some threads. Also the natural variety of topics does not get
represented in numbers.

Here are the results, for grouping see at the end of message:

upgrade & usage of hamm : 260	~ 20 %

policy etc              : 245	~ 20 %

copyrights & sections   :  18	
developer management    : 187	
release management      : 139	

packaging questions     : 242	~ 20 %
programming             :  42	
misc. devel             :  52	
                       = 1185
(apparently 7 messages got counted twice, but I'm not going 
to do it again)

And now, what conclusions can we draw from all this?
(see below for proposals based on these)

1) there are too many messages, ~ 60 messages / day
   is WAY too many

2) debian-unstable (or whatever) would draw noticeable
   amount of traffic from debian-devel AND maybe
   also provide better service for those who are 
   NOT asking questions here out of consideration for 

3) project management issues should be taken out of 
   debian-devel (= copyrights & sections, developer
   management, release management)

4) policy etc. + packaging questions = ~ 500, from
   this I guess (I did not tabulate messages this
   way) more than half could have been avoided
   if easily accessible documentation would have
   been available

5) several threads were self escalating when
   they were joined by people who had not read
   earlier messages

6) it is very difficult to move a thread to another
   list or to stop it 

7) copyright issues were not strongly represented in
   this sample but sometimes they are

What I propose should be done about all this:

a) use faq-o-matiq for unstable usage issues

b) create debian-unstable (or whatever) and
   have description say that check faq-o-matiq
   before posting and have this description
   on web page, in subscription confirmation
   and posted weekly

c) use faq-o-matiq for wnpp & related issues

d) use faq-o-matiq for developer related issues
   and have description say that check faq-o-matiq
   before posting and have this description
   on web page, in subscription confirmation
   and posted weekly

e) remaind about debian-mentors in all possible places

f) (if somebody is willing to do it) I have seen
   a succesful application of 'beginner/dumb question
   service' where newbies can send questions to
   an address and there somebody either responds
   with (pointer to) answer or decides that this
   question is worthy of list and forwards the question

Most of these actions are doable by relative newbies
or some non-programmers and I believe Paul T.
is already working on some of them with his
newbie service.

I believe that these actions might reduce traffic
to about 10 messages / day and make life bearable again.


below this only grouping examples --------------------

I used the following groups (with examples of threads):
misc. devel: 
 Debian's machines and net access		:  7
 New official mirrors				:  6
 Question/request concerning master		: 14
 Incoming mirrors?				:  5
 cannot access bug tracking database		:  4
 Debian logo license still not resolved		:  5

policy etc.
 kernel headers---FAQ				: 40
 Policy Weekly Issue #5				:  2 
 Linking shared libraries with -lc		:  6
 cron jobs more often than daily		: 87
 Re: What warrants a non-maintainer release num : 22
 Re: What's Debian's /usr/src policy		: 59

copyrights & sections
 Re: GIF patent issue Kai Henningsen		:  1
 ICQJava					:  6
 Mailcrypt - EMACS package maintainers please r :  2
 Mailcrypt section?				:  9

developer management
 xxx up for adoption				:  9
 intent to package xxx				: 38
 Anyone working on new xxx version?		: 11
 Maintainer of xxx?				: 16
 FTP Archive cleanup				:  4
 Developers in xxx? (pgp signing)		:  8

release management
 Re: My own libc6 progress, and package adoptio : 21
 Libc6 progress					: 14
 bo-unstable					:  9 
 please upgrade your packages to current standa : 11
 Debian 2.0 release requirements		: 21

packaging questions
 gcc 2.8.0 released (was Re: Alpha problems...) : 13
 Single source for main and non-free packages	:  3
 HELP: two smbfs packages			:  6
 Self Referencing depends			: 15
 Dependency and priority mismatches		:  8
 procps						: 27

upgrade & usage of hamm
 perl5.004 for bo				: 12
 ide-floppy, ziptools, fdmount			:  3 
 Re: Debian and the millenium bug		: 17
 time stamps tomorrow?				:  3
 Linux Kernel list???				:  3
 autoupgrade script				: 43

 libc6 is missing "swab"			:  3
 Pre-processor "Manifest Constant"		:  3
 Missing libpthread0_7-1.deb?			:  2
 file descriptors??				: 11
 tecra patch?					:  2

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