Re: We can halve volume by not allowing nondevelopers to post
Several people have claim that my suggestion to close -devel to
nondeveloper postings only makes sense if I consider all those
postings to be valueless.
I don't think that's true. Even if a substantial proportion have some
value, given the current size of the developer body someone will
probably make the point anyway, and if they don't the poster can go
via a developer.
The situation we have now is that the list is largely useless for its
original main purpose: internal nonconfidential discussions amongst
The result is that many developers have taken to having discussions
which _ought_ to be public on -private because -devel has so much
volume. We're getting to the point where -private is becoming the
default place for some people to raise issues, because they don't
subscribe to -devel.
The problem is not off-topic postings, either. Very little of what is
currently on -devel can clearly be called off-topic. For example,
several people complain about this discussion, and the `censorship'
thread. However, I think that both of these are clearly correctly
placed here on -devel.
I agree that closing -devel to nondevelopers might seem arbitrary and
`unfair'. But, I don't think it is: -devel is _for_ developers, and
it's not unfair or unreasonable to try to make it used for and useable
for that purpose.
People who complain that -user is too full for the kind of discussions
they want to have in it are doing something we're familiar with from
USENET: `the forum I ought to use is too full, so I shall post to your
forum because it has lower volume'. This eventually reduces all fora
to the same uselessness.
Certainly we should create another list for other developer-user
interactions, but we cannot expect most developers to read the number
of postings we see in -devel at the moment, so we wouldn't necessarily
expect developers to subscribe to that new list.
I don't think either that closing -devel to nondeveloper postings will
significantly harm Debian's open culture.