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Re: Yet another list statistics for debian-project

On Mon, 19 Jan 2009, Ben Finney wrote:


Here the difference is very clear and the conclusion that Debian
Junior needs definitely help. Other list show similar decreasing or
increasing features.

No, that conclusion is not at all clear. All you have demonstrated is
decreasing list traffic.

No.  The graph


shows way more than list traffic.  it shows that the project was
basically a one man project which failed in gathering a substitute
after this one man orphaned the project.  You might either reread
my remarks about this or just read


You have yet to offer any basis for jumping from the observation
“decreasing list traffic” to the inference “project definitely
needs help”.

I was probably tricked by the fact that there might be three types of
mailing list under lists.debian.org:

  1. Lists concerning the whole project with high trafic (debian-devel,
     --> I admit for this kind of mailing lists the statistics I
         did are basically useless to draw conclusions how well things
         work and are just nice if you like graphing some numbers or
         for historical review whatever.
  2. Lists which dealt with specific technical issues which can
     be resolved up to a certain point.  Two people explained me
     in private mail that for instance the issues for debian-laptop
     are basically solved and debian-kde is a user oriented list
     and because KDE became so easy users have less and less
     --> For this type of lists my observation I made when looking
         at lists of type 3 (where my initial view was focussed on)
         just does not work and leads probably to wrong conclusions.
         Sorry about this - I think this might be sorted out now
         and I will remain more carefully with interpretations or
         rather try to give only interpretations about lists I know
         from own experience.
  3. Lists of certain subprojects which deal with certain topics
     (either user oriented Blends like Debian Edu, Debian Med etc),
     or language oriented like debian-perl etc.
     --> For this type of lists my observation works.
  4. Perhaps there are even more types.

Examples for type 3:


shows quite similar features as I would see for the Debian Med graph
I linked above:  Two very active poster (so if one of them gets hit
by a bus the project remains save in contrast to some other projects)
and a solid base of people who came to the project (and did not left
it).  No matter how high the peaks of the top most posters are it is
important that the last year is not very sparse (at least I consider
this as an important feature for the "type 3" lists).  Just compare
it to Debian Junior or if you need another example Debian Nonprofit


which was even closed.

What other explanations have you entertained, and how have you decided
they're not sufficient? If the answer is “none”, don't you think
it's a bit early to jump directly to a “project is in trouble”
conclusion and post Chicken Little messages to multiple lists?

OK, I tried to apologise for drawing wrong conclusions and I now
tried to find out the reasons why I failed in certain circumstances.
I think I will not continue to spam the list with further

I admit that not in all cases my interpretation was correct but if
some people find arguments that I'm wrong and there is no problem

You're the one making the positive assertion. *Why* do you think the
above inference is so strong that you can say these projects
“definitely need help”?

I parsed my mail for the string help.  It occured on

    Asked for help at
    I had a RL chat with Michael Banck who expressed that this project
    might need some manpower
    Asked for help at
    At LSM 2007 I was talking to GIS people who was not even aware
    that this project exists and I think they have a problem with
    visibility.  I developed technical means to help out here (see
    Blends tasks pages) and I just offered help to solve an issue
    I know about.  Guessing from the experience I tried to explain
    above the project shows some features I'm worrying about.

I used the term 'definitely' only in the debian-boot case.  If you
disagree that debian-boot might be happy about some manpower please
discuss this with these brave people.  I have no idea whether my
mail was somehow helpful to convince some people to work on debian-boot
but I think writing a single mail to the list will not really block
their work.

Kind regards



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