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Summary of the debian-devel BoF at Debconf9


at Debconf9, there was a BoF about the debian-devel list and how we
could possibly make it more attractive.

At first some small research was presented on what other
projects/distributions (mostly Ubuntu, Gentoo, Fedora, OpenSUSE and
GNOME) are doing, the slides are here:


At the end some possible changes were proposed:

 * Defining On-Topicness more sharply, e.g.

  * Packaging Issues which pertain to more than one package

  * Non-packaging Development of Debian

 * Reconsider CCs

 * Maybe split off Packaging questions/issues to a new -packaging list?

 * Maybe split off WNPP Traffic to a new -wnpp list?

The first (redefining on-topicness) and third (split off packaging
questions) points did not meet a lot of discussion (maybe somebody on
this list has some input?), however the second (recondider CCs) and last
(split off wnpp traffic) had some.

Regarding CCs, it was hightlighted that the current list conduct
explicitely says (since a short while ago) people should refrain from
complaining about CCs on-list and do this privately.  Further discussion
made clear that most of the people present might consider getting CCed a
small nuisance, but consider discussions about this much more
disrupting.  Furthermore, some people actually like being CCed on
things, though maybe more to attract their attention to threads they
would otherwise not read (and not as direct replies to them).

The other discussed item was about ITPs.  It turned out that roughly 20%
of the debian-devel list traffic are ITPs and discussions thereof.
While it is clear that ITPs should get reviewed, maybe not all of them
have to be copied to -devel.  It was suggested that for mass-filings
(sometimes people file the ITP for a dozen perl libraries needed as
Build-Depends/Depends for a package in one go), something less-intrusive
could be used, maybe perhaps a summary posting.  Another option is that
specific teams like the perl or the games teams review ITPs in their
field, while only generic ITPs get copied to -devel.

Another important discussion was about dealing with big and repetetive
threads.  Most people seemed to agree that those threads are a problem
and it was suggested to mail the involved people privately and ask them
to reconsider mailing the same arguments multiple times.

If I misrepresented something or forgot anything, please correct me.



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