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Re: Why discussions don't move from debian-private

On Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 3:01 PM, Russ Allbery <rra@debian.org> wrote:
> Jakub Wilk <jwilk@debian.org> writes:
>> Someone complained about a lengthy off-topic discussion taking place on
>> debian-private, and suggested to move it to a public mailing list.
> A follow-up to this.  In response to the question of why so many threads
> start on debian-private in the first place, I proposed the following two
> explanations:
> * debian-private does not contain irritating trolls.  That means that some
>   discussions can be had more easily on debian-private, or at least with
>   less frustration and annoyance, because the audience who can talk is
>   restricted to people who have some investment in the project.  This
>   obviously has its downsides as well, but I think it's a frequent
>   explanation.

Could this be addressed by a moderated "public" list, that only allows
DDs to post?

I'd add a couple of other reasons that I believe things end up in private are:

1) most of our mailing lists are fairly topic specific, and have a
fairly tight scope of what can be discussed. IE: Discussions on most
of our lists should be of the nature of "contribution" to a particular
area of Debian. Things seem to sometimes end of on -private solely
because they don't fit on any other mailing list.

2) There isn't a single mailing list where one can reach an audience
of largely just DDs. (You'd have to write to -announce, -devel and
-project to reach the majority of DDs but you'd also be spamming
others by a much wider margin.)

Could a list like that had these qualities, of: subscribed by the
majority of DDs, having a widely scoped topic, and posting limited to
DDs (with perhaps moderated posts from non-DDs allowed), potentially
alleviate some of the need to post on -private?

I'll also add that the social contract, is not at cross purposes to
privacy, and states that "We will not hide problems" in the context of
the bugs and bug reports. It does not say, nothing can be discussed in
private. There is a number of legitimate things that need to be
handled in private. (Largely that fall under the scope of honoring
individual "privacy".)


> * Thread drift.  Things start on debian-private for legitimately private
>   reasons and then drift into general discussions.  Thread drift is a
>   universal in every communication forum I've used in the past 20 years.
>   I don't think there's any real way to stop it.  There's rarely any good
>   break point where the discussion clearly goes from private to public in
>   a way that makes it easy to move.
> --
> Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>
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