[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Publicly-readable list for only DDs and DMs to post to

On Monday, July 18, 2016 07:53:23 PM Stefano Zacchiroli wrote:
> On Mon, Jul 18, 2016 at 05:46:46PM +0100, Ian Jackson wrote:
> > In any case, with the renewed opposition here I'm certainly not going
> > to push this issue unless there are others who agree with me and
> > disagree with the views of others posted so far.
> I agree what you proposed would be an interesting experiment to carry
> on.
> Debian is committed to openness and transparency, not to empower anyone
> who has an opinion on the Internet voice it in every possible Debian
> forum. Also https://xkcd.com/1357/ (the "Free Speech" one).
> I'm also absolutely unconvinced by the "raising the barrier of entry"
> argument.  First of all what you're proposing is not replacing any
> existing communication forum; it's increasing their number, not making
> it harder for anyone out there to contribute.  Second, I don't buy that
> posting to a public mailing list is necessarily a contribution; it might
> be, or it might be not. In almost all cases where it actually is a
> contribution, I can see it being more helpful and better tracker if it
> is sent elsewhere, and most notably our BTS---which you're not proposing
> tightening in any way. Sure, there would be cases where a mail from a
> non-DD/DM is a useful contribution and we would be making it hard to
> receive it, but the price we are currently paying for empowering those
> (IMO very rare) contributions is likely reduced participation by DDs/DMs
> that feel overwhelmed, if not scared, by the kind of traffic we
> currently have on -devel.
> Plus, I love having data to base decisions on. And we currently have no
> idea of how such a list would work out. Let's just try it as an
> experiment and see how it goes.
> I won't have time/energy to push for this idea more than this. But if
> you were in need of gentle encouragement... here you go :-)

I do think the example of Ubuntu splitting ubuntu-devel into ubuntu-devel and 
ubuntu-devel-discuss may be a relevant data point.  As an active participant 
in Ubuntu development both before and after the split I paid attention to it 
(and remained subscribed to ubuntu-devel-discuss long after most other 
developers had unsubscribed).  Here's a few things I think are relevant:

1.  At the time, ubuntu-devel had open subscription and the signal to noise 
ratio was low enough that developers were unsubscribing.  Most (virtually all, 
IMO) of the noise was from people who were not involved in Ubuntu development.

2.  All subscribers of ubuntu-devel were initially cross-subscribed to ubuntu-
devel-discuss when it was created and then posting rights to ubuntu-devel were 
restricted (and those that didn't qualify were removed).  Others could mail 
the list, but they went to the moderation que.

3.  Over time, based on a history of reasonable messages making it through the 
moderation que, some people were white listed to participate on ubuntu-devel.

4.  Over time, the number of developer subscribers to ubuntu-devel-discuss 
declined as the signal to noise ratio was bad and probably got worse over time 
as users got angry at not getting responses (IMO most developers' response to 
this sort of thing was just to unsubscribe - the work of the project wasn't 
getting done on this list, so there was no reason to put up with it).

5.  Ubuntu-devel continues to be used, but ubuntu-devel-discuss is dead enough 
that I don' remember if I remembered to unsubscribe when I stopped working on 

As it relates to Debian, I don't know if most of the debian-devel noise comes 
from inside the project or outside, but to the extent it comes from the 
outside, I list that didn't have it might prove to be popular.  I think it's 
an experiment worth running.

Scott K

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: This is a digitally signed message part.

Reply to: