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

Ian Jackson <ijackson@chiark.greenend.org.uk> writes:

> I think that such a list would provide an opportunity for discussions
> to move out of -private, which is of course an even bigger barrier to
> participation.

I believe threads stay in -private long past the point of requiring
privacy, not because people are particularly enamored of the audience or
posting restrictions there, but because discussion threads almost never
move.  People always tried to move threads in Usenet as well, and I'd say
it works about 5% of the time.  People almost always just keep replying in
whatever forum they saw the original in.

This isn't a problem specific to Debian.  I see this all the time at work
too.  The only thing that can sort of help is if *everyone* in the
discussion is using something like Gmail that doesn't do proper threading
and instead shows every discussion as a linear discussion, and everyone
does reply-to-all to the last message of the discussion, at which point
you can mess with the recipients and sometimes it will stick.  But with
any diversity of mail clients or proper threading, this goes away.

And the threads start in -private due, usually, to legitimate privacy
issues.  I've rarely seen threads *start* in -private for no apparent
reason.  Rather, thread drift happens (which is pretty much a constant),
and the thread never moves (which is pretty much a constant).

I'm extremely sympathetic to the problem you're trying to solve, but I
think it's a fairly fundamental UI issue in how email works, and I'm
dubious that creating another list will help much.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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