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procmail filter and splitting up debian-user

On Wed, 6 Aug 1997, Richard G. Roberto wrote:

> On Tue, 5 Aug 1997, Paul Wade wrote:
> > The word 'newbie' just plain sucks, but why not use it anyway? We can even
> > think of ways to 'haze' them until they are considered part of the elite!
> > 
> > I use procmail to meet my needs, not because it is required. Some
> > unfortunate user who is trying to install Debian because we told him it
> > was better than slackware doesn't have ppp working. He sends mail to a
> > debian list using his mother's palmtop (windows-CE) or webTV. Obviously he
> > needs help so he can get his personal hardware operational. Why not keep
> > it simple? He sends mail to debian-help and checks his pop3 mailbox to see
> > whether the cavalry will come to his rescue or not.
> > 
> > After we get him up and running, he can participate in other discussions
> > and hear about the pros and cons of emacs, which mta to use, the perfect
> > procmail setup, and the like.
> This makes the most sense to me.  I still think that keeping
> debian-user as the "newbie/help" list and moving the noise
> is the better way to go, but as long as people have a
> simple, straight forward channel, I guess it doesn't matter.
> I can just envision the confusion it would cause to change
> it though.  It seems less obtrusive to move the noise to
> debian-{talk,discussion,noise,nonsense,whatever}.

I personally think there will be just as much load on newbie as there is
on user, while the noise on newbie will be a bit higher because of repeat
questions.  This may change is a mailing list faq is released.  
I also don't like the help and discussion ideas.  If I need help setting
up a complicated network, do I ask debian help?  I now have to subscribe
to two list, my e-mail volume isn't reduced, just better sorted.

[idea on cross post filter snipped]
> I think I'm still mis-reading this.  Do you mean the lists
> would get filtered and cross postings filtered out?  How
> would this work?  Which list would have precedence?  This
> sounds even more confusing.  Either the mail would get
> filtered before it got redistributed on the lists, or it
> would get filtered after it went out (by us, the recipients
> -- see the previous discussion on why this is bad.)

It's done at the user level, so you still have to download crosspost if
you get mail from a pop server.  However, once people realize they are
filtered out by most gurus, they will pick the correct group, and cross
post should decrease.

[request not to keep debian-user as the newbie channel]

Last time this thread was going around, I suggested debian-guru for your
same reasons.  I'd still like a debian guru, however, 
1) the name sounds a little rude, maybe someone has a better name.
2) user volume will still be high for most non-gurus
3) some will say this is what debian-devel is for, even though guru is for
   user questions that are more advanced than most, but not development
   related questions.
I just want some kind of newbie/guru split, and I'd settle for

> > 5) newbies know where to post.  When you start asking questions the 
> >    newbies can't answer (or any of the gurus that follow deb-newbie), you 
> >    move on to debian-user.
> This isn't what I thought debian's support structure was
> about.  Please re-evaluate this. 

I don't understand the drawback, what don't you like about newbies helping
newbies and then moving on?  Listening to the list, I'd say there will be
a fair number of more experienced users subscribing to newbie also.  What
difference does it make if you receive help from a newbie or a guru if
it's just as good?  If the guru's want more time to do other things, do
they have to unsubscribe from all the debian list, or can they at least
stay on a guru-type list?  What happens when Bruce can't keep up with the
volume?  IMO, when the head of the project can't follow at least some of
the user like problems, it becomes a Bad Thing (tm).

> > Why I don't like the topics in the subject lines:
> ...
> > 2) newbies can easially set up filters to deal with this volume.
> Again with the filters and the newbies!  No wonder I keep
> getting the "wrong" idea.

eek, bad typo, I meant newbies _can't_ easilly set up filters.  Therefore,
the newbies have to put up with the high volume of debian-user while gurus
sort out particular areas of interest.

> On a side note, I think we should call newbies "dave"
> and gurus "liza" from now on. ;)
I would, but everyone else on this list who didn't see this line would be
confused as heck.  It would be fun though :-)

Who knows, if we keep this thread up long enough, everyone else will leave
and the volume will suddenly drop.


Brandon Mitchell                         E-mail: bhmit1@mail.wm.edu
  Homepage: http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/7877/home.html

"We all know Linux is great...it does infinite loops in 5 seconds."
	--Linus Torvalds

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