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Re: Easing the load.

On Sat, 13 Dec 2003 09:16:24 -0500
Paul Morgan <paulswm@earthlink.net> wrote:

> On Thu, 11 Dec 2003 20:50:15 +0800, David Palmer wrote:
> > I have seen what I believe is a need for an additional mailing list, not
> > so much for the benefit of the developers' list, but most definitely for
> > the sake of sanity on debian-user. I have posted to curiosain
> > recognition of their patience with an O.T. situation.
> > 
> [snip]
> >         
> > 
> >         As a migration point for O.T. threads that are creating a
> >         distraction within the main lists. There are two aspects to
> >         this:-
> >         
> >         (1). The distracting, disruptive influence just stated, and
> >         
> >         (2). The carry over and clutter created within the corresponding
> >         archive. The last thing a busy admin needs when a server is
> >         down, and she requires the answer to a problem, is to have to
> >         wade through a tide of irrelevant flotsam and jetsam. Having the
> >         facility of a list of this nature would have the effect of
> >         really cleaning up the archives.
> >         
> >         Non productive O.T. threads could, with the consensus of three
> >         other list members (to avoid personality clash scenarios) for
> >         example, could be migrated to the proposed list, leaving the
> >         main list to proceed productively, maintaining the integrity of
> >         the archive. If the thread becomes too off the wall for the new
> >         list, and after an initial negotiation fails, the
> >         personality(ies) could be unsubscribed. I believe the new list
> >         could be as productively essential as any other in its' own way,
> >         I do not see it as the dumping ground for the collective Debian
> >         effluviant, just a little further down the alimentary tract
> >         perhaps ;
> >         
> [snip]
> So, you are wanting debian-user to become a moderated list, basically.

Yes, moderated by the list members as it always has been.
> What if there are three other list members who *don't* want the thread to
> be migrated?

Here we have the present problem. Terminate the thread, take it to private mail,
or persist with the thread on Debian-User to the detriment of the list, associated archive, and the generation of ill-will within the community.

If there are personalities who wish to persist in a destructive behaviour pattern, they will do so. But if they have an alternative venue, they will have less justification for their persistence and will generally accept the alternative. Those that don't, probably would have difficulty coordinating in any social setting, with a corresponding inability to contribute to, rather than take from, that environment.
> I think that the whole idea is unworkable,

There would appear to be a number of people that disagree with your somewhat negative viewpoint.

> and, anyway, for the most part,
> I enjoy the OT threads, although I resist (mostly) the temptation to add
> to them.

There's nothing wrong with enjoying them, the only objection would appear to be the appropriateness of the setting. In the right setting, there would be no need to resist participation, dive in, make a pig of yourself.
> If one is an admin with a critical server down, maybe one ought to be
> engaging the services of a support professional.  (I know they're
> not your exact words, but "Critical server down" implies a business or
> commercial service, and one maybe shouldn't be relying on free advice to
> support that.)

We appear to differ here, also.
Just because an admin isn't currently on the list, doesn't mean that they are not part of the community. The Debian community is planet-wide, even bigger. I don't have the details to hand, but the current Mars probe is running on Linux, which particular flavour, I wouldn't know, but maybe it's Debian.
The whole concept of community revolves around mutual support.

A support professional?
Which particular aspect of the social/professional spectrum do you fondly imagine a system administrator is native to?
We need as many Debian servers up and running in the professional environment as we can possibly manage, and if we have a Debian sys. admin. call in with a question, and I had the answer, she could have it for free.
And I hope she makes a lot of money out of it, because the more professional Debian systems/admins we have operating, reduces the number of microsoft ones we have to put up with.

Who would you call in?
A M.C.S.E?

> The idea of moderating a list by the "three people don't like the thread"
> method,

This has never been the issue. There are a number of threads on Debian-User that I 'don't like.' That doesn't mean that they don't have a place on the list.
I repeat, the situation, aside from the smackhead drivel which has no application anywhere, is the right thread in the wrong environment.

> and of moving threads,

If the thread is inappropriate to the environment, it would appear to me that moving it to an applicable situation would be the most productive thing to do.

> and of banning people,

As far as I can recall, this has never been introduced.
Unsubscription after all other avenues have been explored has been. What other course would you proscribe for somebody who had proven beyond doubt that, as far as they were concerned, they were the only personality involved in the situation worthy of consideration.

> smacks of bullying
> to me,

No, the other way round.
The personality who imposes a form of inappropriate behavior on others, within an environment collectively declared as having a separate specific purpose, is the bully.

> and will almost certainly generate more heat than light, as people
> gang up against one another.

This is exactly the kind of disruptive activity that has been occurring, and the kind that the proposed new list is specifically designed to terminate.

>  I bet that one could find three people to
> move a thread or ban a subscriber based simply on length or content of a
> sig. Someone has already posted that they consider all sigs as "spam".

Sorry, this doesn't even rate this much of a reply.
> And the volume of posts arguing about the usefulness or topicality of
> threads will probably be greater than the volume of OT threads anyway.

Without the O.T. threads, the others wouldn't even occur.
> I think the solution to the "server down, need answer NOW" issue is:
> 1.  Ask on the #debian IRC channel
> 2.  Get better at refining Google searches.
> 3.  Use professional support services.

Yes, we fortunately have these resources also.
> -- 
> ....................paul


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