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Re: rampant offtopic and offensive posts to debian-user

On 2007-05-19, Roberto C  Sánchez <roberto@connexer.com> wrote:
> On Sat, May 19, 2007 at 05:51:51PM -0400, Amy Templeton wrote:
>> If somebody's current provider provides only
>> POP, should they be forced to switch to another provider just for
>> the privilege of being on this list?
> IMAP is better by many measures.  However, if you do not require access
> to your mail from multiple computers or multiple mail clients, then POP
> is perfectly fine.

I think you missed Amy's point. It's great that there are
technical solutions to the OT problem. However, if we take that as
license to continue posting messages that are far, far removed from
the world of Debian, we are going to lose two very important groups of

First, we lose the new users who don't yet know about these
options. If it looks like it's going to be a lot of work to sift
through a mailing list for info, we'll discourage all but the most
persistent souls from joining the community. This is not a good way to
foster long-term sustainability of the Debian project.

The second group we are losing are those very knowledgeable people who
just can't be bothered to set up a killfile for this list. They are
busy people, it would be wise for us to make it easy for them to help
us out. They know very well how to filter out messages, but they don't
*have* to. They can just find another venue that requires less tedious

Balanced against losing these two important groups of people, the loss
of one of thousands of venues for political/religious/philosophical
rants seems like a very small price to pay.  

This is, as someone pointed out, part of usenet, and censorship,
banning, moderation, or imposing subscription requirements are to
greater or lesser degree contrary to the purpose of these
lists. However, it is in the best interests of all of us to show a
little restraint when it comes to posting things that clearly have
nothing to do with Debian. Yes, there will always be edge cases to
argue about, whether that be hardware, programming, Free Software
advocacy or whatever. But clearly, there is no reason for the extended
threads on US politics, terrorism etc. to appear on this list.

A little consideration would make this a better resource for all of
us. It was very eye-opening to see the gentoo list archives. There's a
lot of good info there, and it reflects well on the whole gentoo
community. Like it or not, all the rants that show up on debian-user
do not reflect well on us.

All things considered, I can find other venues for my rants and
ramblings if that helps improve the quality of support offered by this
list. Ultimately noone can impose a code of conduct on anyone else,
but please give a little thought to the idea that your entertainment
is diminishing the pleasure of others, others who may, now or in future,
be able to help you out.


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