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Re: Question for candidate Towns

martin f krafft wrote:
also sprach Anthony Towns <aj@azure.humbug.org.au> [2005.03.03.1827 +0100]:
usual flamewars be declared off topic and either having the thread
killed or, if necessary, the poster suspended.
I am not sure this is a good idea. First off, we're all about
freedom, and what you suggest is more reminiscent of totalitarianism
than freedom of speech.

The debian-release mailing list has very specific guidelines for what's
on-topic: namely, action items for release. That's proven, in my
opinion, and I believe that of the current release managers, quite
effective, and hasn't required any enforcement beyond polite reminders
now and then.

I don't know if polite reminders will be enough for other lists -- as
your mail indicates, the idea that flamewars are varyingly unavoidable,
necessary or good is fairly ingrained. If they *are* then that's great,
I don't see any reason to do anything more than that if they are
effective. If they're not, well, having usable lists is more important
than having a debian.org soapbox for whatever you want to say.

I can't see any way of having polite reminders work without some sort of statement from the DPL or the listmasters, probably with the prospect of some sort of enforcement, though, personally.

I continue to hold my position
that more communication from the delegates to the rest of the
develoepers would probably solve the problem adequatly.

I don't believe it's possible to separate these two issues: while
delegates don't have the support of the project, it's very difficult to
communicate with it. I suspect the converse is so obvious it doesn't
even need stating.

That said, there is no way to ban flamewars since they are sort of
part of the nature of a project like this.

There's a trivial way: moderate the lists. I think there are less
fascist ways that'll be both effective and more efficient. But there's
no point kidding ourselves that it'll be easy or that everyone'll be
happy with the change.

I am not trying to
encourage or justify them; I just think that there should be no
punishment for them in the way you propose.

If you don't want the punishment, don't do the wrong thing :)

The story would be
a different one if I did not feel like dak was a magic potion, the
child of a few Debian developers who have been with the project very
long, and who have gathered so much experience that I cannot even
grasp the extent.

There's nothing magic about anything in Debian; it's all just 1's and 0's.


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