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Re: questions to candidates about communication

On Thu, Mar 08, 2007, Josip Rodin wrote:

> How much time do you generally have to read Debian-related e-mail?
> How much for the Debian mailing lists?

   If you only mean "read", reading e-mail is a continuous process for
me and I don't know how much time it sums up to. About half of the
legitimate e-mail I get is Debian-related.

> How many lists do you follow, and which ones do you pay real attention to?
> Have you stopped following a Debian mailing list in the past, and if so,
> what was the most important/common reason for that?

   I subscribe to about 30 Debian lists. The ones I really follow are
-devel, -devel-announce, -private, -vote, -legal, -project, as well as
the Alioth mailing-lists for the projects I'm part of. The others I read
regularly, too, but I kill threads more actively.

   I have stopped following -user and -user-french because they have
too much traffic and I honestly don't feel like helping out everyone. I
still kiboze these lists for packages I maintain, though.

> Could you describe an indicative example or two where you formed
> a distinctly positive or a distinctly negative opinion about a person based
> on what they wrote in a non-trivial flamewar^Wdiscussion? (There is no need
> to name anyone, just describe the situation as you feel is appropriate.)

   I do not wish to answer that directly. The opinion I have about
persons goes well beyond "distinctly positive" or "distinctly negative"
and changes too much with time (and people do change, too). Any example
I would give would be too restrictive to be meaningful.

   I can however say for instance that I am grateful to people who "save
the day" by providing code or a solution acceptable to all parties to
stop heated discussions. I also feel the urge to dismember cute tiny
animals when I see "Debian has done so for years, we cannot change that"
used as an argument. It's really countless tiny bits like that that make
me build my opinion.

> What's your opinion on what it's like for others to be reading our
> mailing lists? Feel free to be vague here :)

   Since more and more development teams have been created and now have
their own mailing-lists, pure technical cooperative discussion has moved
away from the traditional Debian lists such as -devel. So people see
more arguing and less technical discussions. Is that bad? I don't know.

> In general, what's your opinion about the quality of communication in
> the project? Freely elaborate this last part :)

   We have great tools and initiatives for communication (countless web
pages, the mailing-lists, the wiki, the BTS, DWN, IRC). But it's hard to
know where is everything, and not everything is there.

   I believe communication within teams is correct. People discuss in
their mailing-list and hang out on the IRC channel. But of course this
does not scale to communication between teams and developers, which is
clearly not as good. There are teams who are eager to tell the world
what they did (I'm thinking about D-I, or the Xlib/XCB announcement).
Others we simply don't know what they do, and as I said in my platform
sadly I don't see how to have them properly report without having the
DPL ask them to.


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