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Re: Question to all the candidates: communication

On Sun, Mar 14, 2010 at 10:17:06AM +0700, Paul Wise wrote:
> Dear candidates,
> Debian has a lot of project communications media; lists, forums, IRC,
> planet, bts, RT. There are also a lot of external communications media
> covering Debian; news media, , social networks, blogs, microblogging
> sites & non-IRC chat, video sites and so on.
> Which project and external Debian-related communications media do you
> follow?

I follow several mailinglists (some in what could be considered a
lurking mode, some more actively), the blogs on Planet Debian, and I am
reasonably active on a number of IRC channels on both OFTC and freenode.

As for external channels, I tend to read LWN infrequently; and when
someone posts a link to some news article related to Debian through some
other communication channel, I often read that, too, but I don't go
actively hunting for such articles. I usually find that external
communication about Debian, when not actively pursued, does not tell me
things I do not already know.

> and contribute to?

My blog is on Planet Debian, and though my blogging frequency has
reduced, I still consider myself a somewhat active blogger.

I don't believe in microblogging, and am offended by Facebook's excuse
for a "privacy policy", so don't go there either.

> As well as a general list I'm interested in
> specific lists (for eg #debian, #debian-devel, debian-devel@l.d.o,
> debian-project@l.d.o, the Hardware forum on forums.d.n etc).

Phew. Are you sure? That list is rather long, and would get dull rather

If you really must know, most of that information isn't private, anyway.
For the IRC channels, there's the "/whois" command, that (at least on
OFTC, not sure about other networks) will tell you what channels I'm on.
For mailinglists: I usually do post to lists that I'm subscribed to,
though not always as frequently. I rarely unsubscribe from a list,
though it does happen on the more active lists that I only manage to
mark as read once in a blue moon.

I don't do forums; they just don't work for me.

> How do you see those two lists changing if you become DPL?

Not by much; there will just be more mails, and probably some more lists
that will go in lurking mode (though not too many, I hope).

> Which of these communications media do you feel is important for the
> DPL to read?

Since the official communication channel within Debian is email, I
believe that should be the only bits that are *important* for the DPL to
read. Anything else is good, but not necessary.

> Please breifly comment on how you see Debian's relationship with some
> of these media.

Debian is mail. Period. If you don't have mail, you can't do Debian.

Planet Debian has a semi-official status. That is, often there's
interesting bits of news posted there, but it shouldn't contain
important bits of information -- those should be on the one and only
required mailinglist.

IRC, to me, is just a way to relax and to get quick help on some
matters. Since there is an 'irc.debian.org' alias, it's probably fair to
say that the channels are official, too; but as an immediate medium, its
usefulness for important bits of information is limited.

Web forums are useful to a particular subset of Debian users that I do
not consider myself to be part of. I think we should continue to provide
them if we can fix the issues we seem to be having with them currently,
though I do not have good suggestions on how to do that.

External media of course aren't something Debian has an influence over,
and that's a good thing.

> Do you feel any of these media have been misused by Debian people
> (DDs/non-DDs alike)? If so, what action would you take if you become
> DPL?

No. Occasionally, announcements have been made over the wrong channel
that should instead have been made to debian-devel-announce; but when
challenged on that, people usually submit them to the right forum.

> Do you feel the general tone and perception of Debian is positive on
> the media that you follow? What action would you take to improve these
> if you become DPL?

This differs from medium to medium.

I have some more details on what I plan to do in my platform; if you
have some more questions on that after it has been published, I would be
happy to answer them.

The biometric identification system at the gates of the CIA headquarters
works because there's a guard with a large gun making sure no one is
trying to fool the system.

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