[CentOS] Re: plan of action?

Dag Wieers dag at wieers.com
Thu Sep 15 23:38:16 UTC 2005

On Thu, 15 Sep 2005, Greg Knaddison wrote:

> On 9/15/05, Dag Wieers <dag at wieers.com> wrote:
> > 
> > It might be because the 4 options you gave all add overhead to 
> > subscribers. (actually, the 4th option is no option to most that care)
> I think unsubscribing and going to the forum are a very legitimate
> option without adding extra work for the subscriber.

To be honest, having both a mailinglist and a forum splits your userbase 
into 2 parts that are disconnected. Looking at the forum (for the first 
time) I see lots of unanswered threads (threads with no replies).

I doubt the current forums are a good replacement for this mailinglist. 
Abuse and flames are equally possible on a forum.

> If you use a threading email client and can set up filters, it's a 10
> second fix that makes the list very reasonable and doesn't require a
> long thread about what the "majority" wants.  Moderation is sure to
> bring up it's own set of problems that would themselves become long
> fight-filled threads (as we've already seen).  Client side filtering
> makes you in charge of "what is on topic" which is therefore
> guaranteed to be the right answer for the majority :)

Filters based on the body of a message ? I am not sure that is workable 
and manageable. (You don't know in advance when a thread grows 
until 230) Besides it adds overhead for each subscriber that needs to 
perform it after they get annoyed by it, and it annoys everyone who cannot 
(or enters the archives, etc..) It's a global waste of time if we cannot 
simply stop making it happen.

Sure selective moderation will have to be discussed, but again, a policy 
will prevent the extreme threads we've seen. Currently everything seems to 
be allowed, and by lack of someone authoritative, people start replying to 
the same thread. The same will happen again and again, unless lines are 
drawn in the sand.

Even if someone found the 230-long Yum-thread interesting, it was not 
something that had to be discussed here. Proposals for some new 
Yum functionality should go to a Yum list. After 5 mails someone 
authoritative could have mentioned this (on a Red Hat mailinglist a 
@redhat.com reply would be sufficient), on this list we have an additional 
225 mails, flames, personal attacks before it ends in tears. Nobody made 
it stop, nobody could, it just exploded.

And it's not like it's the first thread, certainly the worst. Brian's 
departure may not be a solution. It worries me that, what happened here, 
is not seen as a real problem. Filtering out by subscribers, or moving 
them to the forum will not solve a real problem. (that led to Brian's 
departure as an example)

> > While selective moderation (when long threads, abuse and personal attacks 
> > flourish) by someone (not necessarily a developer) needs to be initiated 
> > by someone of the project team.
> I'veonly seen this model used for _really_ off topic things.  Most
> people here seem to stay on topic but get repetitive and flamey.

Nope, most mailinglists have a moderator. Open Source projects are 
moderated by the developer(s). Red Hat mailinglists have @redhat.com 
moderators. These people, by simple reply, can make something stop because 
they are authoritative. (mind you I did not say they actively filtered a 
message out, they just act as a moderator)

> > If there's someone fair that has the authority to police the mailinglist 
> > following some written down guidelines, I'm pretty sure this mailinglist 
> > becomes viable again without adding much overhead to the guy who can 
> > intervene. (If necessary just a warning might suffice)
> That's the tough part, though, isn't it.  A /. style board solves this
> problem, but CentOS got established early as a mailing list and
> barring the developers completing killing mailman I doubt we'll see a
> mass move to a forum or /. style means of communicating...so, given
> all that, I think the 4 options I gave remain highly reasonable.

I give up.

Kind regards,
--   dag wieers,  dag at wieers.com,  http://dag.wieers.com/   --
[all I want is a warm bed and a kind word and unlimited power]

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