It has been asked that I submit my Proposal of Change to Gentoo User
Relations Project to this mailing list, it was also asked that I submit
it RFC style! Now, writing RFC's is not something I've ever done, so I
hope you all bear with me.
Input is very much welcome.
And the proposal can be seen below.
RFC: Proposal of Change to Gentoo User Relations Project.
The following is a proposal for change to the User Relations Project.
The following proposal contains background on the needs for and
benefits of change to the project, an outline of the changes I think
should be made, my qualifications and a schedule. I look forward to
hearing your ideas on the scope of this proposal.
Need for Change
As the user base of Gentoo continues to grow, so does the need for
having a strong link between users and developers. Unfortunately the
User Relations project has fallen behind, and has lain dormant for quite
some time. The project needs organization and structure in order to best
serve the user/developer community and attract
potential project members from within the community. It is of course
understandable that when overworked/stressed we become less
communicative, and can respond in a more abrupt manner. As a developer
it is easy to get into a situation where you are stressed and where it
becomes easy to respond to a user in a less than desirable fashion.
Benefits of Change
1) Better communication and easier access to understandable
information produces happier users and developers.
2) Happy developers are more productive.
3) Happy users file fewer complaints
4) Better communication will ease the workload for developers
5) Better communication will make Gentoo more attractive to potential
new users and encourage continued user contribution.
I have been a Linux user for 13 years. I have worked as a Registered
Mental Health Nurse for 4 years. I study towards a MSc in Forensic
Psychology. I have been involved with the Irssi project for 4 years. I
have been a volunteer staff member for Freenode (PDPC) for 1 year. I
have had various other volunteer positions over the past ten years.
* Communication - Review the current channels of communication
between users and users, and users and developers (focusing
in the start phase primarily on the two issues outlined below)
1. Bugzilla - Create a Bug Writing How-to to provide users with a
guideline for how to write bug reports, to ease the workload
for the developers and also to ensure that the users include
sufficient information with their bug report.
2. Bugzilla - Write and make available guidelines for how
to respond to a bug report in a useful manner. Ensure that
developers have the opportunity to look up how "it should be
done" should they feel unsure.
* Complaints - Review and rewrite the current complaints
procedure to ensure that users will find User Relations
approachable and thus will feel able to file
complaints if necessary. Ensure that a problem is always
looked at from both sides, and if the problem cannot be solved
by User Relations have a procedure in place for escalating to
* Stress - Ensure that there is an understanding of how
overwork/stress can affect the way we communicate with others.
Ensure there is a procedure in place for backup should the
need arise for a developer to not deal with users directly for
one reason or another. Ensure developers have the option to
"take time out" when needed. Ensure that users are dealt with
in an effective and friendly manner so not to cause any
unnecessary trauma for users.
* Recruitment - Work alongside Developer Relations to improve
the recruitment process, focusing on the process for reinstating
a returning developer to start with.
* User Relations - Review User Relations' role and find
other ways of improving Gentoo User Relations. Ensure that
User Relations are proactive rather than reactive and have a
good strong presence within the user community. Continously
encourage and listen to feedback from users and developers in
order to better understand the needs of users and developers,
and effectively cater to them.
In order to achieve this I intend to seek out input from users
and developers, possibly in the form of a survey as well as by
interacting with users/developers through the existing channels of
communication (forum, irc, mailing lists, e-mail, bugzilla, planet
gentoo etc). I intend to produce reports detailing my findings and what
changes I feel need to be made along with detailed plans of how
for User Relations can carry out the changes. I will address these
reports to Developer-Relations and make them available for input before
undertaking any work. When working towards deadlines we will always
ensure that the dead lines are realistic, as unrealistic deadlines are
often a source of stress.
For the above mentioned points I intend to ask for user and developer
input before creating any documents. I also intend to ask for input
during the process of creating these documents to ensure that noone
feels left out and to ensure that the end product is one that is
agreeable for most. I also intend to make available information on how
to deal with stress and heavy work loads and easy non-time consuming
techniques for relaxation.
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