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To: gentoo-devrel@g.o
From: George Prowse <cokehabit2003@...>
Subject: Re: Proposal of Change to the Gentoo User Relations Project
Date: Thu, 02 Mar 2006 17:00:37 +0000
Hash: SHA1

Christel Dahlskjaer wrote:
> Hi all, 
> 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.
> Kind Regards, 
> Christel Dahlskjaer
> 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.
> My Qualifications
> 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.
> Suggested Changes
>       *  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
>         an ombudsman.
>       *  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.
I agree. Relations between users and Gentoo developers could be *alot*
better. There seems an air of unapproachability, even elitism, from the
development camp and it was only when I started helping in #gentoo-uk,
organising events and became an AT that this became better.

I'm pretty sure that developers have better things to do than teach new
users Gentoo and Linux in general but as Gentoo has become more popular
users with lesser knowledge have become prevalent and it seems Gentoo
has been slow or found not wanting to acknowledge that.

Too few developers use the forums, they are usually the first stop for
the beginners who have problems. Usually their problem can be fixed by a
revdep-rebuild or modules-update but most developers (apart from
Uberlord/Genone/Klieber) seem to stay away from it like the plague. That
brings be on to a second idea, there are lots of wonderful apps for
Gentoo users to use but they seem to be in different parts of the
(excellent) documentation. I propose a page of "essential commands";
when to use them and how that could just be cut out of the existing

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gentoo-devrel@g.o mailing list

Re: Proposal of Change to the Gentoo User Relations Project
-- Ciaran McCreesh
Proposal of Change to the Gentoo User Relations Project
-- Christel Dahlskjaer
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