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To: gentoo-devrel@g.o
From: Mike Doty <kingtaco@g.o>
Subject: [Fwd: Re: RFC: etiquette enforcment]
Date: Thu, 18 May 2006 16:05:53 -0500
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forwarding at Peters request...

- -------- Original Message --------

Mike, I tried to post this, but got an error message that the
list is unidirectional! Don't know what that's about. Maybe
I need to subscribe. Nonetheless, i wanted to share these thoughts
with you. You're welcome to post it on my behalf. I would appreciate
if you would xxx out my email though.

Subject:      Re: RFC: etiquette enforcment
From:         Peter <pete4abw@localhost>
Newsgroups:   gmane.linux.gentoo.devrel
Date:         Thu, 18 May 2006 16:22:07 -0400

On Thu, 18 May 2006 14:41:03 -0500, Mike Doty wrote:

snip...

> creation of a etiquette enforcement group.  This group should be a
> subproject of devrel, but should not be made up of devrel members.  I
> say this because the actions and powers of this group need to be
> separated from devrel.

While I am surely against flamewars on MLs, the idea of a thought police
is disturbing. The main problem with some of the out of hand threads is
twofold. One, I think some topics are brought up intentionally to provoke
a reaction. Then, when others react, it goes out of control like a chain
reaction gone critical.

I think from a bureaucratic pov, having another layer of management just
makes for more managers and less action. While I cannot speak for others,
I know who the respected people are, and who the dolts are. And, I would
have no problem with a respected person writing to someone off list and
telling them to STFU.

I am not in favor of the idea of banning a user from a mailing list
- --unless it's a spammer. After all, you do not want to get the reputation
of being a distro that stifles discussion.

snip...

> <troll> clueless: you moron! ebuilds can't install to /usr/local, go
> jump off a bridge!
> <enforcer> troll: if you can't say something constructive, then please
> don't say anything.
> ....

IRC is much easier to deal with since it's real time and interactive.
Any OP can participate
snip...

> So, these are my thoughts.  there is still a lot to be worked out if we
> decide that this is the best approach.
> 
> All comments are welcome, and if you want to troll, direct it to your
> nearest brick wall.
> 

I think the ML situation is more complex. Some topics start off as a
simple technical matter or proposal. They then degenerate into personal
flamefests. In these cases, sometimes a matter is brought up simply to
incite. Other times, it grows from stubbornness on both sides. And, of
course, the harder one pushes one way, the harder the opponent will push
back.

The paludis example on gentoo-dev is such an example. I do not know all of
the personalities involved, but I am SURE that a lot of what's being
written is because of personal relationships (and lack thereof).
Bennett/McCreesh propose something, their detractors fight it. And,
everything spirals downhill from there.

Now, you can't rightly ban someone for making a proposal. And, you can't
ban someone for arguing against it. HOWEVER, what CAN be done is for a dev
or council member to post a message outside the thread asking the
participants to STFU! Any new user or list visitor who happens on that
thread will not be able to make any sense of it, since so many responses
are so narrowly focused or intensely personal. Lengthy threads like this
are more a problem than their contents. Interested users can't possibly
follow the discourse.

Nonetheless, as a user who has had occasional runins with others on the
ML, I appreciate the effort here. However, I think to write policy to
enforce these things is to discourage free speech. And, as much as I
personally disagree with certain people, they have as much as right to
post as you or I do.

I do believe that a common sense approach to this can resolve a lot of the
problems. OPs on IRC can chime in and kick a troll easily. And, a
respected dev or council member can email a user off list privately and
tell them to knock it off, or post publicly to the list to end a thread.

The last thing you want is for some malcontent to shout CENSORSHIP!
- --
Peter

- --
=======================================================
Mike Doty                           kingtaco@g.o
Gentoo/AMD64 Strategic Lead         PGP Key: 0xA797C7A7
Gentoo Developer Relations
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Re: [Fwd: Re: RFC: etiquette enforcment]
-- Jason Huebel
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