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The flamewars on public communication channels is out of hand. it's
having an negative effect in many parts of gentoo, even those that are
not directly affected by the said war. This is something that urgently
needs to be addressed.
So, here is my proposal. I hope it's not the only one.
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.
This group should be composed of well respected members of our dev
community that have demonstrated the ability to diffuse situations that
would have otherwise became a flamewar. The new group would act like
our current ombudsman group, except that the target is different. I'll
try to give some examples.
<clueless> Hi, I'm writing an ebuild and I want to install stuff to
<informed> Well, that's a bad idea. ebuilds should never install to
<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.
<clueless> I still want to install to /usr/local. my ebuild isn't meant
for the tree, only my private use, and I feel that I should be able to
<informed> Well, then you want to check out http://foo.bar/blah as it
explains how to use insinto and doins.
<troll> You fucking moron, you can't do that!
<enforcer> troll: you were warned, and now you're banned for the next
hour. please go do something else and cool off.
- - enforcer sets modes +q troll for #foobar
Mailing list enforcement is the same concept. One warning and then a
short term ban.(yes, we have possibly found a way to enforce short term
bans on MLs)
Why does this work?
I believe that most people who get caught up in trolling do it
unintentionally. Usually a "hey, you're being an asshat" will be enough
to stop the flamefest.
Sometimes people need a bigger kick in the ass though, which is where a
short term ban helps. When I say a short term ban, I mean 30-90
minutes. it allows everyone to cool off without them using bad judgment
and popping back in. I do similar enforcement in #-amd64 and it works
This still doesn't address repeat offenders and people who troll for
sport. It's possible that the short term bans will work, but that is
something that we will only find out with experience.
Preventing abuse of short term ban powers:
one of the first things that everyone will(and should) be worried about
is this group abusing their powers. To prevent the enforcement group
from abusing their powers, the following safety checks would be put into
1. any and every action that the enforcer uses to enforce etiquette
needs to be immediately and publicly documented. as a start I recommend
sending a email to gentoo-devrel ML. This includes full logs/archive
2. enforcers are not allowed to use their power more than twice
consecutively on the same person/group.
3. every action that an enforcer takes will be reviewed by at least 2
4. if an enforcer has effected a ban on a person/group and the subject
was a time sensitive topic, then the enforcer is obligated to relay
messages verbatim from the person/group for the duration of the ban.
5. any group/person affected by the ban may request a devrel hearing
about the ban in question. These need to be handled as fast as
possible. At devrel's discretion, devrel may immediately remove the
enforcer from the enforcement group or issue a warning to the enforcer.
6. no enforcer shall have more than 2 warnings in a 6 month period and
never more than 3 in a year.
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.
Mike Doty email@example.com
Gentoo/AMD64 Strategic Lead PGP Key: 0xA797C7A7
Gentoo Developer Relations
0094 7F06 913E 78D6 F1BB 06BA D0AD D125 A797 C7A7
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