On Fri, 18 Sep 2009 11:32:34 -0400
Andrew D Kirch <trelane@...> wrote:
> We agree on very little, but one thing we do agree on is the quantity
> of trolling that DOES occur on -dev when these issues are brought
> up. Is there any method by which a discussion can be had on -PMS in
> a smaller forum, and a proposal could thereby be brought to -dev in
> several weeks agreed upon here, and subsequently submitted to the
> Council? I'm hoping this will reduce the potential for trolling.
That tends to be what happens anyway, and I strongly suspect we've
already covered all the pros and cons of the proposal on this list that
we're going to come up with (although there're probably some
interesting viewpoints on the upgrade path that can be had from a
wider audience). The wider consultation part is necessary, though, since
I doubt anyone wants things that aren't a simple "there's only one side
to this" to go from PMS to Council without them having had a good public
There're threads that end up working fine on gentoo-dev@, and there're
threads where there's an endless supply of FUD posted to them. Things
that tend to help make threads the former rather than the latter are:
* The initial proposal, and any counter proposals, being clear and well
defined, and not vague ideas that haven't been thought through. It's
possible to screw things up for months just by replying "well I have
an alternate proposal that involves frozbinating the glixnors", and
then not telling anyone what that proposal is.
* Arguments for or against a proposal being expressed clearly and in
technical terms, rather than "warblgarbl".
* Getting contributions only from people who understand the issue at
hand. That one's the biggie, and I've not found any way of helping on
that -- providing clear and detailed explanations of everything
has only led to people not reading those explanations. Some people
seem to be able to think that their opinions are relevant even if
they're commenting on highly technical issues that they haven't taken
the time to understand.
* Where multiple options are available, having several clearly separate
proposals rather than trying to lump everything into a single
proposal that covers every option.
The ultimate decision making process also hasn't helped. In the past
the Council has worked on a policy of "if there're any unanswered
questions, the proposal gets postponed", even if those questions are
obviously nonsense and have already been addressed twenty times
previously. This unfortunately means that the trolls can't simply be
Having said that, all it takes is for a couple of people to jump on a
proposal they don't understand and start yelling that it will break
their favourite toy, and at best the proposal then gets derailed for
several months before sanity prevails.