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To: gentoo-project@g.o
From: Steve Long <slong@...>
Subject: Re: Proposal to ease flames
Date: Mon, 06 Aug 2007 13:41:54 +0100
Roy Bamford wrote:
> Steve,
> I've in lined my words of wisdom ... you may not agree with them but
> they are mine, after all.
Heh welcome to the first amendment ;) UK, you say? That's the 51st state..
/me wanders back on-topic.
> On 2007.08.05 02:36, Steve Long wrote:
>> I was thinking about the recent discussion re flames and firefighting
>> on the dev m-l. One thing that occurred to me, as a user who has been
>> on one side of those, is that it would have been better if I had
>> never been able to post more than two posts in a day. (I mean this
>> for the technical dev m-l, not project.)
> That's ok as long as you only want to respond to flames and be off
> topic. It would limit the noise a non dev can create. As soon as you
> want to use -dev for its intended purpose, it would cramp your style.
> This could not be usefully automated
Yeah but this is a mailing list, not IRC. As a non-dev, my input 
necessarily has less technical weight, since I am unfamiliar with gentoo
development processes and policy. In normal circumstances, I usually just
read the list, and if i have any questions i try and answer them myself. If
i post, it means i haven't got a clear answer from irc, prior ml or
bugzilla discussions. Given the timescale on a ml, 2 posts per day is
plenty for me to ask about stuff that isn't clear.

>> That's plenty for me to say "I think that's out of order" and to
>> answer a response, but it also means I can't get too emotional if I
>> get flamed by a stressed-out dev.
> Nor can you easily take part in technical discussions, should you want
> to :)
See above (not being pedantic; not ignoring this point is all.)
>> After all, since the proctors have gone, there's no one to respond in
>> anything like mail-list time in the (admittedly unlikely ;) event
>> that there is another flamewar on the dev list and more cogently
>> no-one to mute a troublesome user (in real time). A dev who is
>> consistently anti-social (especially out of the blue when they should
>> just ignore the thread) can be dealt with by devrel. (And have been
>> in the past.)
> After the fallout from the "Bubble thread" that lead directly to the
> death of the proctors, -dev appears to have calmed down. I'm not sure
> if that's because the proctors got so much publicity over that one
> incident that everyone knows of it and reviewed their behavior, or if
> they have just gone on summer holidays. I think this list will help
> take the pressure of -dev too.
>> If the user is making a valid point, surely others will post in
>> support, and in any event they can respond the next day. That would
>> minimise the chance that a user unused to the rough-and-tumble of dev
>> behaviour would react in a hostile manner, and can in no way be seen
>> as censorship of the user community, at least to my mind.
> If you are making a valid technical point, your posts don't need to be
> throttled. If not, you should not post to -dev at all.
Yes, but for a novice user (in terms of interaction with the dev m-l) it's
hard, and people make mistakes. The first time i got flamed I was totally
bewildered by it. The three or four times that's happened since, I was
still totally blindsided, since I thought I was posting common-sense,
typically to try and present the other side of the argument when someone
was being misunderstood. (Please don't review all of my mistakes, I am
aware they /were/ mistakes.) You then find yourself drawn into a flamewar
which you were trying to calm, typically by one of the participants being
offensive to you.

>> What do you think?
> Social problems demand human in the loop control. That's why courts
> have (skilled ?) judges for sentencing, not just a look up table of
> offence - punishment.
Yeah but this isn't punishment. It's just acknowledging that the list is
specifically for technical development, and that devs have more to say in
that debate. Since there is a history of misunderstanding with users, it
makes sense to me to limit the user posts to two per day. If there is a hot
buzzing thread which I have to respond to, it'll still be hot tomorrow (if
I can't be bothered to review the threads first.)

And let's face it, more new users are interested in stuff that belongs
on -project (if not help from the user m-l) like "Why are devs so prickly?"

> A part of Gentoos problem and probably other OS projects, is that most
> devs are still learning their social skills. They are school or
> university students.

Heh ok. I'd also support a more proactive devrel in that regard, ie actively
monitoring the list, as a quid pro quo for limitation on users. This to me
is about helping devs to deal with users, which is part of the process for
being a dev in the real world.

OFC if everyone thinks this is a silly idea, no problem. List seemed
quiet.. ;P

gentoo-project@g.o mailing list

Proposal to ease flames
-- Steve Long
Re: Proposal to ease flames
-- Roy Bamford
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