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To: Developer Relations <devrel@g.o>
From: Ferris McCormick <fmccor@g.o>
Subject: [RFC] Staff (support) projects and IRC channels
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2007 14:29:28 +0000
I am floating this for comment.

Several Gentoo projects --- the ones CC on this note come to mind ---
are pure staff (or support) projects.  As members of these projects we
do not develop anything; what we provide is support to Gentoo as a whole
and to individual developers, users, and projects.  To do this
effectively, we must be known and visible.

Recently, however, we ran into a question of whether or not a particular
developer was or was not a member of one of these support projects, and
resolving this (if it is resolved) was not as easy as you would think.

Why not?  First, it is just a fact of Gentoo that the home pages for our
projects are often out of date and thus unreliable indicators of who
does what (yes, devrel is guilty of this: slarti --- who is retired ---
is listed as a member of devrel).  Second, the developer in question was
not marked present on the project's channel. Nonetheless, all these
projects do have IRC channels and their members are often online.

Thus, I propose as a devrel policy (and as a suggestion to the other
support channels) that (1) if you are a member of devrel, and (2) if you
are online in freenode, then (3) you must take the time to /join
#gentoo-devrel unless you can articulate a good reason not to.

Reasoning suggested above, but follows specifically thus:
(1) devrel (or whatever) is a support project (like juman resources for
(2) You are a member of devrel;
(3) The only reason to be a member of devrel is to provide support of
some sort;
(4) To do this, you most likely have to be visible (there are a couple
exceptions, I think);
(5) The easiest way to be visible (to others on IRC who need immediate
support) is to be marked present on #gentoo-devrel (and marked as an
(6) And in the contrapositive, the person seeking support may conclude
that if you are not there, then either you are not online or you are not
a member of devrel (and so this person need not bother tracking you

I just happen to think it is a reasonable to require that if a developer
wishes to be a member of a support group, then that developer should
care enough about that group to show up on the group's IRC channel.

For devrel, at least, I'm proposing it as one of the requirements of
membership.  Others might have differing opinions; hence the designator

As always, comments, criticisms, dissents, flames, etc. requested and

Ferris McCormick (P44646, MI) <fmccor@g.o>
Developer, Gentoo Linux (Devrel, Sparc)

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