Gentoo Archives: gentoo-dev

From: Alec Berryman <alec@×××××××××.org>
To: gentoo-dev@g.o
Subject: Re: [gentoo-dev] Re: [gentoo-core] proposal: make gentoo-core publicly read-only
Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2003 20:49:35
Message-Id: 1056746975.1164.31.camel@localhost
In Reply to: [gentoo-dev] Re: [gentoo-core] proposal: make gentoo-core publicly read-only by Jon Portnoy
1 On Fri, 2003-06-27 at 14:47, Jon Portnoy wrote:
2 > On Fri, Jun 27, 2003 at 02:21:35PM -0500, Matthew Kennedy wrote:
3 > > I personally feel that it may be a good time to reconsider making
4 > > gentoo-core a publicly read-only list. Several users I know (some
5 > > personally) are irate that we appear to be a "behind-closed-doors"
6 > > project. Yes, this stems from the recent fork announcement.
7 > >
8 > > gentoo-core is where we do our planning, discuss management structure,
9 > > discuss technical questions (of which we already try to CC gentoo-dev
10 > > out of courtesy) and architecture issues.
11 > >
12 > > I hope that we can open -core as a publicly read-only list to involve
13 > > our community more. We owe this much to our user-base in my opinion.
14 > > For these reasons, I have CC'd this to -dev.
15 > >
16 > > Matt
17 > >
18 >
19 > We've already gone over the reasons -core should remain private
20 > (discussing security before it goes public and personal information). I
21 > think that a better approach would be to enforce a policy of all
22 > technical stuff and anything that isn't sensitive being discussed on
23 > -dev rather than -core.
25 Moving all development talk to the, well, -dev list would be the best
26 solution.
28 Correct me if I'm wrong, but I have heard four main reasons to keep
29 -core private:
31 1) Gentoo should speak with a unified voice, and by keeping the
32 community excluded from -core, announcements and policy changes can be
33 discussed without a public display of fragmentation.
35 2) Devs make mistakes, and would rather "fall on their face" in private
36 rather than in public.
38 3) -core would quickly become cluttered with mis-postings.
40 4) -core is boring anyway, why would you want to read it?
42 While these four reasons, as well as the security issues mentioned
43 above, look to be good ones on the surface, they become marginal when
44 examined and all serve the purpose of setting the developers apart and
45 away from their community.
47 Security is not a valid excuse to keep things secret - Bugtraq and its
48 kind already bring things out in the open quickly enough. That dead
49 horse has been beaten enough.
51 Gentoo can speak with a unified voice while still allowing discussion.
52 For example, it seems like once a month someone posts to -dev offering
53 to re-implement portage or something like it in another language - Java,
54 C, C++, Perl, whatever. The standard answer from a dev is invariably
55 "We've discussed this on -core before and decided it wasn't a good
56 idea." Now, the user who offered of himself to make what he saw as an
57 improvement feels shut out and unwanted. Had there existed -core
58 archive, the user could have read through the reasons and understood why
59 - things are not always as obvious as they seem. Even better, the user
60 might have looked through the archives and discovered the said
61 discussions before posting, saving everyone a headache. Gentoo has
62 stayed with python despite many offers - what harm does a valid, public
63 evaluation do?
65 Devs do make mistakes - Daniel Robbins recently slipped on some
66 unmasking and there were a lot of questions in -user and on the boards.
67 Obviously, no one wants to make this kind of mistake, but the end result
68 wasn't bad - it was corrected quickly, and no one thinks Daniel is
69 incompetent. Everyone makes mistakes.
71 If -core is read-only, there won't be mis-postings to it by unwary
72 users. -core might be very boring, but even most Gentoo users' eyes
73 would glaze over trying to parse the kernel code. Does that mean the
74 kernel is distributed as a binary, because 'it would be boring' to try
75 and improve the source code for those few that would want to? Perhaps
76 the devs might have an idea that a non-"official"-dev can implement
77 quickly; everyone benefits.
79 Currently, -dev isn't a developer list; most of the e-mail is users'
80 suggestions discussed by other users and the occasional dev, as well as
81 the occasional mis-post targeted for -user. Perhaps in the future, if
82 -core would be accessible to the community that drive it, -dev could be
83 the buffer zone between the final work of the developers and the user
84 community. Right now, there's a feeling that the developers are
85 shutting themselves in an ivory tower. That's not good for community.
86 Gentoo's social contract has always said it will not "hide its
87 problems", but has continued to keep its core development decisions
88 closed.


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