Gentoo Archives: gentoo-project

From: "Francisco Blas Izquierdo Riera (klondike)" <klondike@g.o>
To: Gentoo project list <gentoo-project@l.g.o>
Cc: gentoo-core@l.g.o
Subject: [gentoo-project] Re: [gentoo-core] Shutting down the Off the Wall forum finally?
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 2020 11:14:35
1 To any developers, replying here will send your answers to gentoo-project, keep that in mind!
3 El 10/11/20 a las 11:15, Roy Bamford escribió:
4 > Team,
5 > Why is this discussion even happening on a closed list!
6 > We have a public bug
7 > Its been discussed by the council in public at least once
8 > 202f30b7-be52-287d-e00c-707c20e84f69@g.o
9 > That means its on -project somewhere.
10 >
11 > Its in breach of the Social Contract.
12 >
13 > Specfically,
14 > We will not hide problems.
15 >
16 > That leads to a logical contradiction.
17 > 1. Its not a problem.
18 > 2. Many correspondents are deliberately ignoring the
19 > Social Contract
20 > 3. Protagonists want to express themselves is such a
21 > way that they would be ashamed for Google to index it.
22 >
23 > No excuses.
24 > This discussion is a continuation of a previous
25 > public discussion and belongs on -project ... unless someone
26 > has something to hide of course.
27 >
28 I was surprised nobody raised this (the Social Contract) before, but since I have yet to read all the mail I didn't feel comfortable raising this in case somebody else raised this already.
30 Two more things I'd like to add, first this other quote from the Foundation's page:
31 Gentoo lives for the community, by the community
32 Gentoo strives to please its users. The Gentoo community is Gentoo's goal of life. Without community there is no Gentoo. To help Gentoo's development, the community provides a continuous stream of feedback and contributes to the various aspects of the Gentoo distribution. This cooperative model will remain valid for Gentoo's entire lifespan.
34 I'm not going to judge if those forum members are part of the community or even if the community wants them to be part of it. But keep in mind that we (developers with access to gentoo-core) are not the full community.
36 I would also like to talk a bit about consequences.
38 The off topic forum is not needed for the good working of the Gentoo Project or its development in the short term but it is needed by its community and therefore by the project in the long term.
40 The matter is not the forum in itself, that is actually a fairly minor issue, but the ability of creating interpersonal relations that strengthen the feeling of belonging for the members of the community (and therefore motivates their members to keep contributing to keep it thriving). Not providing a place were the forums community can bond is a good way to get them alienated and eventually destroy it. So is having a toxic place to bond or a place where friendly discussions are not possible (which this seems to be).
42 We should also keep in mind that the current situation hasn't just magically appeared out of nowhere.  Gentoo has for many years (it already was when I first came in contact with it ca 15 years ago) a meme in certain forums that in the last years have been leaning more and more to the extremes of a certain side of the political spectrum. It is easy to see where is this kind of speech coming from and how we ended up where we are. To keep such people away we need a significant part of the community to agree and act so that they are not welcome, and this is not just us the developers, this is something where we need most of the users too!
44 We can (and should) be more strict on enforcing the etiquette to keep discussions respectful and on track, we should merge topics with similar discussions to avoid giving political issues much visibility and maybe set up a cool down period so the waters can calm a bit before we open discussions again there are various ways to achieve that. Keep in mind that if the users don't contribute we will be back at square one as soon as communication channels open again.
46 We also have the issue of such users moving and poisoning other channels which was commented before. This is a very undesirable effect so we should be sure we (their moderators) can take the extra heat on them!
48 Finally we have the also mentioned issue of the media. And this can become a serious storm for PR!
50 The way it looks right now is:
51 * We have closed a communication channel.
52 * For lack of manpower to keep it useful.
53 * After a closed discussion were a significant part of the community was left away.
55 This is bad for the project in many ways, giving the image of "lack of maintenance" is going to keep users away (but this will happen no matter what we do so we should prepare for it). But closing an open comunication channel on a project that prides itself in giving freedom (of choice) and doing so after a closed door discussion is not in anyway something good for us. We can act on certain things (keep the discussion open to start with, I am in coherence doing so). And we can try to limit the damage on others (offer alternative channels for example or name a change of focus), but we should be prepared no matter what decission we take, and for this having all the community on the same page matters!
57 I'm not going to make any value judgements on what should happen to the OTW forum (or the forums in general) as I'm trying to act as a honest broker here (in fact my only relationship with them has been the casual browsing when looking for solutions via Google) and share my experience on managing communities. But please, no matter what decission you take, be coherent with the project values!
59 Klondike


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