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From Dennis Lundberg <>
Subject Re: Problems...
Date Sun, 05 Mar 2006 10:37:40 GMT
Henri Yandell wrote:


> We have a very noisy set of mailing lists. Need to ask how the Jive
> forum is going for Struts (I think I heard that was in place?).
> Watching how the Maven-dev move to separate lists for commits, jira,
> dev, ci goes.

Here are some views on mailing list noise from someone who has only 
recently become a commons committer. I am also somewhat involved in 
Maven without being a committer.

I think that the sheer volume of traffic on commons-dev is a big hurdle 
for people wanting to get more involved with commons. This is from my 
own experience. The lists that we have today are suitable for users 
(commons-user) and committers (commons-dev). As i see it, there is a 
couple of more steps in between, in the natural progression from user to 

1. Someone becomes interested in using a commons component, we'll take 
commons-lang as an example. The user starts using it and maybe has a few 
questions, so the user joins the user-list.

2. The user realizes that this is good stuff and starts to wonder how 
they accomplish this, so the user joins the dev-list. Note: this is 
where it usually ends because the user can't handle the volume of mails, 
so he/she just unsubscribes from the list and continues to be a happy user.

3. If we had a list where discussions on organization, methodology and 
design issues were available the above user might become more interested 
in the Apache way and stay if the traffic was reasonable. This would be 
the current commons-dev list without some extra baggage, see more below.

4. As the user becomes an involved user he or she might want to create 
an occasional patch for StringUtils or something. The involved user 
files an issue, attaches a patch and feels warn and fuzzy inside when 
the patch gets accepted. The involved user wants this feeling to last 
and joins the issues-list, where all bugzilla and jira issues are sent, 
looking for more to do.

5. The involved user is starting to wonder how those committer do their 
coding and joins the commits-list to see what everyone is doing and how 
they do it.

6. Time passes and the person gets more involved and is elected as 
committer. This means more responsibility and the person now has to 
worry about things like CI (GUMP) and subscribes to the ci-list or 
build-list (haven't got a good name for this one)

Where does that leave us? If we create a couple of more lists I believe 
that we would attract more involved users. So my suggestion is to have 
these lists:

commons-dev (includes the wiki stuff)
commons-ci (perhaps with a better name)

Subscribe all current commons-dev subscribers to the new lists 
commons-issues, commons-commits and commons-ci. Then announce the 
separation of lists on commons-user and invite folks to join in.

Subscribers will still need to master their mail filters though.


Dennis Lundberg

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