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From Jason van Zyl <>
Subject Re: IRC
Date Mon, 14 Aug 2006 17:10:37 GMT

On 14 Aug 06, at 11:47 AM 14 Aug 06, Jim Jagielski wrote:

> On Aug 14, 2006, at 10:07 AM, Jason van Zyl wrote:
>> On 14 Aug 06, at 9:33 AM 14 Aug 06, Jim Jagielski wrote:
>>> A reminder that by its very nature, IRC is exclusionary and
>>> contrary to ASF principles.
>> Not communicating with the team as a whole about what has been  
>> discussed is contrary to ASF principles.
> I'm sure you're not saying that something like "Hey, we
> discussed Foo on IRC and have decided to do it, so we
> thought we'd let the dev@ list know about it now" is
> OK...

No, more like "Hey, we discussed Foo on IRC and now want to bring the  
discussion to the list." Which is what we've been doing. As I said  
previously, I agree that IRC is not the place to decide a course of  
action for a project, just a good place to hash out ideas.

> IRC has its use, and is good when some things need to
> be resolved real-time. But it is NOT a good method of
> ensuring a communal development environment, due to
> the simple fact that unless one happens to be on
> IRC at that exact moment of time, one "misses out"
> on the discussion. I won't even address the non-archival
> aspect of IRC.
>> We had a general discussion about IRC on the incubator list and I  
>> think it can be used effectively without compromising the  
>> integrity of the project. I think the policy is that IRC can't be  
>> used to make decisions which is perfectly reasonable.
>>> Long-standing ASF projects have
>>> a hard time using it effectively and without sacrificing
>>> the communal nature of development crucial to the
>>> ASF; an Incubator podling will have a MUCH more
>>> difficult time.
>> I would disagree that IRC is inherently exclusionary
> If there are 20 developers and 19 are located on the
> US West Coast and 1 is located in Sri Lanka (or Australia)
> or someplace else, then it follows that "most" IRC discussions
> would be held during a convenient time for the 19 and
> at a non-convenient time for the 1. Even more so when
> it's like "Hey, let's all get together on IRC now and
> hash this out!".

If that happened to be the case then that one person would speak up  
and IRC could be dropped I supposed. But discouraging IRC for a  
project is just going to promote a black market of private  
conversation. You can't stop it because working in real-time way,  
closest to a face-to-face manner, is the way people most naturally  
work together. So it can officially be discouraged or banned but then  
you're going to lose a record of that information. In cases that you  
mentioned above a solution can usually be found to allow the more  
optimal modes of communication with a disparate group of people. It's  
just a balance.

> And I did not say that no projects use it, but rather
> they have a hard time using it effectively, which is
> what I stand by.

Fair enough. I happen to feel it can be used effectively.


Jason van Zyl

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