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From Ross Gardler <>
Subject Re: [RT] IRC vs. Skype
Date Fri, 10 Jun 2005 18:20:32 GMT
Thorsten Scherler wrote:
> I think it is better to have an irc channel where more then 2 person can
> participate and a bot is recording everything then skype. Which seems to
> get popular here on forrest.

Skype is a voice technology not a text one, therefore you cannot replace 
it with IRC (yes it has IM but do people us it for that when you can 
simply call someone)

Oh, and Skype is not just for two people, it is for up to 5 - not as 
many as IRC, but it is not as restrictive as you say.

However, this is all irrelevant because...

I am -0.9 on an IRC channel for Forrest. It is unlikely you will find me 
in there, the mailing list is a typed communication medium and I see no 
benefit in using IRC instead. I do see considerable potential harm. As a 
community we are literally spread across a 24 hour time zone. Email 
allows everyone to particpate, asynchronously. IRC only allows those 
that are awake and at their computer to participate.

(Having said that I have *no* experience of IRC, so I am open to 

I am also -0.9 on using Skype for Forrest. However, occasionally, it is 
just more efficient than typed communications. I presume what prompted 
this mail is that David and Ferdinand had what I think was referred to 
as a long chat regarding the release. Lets examine this case:

The Forrest community has been trying to get the release out for an age 
now. Very few people have had the time to contribute to the preparations 
for the release. Now that we are finally ready (so it seems) David and 
Ferdinand have both stepped up to the plate to take on the tedious task 
of actually managing the release process. I applaud them for that.

*** Nobody else has offered any assistance. ***

If an hour on Skype between the two of them means that they can get on 
with it twice as fast I am OK with that with the requirement that the 
process is well documented. With respect to documentaiton of the process 
let us recognise that David and Ferdinand are among the most diligent 
members of the community when it comes to documentation. (I know the few 
pages I have written would be nothing without their oversight and 

Had this been a design discussion I would object very strongly. However 
it was not, it was merely a process discussion. A process to carry out a 
job nobody else had offered help with. A process that needs to be 
defined in order to allow us to realise a design decision regarding the 
versioned documentation. A design decision that took place on the mail list.

Sometimes rules need to be broken in order to ensure a job gets done. On 
this occasion I'm just glad I'm not having to do the tedious job taken 
on by David and Ferdinand.

What concerns me though is that your mail says "[Skype] seems to
get popular here on forrest." I'm not at all sure what the implication 
of this statement is. If there is reason to believe that Skype is used 
*too* frequently for community related issues then I think this is a 
very serious concern and the introduction of an IRC channel will not 
solve that problem.

> I agree that not everything can be discussed on the list, which could be
> done in a chat via IRC or skype. ...but I personally would like to see
> this conversions happen at least in an IRC, where we can keep track of
> them. 

I agree with your intent, but not with the method. I believe the 
introduction of an IRC channel will see one of two things happen:

a) the channel is never used
b) it fragments the community

I completely agree that no design discussion should be carried out on 
anthing other than EMail.

I agree that we should frown upon the use of any communication that is 
not carried out via email, but do not agree that it is possible to 
always follow that rule.

When we meet at ApacheCon will we have to sit in silence and communicate 
via IRC because some community memebers will not be present? (obvioulsy 
you are not suggesting this, I'm merely trying to illustrate that 
sometimes rules have to be broken)

I will not vote against the creation of an IRC channel (as long as the 
bot is in place), but I do not want anyone to think that a lack of a 
vote against implies that I think it is a good idea, it only means that 
it *may* be useful one day, just as Skype is useful sometimes too.


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