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From "robert burrell donkin" <>
Subject Re: Thoughts on Umbrellas, Federations, and Communication
Date Fri, 10 Mar 2006 13:05:45 GMT
On 3/10/06, J Aaron Farr <> wrote:
> On 3/9/06, Matthieu Riou <> wrote:
> > I know that mailing-lists are part of the foundation of the ASF and
> > are a really useful way to communicate effectively. However my feeling
> > is that we don't have the right tools or policies to use them as
> > effectively as could be. For example, as a commiter, I find it
> > extremely annoying that I have to subscribe to a mailing-list just to
> > post a message on it. Also most archives aren't really user-friendly.
> > Not being able to do a simple search on ALL mailing lists is for me a
> > major drawback.
> >
> > So I'd suggest (if possible) the following ideas:
> >   * Give any commiter the necessary rights to send an e-mail on any
> > mailing list without having to subscribe.
> >   * Provide fully searchable mailing-list archives.
> That's perhaps part of the solution.
> Really we have two problems:
> 1. Managing information
> 2. Providing suitable forums for cross-project collaboration
> In the first case, it's a matter of filtering the massive amount of
> information that goes through the mailing lists.  I can't subscribe to
> them all.  I'm over-subscribed as it is.  So while I want to know
> about other conversations, I need a filtering mechanism.  One solution
> that I really liked were the Apache newsletters we had going on a
> little while ago.  It was a nice way to know about what was going on
> in each project's little corner of the ASF.  If we could extract
> similar information from the mailing lists and create "smart digests"
> that would perhaps suffice.


i've been thinking on problems related to this for a while now.

when my cube blew up about this time year, it took me about a month to take
control of my emails: all my email filters were on the drive that fried. i'm
now fed up of evolution but upgrading or switching means recreating all my
filters. i'd also like to be able to use the same filters on client or
server. i'd also like to be able to create more complex rules.

domain specific language? drools? james maillets? xslt -> client specific

i think it could be done but i just can't find the cycles right now :(

Another matter is providing spaces for cross-project collaboration.
> In this matter, I'm not sure I have any solution, though I'm not sure
> additional mailing lists are really the best idea.  That might only
> add to the email overload.

is it the media or the way it's used?

maybe we just need tagged emails and meta-data

apache has used [VOTE] and [PROPOSAL] tags for ages

over in jakarta commons, the subject prefix tag allows people to pick out
the conversations they are interested on.

agora works well at picking out social networks and centers of gravity.
should be possible to use metrics to assess the importance of an email
conversation (lots of people i'm interested in all talking on one thread is
probably something i should be interested in).

would need a new generation of email clients and more cycles than i have,
though :(

 - robert

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