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From "Yoav Shapira" <>
Subject Re: IRC Channel?
Date Tue, 15 Aug 2006 12:50:19 GMT

Ian Holsman wrote:
> It isn't the individuals who make the decision, but the community as
> a whole.

I don't agree with the above at all.  The community is more than just
the sum of its members, but that sum is a large part of the community
nonetheless.  A lot of times (too many in some projects that I've been
involved with, not just at the ASF) one or two strong individuals
essentially make most of the decisions.  This might be fine, depending
on the project, but it doesn't lead to a good community generally.
The less public the medium (and I think we can agree IRC is less
public than archived mailing lists) the more chance there is of this

> >> actually email isn't being used that much locally either... SMS or
> >> Skype/IM is what I use most when
> >> I want to talk to people.

OK, that's you.  In my area (Boston) email is still preferred for
anything that should be preserved, documented, archived, searchable
later, even though we IM and Skype frequently.

> ideas. take this thread for example. If we were talking on the phone
> or on IRC it would
> been settled in 20minutes..

No way.  It would go on just as long and it'd be worse because some
people would have to leave the room for personal and/or work and/or
timezone-related reasons, thereby not being able to fully participate,
and feeling bad about it.  I know I would.

> (I'm going to get flamed here)
> this clinging to email is probably a symptom of a bigger problem. Trust.
> People don't trust other members to make a decision, and always want
> to add their 2c's
> because they are smart people and have their own insights and they
> know what's best.
> and want to feel that they are needed or something.

You're not going to get flamed, but maybe asked to provide evidence.
When have the people who don't like IRC shown lack of trust in other

> seriously.. I agree with you .. timezones suck.. but I really like
> the approach stock market traders
> do.
> at the end of a shift they call the other timezone and talk and brief
> the others on what is going on,

They get ulcers in their early 20s and there have been a host of
psychological and other studies showing early damage from their overly
stressed behavior.  I speak from personal experience, a handful or so
of really good friends who are traders and do as you describe above:
it sucks for them, it sucks for the people in their lives, and it
should serve as an example of what NOT to do at the ASF or any sane

> >> as long as governance can be maintained I don't see why we (the ASF)
> >> should care.

Would you as a mentor of a proposal like Eelco's be willing to govern
every IRC session and (publicly) admonish / chastize people for making
decisions on IRC or being exclusionary?  How are you going to maintain
governance over a project that primarily communicates on IRC or IM or

> because we (the collective community) feel that it is the best one.
> and it is one our differentiating factors.

Maybe we feel that IRC is a bad medium, and that could be a
differentiating factor? ;)  (Only partially joking).

> > I believe that the use of email is one of the
> > essential charateristics of the Apache Way, it has a long history of
> > sucesses and a proven track record here and in other OS projects.
> so have modems.

And CRT monitors, and cell phones that can't receive real-time video,
and other older technologies.  They's as applicable (or rather not
applicable) to this argument as modems.

> agreed... without experimentation we won't know if IRC or VOIP is
> better, and produces a better quality/amount.

There I'm more agreeable to your point of view, but it goes back to
the above questions: would you be willling to mentor such a project in
a way that maintains governance to the same standards we have today?


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