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From "Dennis E. Hamilton" <>
Subject [www][wiki] Web, Wiki, and Participation (was RE: Making mailing lists useful ...)
Date Fri, 12 Aug 2011 16:30:28 GMT
+1 on

" I think the value of opening up that list to a broader range of
contributors is worth the cost of the extra click."

 - Dennis

In my experience editing a wiki and creating a patch are qualitatively and quantitatively

Editing a wiki, especially one that is inviting (Media Wiki qualifies for me, others not so
much), provides for discussion and has an important internet feature: disintermediation. 

The appeal of wikis (and forums too) is that it provides disintermediation on behalf of non-expert
participation.  And it has immediacy, something we must not undervalue.  You don't get Wikipedia
by a procedure that involves submitting patches. Not ever.

I think every approach we assess here should be tested by how it invites greater participation.
 That does not mean we grant committer status to every bloke who knocks on the door, because
that is about the provenance of the code base and the integrity of releases.

There are amazing activities that benefit from end-user support, peer support, and developers
contributing in visible ways that are not significant in terms of Apache licensing and issues
around releases.  But developers can provide perspective and transparency using the community
playground too.

So, for example, the main web site for the project needs to be non-user-edited for technical
as well as policy reasons.  Then one question would be how little can we have there in order
to gain the contributions of non-developers/-committers in all of those places where they
can shine -- and perhaps be(come) experts of another kind through those contributions.

The proper question, for me, is not how much to have under committer control and PPMC-intermediation,
but how little we can have without increased ceremony and technical barriers because of an
over-riding consideration.  Very little should trump open, casual participation.

-----Original Message-----
From: Nóirín Plunkett [] 
Sent: Friday, August 12, 2011 07:20
Subject: Re: Making mailing lists useful (was Re: [Proposal])

On Fri, Aug 12, 2011 at 4:11 PM, Rob Weir <> wrote:
> I'm assuming that it is the new list subscriber that benefits most
> from this.  Existing subscribers will just follow the conventions they
> observe being used on the list.  Or do you expect to regularly check
> the wiki to see what new subject tags Simon has added?

I think it's highly unlikely that the new list subscriber will read
this in either location; I think the people who are most likely to
read it are those who've been on the list a few days, see that there
are a few tags floating around, and that the volume of mail is hectic.
(Yes, I know the static page says c. 57/day. I also know that most
people have no concept of what that means as an addition to their
normal mail flow.)

I expect those people not to be sure what to look for or where, but I
hope if they've seen a reasonably prominent mention on the static page
saying "This is a high-volume mailing list. Please use clear, relevant
subject lines, and consider using an appropriate tag for your mail. A
list of tags is available at [link].", that they'll figure it out.

I think the value of opening up that list to a broader range of
contributors is worth the cost of the extra click.


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