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From Rob Weir <apa...@robweir.com>
Subject Re: Making mailing lists useful (was Re: [Proposal])
Date Fri, 12 Aug 2011 16:46:07 GMT
On Fri, Aug 12, 2011 at 11:59 AM, Nóirín Plunkett <noirin@apache.org> wrote:
> On Fri, Aug 12, 2011 at 5:53 PM, Rob Weir <apache@robweir.com> wrote:
>> On Fri, Aug 12, 2011 at 11:34 AM, Dennis E. Hamilton
>> <dennis.hamilton@acm.org> wrote:
>>> -1
>>>
>>> Hey, a terrific blow for community there, Rob!
>>>
>>> Please don't ever do that again for a matter under active discussion.  Not ever.
>>>
>>> I urge you to revert those changes.
>>>
>>
>> I disagree.   Bikeshedding on the list is not an impediment to action.
>>  I implemented one of the proposals discussed on the list. It is in
>> SVN.  If someone feels strongly, they can revert.  But note that in
>> CTR, -1's are invalid unless accompanied by technical objections, a
>> statement of an alternative proposal and a willingness to implement
>> the alternative.
>>
>
> Reverting should really be a last resort. I had a technical objection,
> a statement of an alternative proposal, and a willingness to implement
> the alternative.
>

As I said in my original note, if someone wants to move forward the
wiki approach they are welcome to do that. If and when they do, we can
easily add a link to it in the mailing list page.  That was Simon's
counter-proposal to my proposal.  That would allow the wiki to contain
a lengthier list of topic tags while still having some presentation of
the core idea on the mailing list page.  There is nothing that I have
done that prevents that.  In fact what I've done brings us much closer
to that approach.

> Granted, I didn't actually say "-1", but I still think it's pretty
> poor show. Consensus is not "who commits first, wins", and meaningful
> discussion that's still ongoing less than 48hrs after you made your
> proposal hardly constitutes "bikeshedding".
>
> I'm going out now, but I hope we can see a little more collaboration
> and a little less bulldozing in the future.
>


If it doesn't break anything and it is easily reversible and it moves
things forward, then JFDI.  The fact that non-committers on the list
may still be bikeshedding is not an impediment to a committer moving
forward.

If you look at the list archives you will see many proposals that have
been raised, discussed a little and then dropped.  They are of the "I
propose that someone else (not me) do X".  Those are far less useful
than the "I would like to do X" kinds of proposals.  But even those
are unnecessary in most cases.  The essence of the Apache meritocracy
is that it is a do-ocracy.  The direction of the project is set by
those who step up in do things, not by those who just have an opinion
on everything.  Opinions are valued of course, but opinions backed by
code rule the day.

If a committer wants to do something, and they don't think it will be
irreversible or controversial, then JFDI.  Don't start a proposal
thread merely for the sake of it.  Sure, if you really want technical
feedback and validation, then give a detailed proposal.  But expect,
given the 200 people subscribed to the list, that you will almost
always get a range of responses, including the bikeshedding type.  So
I'd urge not having discussions on changes, including web site
changes, unless the committer thinks it necessary.

We trust committers.  That is why we voted them in as committers.
This project is going to make very little progress if we continue to
discuss into paralysis every proposal that someone makes.  JFDI.

The goal of ooo-dev should be to facilitate getting stuff done.  It
should not be to have the greatest number of discussions.  Less
discussion and more progress is a good thing.

Also, it would be good if we were a but more nuanced in our opinions,
where we do offer them.  It is not all +1 or -1.  There are gradations
in between including things like:

    +0: 'I don't feel strongly about it, but I'm okay with this.'

    -0: 'I won't get in the way, but I'd rather we didn't do this.'

    -0.5: 'I don't like this idea, but I can't find any rational
justification for my feelings.'

    ++1: 'Wow! I like this! Let's do it!'

    -0.9: 'I really don't like this, but I'm not going to stand in the
way if everyone else wants to go ahead with it.'

    +0.9: 'This is a cool idea and i like it, but I don't have
time/the skills necessary to help out.'


See:  http://www.apache.org/foundation/voting.html

In any case, there are 9999 other web pages to discuss and reach
consensus on.  Does anyone care to open a new thread on the next one?
 ;-)

-Rob

> Noirin
>

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