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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Re: An invitation to committers to the OOo Community Forums
Date Fri, 02 Sep 2011 12:45:48 GMT
On Fri, Sep 2, 2011 at 8:27 AM, Christian Grobmeier <> wrote:
>>> In tradition, all ASF related matters - code, users etc - are
>>> discussed in public on the dev list. The user lists has been utilized
>>> to do support to users. Now there is an forum in addtiion to a list.
>>> The credo is:"if it happened on list, it didn't happen". Ok, the board
>>> is not on list - so it didn't happen. I think management of the board
>>> can also happen on the board as Terry suggested (i think he did).
>> That logic doesn't really work.  The fact that it is not a mailing
>> list (and therefore "it didn't happen") is not magical permission to
>> do things in a project that would otherwise not be allowed.  For
>> example, could we create a forum for project-level fundraising, for
>> paying developers, for developing code not under ALv2 and for selling
>> CD's of AOOo, and argue that this is OK, because, "the board is not on
>> list - so it didn't happen"?
> i just wanted to outline that a forum is already extraordinary for
> support questions. Using message boards for support questions but not
> using it to ban users from the same board sounds strange.

Banning a user is just pressing a button.  The technology does not
require a discussion.  Same as mailing lists.  A list moderator can
kick out a user without having a discussion.  However, our process may
require more deliberation.  So it is then a question of:

1) Where does this deliberation occur?

2) And does it require confidential treatment?

We have several places where abusive behavior could happen, for example:

1) On mailing lists

2) On the community wiki

3) On the support forums

4) On the IRC channel

Do we really want a proliferation of private venue for discussing user
behavior?  A different one for each technology?

> For the quote I used I would like to refer you to this excellent slides:
> Anyway: all projects decisions should happen on list and not on Jabber
> or on a message board.
> I am doubting the banning of a user is a "real" project decision.

When Drew described the use of one of the private support forums he wrote:

"Rounding out this group of boards is the actual moderator board and that
is where these peer reviews and discussion on specific posts by named
users takes place. Although anyone can bring up whatever topic they want
on that board."

So it is not just banning users.  It sounds rather open-ended,

I'm sure that you've observed, as I have, that new podlings tend to
over-user their private lists, that without regular reminders and
correction from Mentors, there is a tendency to discuss things in
private, not because it is necessary, not because it is confidential,
but merely to avoid controversy, to avoid public viewing of project
disagreements. Mentors and others try to correct this, because they
know that it is important for projects to work transparently.

Remember also that the forum moderators, for the most part, are not
PPMC members.  They have not worked on the private list, nor have they
received the constant reminders that we need to operate transparently.
 They are like the PPMC was on our first day.

> On your example, if you are paying developers for proprietary code or
> sell CDs outside the ASF and donate the money - why not? You should
> just respect the branding requirements and do it on your own.

Irrelevant, since the support forums will soon be part of the project,
running on Apache infrastructure, under PPMC oversight., They are not
independent.  The way in which users are treated will reflect on the
project and on Apache overall.  The support forums are part of the
"public face" of the project.  We should be ensuring that this public
face reflects project and Apache values, including transparency.

I'm not comfortable saying that non-PPMC members will be having
private discussions about our users, in 30 different private forums,
and deciding among themselves what users will be banned or not, all
without PPMC oversight.

In other words, how do we ensure that the support forums reflect
Apache and project values if the  moderation occurs in private, by
non-PPMC members, not appointed by the PPMC, without PPMC oversight?


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