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From Rob Weir <>
Subject How to handle the native language lists?
Date Thu, 20 Oct 2011 19:04:42 GMT
This question came up a few months ago, when we initially started the
podling.  The legacy OOo project had many mailing lists which were for
non-English list traffic. This included user lists as well as project
lists (marketing and translation mainly).  Many of these lists are
showing up in my survey of the most-used lists in OOo, the list I'm
using for migration planning.  We've deferred resolving this question
so far.  I think we've run out of time.  We can't delay figuring this
much longer.

So.... what do we want to do with these lists, and more importantly,
with the community on these lists?  The native language communities
are an important part of the vitality of the OOo community, and we
need to agree on a good way to integrate them into the AOOo community.

On the other hand, we don't want to fragment the community into very
many small compartments, were we are ineffective in combining our
strengths together to solve larger problems and undertake larger
initiatives.  So we need some sort of balance.   OOo, with its 300+
mailing lists, probably did not achieve the optimal balance.  Let's
see if we can do better.


1) Create a single user-language list for each native language where
there is an active user list today, and where we can identify three
committed moderators, preferably at least one from the PMC.

If there is currently a discuss list as well as a user list in that
language, combine then into the user list.

Currently, that would mean the creation of the following new lists
(assuming we find moderators), like:

ooo-users-de (German)
ooo-users-fr (French)
ooo-users-it (Italian)
ooo-users-es (Spanish)
ooo-users-br-pt (Brazilian Portuguese) (or can we generalize this to
pt in general?)
ooo-nl (Dutch)
ooo-ja (Japanese)

There may be other language we want to cover as well.    The list
above is intended to illustrative, not exclusive.  The important thing
is that when dealing with users, we need to meet them on their terms,
not ours.  The request for at least three moderators is because a user
list needs more than just spam protection.  We need moderators
committed to actively participate on those lists.  A user list that
has been abandoned is very bad for the image of the project.  Since
the PPMC cannot easily monitor what is happening on a non-English
mailing list, we will need to have high confidence that there are
sufficient volunteers on the list to make it succeed.

2) For project-related (as opposed to user-related) lists, align them
with the closest existing AOOo list.

For example: --> ooo-marketing --> ooo-marketing --> ooo-dev

and so on.   We're a single Apache project with a single product.
Although there may be local marketing efforts, there should be a
single marketing conversation.  Ditto for other aspects of the

The net result will be take 300+ existing OOo mailing lists and map
them to a much smaller number of AOOo mailing lists, maybe a dozen
total in the end.  This will require understanding and good will from
all.  Non-native English speakers and native speakers will need to
adjust how they interact, and in general be more understanding.

So that's my proposal.  I have my asbestos underwear on.  Feel free to
start the flaming,


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