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From Louis Suárez-Potts <>
Subject Re: [Request] create mailing list
Date Wed, 09 Nov 2011 03:23:18 GMT
On 8 November 2011 17:48, Shane Curcuru <> wrote:
> As a mentor, I have two comments:
> - When requesting a new mailing list, it is critical to clearly define the
> focus and expected community that would use a list.  In particular, showing
> specific threads on other lists that would be better moved to the new list
> is helpful to give others a detailed explanation of the kinds of things a
> new list proposer would expect to see on the new list.
> Creating new email lists is simple technically, but should be approached
> with caution in terms of the effects of splitting community energy.
> - I highly recommend that people view through the slides for the
> well-respected "How Open Source Projects Survive Poisonous People" set of
> slides:
> The talk is worth watching, but for those short on time the slides are worth
> reading.  In particular, the aspects about how communities of many different
> kinds of people (the vast majority who are not poisonous, by the way!) can
> effectively work together on public mailing lists.  A key slide is pp 5, and
> pp7 as a followup:
> "Attention and Focus
> These are your scarcest resources
> You must protect them"
> - Shane


I would second Shane's point. But we went through this routinely at
OOo. Our policy—devised pretty much by Stefan and me but agreed upon
by quite a few leads—was the the fewer the lists the better, and that
lists must have a raison d'être; but that focus was played second to
the larger desire to have more conversations than hardly any at all.
In short, it was better to have somewhat noisy lists than to have
lists that were not noisy at all but also not attended to, as the more
interesting conversations were where the people went.

Our policy was (and is, I suppose) posted at, which I originally wrote
about 10 years ago and updated periodically. I also had policies,
drafted in consort and collaboration with the other project leads (I
led many projects in OOo) regarding poisonous people, and what to do
about them in order to preserve the value of the community.

Again, the former OOo was a little schizoid and played at being both a
user site and a developer portal; and it probably did both badly,
though for different reasons.

I would hope that we focus here on one or the other and be clear—as in
"transparent" and "accountable"—in the Apache way, as to what we want
and hope to get.


<former OOo community manager, chair of the erstwhile council, lead of
Native-Lang, Marketing, Website, Distribution, Education, Business,
Incubator Category; primary content writer for the first several
years, too, I suppose, and chief spokesperson of the project; now the
project's representative on all three ODF TCs at Oasis, as well as its
representative to Software in the Public Interest.>

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