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From Wolf Halton <>
Subject [Proposal] Guidelines for list conduct policy
Date Sat, 16 Jun 2012 15:25:33 GMT
This is a draft with the additions from the group, for a lazy consensus.
I am envisioning that the final draft can be added to the sign-in progress
for the various mailing-lists and also as a link to the project
mailing-list page.

I have not included any pieces about what happens to an individual who does
not abide by the general group agreements, as that has not been discussed
here yet.


List Conduct Policy


   What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas:
   Anything you read in the private list is by default a private PPMC
   affair and not to be spoken of, or copied to other people who are not in
   the PPMC.  If you think about it, most topic threads probably should be in
   the public lists, except choosing committers and PPMC members, and a very
   few others.
   In fact, all email lists or email conversations have this aspect of
   privacy. Even if there are 23000 subscribers on the list, it is assumed
   that privacy will be maintained and a list member's name and location will
   not be published in a newspaper or some other public venue where personal
   privacy is not expected.

   Be Nice:
   Not only are there lots of people on this list whose first language is
   not English, there are busy hurried readers.  If other list members are
   telling you they do not understand what you wrote, or take your innocent
   phasing in a poor light, take it as a signal that your writing style is too
   idiomatic or too technical (unlikely but possible) for others to follow
   easily.  This does not necessarily mean you are mean, wrong and bad, so
   just be nice and reword the passage.  Assume people are not in "attack
   mode." We are all on the same team here.

   Don't Respond When You are Angry:
   Presuming people are not in attack mode means, if you think they are,
   just now, then probably you are just misunderstanding their point. Ad
   hominem attacks, e.g., "You are too dumb to get this," are a sign that you
   yourself may not have a good-enough handle on the issue to explain your
   point clearly.

   Always remember, that unless there is a *darn* good reason, nothing gets
   decided at the ASF in less than 72 elapsed hours, so your reply can wait
   until morning.  You might even get lucky, and when you check back somebody
   else will have posted either what you wanted to say, or something close
   enough that you can work with it.
   Remember that the members of a community mailing list will get to the
   list when they can. Most of us do this in our spare time, and in different
   time zones. Perhaps the rule of thumb could be to respond no more than once
   per hour, or once per day, to any given thread. The highest frequency of
   responses does not necessarily “Win” in a community of equals. The most
   concise and useful post tends to win, if furthering the dialog and
   advancing the community's goals is what we are after..

   Get to the Point:
   Write as tersely as possible, and edit down as much possible, so other
   people who are just as busy as you may quickly get your point without
   ending up defensive.

   Consider trimming the post to which you are responding:
   People who read emails on small screens are not the only ones who are
   frustrated by picking important new information out of tons of stuff they
   have already read.  To trim a post, one simply remove any parts of the post
   to which one is replying that are not important to understand ones reply.
   If the response to one of these posts is, “What? I do not understand,” then
   it may be that too much of the context may have been removed.

   There are Going to be Exceptions to the Rule:
   All of these guidelines are subject to sanity-testing.
   A person posting child porn on this list will be reported to the
   appropriate authorities and will not be able to complain that their list
   privacy has been violated.
   Ramping up to a release, there are a lot of postings at high frequency.
   Sometimes it takes a long post to say what needs to be said.

More Useful Stuff:

Apache Tips for Email Contributors –

Apache OpenOffice Mailing Lists –<>


This Apt Has Super Cow Powers -
Open-Source Software in Libraries -
Advancing Libraries Together -
Apache Open Office Developer

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