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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Re: [Proposal] Guidelines for list conduct policy
Date Mon, 18 Jun 2012 12:22:03 GMT
On Sat, Jun 16, 2012 at 11:25 AM, Wolf Halton <> wrote:
> 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.

Probably the best place for this would be on our mailing list page

It could supplement the exiting "participation guidelines" section.

> 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
>   1.
>   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   not be published in a newspaper or some other public venue where personal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.

I like it.  You write well, with style.  But I do wonder if "What
happens in Vegas..." is well understood outside of the USA?  Of
course, everyone should watch "The Hangover" ;-)

Also, I wonder if this point should be at the end?  In other words,
first deal with the guidelines that apply to all lists (public and
private) and then have an extra point at the end specifically about
private lists.

And note that there are several private lists, ooo-private as well as
ooo-security.  Project members may have occasions where they deal with
other private lists as well, legal-internal,  etc.    Similar rules
apply there,

The tricky part, and one I don't believe we've discussed here before,
is if and when it is appropriate to copy information from one private
list to another.  I get the sense that there is a hierarchy of
privacy, perhaps indicated by the overlapping membership.  For
example, everyone on ooo-security is a PMC member.  So ooo-security
has a subset of ooo-private members.

So there is a mix of concerns: privacy, security, in some cases legal
discussions, etc.   One term we might use that would encompass all of
this is "confidentiality".  The discussions on private lists are

>   2.
>   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.
>   3.


>   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.
>   4.
>   Relax:
>   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..
>   5.

This assumes that all posts are directly related to decision making.
This is not always true, probably not usually true.  There are also
problem solving posts, information sharing posts, brainstorming posts,

>   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.

+1.  and of course the tersest post is the post one never sends.

>   6.
>   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.
>   7.
>   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 –

These links would be revised based on the context of where the
guidelines are inserted.



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

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