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From Rob Allen <>
Subject Re: [OT] On Calls and Meetings
Date Tue, 11 Jul 2017 06:59:17 GMT

> On 11 Jul 2017, at 03:15, Felix Meschberger <> wrote:
> Hi all
> Calls may at time help converge on some topics. And if you are used to the traditional
office environment, you might be used to having calls and meetings.
> But keep in mind, that this is *not* the way, how traditional open source project in
general, and Apache projects in particular, work. Here we mostly are in an asynchronous mode,
even though this might take a bit longer to converge and some more typing.
> Having said that, it’s great to see this momentum, but I am concerned with the an outlook
that going forward this project really operates in a synchronous call- and Slack-oriented
fashion which might indeed create a two-class society of those able to participate in the
synchronous activities and those relying on asynchronous mode.
> Please keep that in mind as we move this project forward.
> Thanks and keep the great work coming !
> Regards
> Felix
> PS: And, of course, as you conclude the call/meeting, having a write up published through
CWiki and/or dev list is a must. Thanks.

The really nice thing about a good asynchronous mode is that you end up with a searchable
history for each conversation, ideally where the start of each conversation can be easily
found and contributed to. I'm a fan.

I think that all the OSS projects I'm involved with use an asynchronous mechanism to reach
& document decisions. It's not uncommon to see an issue created for a particular conversation
that starts with "As discussed on IRC, I spoke with, X & Y as I think that Topic A should
be explored. They pointed out that issues 1, 2, and 3 will need thinking about, but I feel
that benefits A & B are worth it. Please see issues 10 which is vaguely related.". It's
a lovely way of having a nicely isolated conversation where interested people can jump in
and comment.

I realise that Apache uses email for this, but personally I find email lists really hard to
use as I don't associate email with long-running, discontiguous-in-time conversations as the
email inboxes on my iPhone, iPad and Mac do not lend themselves to this. This is very much
a demotivator for me personally as it's so much work to manage mailing list conversations
via my inbox. 

I'm very unlike to ever reply to any conversation that hasn't had activity since the last
time I cleared my inbox to zero. I realise that there's the mailing list archive page, but
I couldn't work out how to reply to a thread there as I'm not an ASF committer and don't use
Google. I'm not going to come back to my email client to reply to the thread I read on a website;
I'll just let it slide.

I don't have much of a point here really. Mainly I'm letting everyone know that I'm not very
active here as I find it hard to be. I appreciate that the email list is long-term stable,
but it is intimidating and can be a barrier for people who are used to web-based asynchronous
systems such as issue trackers, PRs or forums. I assume every other Apache project has overcome
this and am be interested to know how they persuade people to use email lists.



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