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From drew <>
Subject Re: An invitation to committers to the OOo Community Forums
Date Thu, 01 Sep 2011 20:00:30 GMT
On Thu, 2011-09-01 at 19:56 +0100, Terry Ellison wrote:
> OK, Rob, I now understand your point.  I will do as you request.  
> However, it seems to me that by making this request you are creating an 
> interesting catch-22:  I far as I can see there are two facets to this 
> invitation.
>     * *Sufficiency*.  These forums are closed because this gives the
>       attendees freedom to discuss matters (such as individual poster
>       behaviour) that shouldn't be discussed on a public forum.  We only
>       invite "trusted" forum members to join these lists.  (That's is
>       that they've demonstrated that they are responsible and have built
>       up a body of "karma" with their forum contributions.)  I would
>       have thought that being elected a committer could reasonably be
>       deemed to be sufficient to show such trust.
>     * *Necessity*.  You seem to want to discuss policy on the governance
>       of the forums from within this DL or ooo-private.  I also recall
>       some of your previous comments which indicate that these people
>       (who have committed hundreds if not thousands of hours to
>       supporting this service) do not merit committer status unless they
>       have a wider engagement in the project, and they are therefore
>       excluded from any ooo-private discussions.  Yet, it seems to me
>       that it is entirely reasonable that anyone contributing to this
>       discussion should at least have a working knowledge of how the
>       forums operate in practice and currently govern themselves.  So I
>       do think it necessary as well.
> Hence in my view, this invitation makes eminent sense.  Is your counter 
> proposal that only committers who are entirely ignorant of how the 
> forums work should decided on their future governance and existence?  I 
> feel that most Europeans would regard this as a typical American 
> attitude to the rest of the world ;)

Could of done with out the last line there Terry, IMO, even if Rob comes
on a bit strong at times.

Anyway - given that the status of the forums is in reality changing,
finally, it makes sense that it is also open of review by the PPMC.

First what I think are the easy cases.

There are three closed boards per language level forum that I submit
need to remain closed.

The first is named forum-admin, but this can be a bit of misnomer. It's
purpose is quite simple, emails sent to the admin mailing address are
handled by a semi-automated process.

1) An email auto responder emails back a canned message, crafted over
time that explains simple problem solving steps the user can take on
their own. This tends to clear a very large majority of issues without
further intervention.

2) The full email is posted to the forum-admin board along with the
users email address. This is the only board on the site where the email
address is given in clear text.

Every moderator can see that board and is asked to take a part in
reviewing these requests - if the problem is clearly handled by the
canned reply email no action is required. On the other hand if it is one
of the outliers and does require human intervention they can grab it, do
what they think needs dong and add a comment to the email showing what
they did.

This has worked out quite well over time.

The next closed board that needs to stay that way is the Quarantine
board. This board serves a dual purpose.

When any post is deleted on a public board, either by the posting user
or a moderator the post is moved to quarantine, rather then being
immediately removed from the database. 

As this point all moderators can view these deleted posts and a clock
starts. After three days if no action is taken the post is permanently
removed from the database. During this time however a post can be
restored. This happens from time to time with users accidentally
deleting a post, they just need to ask a moderator to un-delete it for

In the case of obvious spam no one does anything and it just slides into

Now normally, if a moderator wants to remove a post for some cause they
would bring it up on the moderator list, but even if they didn't and
they just deleted a post the quarantine list then acts as a peer review
mechanism. Terry mentioned rules, this is a big one, a moderator can't
do something lie this without informing the group as a whole as to what
they did and why. (this includes removing 'obvious' spam...they still
must report the action) Again from time to time it is the judgment of
the larger group to reverse the individuals decision, in which case the
post is restored.

Rounding out this group of boards is the actual moderator board and that
is where these peer reviews and discussion on specific posts by named
users takes place. Although anyone can bring up whatever topic they want
on that board.

To the others on the list here that are admins and moderators at the
forums I would say, I agree with Rob - everything else should really be
open to all.

Anyway - hope that helps.

Finally - I would second Terry's invitation - if you want to actually
see this section of the forums, create an account and drop me a line,
I'll add you to the volunteers group.

Best wishes,


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