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From Terry Ellison <>
Subject Re: An invitation to committers to the OOo Community Forums
Date Thu, 01 Sep 2011 19:44:16 GMT
On 01/09/11 20:14, Rob Weir wrote:
> On Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 2:56 PM, 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.
> This is incorrect. We're obviously discussing the policy on the
> public list. We have not discussed this on ooo-private. Discussion
> of policy regarding the treatment of confidential information is
> itself not confidential. In fact, such discussions should probably
> always be public.
> You are also incorrect in your assumption that volunteers need to
> contribute in several areas in order to be committers. Someone who
> makes substantial contributions as a support forum moderator could
> make a great committer candidate. Ditto for a documentation writer, a
> tester, a translator, etc. Committers are not just coders. It is
> about commitment to the project.
> You are suggesting two problems:
> 1) We have forum moderators who understand how the forums work, but
> have not made visible contributions to the project yet, so they are
> not currently being nominated as committers.
> 2) We have committers who are not familiar with how the forum operates.
> And I'm raising the 3rd issue:
> 3) How the forum operates should not be something that occurs in private.
> There is a clear solution here:
> 1) Have those who understand how the forum operates today write this
> up in detail as a contribution to the project's website
> 2) This would help other committers understand how this works and
> avoids the newbie problem you are concerned with, though we are
> probably not half as dumb as you seem to be assuming. I, for example,
> have run a phpBB board before.
The issue isn't about phpBB, its more about we operate *these* forums.
> 3) This also gives the PPMC and Mentors an opportunity to review the
> forum procedures and ensure they conform Apache expectations, etc.
> This is something we should be doing anyways.
> 4) This effort, both in writing up the procedures, and educating the
> existing committers, and through this mutual discussion, would
> probably be a sufficient sign of commitment to get the moderators who
> are do this work to be nominated as project committers.
> So a win-win situation, all around.
Rob, I think that on your last comments we are lot closer than on your 
first reply.  However, we can either choose to make this change:

A) a disruptive one: that is we lay down some (from the perspective of 
the volunteers who are currently doing this work) arbitrary and seemly 
irrational new rules on a love it or leave it basis.  In my experience 
many or most will leave given this sort of diktat.  It's a good way to 
kill off a service.

B) an evolutionary one: that is we engage constructively and get to 
understand the range of perspectives then move the service incrementally 
to an end-point that is mutually acceptable.

In my experience many or most supporters will leave when faced with the 
(A) sort of diktat. (B) works a LOT better, especially when the people 
involved are making their commitments pro-bono. So I tend to feel that 
people who start with (A) really have an agenda of shutting down a 
service and those who start from (B) want it to prosper.


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