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From David McKay <>
Subject Re: What is needed for Support Forums to be fully integrated into the Apache project
Date Mon, 05 Sep 2011 21:28:40 GMT

On 05/09/2011 21:51, Rob Weir wrote:
> On Mon, Sep 5, 2011 at 2:57 PM, Reizinger Zoltán<>  wrote:
>> 2011.09.05. 20:35 keltezéssel, írta:
>>> On 5 Sep 2011, at 19:00, Reizinger Zoltán wrote:
>>> <snip>
>>>>> ==Approval of Forum roles==
>>>>> My understanding is that forums have essentially three roles:
>>>>> a) Users
>>>>> b) Moderators, who delete, edit and move all posts, ban users, etc.
>>>>> c) Admins who can also create new forums and assign moderator rights
>>>> Volunteers not listed, who contribute in posts with their special
>>>> knowledge.
>>>>> 5) Users require no special treatment.  They are like subscribers to
>>>>> users list.
>>>>> 6) Being listed as an "admin" or "moderator" on a public-facing Apache
>>>>> website suggests endorsement by the project, and aside from any
>>>>> enhanced Forum capabilities enhances your ability to keep order on the
>>>>> Forums.  In other words, it is the star that makes the sheriff, not
>>>>> the gun.  But this endorsement, to be meaningful, should be made
>>>>> authentic.   So Admins and Moderators should be approved by the PPMC.
>>>>> This kind of routine approval is given all the time for those who want
>>>>> to be list moderators.  I see no reason why we cannot, initially at
>>>>> least, simply receive a list of current volunteers to ooo-private and
>>>>> approve them all.
>>>> -1
>>>> Simple users became volunteers when he/she gives many useful comments to
>>>> users not worth anything on this list.
>>>> You and all commiters on this list will approve Hungarian moderators
>>>> without knowing how they works?
>>>> You will learn Hungarian and all twelve forum languages? Some moderators,
>>>> and most volunteers even not reading English.
>>>> How the PPMC will endorse them?
>>>>> 7) Future grants of admin/moderator rights would require a proposal to
>>>>> ooo-dev seeking lazy consensus.  Such a proposal could originate from
>>>>> a forum volunteer or could originate from anyone on ooo-dev. This is
>>>>> no different than someone asking to be a moderator for a mailing list.
>>>> -1
>>>> Same as above, language barrier.
>>> My experience elsewhere at Apache is that PMCs are pretty open and
>>> trusting. If there's a recommendation for further involve a valued
>>> contributor requiring lazy concensus, I'd expect them to all go through,
>>> unless there's someone proposed who's known to be problematic. The important
>>> thing is really procedural... the fact that the PMC approves someone makes
>>> it clear that the PMC has responsibility for keeping the forums healthy.
>>>>> 8) Any project committer, on request, will be made a forum admin or
>>>>> moderator.
>>>> +1
>>>> But needs to work as a moderator and admin on forum, if they require such
>>>> role.
>>> While that's certainly desirable, if PMC members need this kind of access
>>> to provide oversight, then they need to be able to get access regardless.
>>> This seems less likely to be required if there's separate archival as
>>> suggested below.
>>>>>   This is how it works with every other project resource --
>>>>> mailing lists, source code, website, etc.   Committers have rights to
>>>>> pretty much everything on the project.  We trust our committers. We
>>>>> don't segregate the project into exclusive zones of ownership.
>>>> -1
>>>> It is a misunderstanding of closed forums.
>>> Perhaps you could elaborate on this?
>> The  "exclusive zone of ownership" is too ambiguous to me in this case, may
>> be my English is not good enough to understand it.
> Let me explain.  In an Apache project we do not have separate
> functional groups that "own" or "control" that function.  There is no
> documentation team that has exclusive rights to change the
> documentation.  There is no web designer who has exclusive rights to
> change the website.  There is no Calc developer who has control over
> the Calc code.  All Committers are equal and have rights to contribute
> anywhere.  This would be true of the support forums as well.
>> The closed forums (not seen by ordinary users) used for discussing all
>> forums common things about of management, updates etc., other for storing
>> spam posts for limited time, but if committer has admin/moderator access
>> could see the content.
> I am not sure we are saying the same thing.
> Let's back up and talk about the two meanings of "private".  It is
> important that we all mean the same thing when we use that word.
> Private could simply mean "limited access according to the access
> controls.  Not public".  A synonym would be "restricted access".
> Private could also mean "matters that should not be public (or ought
> not to be public)".  A synonym would be "confidential"
> Let's use the synonyms to avoid confusion with these two meanings of "private".
> In an Apache project, restricted-access lists are used only for
> dealing with confidential or sensitive matters.  They are not used for
> "discussing common things about of management, updates etc.".  These
> matters are discussed on open, public lists, where the public (not
> just Apache people) can read and even respond to such discussions.
> So what I was proposing was this:
> 1) All non-confidential discussions occur in public.  This would be a
> mailing list or an open forum, whatever works best for you.
> 2) All confidential discussions occur in an access-restricted medium.
> This could be done on the ooo-private list.  But it could also be done
> on an access-restricted forum, provided you do the logging, etc., as
> has been discussed elsewhere on this list.
> Hopefully that makes it clearer.
> Regards,
> -Rob
I'm a moderator on the community forums. As you can imagine there is a 
great deal of discussion going on over there amongst the volunteers 
moderators and admins about the best thing to do next, and the best way 
to do it. We do know we have a very successful and popular (in terms of 
visitors, users and answered questions) and that it would be a real 
asset to the Apache OpenOffice project & community. Personally I don't 
see an issue with points 1) and 2) as described by Rob. Pretty much it 
is what happens now. Another thing to consider though is that we 
currently run 10 forums. Running a few others wouldn't be too much of a 
stretch. Are there any other projects or products within Apache that 
might benefit from a forum structure? We have to walk before we run, but 
long-term once we have an agreed working scheme for the Apache OO 
forums, it shouldn't take too much to drop another project/product into 
the same sort of framework.
>>>>> ==Transparency==
>>>>> 9) We need all private forum discussions to be echoed to a log or
>>>>> mailing list where PPMC and Apache Members can view them.
>>>> If you join as mod. or admin you can see it.
>>> If the forums are running on ASF infrastructure delegated to the PMC, the
>>> PMC and ASF membership need a mechanism to provide oversight. This is
>>> commonly done via mailing lists, and so repeating that pattern would
>>> simplify this task for many.
>>>>>   One way of
>>>>> doing this is to echo posts to ooo-private.  Another way is to
>>>>> periodically commit logs to the PPMC's private directory.  There may
>>>>> be other ways as well.
>>>> -1
>>>> The private list will be "spammed" unnecessarily, by forums posts.
>>> Yeah, i'd suggest a separate archival list
>>>>> 10) The use of private forums must be used for only discussions of
>>>>> specific moderation cases.  It must not be used for discussion of
>>>>> routine board operations.
>>>> +1

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