[Server-devel] suggest new mailing lists for OLPC

Martin Langhoff martin at laptop.org
Fri Nov 14 14:32:07 EST 2008

On Fri, Nov 14, 2008 at 2:10 PM, Bill Bogstad <bogstad at pobox.com> wrote:
> I guess I need to make myself more clear.  I'm not telling developers
> not to be involved in support mailing lists.
> Nor am I suggesting that users shouldn't be allowed to "drink from the
> development firehose" if they desire.

I understand your intentions and I think they are good. However, we've
had some good long years of working the social groups that either make
positive open source communities blossom or get fragmented in a
thousand flamefesting factions.

> No, it's about forcing people to wade through email that won't help
> them and will always be irrelevant to them just so they can get their
> questions answered.

You don't have to read every thread. As long as we use good subject
lines for our emails, this will self-regulate quite well.

> So why is it that so many free software projects end up with separate
> user and developer mailing lists?

And ensuing unproductive divides. It's not a good look -- Debian (a
project I love) is one of the most jarring examples of this. The most
productive communities are split on /topic/. See the split in the
linux kernel lists, the split of the forums in moodle.org -- both
projects having leaders that know a lot about healthy (albeit
boisterous at times) communities.

Similar proposals for list splits are sometimes made on the
git at vger.kernel.org list, and they are turned down too. The discussion
there is quite informative too.

So consider it a bit of social engineering if you want :-)

One thing to note is that deployment teams can opt to request support
via private channels -- which is a tradeoff. I do hope to get their
key engineers on the list. Everyone else, I'll help them if they can
cope with the noisy server-devel as it is. Life is tough sometimes!


 martin at laptop.org -- School Server Architect
 - ask interesting questions
 - don't get distracted with shiny stuff  - working code first
 - http://wiki.laptop.org/go/User:Martinlanghoff

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