18 Aug 2009 mbanck   » (Journeyer)

Debconf was as awesome as expected and the days in Madrid afterwards were great as well.

My two sessions went alright in my opinion, I am especially glad that so many people showed up to the debian-devel session as early as 10 AM! I have now posted a summary of the session to the debian-project mailing list.

The key points of my short presentation were:

  • Traffic on debian-devel has decreased compared to a couple of years ago, and is currently around 1000 messages a month (Gentoo/OpenSuSE/Ubuntu have less messages on their development lists, Fedora has a lot more)
  • Fedora has recently started to moderate their development list
  • Ubuntu's development list is subscriber-only-others-moderated, while they have a very chatty development-discussion list
  • OpenSuSE has a seperate list for packaging and general development
  • Gentoo considers moderating their lists to some extend as well as introducing a code of conduct
  • GNOME's development list mostly works by self-moderation/peer pressure, though it took them a couple of iterations and lists to get this right

I also summarized the various code of conducts the above distributions/projects employ and they are somewhat different each:

  • Fedora has a very simple one: "Be excellent to each other"
  • GNOME has a slightly more verbose one (loosely based on the one from Ubuntu)
  • Ubuntu has some added guidelines more targetted at users as well, as well as a second set of guidelines for people in leadership roles
  • Gentoo has a pretty verbose one which also discusses how not to behave

So where are we going from here? I proposed a couple of possible steps, and after merging in the discussions at the BoF, the following might b e feasable:

  • Encourage people to re-subscribe to debian-devel now that the traffic has been decreasing. Also contact people who take over threads with repeating, frequent messages or with agressiveness privately and request them to stop
  • Be more proactive in moving off-topic threads elsewhere and define on-topicness more sharply (e.g. development matters pertaining to more than one (or a few) packages)
  • Cut down ITPs somewhat by aggregating multiple similar ITPs into one message and using specialised teams (pkg-perl, pkg-games) if appropriate. Maybe also consider creating a new debian-itp mailing list where all ITPs get CCed to as well
  • Update our list (and more?) guidelines with a more steam-lined version, possibly using the GNOME code of conduct as a base

If you have additional ideas or comments, please join the discussion on the debian-project list.

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