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Re: What about many many mailing lists

July 25, 2000 17:06
Re: What about many many mailing lists
Message ID:

On 25 Jul 2000, Russ Allbery wrote:
> Is closed subscription really necessary on any Perl development list?

The Module List folks ran their list closed and I think it was a
terrible decision.  Their theory was that it wasn't really closed
because anyone could read the web archive.  But in practice nobody did
really read the web archive regularly because it was too inconvenient
to do that. 

Last week I sent a long list of complaints to Jon Orwant about how the
module list had been run.  I believe many of the problems would have
been corrected a long time ago if the discussion process had been more
open.  The module list folks would make some half-baked namespace
decision about someone's module, and then they would win the
subsequent argument about it because there were five of them against
only one module author.  Then the following week they would make the
same half-baked decision about a different module and again they would
win the argument because it was still five against one.  
If the mailing list had been open, it might eventually have become
clear to the subscribers that the same problems were recurring.

When the module list owners had policies, the policies were unclear,
because the mailing list wasclosed.  There was no way to tell whether
the policies were applied consistently or not, and I suspect that they
weren't.  I don't know whether the policies were well thought out,
because the mailing list was closed.

Closed *posting* makes sense to me under many circumstances.  But I
don't see what it is about the development of the lexer that is so
vital to national security that it must be conducted in secret.  The
lexer (or whatever) will come out better if more people get to see how
the design is progressing and to raise their concerns.  They don't
necessarily have to be able to raise their concerns on the lexer
development mailing list, but they do have to be able to find out what
is being discussed so that they can raise their concerns with the
people developing the lexer.

Ask Bjoern Hansen:
> Consider it added to my list of things that are not going to happen
> with the lists (development lists, opposed to certain organization
> lists) as long as I do the technical stuff for them. :)

Right on.  Power to the people, brother. Perl Programming lists via nntp and http.
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