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Too many mailing lists
- From: Warren Young <warren at etr-usa dot com>
- To: Cygwin-L <cygwin at cygwin dot com>
- Date: Fri, 20 Jun 2014 15:07:37 -0600
- Subject: Too many mailing lists
- Authentication-results: sourceware.org; auth=none
The Cygwin project has too many mailing lists. This causes an
unjustifiable amount of friction.
Every time someone says "That's not on topic here, go elsewhere," it can
easily be read as "Go away." The Cygwin project should only be pushing
away toxic people, and multiple mailing lists do not have that happy
We're long past the days when server-side list traffic segregation made
sense. With today's powerful mailers and search engines, we no longer
need lots of mailing lists to manage the flow.
I see real value in only 3 lists:
1. User discussions
2. Development of Cygwin-the-project (broader than the DLL)
1. User discussions: Everything now allowed on the licensing and apps
lists should be allowed on the main list. Posts on use of Cygwin/X and
Cygwin Ports should be welcome, too. Nontechnical packaging questions
should be allowed, if only to encourage more Cygwin users to adopt packages.
2. Development of Cygwin: I propose that the -devel list be the place
for anything that affects -- or potentially *can* affect -- one of the
Cygwin project's code repositories. The only good reason to separate
the Cygwin DLL traffic has to do with legal matters, and that cut
doesn't have to be made at the mailing list level. Legally, all that
matters is what's checked into the winsup/cygwin section of the CVS
repo, and that's covered by policy and permissions. Discussions
involving changes to setup.exe, the docs, the web pages, the scripts
running things behind the scenes, etc. all should be allowed on -devel.
Patches and commit messages, too; they're easy to filter out.
3. Talk: I'm in favor of keeping this one as-is only because of
restrictions in some work environments. I'd prefer to live in a world
where a little off-topic chatter was okay on the main list, but I will
concede that it's worth segregating the "vulgar and unprofessional"
threads if it keeps more people subscribed to the main list.
I am uncertain about -announce. It echoes to the main list already;
that part of its value could be replaced by asking package maintainers
to prepend [ANNOUNCEMENT] to subject lines. It may be the case that
there are a large number of people who choose to subscribe to this list
and not to any other Cygwin list. Do the statistics bear this out? If
not, it is not providing much value.
More generally, I believe that threads should be allowed to continue
where they started, no matter what a wall-of-text web page -- clearly in
low regard -- says. As long as the discussion is productive, does it
really matter where it happens? The purity of each list's archive has
little value in this modern world. I don't believe Google makes
distinctions between pages it finds under cygwin.com/ml based on which
list the post was sent to.
This proposal greatly simplifies the decision about where to post. Is
it completely off topic? TITTL. Does it affect the development of
Cygwin the project? Send it to -devel. No to both? It's probably of
general interest, then, so it should go to the main list.
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