Improving the list climate [was Re: Fwd: Fedora Weekly News 228]

Antonio Olivares olivares14031 at
Fri Jun 4 03:59:20 UTC 2010

--- On Thu, 6/3/10, Máirín Duffy <duffy at> wrote:

> From: Máirín Duffy <duffy at>
> Subject: Improving the list climate [was Re: Fwd: Fedora Weekly News 228]
> To: "Community support for Fedora users" <users at>
> Date: Thursday, June 3, 2010, 8:11 PM
> On Thu, 2010-06-03 at 16:56 -0700,
> Craig White wrote:
> > George - I think that you are very offensive towards
> people who
> > volunteer their time. It's easy to understand why
> Fedora contributors
> > don't actually want to participate on the user lists
> and get abused by
> > unappreciative, sarcastic and combative users.
> How do we fix this?
> - moderation?
> - a code of conduct?
> - ?
> I've found some of the behavior of a few on this list to be
> quite
> embarrassing. To me, it seems an alien island in the middle
> of the
> Fedora community that I know to be a genuinely warm,
> friendly, and
> welcoming place.
> Do we want new users to witness this kind of behavior? They
> are directed
> towards this list right now via a number of different
> pointers. My team
> is planning to redesign the Fedora website for Fedora 14,
> and I'm not
> sure we can in good conscience continue to point new users
> to this list
> [1].
> Does anyone have any ideas on how to improve this
> situation? We've had a
> small few but notable trolls in the past 6 years on the
> Fedora
> art/design lists, and the one solution that seemed to work
> best was
> placing badly-behaving folks on moderation for a few weeks.
> I don't know
> if that would be the appropriate solution here, though. For
> example, do
> we have anyone willing to take on the responsibility of
> moderating?
> ~m
> [1]
> -- 

The end users (us) have many things to say, but in the end, the Fedora Project does whatever they had in mind not taking many things into consideration.

At distrowatch^{2} I will quote what they have about the Fedora Project

The Fedora Project is an openly-developed project designed by Red Hat, open for general participation, led by a meritocracy, following a set of project objectives. The goal of The Fedora Project is to work with the Linux community to build a complete, general purpose operating system exclusively from open source software. Development will be done in a public forum. The project will produce time-based releases of Fedora about 2-3 times a year, with a public release schedule. The Red Hat engineering team will continue to participate in building Fedora and will invite and encourage more outside participation than in past releases. By using this more open process, we hope to provide an operating system more in line with the ideals of free software and more appealing to the open source community.

If users have anything to say, their idea(s) get shot down from above.  What does that portray?  Do the end users really feel at home?
Sure that is why many act beligerant/defiant and question many things.  If the Fedora Project wants more participation, then let the community comment (whether its is good/bad/ugly who is to decide).  I know that there are guidelines, but just like Speed Limits on our highways, these rules are broken.  What are the consequences going to be?  It is a priviledge to be on the list and get advice/help/suggestions from the community.  Since Fedora is Free, the phrase, "The customer is always right unfortunately does not apply".  I have participated in BIG, I would say HUGE attention getting threads here at Fedora over the years, and I can say that You have not seen anything yet.  When I write something nowadays, it seems that many folks don't want to listen or have me in their blacklists :(, I believe I have done nothing wrong but that is another thing.  

> Do we want new users to witness this kind of behavior?
Nothing in life is perfect and we as a community are far from perfect, nobody is perfect and this is REALITY.  What is wrong with this behavior?
We are a special group of people that use Fedora and each of us has a say/opinion about the direction and has a right to question the many things that get done.  Sadly, many folks get directed to /dev/null, are directed to join other lists if they want to voice their opionions and then most of what they wanted does not get done or takes a while to get done.  

Some folks get directed towards filing bugs, but many of them get CLOSED(NOT A BUG), or are open technically forever with no fix in sight, but you did your job and you should be happy that you did try to fix the issues that you encountered.  

> Does anyone have any ideas on how to improve this
> situation? 

The complaints/rants will be a part of the list regardless of what is going on.  For a few people, Fedora meets their needs and they are happy quiet users that are grateful to the Fedora project for their offering (Getting to use future Red Hat Linux products now in the present without having to $$)  You can't please people all of the time.  Just do the best that you can and not look back.  

> - a code of conduct?

This could be subjective, who will create the rules?  Will the users have a say?  Will words like fsck the filesystem be interpreted differently than what some people interpret?  How will people deal with humerous quotations, biblical references, other kinds of quotations, kernel lines?  GNU vs GNU/Linux threads, KDE vs GNOME, ???  

The gentoo forums have a set of common rules:

I will post a few that I think are some that are good:

Choose a good subject - Do not make your subject say just "Help slax newbie" nobody wants to hear this. Describe your problem briefly in your subject, then you can describe your problem in greater depth in the body of your article. Repeat the subject in the body if it will make things clearer. Avoid "subject says all" etc. A better subject might have been "X Windows crashes whenever I run program foo.

Use common sense - Just because it isn't explicitly stated as one of the rules below doesn't mean it's OK. Use common sense and good etiquette when posting, replying and browsing these forums. This includes the following:
 * No posts for the sole purpose of increasing your postcount.
 * No "senseless" posts. Yes, its subjective. As a subjective way to help understand, if a coherent conversation cannot be read in the thread, it might be senseless.
 * Keep the forums free from SPAM. This means no SPAM posting, no unsolicited messaging. Also, please do not reply to SPAM, just report it.
 * No Quote pyramids.

 Thank those who help you - If you post a problem and someone helps you, simply replying with a thank you message or an acknowledgement that their suggestions worked are very much appreciated.
  When your problem was solved - add [SOLVED] to the thread name. It'll make easier to search for working solution (not [solved], [sOlVeD], just [SOLVED]).
  When you found an answer yourself - please describe how you did it rather than posting: "It's ok now" or "I have found it!"
 One thread - one topic. 
 Keep on topic - If you are replying about something to do with iptables for example, and someone mentions a configuration tool that runs in KDE, don't start talking about KDE, stick to the topic. Go start a new topic and post a link to the old one if there is relevant information there.
 No personal attacks - These forums are not a place for you to take cheap shots at somebody because he/she did something. Do that some place else (or better yet, get over it). You have been warned. Hopefully, this won't be much of a problem here.
 Illegal activites - Please do not discuss illegal activities, such as cracking software, breaking into web sites, etc. on these forums. While such activities might not be illegal in all countries, this server is hosted in the US and, as such, must abide by US laws. By allowing discussions about illegal activities to take place on these forums, we may expose the Slax project to unnecessary legal liability.
 Cross posting - Please do not post about the same subject multiple times. One thread is sufficient.
 Multiple accounts - Each person should have only one account.

These are sine good ones and I am sure that more can be added, by the users.  Make them feel comfortable letting them pick some of the rules.  

> For
> example, do
> we have anyone willing to take on the responsibility of
> moderating?

I can try to help, if there is a demand for it.  Can other users trust my judgements here?  I have helped a bit in other forums.  Who will the Fedora Project pick?  Can I help?  Do I need to subscribe to another list, Do I need special training?  

These are questions one asks about such things.  

These are just a few viewpoints of a user.  I have been a user since 2002/2003 of Fedora and a member of this list since 2004.  I have seen many things here.  Don't worry, many of the users are nice people.  If they responded the way they did, was because they were left out and did not know about the things that were happening behind the scences.  IT was just a big MISUNDERSTANDING and we need to move on.  This might happen again, but all parties did their part in posting what they felt.  This should be allowed.  Criticisms should be left at that and not be taken as offensive.  You can't take any comment personally, if one did, we should not be here.  I hope that I did not just rant on, or posted something irrelevant.  But I hope that some points that I have made are understood.  



Fedora user since Fedora 2
Red Hat 8.0 and Red Hat 9.0 (Shrike)
I don't agree with all the policies of Fedora, but I do appreciate that I can get a Fedoras



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