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

Máirín Duffy duffy at
Fri Jun 4 10:26:40 UTC 2010

On Fri, 2010-06-04 at 13:09 +0800, Ed Greshko wrote:
> 2. This list, and every list I've ever been on, has its "moments". 
> These "moments" can be protracted but are few and far between on this
> list, IMHO.  So, if someone just happens to join the list during one of
> these moments, they may be turned off.  I think that would be the
> exception and not the rule.  Going back and looking at the archives
> would be one way to decide for oneself if this is true. 
> 3. Guidelines are nice.  Most of the time they are not needed and most
> of the time they are not read by new comers before posting.
> 4. The written language can be a tricky thing in which to impart
> emotion/intention.  Aside from everyone clearly marking things "sarcasm,
> rant, etc." it is quite easy to take things the wrong way or to take a
> simple thing and blow it out of proportion.  This makes #2 unavoidable,
> IMHO.  This can be especially true when not everyone on this list has a
> common language/culture.

I do think these three problems are exacerbated by the nature of email
and mailing lists. You send a mail, you can't take it back. Once a mail
goes out, people will have received it, so a moderator can't go back
after the fact and stop posting on a given topic. Actually there are no
per-topic controls on a mailing list.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about how alternative interfaces to
mailing lists might improve some of the problems inherent to them. I
actually set up a blog gateway and a forum gateway to the Fedora design
list. While it was primarily to solve a different problem (the largest
pool of designers out there for us to recruit from aren't familiar with
mailing lists at all), it might help here. If folks think it's a good
idea I'd be happy to help having something similar set up for this

This is the blog one we have:

And this is the forum one we have:


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