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From David Crossley <>
Subject primary email, balanced use of IRC
Date Sat, 24 Jun 2006 01:33:22 GMT
Cliff Schmidt wrote:
> Noel J. Bergman wrote:
> >The use of e-mail as the primary means for communication is part of ASF
> >policy and philosophy, and we can certainly learn lessons from projects 
> >that
> >have gone against it.  IRC tends to breed a more closed, albeit arguably
> >more integrated, community.
> >
> >That said, if IRC can be used as a learning tool to rapidly bring new 
> >people
> >up to speed, and if the information gathered from those sessions is
> >preserved for others to follow up via web-site and e-mail, how do people
> >perceive that?
> I've never done that on a project, but I think it could be a
> reasonable thing for a project to try.  I believe the Synapse folks
> have been doing regular IRC meetings from early on.  I'd be interested
> in their perspective on the pros and cons, particularly as an
> incubating project.
> As a XAP mentor, I know that the committers already understand that no
> decisions will be made over IRC, that logs of each IRC will be
> immediately made available to the entire community, and that they need
> to be sensitive to any concerns from people wishing but unable to
> participate.  But, are there other thoughts from the Synapse folks or
> anyone else who has used regular IRC meetings?

At Apache Forrest we strive to have all communication
via the mailing lists.

We have a deliberate IRC session once per month.
It goes for 24 hours so that everyone can be involved.
It is the second Friday of the month starting at a
specific time. We use a different channel name, chosen
by the operator. That prevents the channel from being
constantly available and turning into either a club
or a support forum.

We simultaneously use the dev@ mailing list.
Some issues are better dealt with there.

The committer who is operator does a regular commit of
the logfile to our SVN. This keeps good track and allows
us to refer to the log during the meeting. It could
also enable people not on IRC to still be involved
because they could reply to the svn commit email.

We have said that we will also create a summary text
of the days events. This latter task has not been
carried out very well.

Personally i reckon that the events have been very
beneficial. I am still wary of using IRC more often
than that.


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