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From John Sisson <>
Subject Re: primary email, balanced use of IRC
Date Wed, 05 Jul 2006 04:53:13 GMT
sorry for the late reply..

David Crossley wrote:
> 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?
IRC can be great as a learning tool, but the downside I have seen is 
that often that information that is learned is not documented (e.g. in a 
Wiki or mailing list) for the benefit of others and the same questions 
may end up being asked by many people over time.
>> 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.
Currently in Geronimo we don't post IRC logs to the dev list but have 
plans to do so in an automated fashion.
> 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.
I don't think it is realistic on busy IRC forums for one person to have 
the job of summarizing the IRC log for the day considering there may be 
a large number of different issues discussed by different people and the 
person summarizing may not understand what all the issues were.

Probably better if individuals summarized their discussions.

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