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From "Eelco Hillenius" <>
Subject Re: IRC Channel?
Date Thu, 17 Aug 2006 07:04:00 GMT
On 8/15/06, Roy T. Fielding <> wrote:
> On Aug 15, 2006, at 2:38 AM, Ian Holsman wrote:
> > It isn't the individuals who make the decision, but the community
> > as a whole.
> > If they feel more comfortable using X to communicate then fine.
> >
> > If a individual doesn't like the method the project is
> > communicating with then it
> > is up to him to convince the rest of the community/project to change.
> No.  All Apache development decisions are done on public email lists.
> I don't think the board has ever allowed a project to adopt guidelines
> that differed from that fundamental requirement.

What got lost in this whole thread is the idea that all 'development
decisions' are not equal, and neither are the roles within projects,
whether explicit or implicit distributed.

Let me re-state this very clear: we (at least the Wicket people
involved in this thread) feel IRC is a very good tool for us and our
users for discussing smaller issues like bug-fixes or ideas in their
earliest stages (brainstorming). I say 'feel' but actually I should
say 'experienced', as we started out using only email list, opening up
an IRC channel only after several requests for that were made by our
users (on the list, it's all archived). We have been using that
channel for about a year now, and we found it a useful *addition* to
our mailing lists; the mailing lists are still the leading mechanism
for anything we consider important. If you would look at the IRC logs,
you would commonly see remarks like: 'ok, I think we flashed the basic
idea out, let's write a proposal and discuss further details on the
mailing list', or 'well, this issue is a bit tricky, please send your
question to the list so other users can read about it and it is
properly archived'. It all works fine in practice, really.

If ASF is about people rather than procedures as is regularly stated,
a discussion about IRC in open development should be more about 'how'
and in the context of individual projects than simply denouncing the
technology altogether.


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