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Re: [] What is appropriate use of this list

Esteemed Colleagues,

I believe as committers we are all obligated to subscribe to this mailing list so that important announcements or information that require, or would benefit from, the attention of all committers can be disseminated with the expectation that everyone who should receive them will receive them.  Here's what it says at
This list is the formal mailing list for committers on Eclipse projects. This list will be used by the Eclipse Foundation to communicate items of specific interest to the committers such as project process, Board representative elections, etc.
There are roughly a minimum of 1000 people receiving any note send to this group.  As such, this list is not intended as a convenient mechanism for one person to solicit help from 1000 other people, and worse yet, as a mechanism for 1000 people to observe such help being dispensed.  I spend the better part of every day helping people on the newsgroups.  I poll for those notes at my convenience and I do not generally appreciate pleas for helped being pushed into my mailbox.  Others have expressed similar concerns already.  I do not believe I have the option to unsubscribe from this mailing list if the discussions generally turn out to be uninteresting, unlike every other mailing list to which I can subscribe based on interest.  Sure I can send notes off into a folder that I general ignore, or glance at once in a while, but that devalues the purpose of this mailing list.

This entire thread started as a question about how to install SVN, which to me is 100% off topic.  It has turned into a somewhat interesting discussion about the relative merits of CVS and SVN, which isn't entirely off topic.  But does it require the attention of all 1000 comitters?  A few have already expressed the opinion that it does not, and still the notes continue.  Counting this one, we're well above 30; more traffic than we typically see over several months.   I understand that no one has ill intent and I understand that some consider the suggestion to move the discussion to a more narrowly focused mailing list to be some type of free-speech violation, but surely we can all understand that the need to respect each another.

Ken Clyne wrote:
I agree with Eugene and Karl.

I always find that attempts to throttle or regulate discussion (though well intentioned) are always counter productive and unfortunately discourage valuable dialog.

Let the dialog run free.  By now I'm pretty good at filtering email at my end.


On Wed, Oct 1, 2008 at 6:11 PM, Karl Matthias <karl.matthias@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Masterson, Michael P wrote:
I agree that this list should remain open to all committers.  My general
view on distribution lists is that they should for the most part be one
way communicaions.  There are exceptions, for instance if there are some
generic questions/answers that should be seen by the entire committer
community.  Or things like this where the community at large could be
affected by its outcome.    
I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but all projects have the ability to use either CVS or SVN at Eclipse as we maintain both.  Discussion about the advantages or disadvantages of either *at Eclipse* are pretty important in my opinion, and they do affect the entire community substantively.  With the exception of the very beginning of the discussion, I personally find it hard to find fault with any of the comments made, and particularly not at the point where you felt it was appropriate to cut off discussion.  At that very point Walter was informing a committer who clearly did not know (and is definitely not the only one, I can tell you) about the IP cleanliness policy.  I'm not sure what could have been more germane, even given your definition above.

But when a discussion starts to de-evolve into a "I think this", "Well I
think that" topic these emails start to lose credibility and importance
to me.  I think it would be nice if such a thing starts to happen that
the originator or someone involved in the discussion create a thread in
a message board and provide a link so that only interested parties can
be involved further.  In fact, an originator's responsibility should be
to consider whether the topic might warrant wide spread feedback and
provide an offline forum in their post.
When I'm on a list where a particular discussion, not the whole list, but a particular thread loses interest to me, I simply filter it.  It takes practically no time or effort to do it.

I really think that the majority of the emails I get through this list
ARE important and warrant my attention.  I am interested in what other
projects are doing and in designer news/tips regarding eclipse.  I just
hope people treat such a large distro with the respect it deserves.
Well there will certainly be cases where people post things that aren't quite right for the target of the list.  But as we grow as a community and the appropriateness of certain discussions is made clear I expect that concern will diminish.  And we can always gently remind people of how we've decided to use this list, once we've done that.


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