[openstack-dev] [all][swg] per-project "Business only" moderated mailing lists

Clint Byrum clint at fewbar.com
Mon Feb 27 05:25:59 UTC 2017

Excerpts from Matt Riedemann's message of 2017-02-26 19:48:50 -0600:
> On 2/26/2017 6:52 PM, Clint Byrum wrote:
> > During some productive discussions in the Stewardship Working Group PTG
> > room, the subject of the mailing list came up. The usual questions
> > around whether or not we should have per-project lists came up and the
> > reasons we don't were re-affirmed. To recap those reasons:
> >
> >   * Cross posting is the pits
> >   * People don't always know at the beginning of a thread that a
> >     discussion will need to go wider, leading to silos and confusion.
> >
> > So we turned to ways to help reduce peoples' load while reading e-mail,
> > since many (most?) tend to opt out of reading openstack-dev.
> >
> > There are a number of ways that we can help, including teaching people
> > to have more efficient workflows and use specific mail reading tools
> > (don't worry, we're not adding an NNTP gateway.. yet). But one that
> > received positive feedback from the room was to have moderated
> > business-only mailing lists for each project.
> >
> > Basically, there are things that we _do_ know will not go wider when
> > the thread begins. Just running through the threads on the February
> > thread index, there are a few obvious classes:
> >
> >   * Mascots
> >   * Social meetups
> >   * Meeting logistics
> >   * Core team membership
> >
> > There are likely others. The idea is that these messages would go into a
> > ${project}-business at lists.openstack.org. Said list would be moderated by
> > a team of the PTL's choosing, and we would admonish moderators to reject
> > soundly any threads not obviously single project business related.
> >
> > Thoughts? If this sounds good, I'll go ahead and write up a spec.
> > (openstack-specs?)
> >
> > __________________________________________________________________________
> > OpenStack Development Mailing List (not for usage questions)
> > Unsubscribe: OpenStack-dev-request at lists.openstack.org?subject:unsubscribe
> > http://lists.openstack.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/openstack-dev
> >
> So business as in like parliamentary procedure business and not business 
> as in synergizing growth for the bottom line in a global economy?

Parliamentary procedure, as the original message suggests. Things that
are not likely to grow into something bigger.

> I care about more than just the nova project, so I also pay attention to 
> non-nova specific stuff in other projects, mostly neutron, cinder, 
> ironic, glance, keystone and QA. If I want to know about their business 
> (can we say businazz to jazz it up?) I not only need to be in the 
> openstack-dev list but also their project-specific list? It's all going 
> to filter to the same folders I already have, but then I have to be in 
> several more mailing lists.
> Who is the actual audience for this change? Is it to get the mundane 
> every day project stuff out of the openstack-dev list so people don't 
> have to read it and if so, who are those people and why can't they just 
> filter or ignore threads they don't care about properly?
> I'm a -1 on this unless I'm missing how it makes things much much better 
> somehow.

This isn't for you, or for me.

For instance, I use a highly efficient mail workflow with offlineimap and
"sup" that lets me read the whole mailing list and aggressively filter
threads without losing my mind and while still retaining useful search
ability. I do not use folders other than putting anything with a List-Id
into "lists". I published a little bit of it here btw:

https://github.com/SpamapS/ferk (Firehose Email Reading Kit)

But I never finished publishing docs or useful templates for sup config.

And really, I don't expect every new participant in OpenStack to adopt
such a workflow. It's taken me at least 6 years to get it dialed in and
it's tuned to not only OpenStack but Debian and other smaller projects.

You have taken the folder approach, and that is a bit less complicated
to set up than sup+offlineimap, but still does require that you know
how to filter by tag. It also means that you are experiencing one of
the problems with cross posting whenever anybody adds a tag, as in
that setup each message is duplicated into each folder, or you have a
'first match' sieve and then tag order becomes significant. Either way,
you have to flip back and forth to read a thread. Or maybe somebody has
an answer? Nobody in the room at the SWG session had one.

Anyway, that's fine tuning for old-hats at managing openstack-dev. We
are still throwing hundreds of messages per week at anyone who dares to
try and be cross-project. For those involved with a few projects, it's
relatively simple to pick a few business lists to keep up with _once
you have reached that level of involvement_. Until then, what you want
on openstack-dev is development discussions.

Nobody is saying you can't announce things about each project on
the list. But there's obvious stuff that is just logistics about an
established project team's business, and a complete waste of time to
even have to filter by thread. We've gotten _really_ wide over the
years. So if you have a better strategy to help newbies deal with that
and not get funneled into a silo _immediately_, do share. But for now,
this is an attempt to relieve the overall system of at least a small
amount of pressure.

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