IRC chats

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IRC chats

Paul Fremantle
Folks

I've been revisiting the decision to stop having IRC chats. We did
this, partially based on feedback from the Incubator PMC that felt
perhaps that the chats were leading to a lack of fair discussion on
the email list.

However, I have personally noticed that the community is less vibrant
without the regular chats. I would like to suggest we restart the
chats with the following ground rules:

1) we log the chats to the dev list (yes I know we always did)
2) If we have any proposals in the chats we explicitly send these out
as separate notes and follow up in email to make any decisions. In
other words the IRC chats are not formal decision making forums
(fora?) but there to stimulate discussion.
3) we choose a time that is as convenient as possible to all our
global contributors.

I'm copying the Incubator PMC to get their input too.

Paul

--
Paul Fremantle
VP/Technology, WSO2 and OASIS WS-RX TC Co-chair

http://bloglines.com/blog/paulfremantle
[hidden email]

"Oxygenating the Web Service Platform", www.wso2.com

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Re: IRC chats

Justin Erenkrantz
On 10/10/06, Paul Fremantle <[hidden email]> wrote:
> 1) we log the chats to the dev list (yes I know we always did)
> 2) If we have any proposals in the chats we explicitly send these out
> as separate notes and follow up in email to make any decisions. In
> other words the IRC chats are not formal decision making forums
> (fora?) but there to stimulate discussion.
> 3) we choose a time that is as convenient as possible to all our
> global contributors.

This is an extremely fine line to walk, so you must be prepared to be
vigilant about ensuring that you don't present the IRC discussions as
a fait accompli - and permit a true and honest discussion on-list.
All decisions need to happen on the list, or it is as if the decision
didn't occur.

Some projects in the past went through the motions you listed here,
but didn't allow discussions to happen: it was presented as more of a
"here's what we decided" instead of "here's what we're thinking of
doing, what do you think?"  And, it may even put people off just by
tone - even if you say the right words, others may get frustrated if
they can't attend the IRC meetings as it seems that their input is not
valued.

So, I'd urge against IRC chats, but if you're careful, it can work.  -- justin

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Re: IRC chats

jcompagner-2
In reply to this post by Paul Fremantle
IRC works fine for the cases we use it. It is direct feedback that is really
wanted in
discussions. And ofcourse when a code/design thing is discussed the list is
also
asked for it what they think.

i personally can't, or not happy to,  do without it. I know what will happen
if we didn't use irc
we would use the normal im clients thats even way worse.  Because then it is
just one on one.

purely list discussions are very very slow. Before everybody understands
what is really the point
you are hours if not days further. That is just how i can't work.

johan


On 10/10/06, Paul Fremantle <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Folks
>
> I've been revisiting the decision to stop having IRC chats. We did
> this, partially based on feedback from the Incubator PMC that felt
> perhaps that the chats were leading to a lack of fair discussion on
> the email list.
>
> However, I have personally noticed that the community is less vibrant
> without the regular chats. I would like to suggest we restart the
> chats with the following ground rules:
>
> 1) we log the chats to the dev list (yes I know we always did)
> 2) If we have any proposals in the chats we explicitly send these out
> as separate notes and follow up in email to make any decisions. In
> other words the IRC chats are not formal decision making forums
> (fora?) but there to stimulate discussion.
> 3) we choose a time that is as convenient as possible to all our
> global contributors.
>
> I'm copying the Incubator PMC to get their input too.
>
> Paul
>
> --
> Paul Fremantle
> VP/Technology, WSO2 and OASIS WS-RX TC Co-chair
>
> http://bloglines.com/blog/paulfremantle
> [hidden email]
>
> "Oxygenating the Web Service Platform", www.wso2.com
>
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> To unsubscribe, e-mail: [hidden email]
> For additional commands, e-mail: [hidden email]
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>
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Re: Re: IRC chats

jaaronfarr
In reply to this post by Justin Erenkrantz
On 10/10/06, Justin Erenkrantz <[hidden email]> wrote:

> So, I'd urge against IRC chats, but if you're careful, it can work.  -- justin

I agree with Justin's concerns.  That said, I've seen carefully
planned and executed IRC chats work very well.  That includes having
an agenda and to limit use of the channel for the planned meetings
only.  And if it would cut down on the 60+ email threads we have
around here, that would be great!  :-)

--
  jaaron

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Re: IRC chats

Paul Fremantle
In reply to this post by Justin Erenkrantz
Justin

I understand your concerns. However, we have switched our model, based
on feedback from the Incubator PMC, and for *our* project, it has been
negative rather than positive. I'm not trying to make a general point,
as I only have one data point.

I don't believe we've ever had the problems you mention, but its good
to be aware of potential problems, and I, for one, will be vigilant.

Paul

On 10/10/06, Justin Erenkrantz <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 10/10/06, Paul Fremantle <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > 1) we log the chats to the dev list (yes I know we always did)
> > 2) If we have any proposals in the chats we explicitly send these out
> > as separate notes and follow up in email to make any decisions. In
> > other words the IRC chats are not formal decision making forums
> > (fora?) but there to stimulate discussion.
> > 3) we choose a time that is as convenient as possible to all our
> > global contributors.
>
> This is an extremely fine line to walk, so you must be prepared to be
> vigilant about ensuring that you don't present the IRC discussions as
> a fait accompli - and permit a true and honest discussion on-list.
> All decisions need to happen on the list, or it is as if the decision
> didn't occur.
>
> Some projects in the past went through the motions you listed here,
> but didn't allow discussions to happen: it was presented as more of a
> "here's what we decided" instead of "here's what we're thinking of
> doing, what do you think?"  And, it may even put people off just by
> tone - even if you say the right words, others may get frustrated if
> they can't attend the IRC meetings as it seems that their input is not
> valued.
>
> So, I'd urge against IRC chats, but if you're careful, it can work.  -- justin
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> To unsubscribe, e-mail: [hidden email]
> For additional commands, e-mail: [hidden email]
>
>


--
Paul Fremantle
VP/Technology, WSO2 and OASIS WS-RX TC Co-chair

http://bloglines.com/blog/paulfremantle
[hidden email]

"Oxygenating the Web Service Platform", www.wso2.com

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Re: IRC chats

Yonik Seeley
In reply to this post by Justin Erenkrantz
On 10/10/06, Justin Erenkrantz <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 10/10/06, Paul Fremantle <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > 1) we log the chats to the dev list (yes I know we always did)
> > 2) If we have any proposals in the chats we explicitly send these out
> > as separate notes and follow up in email to make any decisions. In
> > other words the IRC chats are not formal decision making forums
> > (fora?) but there to stimulate discussion.
> > 3) we choose a time that is as convenient as possible to all our
> > global contributors.
>
> This is an extremely fine line to walk, so you must be prepared to be
> vigilant about ensuring that you don't present the IRC discussions as
> a fait accompli - and permit a true and honest discussion on-list.
> All decisions need to happen on the list, or it is as if the decision
> didn't occur.

To facilitate this, how about coming up with something users would be
encouraged to cut-n-paste at the top of irc logs or other non-list
summaries?

Something to the effect of
"These discussions happened outside the official dev mailing list and
are still open for discussion.  Feedback and further discussion is
welcomed."

It's normal for people to work up prototypes/designs on their own and
present something to the dev list. If people want to work in a
real-time collaborative manner on either code or discussions instead,
it would seem beneficial to not discourage it too heavily.
Collaborative development tools are just going to get better over time
too.

For myself, I dislike IRC/IM and prefer asynchronous mailing lists...
but maybe I'm just getting old ;-)

-Yonik

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