My resignation

James Robertson jwrober at
Tue Jul 13 15:04:32 PDT 2004

jeremy at wrote:

> I still do NOT understand what people have against IRC!!!!  There's no
> communication medium where it's easier to talk things out.  And Matt, by
> staying away from IRC, you're isolating yourself from a relatively large
> contingent of the community.  I DO NOT like discussing things on Mailing
> lists, because:
> a) It takes too long to get feedback
> b) active interaction sucks, so you can't get clarification
> If the community wants to shut out IRC, let me know - I'll shut down the
> IRC servers and we can go on about our merry way.

Howdy, that was loud.  I don't think that "against" is the right word 
per-se.  I think that "appropriate by context" would be better.  I agree 
completely with your points above J.  Using live real-time communication 
via a medium like chat comes in handy on many fronts.  And I do not see 
that the unstable team can't use the medium while it hacks stuff out 
together.  I think what Matt, I and others have against IRC is a log of 
the conversation/decision trail that comes from the live medium.  I know 
that Kevin has brought this up before.  Unstable moves real fast (and so 
it should) and decisions are made on the fly (via IRC many times), but 
there is no log.  Also, you are in PST/PDT (GMT -8/7) and we have folks 
on the project in Australia (GMT +10 or something).  They can't be on 
IRC the same time you are!  (unless Ryan is a vampire or something - 
LOL)  The mailing lists provide the means to go back and ask questions 
on why a decision or direction was made on something and provide an 
opportunity for our world-wide community to converse.  This makes it 
slow by design.  This has nothing to do about development style or 
permission or who editors are or anything.  Unstable can do whatever, 
whenever, however the hackers team wants to try.  When unstable goes to 
a testing branch, that is when the log of decisions and direction will 
come in real handy.  The testing team will look at the book, package 
order, etc and may have questions on why something was picked.  This is 
appropriate for testing and very appropriate for stable.  "Why" is not 
really important for unstable, because "why" is "we want to try it and 
see what happens".  I know that you feel that if you are forced to use 
the lists that everything will start coming up for a vote in unstable. 
In unstable, there should be no vote per-se, the vote comes from hacking 
on it to see if it works or not.  In testing and stable, votes and 
discussion are required to get many points of view and to help with all 
sorts of stuff.

Please reconsider your comment and feelings toward IRC.  Use the tool, 
but when you are finished discussing something that you end up putting 
in unstable, post a "here is what we did" message to -hackers.  That 
will provide the log of what happened in the trail of discussion that 
occurred on IRC.  Folks may post questions on the topic to get 
clarification or want some understanding of the log entry.  I'll 
probably do that!  I like to see and learn what you guys are up to.  You 
know so much more out the guts of Linux, that your expertise is needed 
to help guys like me that don't know so much out.  I would not see this 
as out of the ordinary.  Folks that can't camp out on IRC will be 
confused some, but that is OK.  Post an answer to the question and move 
on.  If someone posts to your "info log" post that looks like a 
discussion/"you should have asked first" - politely tell them to "stick 
it" and say that unstable does not do that. Trail and error is 
unstable's vote.

Sorry for the long ramble.  Hope I did not offend or mis-represent 
anyone.  Just trying to help.


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