#30 [to be treated] : question about hosting mailing list dedicated to other rebuilds on centos mailman
Closed 3 months ago by rbowen. Opened 4 months ago by arrfab.

Just playing the messenger here, but here is the original request, after it was discussed on main centos mailing list : https://pagure.io/centos-infra/issue/214


Metadata Update from @arrfab:
- Issue priority set to: High (was: Normal)

4 months ago

Board feedback: Ask the requester what they think should be discussed here that cannot be discussed on centos-devel.

I'll let @smooge comment, as he submitted the request.

The main reason for having this list is that there have been a lot of off-topic non CentOS development related posts covering things like
a) setting up FreeBSD
b) moving to <new rebuild=""> Linux from CentOS
c) reviewing why Ubuntu was the best choice to replace CentOS
d) etc.

These were getting as many complaints from people saying they were tired of seeing this and the original posters saying it was of valid importance since they had no were else to go to discuss with other people of the 'diaspora'. I decided that if that was the case, and that no one seemed incline to boot these conversations that there should be a list for that discussion in the same way there are -social lists also. This way the people could discuss with other people looking to deal with the end of life of CentOS what they should do.

My request is that if the list is not to be approved so people can be told to move their conversations there.. that the board figure out where these conversations should go.

@Smooge: I appreciate your human-first approach here, and I too am concerned about people who feel abandoned, lost, or just having difficulty with change. I've tried to take a similar care in my response here, as I ponder this with my lenses of community architect, caregiver, and leader.

My request is that if the list is not to be approved so people can be told to move their conversations there.. that the board figure out where these conversations should go.

Summary of MHO as it is right now: there are only downsides to hosting a list for people looking to migrate from CentOS Linux; those downsides extend to why all CentOS leaders should shy away from endorsing other forums for these discussions. Rich has begun to carry a link to major announcements etc. from these other rebuilders in the CentOS newsletter. I don't think the project should really go beyond that, as an entity. Normal forum moderation methods should be used. One to one discussions are as always one's own business. More full thinking below.

Caveat: I haven't been reading centos@ list closely nor am I a moderator; I did some keyword searches for Subject: for the examples @Smooge gave. My results found two migration threads (new platform announcement, migration scripts), and two about RHEL programs (arguably similarly off topic in the same vein.) I presume more of what Smooge is talking about is happening within other threads?

My concerns about a separate list:

  1. When there is a major change, people grieve, and part of being a community is supporting that when it happens. I don't like the idea of deliberately or figuratively closeting or ejecting the conversations and grieving process. It's like covering a wound that isn't clean and cared for yet. Nothing good is going to happen under that bandage.

  2. There is an explicit approval of the nature of the conversations when CentOS Project hosts a discussion forum of any kind. For the parts of the conversations related to how-to/where-to/why-to migrate away from the CentOS platform, I'm not feeling comfortable right now with the idea that we the Project would be essentially endorsing those conversations by allowing them to happen in our house. Combine that with the toxicity risk from 1) above, and it's exponentially not-good.

  3. In a technical forum, someone will always chime in with, "You should use XYZ tool," and we can expect that in response to grieving, perhaps doubly-so: folks see folks suffering, and want to help. Aside from appropriate timing or topic (people aren't always asking for or wanting an XYZ solution), those are simply off-topic and can be taken off-list. We don't need to provide a forum for 1:1 communication, and not all discussions on a mailing list need to happen there. (All this with the caveat that 1:1 discussions need to respect the community conduct norms.)

  4. The "diaspora" is driven by a lot of FUD, myth, and misinformation. For people who are sitting on the fence, whether openly or privately grieving, I would rather they continue to be part of the discussions here. Their misinformation can be met with facts, myths busted, and fears, uncertainties, and doubts addressed over time.

What I see here is a relatively normal topic appropriateness discussion, exponentially magnified by the effects of how people have felt and responded with this change. It seems reasonable to rely upon normal forum moderation methods, performed with care and compassion.

I would add this feedback (which I think Karsten kinda covers) - we should watch for volume of these threads and move them to a separate list (which people will ignore) only if and when it reaches a volume that interferes with other conversations. We seem to be far, far short of that volume.

Thanks for the answers. I think this covers the concerns I had and am happy to close this out.

Metadata Update from @rbowen:
- Issue status updated to: Closed (was: Open)

3 months ago

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