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leaders list usage
I've been wanting to send out a note on this topic for a while, as we continue
improving organization, and I think we're ready to bring it into a small
spotlight now. The topic is how to use our mailing lists most efficiently,
so that we get plenty of use out of them, but not clog them with so much
text (or text on the wrong lists) as to make them unreadable.
[ Note: I know I may sound a little over-concerned here, since we
haven't really had any major problems yet (recently, at least), but most of
you can probably remember the sort of chaos that ensued every time seul lists
started to get active in the past. Since things are starting up again now,
and bigger than ever, I want to try heading off any potential trouble early. ]
Specifically, these are a few notes on how to use the seul-leaders list best.
(Hence the reason I'm posting it here, right?) I'm also working on a simple
usage guide covering all the seul lists, which will appear on the web page
along with all other mailing list info when it's ready. But til then...
I think we have a pretty good idea of what might be appropriate for post to
seul-leaders: stuff that influences more than just one group, basically, and
_occasional_ progress/status reports, just so we all have a some idea what's
happening around the project overall, and can mention any tips/ideas that
are useful to group leaders in general as we gain new experience.
So these are a few things that we should NOT post to seul-leaders, or at least
not without good reason. i think these general rules of thumb are good for
90% of cases at least, but you can always break rules if they've overlooked
some special case (but it may be good to mention that if it is not obvious or
you are asking to get flamed).
Things not to post here:
1. Things regarding specific implementation ideas/issues that are not
influential outside of a small scope should not go to seul-leaders.
For example if you think some particular application would be neat, or a
certain interface is worth looking at, those can probably be sent to (an)
appropriate dev group(s). (And if you do not regularly follow that group, try
to read any mail logs and faq's they have first, to make sure your not saying
something they've already been over before.)
2. "New ideas" tend not to be appropriate for seul-leaders, or for any of the
official mailing lists except for firstname.lastname@example.org probably, since that
is the public sysarch list, which tends to be a very GOOD place for new
ideas to appear.
Now, note that i quote "new ideas," because I mean it in a somewhat specialized
sense: basically, ideas for entirely new things to do, whether large or small.
Things pertaining to new twists on work already in progress thus are not this
sort of "new idea", but remember this implies that the work in progress is
already within some particular group's scope. If that group is seul-leaders,
then great - post to seul-leaders; but if it's any other group then post it
there. Once again, read archives/faq's to make sure you know what your talking
Lest this seem a bit too strict (and to better understand my intent here rather
than just my wording), the reason for trying to keep "new ideas' contained to
either really small or really specialized groups is to make sure that responses
to it are quick, and appropriate. This is because new thoughts tend to be
pretty unstable (naturally, of the "what do you think of this...?" variety),
and getting a larger group (anything more than 5 usually, and definitely more
than 10 people) talking about them is a BAD IDEA, because they will tend to
be altered or
A smaller, highly interested, specialized group can analyze and adjust the
ideas, and then pass the results along to others that it pertains to when/if
it becomes fit/interesting those other groups to think about. This tends to
lead to much saner, more intelligible, and more productive discussion
(particularly for those of us without brain implants, who can only take in
so much info at once).
So as a short-short summary:
If in doubt, I suggest that in the general case, you can safely send
suggestions for new stuff to email@example.com or _to a small group_ that it
pertains most closely to. And just generally try to address thoughts to the
the smallest group(s) that it pertains to at first, to make it easier for
everyone to keep in sync on topics being discussed.
There are obviously exceptions, but they should be infrequent.
The key point:
New thoughts/ramblings should not be sent out to general lists. Keep them
restricted to the people who can act on them sensibly, which will tend to be
a small group in most cases (probably sysarchs, or in some cases -leaders,
specific dev leaders, or a dev group (for any specialized topics, that dev
group/leader will thus be more familiar with)).
-luka, for seul-sysarchs
/-- Peter Luka -- Programmer, Electronics hacker, Crazy renaissance man --\
| Specialization: high-speed 2D/3D graphics, and systems software. |
| Finger firstname.lastname@example.org for schedule and other info. |
|<email@example.com> MIT student http://cran.mit.edu/~luka |
|<firstname.lastname@example.org> SEUL Project system architect http://www.seul.org |
\-- Use Linux! A fast, fully-functional, free OS http://www.linux.org --/
SEUL-Leaders list, email@example.com