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Re: Too many mailing lists

On Fri, Jun 20, 2014 at 03:07:37PM -0600, Warren Young wrote:
> Every time someone says "That's not on topic here, go elsewhere," it
> can easily be read as "Go away."  The Cygwin project should only be
> pushing away toxic people, and multiple mailing lists do not have
> that happy side effect.

I've never seen a reply saying "that's not on topic here, go away" that
could be read as you describe.  What I see is "please take this to the
correct list", with the occasional person who can't follow that explicit
instruction being unsubscribed or banned from the list in question.

> We're long past the days when server-side list traffic segregation
> made sense.  With today's powerful mailers and search engines, we no
> longer need lots of mailing lists to manage the flow.

We don't *need* lots of mailing lists, but relying on mailer filtering
and search engines means I need to set up the filtering myself and rely
on other users giving their emails easy-to-filter subject lines.  That's
much easier for people to get wrong than working out which mailing list
to use.

> I see real value in only 3 lists:
>   1. User discussions
>   2. Development of Cygwin-the-project (broader than the DLL)
>   3. Talk
> Specifically:
> 1. User discussions: Everything now allowed on the licensing and
> apps lists should be allowed on the main list.  Posts on use of
> Cygwin/X and Cygwin Ports should be welcome, too.  Nontechnical
> packaging questions should be allowed, if only to encourage more
> Cygwin users to adopt packages.

I don't use X.  It's an easy and obvious thing to filter out, and it
means I don't have my inbox filled with posts about X when I simply
don't care about it.

Most users won't care about app packaging.  I do, so I'm subscribed to
that list.  When I post there about packaging apps, I'm not going to be
filling folks' inboxes with things they're not interested in, and I'm
also not going to be inviting the opinions of people who aren't involved
in it.

Cygwin Ports is officially not supported here.  That, by my
understanding, is pretty much the whole point of Cygwin Ports.  Offering
support for it here is only going to cause confusion.

> 2. Development of Cygwin: I propose that the -devel list be the
> place for anything that affects -- or potentially *can* affect --
> one of the Cygwin project's code repositories.  The only good reason
> to separate the Cygwin DLL traffic has to do with legal matters, and
> that cut doesn't have to be made at the mailing list level.
> Legally, all that matters is what's checked into the winsup/cygwin
> section of the CVS repo, and that's covered by policy and
> permissions.  Discussions involving changes to setup.exe, the docs,
> the web pages, the scripts running things behind the scenes, etc.
> all should be allowed on -devel.  Patches and commit messages, too;
> they're easy to filter out.

I don't use devel, but I suspect that has a whole bunch of similar

> 3. Talk: I'm in favor of keeping this one as-is only because of
> restrictions in some work environments.  I'd prefer to live in a
> world where a little off-topic chatter was okay on the main list,
> but I will concede that it's worth segregating the "vulgar and
> unprofessional" threads if it keeps more people subscribed to the
> main list.

Plus being able to filter out things on the mailing list that aren't
relevant to actually using Cygwin seems like a useful ability.

> I am uncertain about -announce.  It echoes to the main list already;
> that part of its value could be replaced by asking package
> maintainers to prepend [ANNOUNCEMENT] to subject lines.  It may be
> the case that there are a large number of people who choose to
> subscribe to this list and not to any other Cygwin list.  Do the
> statistics bear this out?  If not, it is not providing much value.

Even if nobody subscribes directly to it, I fail to see what harm it
does, and it gives a one-stop location for people who are interested in
updates to Cygwin packages but who have no interest in the discussions.

> More generally, I believe that threads should be allowed to continue
> where they started, no matter what a wall-of-text web page --
> clearly in low regard -- says.  As long as the discussion is
> productive, does it really matter where it happens?  The purity of
> each list's archive has little value in this modern world.  I don't
> believe Google makes distinctions between pages it finds under
> based on which list the post was sent to.

I only have so many hours in each day, and I like to keep abreast of the
bits of Cygwin I'm interested in.  Amalgamating the lists would increase
the noise in my inbox without increasing the interesting content, or
would require me to set up complex filtering rules that would rely on
folk correctly describing their problems in their first email, which
seems like no less effort than picking the right mailing list in the
first place.

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