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Old 09-19-2012, 03:43 AM
Antoine Beaupré
 
Default status of eligibility of dug lists on lists.debian.org

Hi,

We are in the process of kickstarting a Debian User Group (DUG), also
known as a Local Group on the Debian wiki[1], in Montreal. We wish to unite
the Debian Members that are in the city, but also interest the numerous
free software enthusiasts in the Debian project.

However, after digging through numerous documentation pages[2], it is
now unclear to me that there is a concensus over the user of
lists.debian.org for such local groups, even though the wiki page says
otherwise. For example, the dug-muc (munich) request has been
rejected[3] and the dug-nyc request seems to be on hold, mentionning
that the proper place is on teams.debian.net[4].

There also seems to be a disagreement about how big a group should be to
"desserve" a mailing list[3].

I think this is doing a disservice to our users. I can't imagine a user
being able to go through all this trouble to setup tools for a local
group.

Even as a Debian Developer, I find the situation daunting, and I am not
too eager to file a bug report only to be flamed for reporting
issues[5].

So I request opinion from my fellow developers - what should a local
group do to have discussions about their group? Should Debian
infrastructure be available for this? If so, which?

I see the following options:

[ ] A: Do nothing, let them figure it out
[ ] B: Host lists on lists.debian.org
[ ] C: Host lists on teams.debian.org
[ ] D: Host lists on alioth

So far it seems that teams are setting up their own listservs in random
places, but that seems to be like a patchwork solution: my opinion is
that we should instead help our users with the resources at our dispoal.

Thank you for your time and understanding,

A.

Notes:

[1] http://wiki.debian.org/LocalGroups
[2] http://www.debian.org/MailingLists and
http://www.debian.org/MailingLists/HOWTO_start_list.en.html
[3] http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=687558 - although
it seems the original requestor closed the bug himself...
[4] http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=454642 - also note
that the above NYC request describes problems with archives and mail
delivery on teams.debian.net
[5] I find http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=687558#20 to
be out of order and unnecessary.

--
N'aimer qu'un seul est barbarie, car c'est au détriment de tous les
autres. Fût-ce l'amour de Dieu.
- Nietzsche, "Par delà le bien et le mal"
 
Old 09-19-2012, 06:18 AM
Andrei POPESCU
 
Default status of eligibility of dug lists on lists.debian.org

On Ma, 18 sep 12, 23:43:40, Antoine Beaupré wrote:
>
> So I request opinion from my fellow developers - what should a local
> group do to have discussions about their group? Should Debian
> infrastructure be available for this? If so, which?
>
> I see the following options:
>
> [ ] A: Do nothing, let them figure it out
> [ ] B: Host lists on lists.debian.org
> [ ] C: Host lists on teams.debian.org
> [ ] D: Host lists on alioth

E: debian-community.org (though lists are currently hosted on alioth as
well)

Kind regards,
Andrei
--
Offtopic discussions among Debian users and developers:
http://lists.alioth.debian.org/mailman/listinfo/d-community-offtopic
 
Old 09-19-2012, 10:44 AM
Paul Wise
 
Default status of eligibility of dug lists on lists.debian.org

On Wed, Sep 19, 2012 at 11:43 AM, Antoine Beaupré wrote:

> We are in the process of kickstarting a Debian User Group (DUG), also
> known as a Local Group on the Debian wiki[1], in Montreal. We wish to unite
> the Debian Members that are in the city, but also interest the numerous
> free software enthusiasts in the Debian project.

I would suggest that you start a Free Software User Group, Open Source
User Group or Linux User Group instead. That would be more inclusive
since people who don't care about Debian would feel welcome instead of
excluded. It would also resolve this question quite nicely:

[x] E: Host lists on their own server in someones basement

--
bye,
pabs

http://wiki.debian.org/PaulWise


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Old 09-19-2012, 12:49 PM
anarcat
 
Default status of eligibility of dug lists on lists.debian.org

Hi Paul, and Andrei, thanks for your responses.

Andrei POPESCU wrote:
> E: debian-community.org (though lists are currently hosted on alioth
> as well)

I am not familiar with that site, and I get a connexion timeout trying
to connect to it as a website here.

Paul Wise wrote:
> I would suggest that you start a Free Software User Group, Open Source
> User Group or Linux User Group instead. That would be more inclusive
> since people who don't care about Debian would feel welcome instead of
> excluded.

We already have such groups here - we have a Libre Planet group, a few
disparate linux users group, and a Ubuntu community that mostly imploded
recently when people realised Canonical wasn't a free software community
(duh).

We participate from time to time in those groups, but it's not what
we're looking for. We want to coordinate with each other, as Debian
users. We want to organise BSPs, sprints, and there's a talk of a bid
again for Debconf in Montreal (oh boy - I swear it wasn't me this time
though).

Besides, how is starting a Open Source User Group going to help Debian
specifically? Should we encourage people to start Debian-specific groups
that can support the local community, make local events and promote
Debian in your city?

If not, we need to change this page, at the very least, as it's
encouraging people to start such groups now:

http://wiki.debian.org/LocalGroups

... but I think it would suck if we would add to that page: "please do
not start your own Debian group, instead join existing free software
groups or make one". Maybe it's just that I can't get the wording right.
:P

Besides, I think it's perfectly reasonable for people to get involved in
a group specialised in their technology. I wouldn't go to a Linux User
Group for Python programming help, I would go to that Python group we
have here. Conversely, I wouldn't want people to come to our group for
help with Blender on Windows 7 just because Blender happens to be free
software, although I'd be happy to help them install blender on Debian.


It makes expectations clearer, and I don't think our charter would mark
us as an exclusive "use Debian or f*-off" group.

> It would also resolve this question quite nicely.
>
> [x] E: Host lists on their own server in someones basement

See that's exactly what I'm talking about - *I* can do this, I can host
lists in my "basement" (or my "freedombox", call it what you like), as
I am an experienced sysadmin and developer. But this is not something
anyone can do in their basement. Email is specifically hard to host
behind home connexions - I have been doing it for a while, but it's been
an uphill battle all that time...

But my concern is: what should a non-developer, non-sysadmin do in this
situation? Aren't we telling our users to go away here?

I was under the impression that Debian was trying to be more inclusive
with non-technical contributors, especially with the recent shift of
language from Debian Developer to Debian Member. I sure hope I wasn't
misunderstanding that tendency, and that it can be expanded to cover
more than fair words.

Less talk, more rock.

A.

--
Pour marcher au pas d'une musique militaire, il n'y a pas besoin de
cerveau, une moelle épinière suffit.
- Albert Enstein
 
Old 09-19-2012, 07:50 PM
Roger Lynn
 
Default status of eligibility of dug lists on lists.debian.org

On 19/09/12 13:50, anarcat wrote:
> Andrei POPESCU wrote:
>> [x] E: Host lists on their own server in someones basement
>
> See that's exactly what I'm talking about - *I* can do this, I can host
> lists in my "basement" (or my "freedombox", call it what you like), as
> I am an experienced sysadmin and developer. But this is not something
> anyone can do in their basement. Email is specifically hard to host
> behind home connexions - I have been doing it for a while, but it's been
> an uphill battle all that time...
>
> But my concern is: what should a non-developer, non-sysadmin do in this
> situation? Aren't we telling our users to go away here?

Unless all the members of a group are beginners, isn't this an opportunity
for a more experienced member to learn about hosting a server, how email
works, setting up a mailing list and using Debian? I first set up a Mailman
instance when I had been using Debian for about three years and I was not a
sysadmin, although admittedly I do develop embedded software.

Roger


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Old 09-20-2012, 02:12 AM
anarcat
 
Default status of eligibility of dug lists on lists.debian.org

On 2012-09-19, Roger Lynn wrote:
> Unless all the members of a group are beginners, isn't this an opportunity
> for a more experienced member to learn about hosting a server, how email
> works, setting up a mailing list and using Debian? I first set up a Mailman
> instance when I had been using Debian for about three years and I was not a
> sysadmin, although admittedly I do develop embedded software.

Sure, it may be such an opportunity. We could also say that such a
group should host their own wiki, version control system, website,
support forum... where does it stop?

Listserv seems to be the hardest of those steps - why block that?

A.
--
Rock journalism is people who can't write interviewing people who can't
talk for people who can't read.
- Frank Zappa
 
Old 09-20-2012, 06:35 AM
martin f krafft
 
Default status of eligibility of dug lists on lists.debian.org

also sprach Roger Lynn <Roger@rilynn.me.uk> [2012.09.19.2150 +0200]:
> Unless all the members of a group are beginners, isn't this an
> opportunity for a more experienced member to learn about hosting
> a server, how email works, setting up a mailing list and using
> Debian? I first set up a Mailman instance when I had been using
> Debian for about three years and I was not a sysadmin, although
> admittedly I do develop embedded software.

I ran many Debian-related lists on my private and university
infrastructures. It's all fun and possible, until you find yourself
struggling to meet a deadline and your server goes down. While it's
already a pain to restore one's own services (but one can take a few
days), it's a real shame if this means that the LUG will miss
a meeting or the like.

So the solution was to get one or two additional people, and
eventually I was even able to invest in more fail-proof hardware.

… and then you ask yourself what to do with all the spare cycles and
wouldn't other LUGs profit from your setup… And you keep going and
going and the dependence on you grows.

Then someone comes around and institutionalises this effort. Born
was teams.debian.net with the intent to provide teams with
a collaboration platform so that lists.d.o could concentrate on
"official lists" and alioth.d.o could remain focused on development.
It was hosted next to official Debian infrastruture and it looked
like it would become official and properly maintained.

But teams.debian.net isn't working properly anymore and hasn't been
for a while. It never got moved into the debian.org domain and it
doesn't seem official.

Now there are three ways forward:

1. take back the mailing list, my infrastructure still exists and
could handle it, but am I willing to give a guarantee for the
next years to come?

2. work with teams.debian.net to get it back up to speed.

3. or use the official and professionally maintained
infrastructure on alioth.d.o or lists.d.o, which can probably
handle a couple dozens of additional lists. I can understand
that we don't want a new list for every formation or group in
the Debian universe, but a list for large groups like the
Debian users in and around of Munich should arguably be doable.

My preference is clearly (3.). Maybe one of the sysadmins who could
host their own LUG list would be interested in helping the
listmasters. And should the hardware not be enough, then we can
probably find ways to upgrade it.

--
.'`. martin f. krafft <madduck@d.o> Related projects:
: :' : proud Debian developer http://debiansystem.info
`. `'` http://people.debian.org/~madduck http://vcs-pkg.org
`- Debian - when you have better things to do than fixing systems

"all unser übel kommt daher,
daß wir nicht allein sein können."
-- schopenhauer
 
Old 09-20-2012, 10:51 AM
Jon Dowland
 
Default status of eligibility of dug lists on lists.debian.org

Personally, I think l.d.o would be an appropriate home for such things, but I
believe the decision is one for the list server admins. Having said that, I
think efforts are underway so that the alioth-hosted lists are moved to the
l.d.o infrastructure, precicely because it is recognised that running multiple
list servers across the Debian community is counter-productive. IMHO the same
reasoning applies here, but it is for the list admins to say authoratively.


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Old 09-20-2012, 10:57 AM
Ivan Shmakov
 
Default status of eligibility of dug lists on lists.debian.org

>>>>> martin f krafft <madduck@debian.org> writes:

[…]

> So the solution was to get one or two additional people, and
> eventually I was even able to invest in more fail-proof hardware.

> … and then you ask yourself what to do with all the spare cycles and
> wouldn't other LUGs profit from your setup… And you keep going and
> going and the dependence on you grows.

Yes.

[…]

> Now there are three ways forward:

> 1. take back the mailing list, my infrastructure still exists and
> could handle it, but am I willing to give a guarantee for the next
> years to come?

> 2. work with teams.debian.net to get it back up to speed.

> 3. or use the official and professionally maintained infrastructure
> on alioth.d.o or lists.d.o, which can probably handle a couple
> dozens of additional lists. I can understand that we don't want a
> new list for every formation or group in the Debian universe,

To be honest, it's the very reason I dislike mailing lists. The
groups come and go, while mailing lists have to stay forever,
for their archive to be available for posterity.

Usenet is better (though still not ideal) in this respect, as
newsgroups aren't much more than just “tags”, which a single
message may bear an arbitrary number of.

Starting a “discussion group” should require no more skill and
time than tuning a radio to an agreed frequency. And the
archive should persist for as long as there's anyone to care.

> but a list for large groups like the Debian users in and around of
> Munich should arguably be doable.

> My preference is clearly (3.). Maybe one of the sysadmins who could
> host their own LUG list would be interested in helping the
> listmasters. And should the hardware not be enough, then we can
> probably find ways to upgrade it.

I'd be fine going (2), either. What exactly needs to be done?

--
FSF associate member #7257


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Old 09-23-2012, 07:41 PM
Stefano Zacchiroli
 
Default status of eligibility of dug lists on lists.debian.org

On Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 11:43:40PM -0400, Antoine Beaupré wrote:
> However, after digging through numerous documentation pages[2], it is
> now unclear to me that there is a concensus over the user of
> lists.debian.org for such local groups, even though the wiki page says
> otherwise. For example, the dug-muc (munich) request has been
> rejected[3] and the dug-nyc request seems to be on hold, mentionning
> that the proper place is on teams.debian.net[4].

Let's separate two aspects that got intermixed in the bug report you
mention.

There's been a "heated debate" between two persons about whether a
specific group ("debian muc") has decided to migrate lists to lists.d.o
or not. The tones reached in the debate are not particularly nice, and
that's something I prefer not to read in Debian bug logs. But hey,
people occasionally fight and get mad at each other, for all sorts of
reasons. Let's move on that and hope debian muc could calmly decide
where to best host their mailing lists.

But from that, it does not descend that there is no consensus on the
usage of lists.d.o for hosting local group lists. I've a flaky
connection ATM and can't find the reference, but listmasters have
decided in the past that they're fine hosting such lists, and the
*-dug-* namespace exists for precisely that purpose. Executive bottom
line: local groups lists are fine on lists.d.o.

A related matter is that of local group granularity and, as a
consequence, the "structure" of the *-dug-* namespace (is it country
based? province? city?). Listmasters have decided to implement a country
based scheme, which is why Alexander has tagged as "wontfix" the request
specific to the Munich area, even after Martin closed the bug.

I've reviewed over time the local group structure of other large Free
Software projects, and the country-based granularity is a popular one;
similarly popular is the "exception" of considering USA states as
"countries", due to the typically high population density, Free Software
penetration there, and the very large territory that would result by
considering USA as a single country (not really "local" anymore for the
common purpose of organizing F2F events).

I think it *would* make sense to consider similar exceptions also for
other cases, but it need to be done in a systematic way. Listmasters
could have people voting for group creation, as it happened back in the
usenet days (and as I think it happens for other lists). They'd also
need to have a sane naming scheme; country-vs-city naming risk becoming
pretty nasty otherwise. This is something which is up to listmasters to
decide (as they'd do the related list maintenance work), but it is
simply a matter of exceptions to a default granularity rule that already
exists. It is by no means about "hey, we don't want local group lists on
lists.d.o".


Cheers.

PS replying where you posted, but -project would've probably been a
better list for this discussion...
--
Stefano Zacchiroli . . . . . . . zack@upsilon.cc . . . . o . . . o . o
Maître de conférences . . . . . http://upsilon.cc/zack . . . o . . . o o
Debian Project Leader . . . . . . @zack on identi.ca . . o o o . . . o .
« the first rule of tautology club is the first rule of tautology club »
 

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