[development] #drupal and #drupal-contribute split (Was: Re: Proposal: Move all dev support off this list to new StackExchange site)

Sam Tresler sam at treslerdesigns.com
Sat Mar 19 17:56:28 UTC 2011

I actually found this response to be really constructive.  Thank you.

Dragging us back to the original idea of this thread of splitting *this* list into support and devel, personally, there isn't enough traffic to this list to warrant that.  If we get to 10+ messages a day about support I think the conversation should be revisited.  However, given that this email list isn't really where developers are attempting to get focused discussion feedback, I say no, let's not create another piece of infrastructure (that needs to be managed and maintained by someone, no matter how easy).

We've journeyed into the IRC realm.  Oddly, it is a lot like my block in Brooklyn.  We can have a barbecue in the community garden, but if you don't actually go across the street and invite the people on the stoop they'll just sit there and feel outcast - even though the community garden is open to the public and we have a big sign saying everyone is welcome!  You do need to shovel some manure to be a part of it though.

Webchick is right, it's a shame that she can pull those IRC logs and see that #drupal was dead during the d7 release.  Merlinofchaos is right - you can't get jack done when you're being constantly barraged with in person requests and it sucks to have to tell people No. Someone, I can't recall who right now, suggested a community manager, and I think it is that plus some.  One thing I find notably absent in that IRC log is anyone jumping into #drupal and saying, "Hey, We just released D7!"  I could even argue that the congratulatory conversation in #drupal-contribute was off topic.  What was the issue number associated to it?

Until fairly recently we had it easy.  Community just happened, because we were small.  I think the real issue at hand here is that we've grown to big for community to 'just happen' and we are trying to approach as an issue that we can fix.  We can't.  It's a maintenance issue.  If this were a server farm we would never say - Hey we just fixed security for the servers so we can check it off the list and not ever worry about it again.  It's a constant monitoring and maintenance job that is currently no one's responsibility (that I know of).

A) We need a community outreach person. 
B) We need to personally make a point of sharing the community-wide events with the community, not just the people to our left and right. 
C) Support is an aspect of this, but not the crux.  Quite a few initiatives are already underway on that front.

Finally, as a thought experiment, I'm going to try thinking up a IRC handle extension for myself.  stresler-support / stresler-busy.  Or some such.  If my name is stresler-busy and someone thinks it is OK to approach me with a support question, then I don't think I'll feel so bad about telling them to ask someone who isn't "-busy".  Any feedback on this would be appreciated.


Sam Tresler

On Fri, 18 Mar 2011, Earl Miles wrote:

> On 3/18/2011 3:23 PM, Sam Tresler wrote:
>> How do we make an infrastructure that supports newcomers, facilitates
>> developers, concentrates on non-disruptive integration of factions, and
>> keeps our community strong?"  When I say 'you won't please everybody' I
>> mean it, but I feel like the current conversation is please A or please
>> B, there is no C.
> Good question. Right now a lot of the conversation is between a camp
> that can't handle an everything-in-one place system versus a camp that
> thinks the soloing is bad.
> I personally don't see a universe where siloing doesn't happen. Either
> it happens officially or not, and officially makes it easier to figure
> out where the silos are and enter them. If they're unofficial silos,
> then they *are* going to come off extremely elitist.
> So one thing I'm noticing from earlier: #drupal-dev is actually closed
> and gone. Because it's been made invite-only, and that happened quite
> some time back, a number of people now think it's a developer hideout.
> Only it's not -- NO one is invited there. Not even Druplicon. (Neil, not
> trying to pick on you; I also heard a similar story at least once on IRC
> today as well, by someone who didn't know #drupal-dev had been shut down).
> Perhaps one issue is this: It's perfectly okay to come into
> #drupal-contribute and lurk. One of the reasons for #drupal-contribute
> is that we can focus the topic. IF we tell someone they're off topic
> there, it's a lot clearer that someone has crossed the line just due to
> the name of the channel. #drupal by itself has no clarity of naming, and
> no one reads topics. Telling people they're off topic in #drupal very
> quickly leads to hurt feelings because it's not immediately super clear
> what actually is on topic there. And this is one of the underlying
> reasons: Focused, topical channels are flat out easier to deal with. I
> don't think I have a problem at all with #drupal-contribute
> becoming/being a high volume channel if it's full of people, you know,
> contributing. That means we're doing awesome.
> So what I think what webchick *really* wants is a way for #drupal to be
> step one, where you go, maybe get help, get indoctrinated, and don't
> have to worry about being yelled at for being off topic, and once you've
> gotten your feet wet or gotten used to the fact that the water's kind of
> cold, you can start moving into more focused areas, armed with the
> knowledge of how to do it. We all know that new people on IRC simply
> aren't going to know netiquette, but that doesn't make it any less
> irritating when that netiquette is not followed.
> Maybe we need to do a better job of saying, "Hey, come and lurk in
> #drupal-contribute". YOu can learn a lot just by watching conversations
> in there. It doesn't fit everyone's personalities, though. One thing
> those of us who spend a LOT of time on IRC forget is that there's a
> large swath of contributors who spend almost no time on IRC at all. For
> some people, IRC is just fundamentally unfriendly.

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