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Kernel Cousins for #gnuenterprise irc?

From: Peter Sullivan
Subject: Kernel Cousins for #gnuenterprise irc?
Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2001 07:48:37 +0000

I was lurking innocently on IRC over the weekend, and jbailey got me to
volunteer to start a Kernel Cousins (KC) for GNUe. For those that don't
know (like me, 2 days ago), these are a collection of summaries of the
mailing lists. There are already Kernel Cousins for Wine, Hurd, Gimp and
KDE. See for more details.

I've written to Zack Brown, and will get something sorted about getting
some KC stuff for the GNUe mailing lists set up over the next few days.

However, possibly more contentious is what we do about IRC. The GNUe
project's "culture" is much more IRC based than mail based. Zack has
indicated that he is willing to include IRC as well. So - do we want to?

Pros of including IRC:

1) Gives a fuller picture of what's going on in the GNUe project.

2) Higher noise-to-signal ratio on IRC than mail, so summaries are even
more useful.

3) Improve the profile of GNUe in the general free software community
etc. etc.

Cons of including IRC:

1) IRC discussions are unstructured, with no formal threads. The KC
format is thread-based. This will involve a certain amount of squeezing
to fit - I will probably end up treating each day as a "thread" or
something similar.

2) How should I treat off-topic material? Should I ignore completely?
(Bear in mind that some days can be wholly off-topic - that's part of
the joy of IRC.) What about marginal stuff (general free software
issues, RMS toadying/badmouthing, etc.)? My personal preference is to
focus more on on-topic stuff, but not ignore off-topic.

3) It is not always easy to identify the full name of speakers from
their IRC nick - the e-mail address will be in the log when they signed
on, but with some of the guys that will have been several months ago...
Accurate naming is important in KC, because it's used to generate

To be fair, 1-3 can mostly be resolved with a bit of extra work by me.
But the big one is:

4)  Will people be less forthright and honest, or feel at all
restrained, if they know their IRC comments are being summarised
elsewhere? Of course, the logs are open for anyone to look at already,
but that takes a different level of effort to dig out.

So in other words, I am not backing out, but I feel I ought to check
that everyone here is totally happy with what I am planning to do before
I do it!

I actually have a draft summary of last week's IRC that I pulled
together (not yet in proper KC format, however) which I can post to give
people an idea of what I'm thinking of.

Let me know what you think.
Peter Sullivan

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