IRC presence requirements

Scott Kitterman ubuntu at
Fri Nov 16 02:39:01 GMT 2007

On Fri, 16 Nov 2007 11:21:48 +0900 "Emmet Hikory" <persia at> wrote:
>Daniel Holbach wrote:
>> Demanding IRC presence of MOTUs or MOTU applicants is something I'm not
>> very happy about. We have contributors who work with us via email and
>> bug reports and that's fine.
>    While I'm not authoritative, I'd much prefer that members of
>ubuntu-dev (MOTU + Core) maintain an IRC presence, as there is a vast
>amount of the coordination that happens on IRC, with decisions
>possibly undocumented, or included only in package changelogs, etc.
>Speaking from personal experience, when I do not maintain an IRC
>presence, I am not confident of current activities, even if I do read
>the mailing lists, maintain subscriptions to bugs (and read the
>bugmail), follow planet, read all the changelogs of uploads of
>packages I use, and subscribe to reasonable chunks of the wiki.
>Alternately, IRC requirements can be as little as an hour or two a
>day: when there is an issue that affects me, or on which my input is
>encouraged, I usually get an IRC ping shortly after entering a
>relevant channel, even when I'm not very active.
>    Separately, I do agree that there are a number of very valuable
>contributors who work with us via email, bug reports, and blog
>postings, and I'd not like to see their contributions belittled: I'm
>just not sure that unrestricted upload is appropriate for these
>parties: the sponsoring queues exist in part to ensure that there is
>appropriate coordination, and by maintaining IRC presence, sponsors
>are often able to share the results of such communication with
>disconnected contributors.
>    Specifically, for those who are applying or intend to apply for
>MOTU, my opinion stated above is not authoritative, and does not
>indicate a position of MOTU Council: until otherwise indicated by a
>member of council, do not feel that this is an additional requirement
>(although it can be a good way to interact with the community).

Much as Debian is mostly mailing list driven, Ubuntu is mostly IRC driven.  
I've been on travel this week and so only intermittently on IRC.  As a 
result, I feel really disconnected from what's going on.

I don't think IRC presence is mandatory, but it's hard to have an opinion 
on if someone ready for upload access if you haven't interacted with them.  
If I've uploaded several thing for somone and interacted with them via bugs 
or e-mail, I can get a feel for them, but it's much harder than via normal 
IRC conversation.

So I agree with dholbach that IRC presence is not mandatory, but getting 
the kind of community integration that I feel is mandatory is much more 
difficult using other means.

Scott K

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