Confusion about #ubuntu-au-chat

Melissa Draper melissa at
Mon Dec 17 12:15:33 GMT 2007


I've been hearing whisperings of people unhappy and/or confused with the 
recent transition to a split IRC channel arrangement. Hopefully I can 
clear up some of the dissent here.

- Why?: Well there has been a need for this for a while. #ubuntu-au had 
depreciated to 'yet another social channel', to the point where we were 
unable to hold meetings without being hijacked by offtopic discussion, 
and where people joining for support were often ignored in favour of 
whatever the topic of the moment was (and their questions then flooded 
offscreen preventing anyone else seeing them). This had to stop if 
#ubuntu-au was to remain relevant. Other LoCos have done a similar 
thing, and had an offtopic/chat channel for ages now.

- It wasn't discussed!: Maybe this hasn't been discussed as part of a 
meeting agenda (but hey, we've been struggling to actually maintain 
focused discussion of meeting agenda points anyway - hence we haven't 
had one for months), but it *has* been discussed as far back as May 04 
last year[0] (that is 20 months ago). There has been discussion 
sporadically[1] since then, but it *has* been discussed. Additionally, I 
regularly get people suggesting it be done in PM, in f2f discussions, 
and other channels.

- Won't #ubuntu-au die now?: No, believe it or not, it wont. With the 
offtopic talk moved elsewhere, people will (re)learn to use the channel 
for what it was created for, discussing Ubuntu in a local sense, and 
locally provided support. Already we are seeing questions actually being 
answered, or at least acknowledgment and suggestions for finding an 
answer elsewhere.

- Why not make it #ubuntu-au-ontopic?: Because that would never work. 
People needing help are not going to feel good about being put through 
channel pingpong. It would be counterproductive and would not make 
people feel welcome locally at all.

- Why not make #ubuntu-au-meeting?: We could, but this would really 
obfuscate the meetings and end up with little attendance. Meetings get 
the best results from being in plain view where anyone who notices them 
or joins the channel can contribute. Many of our meetings have had great 
input from new people who didn't even know about the meetings, but saw 
them happening.

So, you see, this wasn't a rash undiscussed decision. It has been in the 
works for nearly as long as the team has been around. However, I really 
cannot explain why of all times it is happening now.

Hopefully you can also understand why it has been done, and more to the 
point, hopefully we can get the real time discussions and meetings back 
on track.

Thanks for reading.

[0] May 04 23:01:51 <womble>	We have #ubuntu-au-community and 
#ubuntu-au-organisation ?

[1] Grepping my logs shows: June 20 2006, July 21 2006, Oct 13 2006, 
Oct 26 2006, Nov 20 2007 [2]. Yes, there's a year-long gap there which 
is either due to people giving up on a functional channel, or sloppy 
grepping on my part.

[2] Nov 20 00:03:51 <elkbuntu>      Marat, the topics we've listed in 
the o4o factoid are aimed primarily at #ubuntu-offtopic, where they tend 
to quickly degenerate into personal attacks and flamewars
Nov 20 00:05:29 <elkbuntu>      Marat, other ubuntu channels should stay 
true to their topics -- ie #ubuntu for ubuntu support only, #ubuntu-motu 
for packaging talk only, etc. this one fails in epic proportions 
courtesy of kgoetz and siccness, which is part of the reason the loco is 
inactive at the moment. it's not possible to have a proper conversation here
(note: this wasn't intended as a personal attack)
Nov 20 00:05:56 <Helvasca>      elkbuntu: not that thats a bad thing :D
Nov 20 00:06:14 <Helvasca>      i think we need the channel 
Nov 20 00:06:17 <elkbuntu>      Helvasca, it is actually. we used to be 
a good loco
Nov 20 00:06:36 <elkbuntu>      Helvasca, i agree.
Nov 20 00:06:52 <Helvasca>      Can you make it happen?
Nov 20 00:07:08 <elkbuntu>      Helvasca, i'll make an offtopic, ontopic 
would jsut confuse people
Nov 20 00:07:21 <Helvasca>      mmhmm
Nov 20 00:07:37 <Helvasca>      So you'd basicly transfer the convo's 
from here to offtopic?
Nov 20 00:08:25 <elkbuntu>      ban forwarding is a wonderful thing
(note: meant in jest, it's not a threat)
Nov 20 00:08:36 <Helvasca>      huh?
Nov 20 00:09:13 <elkbuntu>      Helvasca, set ban with forwarding 
channel, kick them, watch them return and get piped into other channel
Nov 20 00:09:24 <Helvasca>      ah ok
Nov 20 00:09:29 <Toma-> ...when is -au ever ontopic?
Nov 20 00:09:41 <Helvasca>      Toma-: I never have seen it

Melissa Draper

Phone: 0404 595 395
(intl): +61 404 595 395

P.O Box 1412
Lavington, NSW 2641

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