Freenode #ubuntu* Channels are Too Fragmented, Over-specialised and "on-topic"

Chris Oattes mailinglist at
Sun Jun 8 10:29:14 UTC 2008

> As a result, someone there has mis-quoted, mis-applied and
> mis-interpreted my post into believing I was "sexist" and a
> run-of-the-mill "troll", and so unsubscribed me. (after my first post)
> I logged on to Freenode in order to complain and to try to revert that
> irrational punishment, and this is what happened:
> 1. On #ubuntu , an op informed that it was off-topic there, and that I
> should address a more relevant channel, and shortly afterwards he
> devoiced me, while I intended to follow his request.
#ubuntu is only for support issues. It is so busy in there that there is
no room to try to deal issues like "who has been banned from where".

> 2. On #ubuntu-women, after I say "Hi all!" and said I wanted to
> discuss it, someone became an op and asked me to /part, which I did,
> reluctantly.
It is up to the operators in #ubuntu-women to look after the channel as
they wish, the ops are perfectly within their rights to ask you to leave
if they believe you are a troll.

> 3. On #ubuntu-ops, where I tried to complain about her/him (I think it
> was a she), I was told to private-message someone, and then that I
> should leave the channel for maintenance, and the private-messsaging
> of this guy did not yield any benefit.
#ubuntu-ops have nothing to do with the mailing lists, and therefore can
do nothing about your original problem.

With regards to being asked to PM people from #ubuntu-women, that is the
"recognised" procedure for non-core ubuntu channels (i.e. channels that
are not handled by people in #ubuntu-ops directly), as generally the
people in #ubuntu-ops have no actual power in these channels.

If after you have tried to talk to the people in #ubuntu-women you are
not satisfied with the reply, the next step is to contact the IRC
Council to ask them to look at the issue.

> 4. There didn't seem to be anything I could do on #ubuntu+1 , and I'd
> rather not have talked there.

#ubuntu+1 is a development channel, they could do nothing to help with
your issues in #ubuntu-women.

> ---------------------
> The problem as I see it is that the Freenode's #ubuntu* channels are:
> 1. Too fragmented.
> 2. Too over-specialised.
> 3. Too trying to stay on-topic.
> 4. Having too many short-tempered and abusive ops.
> Please fix it. I still have the logs here.

I'm inclined not to agree with you here. People are free to set up their
own sub-communities as they wish (Ubuntu-women for example). It would
not be fair, right, or even possible to deny people the ability to set
up these groups.

The core channels (such as #ubuntu, #ubuntu+1, #ubuntu-devel) are there
for a reason. If you spend 10 minutes in #ubuntu it should become
apparent that any sort of meaningful discussion about anything other
than support would be virtually impossible. Developers need their own
channel to discuss development issues. It is also not unreasonable to
expect these channels to stay on-topic; it means that the necessary
things get discussed, and there are offtopic channels if people want to

Also, most of the people in these channels know absolutely nothing about
your situation, and even if they did, would be totally unable to help
you due to having absolutely no involvement in ubuntu-women.

As for the final point, I can only comment on the ops from ubuntu-ops
(i.e. not ubuntu-women), but they tend not to be abusive or
short-tempered. The ubuntu community is very busy, and the ops like to
get matters dealt with quickly so that they don't spend 2 hours sorting
out a single problem unless they have to. In this case, as I mentioned
earlier, the team in -ops doesn't have any control over Ubuntu-women
directly; doing anything other than directing you back to the ops in
Ubuntu-women would have been a waste of both your time and theirs.

Chris Oattes (Seeker`)

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