#ubuntu-ops policy discussion

Carl Karsten carl at personnelware.com
Mon Feb 1 17:00:44 UTC 2010

On Mon, Feb 1, 2010 at 8:16 AM, Juha Siltala <topyli at ubuntu.com> wrote:
> Greetings fellow IRCers,
> In yesterday's IRC Council meeting[1], we discussed the item of #ubuntu-ops
> policies including 'no-idling' and +v. The no-idle policy generated a
> lengthly discussion and we decided to postpone the item until the next
> meeting and ask for community feedback.
> According to the current policy, we allow no idling on the channel by
> non-operators. Users should only visit the channel when they have
> outstanding issues that require operator assistance. The purpose of this
> policy is to ensure that ops and users can work out any issues without
> spectators or intrusions by those not directly involved. It also allows ops
> to quickly recognize anyone in need of assistance by noticing that they are
> not voiced. Transparency is achieved by having channel logs[2] publicly
> available.
> Some discussants were not happy with the current level of transparency, and
> offered suggestions as to how to handle an open channel:
> allow open discussion on the channel, handle distractions on a case-by-case
> basis
> allow anyone to join and idle, moderate the channel and figure out a way to
> voice those needing voice
> allow interested parties or monitors to join under strict moderation
> two channels: issue management channel and a general discussion channel
> two channels: the current -ops channel, and an open, moderated mirror
> channel where all discussion on -ops is relayed
> Naturally, one option is to keep the current policy, which continues to
> stand for the time being. The Council would like some feedback on potential
> benefits of opening up the channel more, and on how to achieve it in
> practice.
> For a full picture, please review the meeting log. The issue is the first
> item of the meeting.
> [1] http://irclogs.ubuntu.com/2010/01/31/%23ubuntu-meeting.html
> [2] http://irclogs.ubuntu.com/
> Thanks for any feedback and advice,

I am against the restrictions and no-idle policy.

I think lurking is fine.  I learn quit a bit from lurking. I am not
sure what someone might learn from -ops, but that doesn't mean it
won't happen.

I can see a desire for a user wanting privacy, but that is at odds
with transparency, and transparency wins.  If the logs are to be
posted, then there is no real privacy.

Disruptive behaviour will occur regardless of the policy.  part of the
point of the channel is to deal with disruptive behaviour in other
channels, and I think using good judgement case by case will make more
people feel better than worse.  People feeling better helps the

I think what is being decided is which of these is 'best':

1. Technical solution that must be over ridden by a human when needed.
2. Human solution that requires just human work.

I have a feeling 1 will cause more human work, but hard to say really.

Something I don't know, but think is important:  when a user is
annoyed due to not getting what they want, what makes a user more
annoyed: 1 or 2 ?

#1 is an anonymous robot causing grief, #2 is a person.

I think #1 will cause more grief, because #2 will be better applied.

I am not sure any of these can ever be supported by evidence.  Way too
much depends on the people involved, including expectations often
driven by precedence which will change over time.   So in the end, I
think this will be a judgement call which requires no more support
other than "that's how I feel."

Carl K

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