[OT] get rid of OT

Liam Proven lproven at gmail.com
Fri Sep 30 12:28:22 UTC 2011

On 29 September 2011 16:33, Alan Pope <alan at popey.com> wrote:
> Well we could have a policy of "no OT" on the list, and police it
> hard. People who transgress get warnings then mute/removal from the
> list. It would certainly focus people's attention (and invite
> censorship claims from some of the more militant members of the list).

If that is what it takes to save the list from the death penalty, yes.
For my money, it would make the list less appealing to use.

> Many are technically capable. It's whether they want the headache of
> running it. Honestly talking to some of the people on this list is
> mentally and emotionally _exhausting_. I don't envy someone running an
> entirely offtopic list.

It is important to remember, Alan, that this is *your* perception.
Others do not share it. I have pointed this out to you in the past, I
am sure; you seem to have forgotten.

Personally, as a very long-time veteran of mailing lists and Internet
communities, I find the complete reverse.

I actively enjoy the banter and sociably chatty nature of the list. I
dislike web fora with a passion - I find them horrible to use, and
yes, this strongly includes Ubuntu's ones - and find IRC to be vastly
too time-consuming for any regular use.

I find it much *more* tiring to have to try to remember and stick to a
CoC and censor myself - to remember /not/ to be chatty, *not* to stray
offtopic, *not* to use sarcasm and irony.

What you find tiring is what other people find lively and engaging.
What you can't cope with is *why I am here*. What you find
businesslike and efficient - IRC, for example, as you repeatedly
invite us to participate in IRC meetings - is to others a tiresome,
irritating waste of time.

Always remember this. Your preferences are fine. I am not saying they
are wrong in any way. But remember that they are just yours, only
yours, and others do not share them.

My sole involvement with the Ubuntu is on the mailing lists. If the
mailing lists close, I and many others will leave the Ubuntu community
altogether. I am not using web fora instead, nor am I switching to

And lest you think it is just me, here are some examples of why others
feel similarly.

Email is offline.

You can take your time to read and think about what is posted. This is
ideal for blind users and essential for deaf-blind users who are using
Braille displays, which are relatively slow.

IRC can be almost unusable for such people; web fora hard to navigate.

Email replies can be composed offline in your own time. This is ideal
for people with motor difficulties, such as cerebral palsy or
quadriplegia, who can only enter text very slowly. Again, IRC is
unusable for such people.

For busy people, email is threaded, making it fast and efficient to
follow conversations. Web fora have no threading; each conversation is
flat, meaning we must wade through dozens of pages of chatter to find
the information we need.

I am on some 80-odd mailing lists. I do not have the time to go
through that many different websites in a day, seeing what's new, but
on mailing lists, they are all in my email client - no matter if I am
on my PC, my Mac or my phone.

And because email is offline, I can do this when travelling and so on
when I don't have Internet connectivity. You can't do that with IRC or

If the mailing lists close, Ubuntu will alienate many of its users...
and if the character of them is substantially changed, you will also
lose participants.

There's no reason the Ubuntu community should care about losing me.
But it *should* care about annoying and alienating many of its users
and community members. And that's what it is doing, right now, both
with the closure of Sounder, the threatened closure of Ubuntu-Users,
and indeed with the imposition of Unity.

Be careful what you wish for. You might just get it.

Liam Proven • Info & profile: http://www.google.com/profiles/lproven
Email: lproven at cix.co.uk • GMail/GoogleTalk/Orkut: lproven at gmail.com
Tel: +44 20-8685-0498 • Cell: +44 7939-087884 • Fax: + 44 870-9151419
AIM/Yahoo/Skype: liamproven • MSN: lproven at hotmail.com • ICQ: 73187508

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