[RFC] Restricted version of gentoo-dev mailing list

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[RFC] Restricted version of gentoo-dev mailing list

Michał Górny-5
Hi, everyone.

I'd like to request Infra to establish a new mailing list that would
fill in the gap between our public mailing lists and the gentoo-core
mailing list.

Name: gentoo-dev-internal

Topic: technical discussions between active Gentoo contributors

Restrictions:

- public (open subscription), initially we may optionally copy all
subscribers from gentoo-dev so that they do not miss discussion,

- archived,

- but posting restricted to opt-in member group.

Initially, the posting group would include active Gentoo developers
only. Afterwards, we will deploy a small moderator team whose purpose
would be controlling access to the list -- including both adding new
members on request and removing existing members (including developers)
if they misbehave.

I don't think we need to precisely define the rules for admitting new
members. I think the exact procedure would be at moderators' discretion
and would depend on the current 'health' of candidates -- i.e. if things
go calm they may just admit on request, and if people start abusing this
they will force explicit moderation before whitelisting.


Rationale
=========

The purpose of gentoo-dev is to allow technical discussion between
contributors to Gentoo, especially including making it possible for
developers to send RFCs and discuss their ideas.

Sadly, it is not uncommon for threads on that mailing list to turn into
trollfests, get deranged or hijacked into completely different topics.
Things are so bad that the mailing list stops serving its purpose. It
involves a number of consequences:

a. The developers lose time on the mailing lists instead of using it for
constructive purposes. Even skimming through those mails in search of
something remotely relevant is time-consuming.

b. The developers and contributors become discouraged and unsubscribe
from the mailing list. As a result, audience for reviews and RFCs
becomes smaller and even less focused on the topic.

c. The developers become discouraged and stop sending their ideas.
Either they do less, use another media or work in complete isolation
from other community members.

d. Eventually, the developers become tired of the persisting issues
and they retire (yes, it's a fact).

Other ideas on solving those issues were pretty much rejected already:

1. Bans on persisting violators were rejected as they are easily worked
around via subscribing from another e-mail address, and causing more
noise than the original issue.

2. Full-scale moderation of mail on gentoo-dev was rejected because of
technical limitations and the resulting high level of effort in handling
the moderation, plus the social effect.

3. Making gentoo-dev@ opt-in (like the suggested new list) would make it
much harder for users to contribute ideas, and would inevitably
discourage some of the users from writing.

All that considered, establishing a second mailing list with different
characteristic seems like a reasonable solution. In particular:

A. It gives a wider choice of tools for developers (and privileged
contributors) -- they can choose either the open or restricted mailing
list depending on the type of requested feedback.

B. The gentoo-dev mailing list is still open for power users
and contributors to submit their own ideas, and with no moderation
the discussion can proceed naturally.

C. The cost of moderation should be relatively low, and the methods can
be dynamically adjusted to fit the needs. In particular, good behavior
on gentoo-dev can be used to grant access to gentoo-dev-internal without
further requirements.

D. The restricted mailing list should be resilient to ban evasion since
the access is opt-in, and the moderators team can enforce direct
moderation of new members if there is a considerable risk.

Your comments?

--
Best regards,
Michał Górny

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Re: [RFC] Restricted version of gentoo-dev mailing list

Rich Freeman
On Tue, May 23, 2017 at 12:31 PM, Michał Górny <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> A. It gives a wider choice of tools for developers (and privileged
> contributors) -- they can choose either the open or restricted mailing
> list depending on the type of requested feedback.
>
> B. The gentoo-dev mailing list is still open for power users
> and contributors to submit their own ideas, and with no moderation
> the discussion can proceed naturally.
>

Wouldn't those inclined to do so simply crosspost threads to the
unmoderated list?  Then people will feel the need to respond to those
posts for all the reasons they reply to those posts already.

Maybe that would not happen if the unmoderated list essentially
becomes unused and has few subscribers, but in that case we are
potentially turning away contributions.

Also, given the reluctance to moderate anything around here in
general, do we think that the moderated list would actually be
moderated if it is after-the-fact?  The one advantage of requiring
moderation a priori is that it requires somebody to affirm "yes, this
post adds to the discussion" vs having to decide "do I want to be the
one to ban user xyz from the list and deal with the fallout?"

That said, it does address the sock puppet issue to a large degree,
unless somebody wants to be fairly painstaking at it.  (And if they're
willing to go to that much trouble we'd need to be screening IDs to
keep them out.  There is no reason somebody couldn't go through
recruitment as a dev 14 times today.)

--
Rich

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Re: [RFC] Restricted version of gentoo-dev mailing list

Philip Webb-2
In reply to this post by Michał Górny-5
170523 Michał Górny wrote:
> Sadly, it is not uncommon for threads on that mailing list to turn into
> trollfests, get deranged or hijacked into completely different topics.
> Things are so bad that the mailing list stops serving its purpose. It
> involves a number of consequences:

As a user, I've been subscribed to this list since 2003
& can't remember any recent occasion -- and very few not recent --
when any such bad or damaging behaviour has happened.

Is this proposal itself not just a waste of valuable developer time
in moderating, censoring & deciding who is a sheep & who is a goat ?

--
========================,,============================================
SUPPORT     ___________//___,   Philip Webb
ELECTRIC   /] [] [] [] [] []|   Cities Centre, University of Toronto
TRANSIT    `-O----------O---'   purslowatchassdotutorontodotca


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Re: [RFC] Restricted version of gentoo-dev mailing list

Kent Fredric-2
In reply to this post by Michał Górny-5
On Tue, 23 May 2017 21:31:18 +0200
Michał Górny <[hidden email]> wrote:

> - public (open subscription), initially we may optionally copy all
> subscribers from gentoo-dev so that they do not miss discussion,

What would be the result if somebody replied to a g-dev-internal ML
without permission?

I think there should be something in place other than sending it
to /dev/null , but I can't think of any good approach that doesn't make
g-dev messier as a result.




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Re: [RFC] Restricted version of gentoo-dev mailing list

Kent Fredric-2
In reply to this post by Philip Webb-2
On Tue, 23 May 2017 15:52:52 -0400
Philip Webb <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Is this proposal itself not just a waste of valuable developer time
> in moderating, censoring & deciding who is a sheep & who is a goat ?

Its not censorship, because censorship is the practice of preventing
something from being said in entirety.

People can still voice their opinion, and we aren't going to be
suppressing it, we're just making a decision about which channels they
can say things to.

And we're giving consumers a choice whether they want to hear
everything, or hear only a subset of things, by allowing them to
subscribe to either channel.

That's no more censorship than somebody setting their social media feed
to allow no outsiders to post on it. Individuals can still post in
their own feeds, and those who want to see it can still see it.

But when it comes to *my* feed, I'm entitled to dictate what occurs in
it, without being accused of censorship.

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Re: [RFC] Restricted version of gentoo-dev mailing list

Erik Närström
In reply to this post by Kent Fredric-2
I'snt the idea of creating a new mailing list to let gentoo-dev be mesy?, in that case we could simply redirect all non-aproved posts from gen-int to gen-dev.

/EKG 

On 23 May 2017 22:04, "Kent Fredric" <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Tue, 23 May 2017 21:31:18 +0200
Michał Górny <[hidden email]> wrote:

> - public (open subscription), initially we may optionally copy all
> subscribers from gentoo-dev so that they do not miss discussion,

What would be the result if somebody replied to a g-dev-internal ML
without permission?

I think there should be something in place other than sending it
to /dev/null , but I can't think of any good approach that doesn't make
g-dev messier as a result.



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Re: [RFC] Restricted version of gentoo-dev mailing list

Kent Fredric-2
On Tue, 23 May 2017 20:32:03 +0000
Erik Närström <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I'snt the idea of creating a new mailing list to let gentoo-dev be
> mesy?, in that case we could simply redirect all non-aproved posts
> from gen-int to gen-dev.

I mean, messy in the sense you'd have replies, but no obvious parent
for the replies, so people who wanted to read the whole thread
including external submissions would need to mentally piece together 2
independent mailing lists.

Though, I guess my email client might work as expected being subscribed
to both lists.

Just anyone who signs up to only gentoo-dev will get a lot of confusing
arguments :)

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Re: [RFC] Restricted version of gentoo-dev mailing list

Erik Närström
The same asnow with other words?, wouldn it be possible to repost peoples mail in gen-dev?. I mean instead  of leting people send mail to gen-int we kidnapped the mail and send it to gen-dev so that all using gen-dev gets the hole conversion, and does only subscribe to gen-int only get to se posts from pre-aproved mail-acont, wouldn't that work?, or am I missing something fundamental?. 

/EKG 

On 23 May 2017 23:05, "Kent Fredric" <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Tue, 23 May 2017 20:32:03 +0000
Erik Närström <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I'snt the idea of creating a new mailing list to let gentoo-dev be
> mesy?, in that case we could simply redirect all non-aproved posts
> from gen-int to gen-dev.

I mean, messy in the sense you'd have replies, but no obvious parent
for the replies, so people who wanted to read the whole thread
including external submissions would need to mentally piece together 2
independent mailing lists.

Though, I guess my email client might work as expected being subscribed
to both lists.

Just anyone who signs up to only gentoo-dev will get a lot of confusing
arguments :)
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Re: [RFC] Restricted version of gentoo-dev mailing list

William Hubbs
In reply to this post by Michał Górny-5
On Tue, May 23, 2017 at 09:31:18PM +0200, Michał Górny wrote:
> Hi, everyone.
>
> I'd like to request Infra to establish a new mailing list that would
> fill in the gap between our public mailing lists and the gentoo-core
> mailing list.
>
> Name: gentoo-dev-internal
>
> Topic: technical discussions between active Gentoo contributors

That's what gentoo-dev is now.

I'll be honest. I'm really way too tired right now to write a long
argument, but do we really think that basically moving everyone to
another mailing list will solve these kinds of issues?

I think this is just shuffling people around and will lead to the same
thing happening on the new list over time.

William


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Re: [RFC] Restricted version of gentoo-dev mailing list

Tuomo Hartikainen-2
Hi all,

On 2017-05-23 21:08, William Hubbs wrote:

> On Tue, May 23, 2017 at 09:31:18PM +0200, Michał Górny wrote:
> > Hi, everyone.
> >
> > I'd like to request Infra to establish a new mailing list that would
> > fill in the gap between our public mailing lists and the gentoo-core
> > mailing list.
> >
> > Name: gentoo-dev-internal
> >
> > Topic: technical discussions between active Gentoo contributors
>
> That's what gentoo-dev is now.
>
> I'll be honest. I'm really way too tired right now to write a long
> argument, but do we really think that basically moving everyone to
> another mailing list will solve these kinds of issues?
>
> I think this is just shuffling people around and will lead to the same
> thing happening on the new list over time.
>
> William

I too was left wondering, what would be the role of the gentoo-dev after
the proposed change. If it is agreed that gentoo-dev has become unusable
for development work and the discussion is moved elsewhere, what would
be the intended purpose of the current list?

--
Tuomo Hartikainen

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Re: [RFC] Restricted version of gentoo-dev mailing list

heroxbd-2
In reply to this post by Michał Górny-5
Hi Michał,

> Name: gentoo-dev-internal
>
> Topic: technical discussions between active Gentoo contributors

Basically I object to this proposal.  

1. Another layer of hierarchy is not desirable for a non-profit
   organization like us.

2. Useful discussion are diluted from 1 list into 2 lists.

3. It is really hard to whitelist/moderate in a transparent and
   objective way.


I take the intention of this proposal as that you would like to keep a
certain group of people out of your discussions.  If you personally want
to mute someone, it is straightforward to set up a blacklist in your
MTA/MUA.

I don't think a change is needed at the Gentoo infra level.

Yours,
Benda

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Re: [RFC] Restricted version of gentoo-dev mailing list

Ulrich Mueller-2
In reply to this post by William Hubbs
>>>>> On Tue, 23 May 2017, William Hubbs wrote:

> On Tue, May 23, 2017 at 09:31:18PM +0200, Michał Górny wrote:
>> I'd like to request Infra to establish a new mailing list that would
>> fill in the gap between our public mailing lists and the gentoo-core
>> mailing list.
>>
>> Name: gentoo-dev-internal
>>
>> Topic: technical discussions between active Gentoo contributors

> That's what gentoo-dev is now.

> I'll be honest. I'm really way too tired right now to write a long
> argument, but do we really think that basically moving everyone to
> another mailing list will solve these kinds of issues?

> I think this is just shuffling people around and will lead to the same
> thing happening on the new list over time.

+1

IMHO another list with the same topic as gentoo-dev makes no sense.
*If* we want moderation, we should moderate the existing list, but not
create a redundant new one.

Ulrich

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Re: [RFC] Restricted version of gentoo-dev mailing list

Walter Dnes
In reply to this post by Michał Górny-5
  Let's step back a minute, and consider *WHY* non-developers feel the
need to join this list in the first place.  Do you remember the acrimony
after the decision to not officially support a separate /usr without
initramfs?  A lot of people who complained on the Gentoo-User list were
bluntly told that the devs hadn't heard much objection, and that they
should've expressed their opinion on *THIS* list *BEFORE* the final
decision was made.  This reminds me of a quote from The Hitchiker's Guide
To The Galaxy...


"But the plans were on display..."

"On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them."

"That's the display department."

"With a flashlight."

"Ah, well, the lights had probably gone."

"So had the stairs."

"But look, you found the notice, didn't you?"

"Yes," said Arthur, "yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a
locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the
door saying 'Beware of the Leopard'."


  I'd really rather not have to follow an additional list which includes
a lot of very technical items and patches that are over my head.  But
after the separate /usr fiasco, I don't feel I have any choice.  If we
could have a guarantee of proposed changes like that being posted on
Gentoo-User for comment, rather than being sprung on users by surprise,
I'd be willing to sign off this list.

--
Walter Dnes <[hidden email]>
I don't run "desktop environments"; I run useful applications

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Re: [RFC] Restricted version of gentoo-dev mailing list

Michał Górny-5
In reply to this post by heroxbd-2
On śro, 2017-05-24 at 14:21 +0900, Benda Xu wrote:

> Hi Michał,
>
> > Name: gentoo-dev-internal
> >
> > Topic: technical discussions between active Gentoo contributors
>
> Basically I object to this proposal.  
>
> 1. Another layer of hierarchy is not desirable for a non-profit
>    organization like us.
>
> 2. Useful discussion are diluted from 1 list into 2 lists.
>
> 3. It is really hard to whitelist/moderate in a transparent and
>    objective way.
>
>
> I take the intention of this proposal as that you would like to keep a
> certain group of people out of your discussions.  If you personally want
> to mute someone, it is straightforward to set up a blacklist in your
> MTA/MUA.
Sure. And also mute the 30 random replies which might or might not be
relevant.

> I don't think a change is needed at the Gentoo infra level.
>

I wouldn't call opening a new mailing list 'a change'. It is a regular
request made by developers who need a tool to work with.

--
Best regards,
Michał Górny

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Re: [RFC] Restricted version of gentoo-dev mailing list

Michał Górny-5
In reply to this post by Ulrich Mueller-2
On śro, 2017-05-24 at 07:29 +0200, Ulrich Mueller wrote:

> > > > > > On Tue, 23 May 2017, William Hubbs wrote:
> > On Tue, May 23, 2017 at 09:31:18PM +0200, Michał Górny wrote:
> > > I'd like to request Infra to establish a new mailing list that would
> > > fill in the gap between our public mailing lists and the gentoo-core
> > > mailing list.
> > >
> > > Name: gentoo-dev-internal
> > >
> > > Topic: technical discussions between active Gentoo contributors
> > That's what gentoo-dev is now.
> > I'll be honest. I'm really way too tired right now to write a long
> > argument, but do we really think that basically moving everyone to
> > another mailing list will solve these kinds of issues?
> > I think this is just shuffling people around and will lead to the same
> > thing happening on the new list over time.
>
> +1
>
> IMHO another list with the same topic as gentoo-dev makes no sense.
> *If* we want moderation, we should moderate the existing list, but not
> create a redundant new one.
>
Then please make it happen. Find a working solution and implement it.
Talking about how everything is bad is not going to solve any problem.

--
Best regards,
Michał Górny

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Re: [RFC] Restricted version of gentoo-dev mailing list

Michał Górny-5
In reply to this post by Walter Dnes
On śro, 2017-05-24 at 01:55 -0400, Walter Dnes wrote:
>   Let's step back a minute, and consider *WHY* non-developers feel the
> need to join this list in the first place.  Do you remember the acrimony
> after the decision to not officially support a separate /usr without
> initramfs?  A lot of people who complained on the Gentoo-User list were
> bluntly told that the devs hadn't heard much objection, and that they
> should've expressed their opinion on *THIS* list *BEFORE* the final
> decision was made.  This reminds me of a quote from The Hitchiker's Guide
> To The Galaxy...
>

Next time such a thing happens, the discussion will happen on a
completely private media or not happen at all because of the state of
this mailing list. Is this what you really want?

--
Best regards,
Michał Górny

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Re: [RFC] Restricted version of gentoo-dev mailing list

Kristian Fiskerstrand-2
On 05/24/2017 08:41 AM, Michał Górny wrote:
> Next time such a thing happens, the discussion will happen on a
> completely private media or not happen at all because of the state of
> this mailing list. Is this what you really want?

I wouldn't agree with it being an axiom of sorts that discussion will
happen elsewhere. The noise level of the discussion of a new list or
moderation of the current dev list is greather than the noise that
spurred the discussion to begin with.

--
Kristian Fiskerstrand
OpenPGP keyblock reachable at hkp://pool.sks-keyservers.net
fpr:94CB AFDD 3034 5109 5618 35AA 0B7F 8B60 E3ED FAE3


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Re: [RFC] Restricted version of gentoo-dev mailing list

Walter Dnes
In reply to this post by Michał Górny-5
On Wed, May 24, 2017 at 08:41:25AM +0200, Micha?? Górny wrote
> Next time such a thing happens, the discussion will happen on a
> completely private media or not happen at all because of the state
> of this mailing list. Is this what you really want?

  Here's the part you did not quote...

>> If we could have a guarantee of proposed changes like that being
>> posted on Gentoo-User for comment, rather than being sprung on
>> users by surprise, I'd be willing to sign off this list.

  Note where I said "...posted on Gentoo-User for comment...".  What I'm
asking is for such proposed changes to be posted on Gentoo-User, and the
discussion/feedback/flamefests/etc will be on Gentoo-User.  This type of
surprise stuff seems to happen a lot in Open Source...

* Gentoo /usr
* Firefox Australis UI, and dropping ALSA and going PulseAudio-only
* GNOME getting a hard-coded dependancy on systemd
* etc, etc

--
Walter Dnes <[hidden email]>
I don't run "desktop environments"; I run useful applications

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Re: [RFC] Restricted version of gentoo-dev mailing list

Rich Freeman
On Wed, May 24, 2017 at 3:48 AM, Walter Dnes <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Wed, May 24, 2017 at 08:41:25AM +0200, Micha?? Górny wrote
>> Next time such a thing happens, the discussion will happen on a
>> completely private media or not happen at all because of the state
>> of this mailing list. Is this what you really want?
>
>   Here's the part you did not quote...
>
>>> If we could have a guarantee of proposed changes like that being
>>> posted on Gentoo-User for comment, rather than being sprung on
>>> users by surprise, I'd be willing to sign off this list.
>
>   Note where I said "...posted on Gentoo-User for comment...".  What I'm
> asking is for such proposed changes to be posted on Gentoo-User, and the
> discussion/feedback/flamefests/etc will be on Gentoo-User.  This type of
> surprise stuff seems to happen a lot in Open Source...
>
> * Gentoo /usr
> * Firefox Australis UI, and dropping ALSA and going PulseAudio-only
> * GNOME getting a hard-coded dependancy on systemd
> * etc, etc
>

What value would be obtained by posting this stuff for user comment?
I'd also note that only one of those was posted on -dev-announce for
comment as far as I'm aware.  Two are package/project-level changes
which typically don't get wide discussion.

These sorts of changes aren't being made for the purpose of giving
users a hard time.  They're typically done because of technical
constraints.

Sure, it is valuable when somebody points out an issue nobody has
thought of.  However, dropping support for /usr not being mounted
during early boot was something that was recognized up-front as being
controversial.  It is doubtful that a bunch of additional list
contributors would have pointed out an issue that wasn't already
discussed or anticipated.  Sure, maybe we'd get 20 people posting that
they don't like the change, but that would have been unlikely to
actually change the outcome of the decision.  That basically means
that it is unhelpful.  We already knew that a lot of people weren't
going to like the change, and numerous developers said as much as
well.  The change was made because to some degree it had already
happened and it was the result of upstream forces that were becoming
increasingly difficult to work around.  For what its worth, I suspect
that a system with /usr mounted late probably isn't much more likely
to break today than it was back then - we just won't necessarily take
bug reports if it does in some corner case.

Honestly, I think the flamefests are generally not helpful.  For one
they tend to discourage contribution.  A few have already posted on
this list that Gentoo is well-known to be a community with lots of
infighting/etc.  Well, putting controversial changes out there just so
that people can complain about them isn't going to change that
reputation if we're going to make the change anyway.

Obviously there is only so much that we can do to stop people from
complaining, but keep in mind that every time somebody posts a "Gentoo
devs are out of touch" post/email/whatever it isn't exactly great for
PR.  Most of those who do contribute do so because it scratches some
personal itch and so a lot of us just ignore it (which probably wasn't
the goal of those complaining either).  However, there are probably
many who might get involved, and who might even listen to these
complaints in the future, who don't get involved because of them.  A
lot of the sentiment in these discussions is about trying to keep the
useful contributions without the noise.

My main concern with the multiple list suggestion is whether it will
actually accomplish the intended goal in the first place.  If not,
then the issue of social contract is a bit moot.

--
Rich

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Re: [RFC] Restricted version of gentoo-dev mailing list

Michał Górny-5
In reply to this post by Walter Dnes
On śro, 2017-05-24 at 03:48 -0400, Walter Dnes wrote:

> On Wed, May 24, 2017 at 08:41:25AM +0200, Micha?? Górny wrote
> > Next time such a thing happens, the discussion will happen on a
> > completely private media or not happen at all because of the state
> > of this mailing list. Is this what you really want?
>
>   Here's the part you did not quote...
>
> > > If we could have a guarantee of proposed changes like that being
> > > posted on Gentoo-User for comment, rather than being sprung on
> > > users by surprise, I'd be willing to sign off this list.
>
>   Note where I said "...posted on Gentoo-User for comment...".  What I'm
> asking is for such proposed changes to be posted on Gentoo-User, and the
> discussion/feedback/flamefests/etc will be on Gentoo-User.  This type of
> surprise stuff seems to happen a lot in Open Source...
>
> * Gentoo /usr
> * Firefox Australis UI, and dropping ALSA and going PulseAudio-only
> * GNOME getting a hard-coded dependancy on systemd
> * etc, etc
And what would be the use of those 'user comments'? Do you believe it
would change anything? So what is the purpose of asking more users from
feedback *we do not want*?

Would it make you feel better if you were asked to raise your objection?
Would you feel better claiming that we did it against objections of many
users? Or do you believe we would abandon it and decide not to do
anything because of the resulting bikeshed -- which seems to be
a recurring theme lately?

Yes, I *do not want feedback* on *how to do Gentoo* from people who do
*not help me do Gentoo* but instead only complain and demand.

--
Best regards,
Michał Górny

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