[Linux-aus] Spam, Admin, Ctte Policy, Language, Bret et al

Leon Brooks leon at cyberknights.com.au
Sun Mar 16 09:55:02 UTC 2003

Please think of this post as part of an open, informal, semi-committee 

On Friday 14 March 2003 04:09 pm, Stewart Smith wrote:
> I am going to now speak in my role of Vice President of Linux Australia
> and my views should be taken as my own, not that of the entire
> committee as I have not explicitly discussed all of this with them.

Likewise me as OCM.

> Spam: It happens, get over it.

Agree. Or block it on your own server; many tools to do so are freely 
available and free of cost.

> The list is open for a reason: to create an open forum for discussion
> where anyone can post. It means that to ask a simple question, or to
> find out some info, people don't have to subscribe and put up with VERY
> off topic discussions (like what's been taking up the bandwidth
> recently).

We could have this with the addition of a keyword system (e.g. if the word 
`abracadabra' is present in the body the message is accepted even if from a 
non-member unless the address is explicitly blocked, else the poster has to 
be a member). This would mean that a human reading a page with the email on 
it would be able to post freely, but a machine wouldn't be clever enough to 
sort it out. Yet.

> If you don't like the policy of the list (as set by the admin), then
> don't be on it.

Concur. If you don't like it, start your own list: if it's any good, people 
will join it, if it's not, you just learned something extremely valuable.

> Committee Policy: Just because Pia doesn't get involved with every
> thread on every list doesn't mean the committee doesn't care/have an
> interest. Nobody has the time for getting that involved and still do
> anything constructive.

Concur; "hear, hear" even.

> Language: This varies greatly from list-to-list (and forum-to-forum and
> irc channel-to-channel). Personally, I would like to see this list kept
> as polite and welcoming as possible.

Concur. It's possible to tear strips off someone very politely, and while 
offensive language can be an effective guage of the depth of feeling 
involved, one has to ask if the point of such a posting is to express one's 
feelings or to achieve something useful (either can be achieved without the 

> I usually try to keep to this, but
> I am a self confessed compulsive swearer. I know I don't mean to offend
> (and if I do, then please inform me that you weren't comfortable with
> it and I'll endeavor to change my language usage in the future).

Good policy. I take the view that others have a right to swear and so do I, 
but it's not often useful, and the policy on such for a list should reflect 
the purpose and membership. Linux-Aus is an open, public, first-port-of-call 
list where people pick up first impressions, so should be extremely polite 
and reasonably politically correct.

In the context of recent discussions, I would rate one single meta-whinge 
about spam - *not* including a full quote of every character - to be quota. 
If nothing gets done about it, such is life.

The place to *complain* is the Committee list, since the Committee is the 
channel through which such policy decisions are made, unless the function in 
question has been delegated (and OTToMH, in this case listmastership was 
explicitly retained by Anand).

In case the delegee is not responsive, Committee is again the final port of 
call. If you don't like what Committee does, elect a new one.

Here, the delegee was responsive, he said `no'. That's a valid choice. I don't 
agree with Anand about everything, and in fact I'd like to see a little more 
Committee discussion on this and so will raise it at the next meeting, but 
until then the point has been made, Anand has charge of that area, so be it 
and I'm happy.

As a general comment, if "you" want charge of that area, feel free to 
demonstrate your talents with a view to either being elected to a position 
with influence over that, or convincing Committee that you're the (wo)man for 
the job.

> Bret: If your aim is to get people not to like you, then you're doing
> the right thing.


> Learn when to stop and get some net-etiquette. The fact that some
> members have asked that you be removed from the list is not a good
> sign, and I do hope that this does not become necessary to keep
> linux-aus a welcoming place.


> I would *really* like the discussion on spam to the list to STOP NOW!

If there's any new opinion, this list is probably a place to raise it. 
However, it is unquestionably not the place to ride a hobby horse. I 
continued this discussion by one message to demonstrate:

  * visible Committee support for Stewart's position;

  * that Committee are unquestionably aware of the issues;

  * that the aware Committee is not simply disregarding any requests for
    a closed list;

  * that the Committee process continues to operate, even in favour of a
    complainant who has a steady and widespread record of misbehaviour
    and impoliteness;

  * that if Committee as a whole makes a decision which does not match my
    ideals, I will still support Committee because I firmly believe that
    they are all honest, hard-working, experienced, talented, reasonable
    and polite people who have donated time and effort to the greater
    public good.

If you're looking for a perfect world, you're in the wrong place at the wrong 
time. Nevertheless, I'd like to thank those people who have made 
constructive, informed and reasonable contributions to this discussion, and 
ask that if you have any more points to make, please direct them to 

If I see any more ranting here (which includes en-bloc quotes of spam or 
abusive responses to same) I'll take it as an abuse of this list for 
political or personal ends. For the benefit of the remainder of the list, 
I'll move to have the offender promptly banned.

Signed, rotten scheming non-representative scoundrel OCM from the West. (-:


http://cyberknights.com.au/     Modern tools; traditional dedication
http://plug.linux.org.au/       Committee Member, Perth Linux User Group
http://slpwa.asn.au/            Committee Member, Linux Professionals WA
http://linux.org.au/            Committee Member, Linux Australia

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