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Re: Moving from Launchpad lists to something else... ?


Hi Kristian,

Memories of September 2013 are coming back… Standard disclaimers apply: I am speaking for myself here, and I get paid by MariaDB Corporation to work on MariaDB Server. I am *not* on the Management Team (but am on the Extended Management Team, basically as a mariadb guy without portfolio) of MariaDB Corporation, and largely a lot of the work I do is meant to benefit MariaDB Server and the community at large. But also I offer insight/opinions/etc in a role that spans organisation wide.

> Colin Charles <colin@xxxxxxxxxxx> writes:
>> I was speaking to Otto (CEO, MariaDB Foundation) and discussing that
>> we should move the lists from Launchpad to something else. We
> The most important is that people can subscribe to the list without having
> to create an account. This is the problem with Launchpad.
> However, the problem with the mailing list is not where it is hosted. It is
> that the majority of development happens off-list!
> The developer mailing list is the core of a healthy open-source project that
> treats developers equally. It is where everyone, newbie or core developer,
> can first learn how the project runs, and later follow what is going on.

Development does happen off-list, sometimes in #maria, and sometimes in #maria-call (which we are trying to kill for #maria only — this largely inspired by you, who only joins #maria), but overall many things are just in the open.

While I can’t speak for Rasmus, I think the sprint information he sends to people that report to him as opposed to the developers mailing list because the community doesn’t report to him. Can we make it public? I don’t see why not.

I’m also a creature of habit, and while I try to send all relevant emails to maria-developers@ or maria-discuss@, I also have hardwired in me, Shift+Mac+R, which basically is reply-all. I rarely bother adding/removing email addresses because that involves me using the trackpad.

I agree with you re: the developer mailing list; I think we should have less discussions on IRC and document everything on the lists. Its important to know why things happen. I continually refer back to Jira when I want to know why we make decisions as well. However I guess with being distributed, like many an OSS project, its clear that immediacy needs to happen in discussions sometime hence the use of IRC. As a bonus, we do have archives — http://marialog.archivist.info/

I know you don’t join the Maria call we have, but even I miss out on many of the calls due to my hectic travel schedule. I will admit to enjoying talking to my colleagues (fellow Maria captains employed by MariaDB Corporation and MariaDB Foundation) when I get the chance to. Do you suggest we also have an open call for all? I don’t see why not if it can add value and not take precious time away from crucial development

> But not so in MariaDB. So many people from SkySQL casually divide the world
> into first-class SkySQL employees, who are included in discussions. And
> second-class others, who are casually kept out, as a matter of course.

I cannot control what happens when support people (or consultants, or product management) send you email. I am very happy that generally you always CC the list in your responses, but even I myself don’t get those emails unless it hits the list. And if you’re referring to actual support questions, I guess its clear that people use the support system and since you and I get paid by MariaDB Corporation, we have to use their tools to ensure that our customers are getting the best service possible.

> Just look at the below random example from a closed mailing list open only
> to employees. Stuff like this happens all the time, on closed mailing lists,
> closed IRC channels, and latest I think a company-internal chat tool called
> "Slack”.

I guess the discussion you quoted could have happened on maria-developers@ (though I think no one on that list appreciates you sharing company-internal discussion, externally).

I’m looking at to:all@xxxxxxxxxxx and I see mostly boring stuff like:
[All] Leaving from hotel to dev meeting at 9:00
[All] The booking.com boat tour signup
You have a session to lead at the MariaDB Developers Meeting
[All] Current MariaDB sprint
[All] Daniel out for the next week
[All] Can't do the Maria call
[All] Book your flights for company and developers meeting
[All] back from vacations
JIRA SOAP API will be removed

In fact the only email I sent there in 2015 was titled:
MySQL Meetup Monday night 6.30pm (TONIGHT)

With a very boring body:
We have a meetup tonight, at 6.30pm. You are all encouraged to give a 5-10 minute talk, so bring your laptops :)

We can meet by 6pm at the lobby and leave together. The address is:
Marktplaats/eBay Office Amsterdam
Wibautstraat 224, Amsterdam

See you all tonight and there will be pizza & beer/soft drinks.

So I’m not sure that it’s a big deal that all@xxxxxxxxxxx exists. The discussion you quoted is something *extremely* rare (most don’t even have replies). Though I’m happy my “prediction” of Oct 19 as GA for 5.7 pretty much came true. Again I’m a Shift+Mac+R person, so didn’t even see where the discussion happened (yes, I do not filter my email, it all comes to INBOX because all emails are equally important to be dealt with — whether MariaDB Corporation or community related)

Slack is a tool that the company ( MariaDB Corporation ) not the project or the MariaDB Foundation uses. I can’t speak on behalf of the MariaDB Foundation but project stuff generally happens on #maria on freenode. Slack exists so that people within MariaDB Corporation can speak to other colleagues, esp. on issues like support, etc. But also to act as a watercooler. You’ve resisted joining Slack and its your own personal choice, but I’m on it, just so I can interact with my new (well, now 2+ years since the merger of SkySQL Ab and Monty Program Ab) colleagues.

> Basically, MariaDB is turning into a proprietary project to build a business
> for a struggling venture-funded startup. It just happens to be bound by the
> original GPL license to release source of the main product, though even that
> is desperately attempted being circumvented by stuff like "MariaDB
> enterprise”.

While I’m not privileged to know if MariaDB Corporation is a struggling venture-funded startup, I can assure you that I did not sign up to work on anything proprietary (and probably neither did you). MariaDB Server is 100% opensource GPLv2. MariaDB MaxScale (which I don’t personally work on) is also 100% opensource GPLv2. And last I checked, this whole idea of MariaDB Enterprise is also 100% GPLv2 and opensource (again something I do not work on). Whether the idea is a good one or not, is a topic for another discussion, but if you think there is any circumvention, please let me/Rasmus know so we can fix it.

> So Colin, and others: Why bother working to move the mailing list elsewhere?
> Spend first your efforts to coerce everyone to actually use the mailing
> list, and to remove non-public communication channels. Start with yourself.
> Cc all mails you send to the public mailing list. Stop using non-puclic IRC
> or other channels, and ask people to use the public channels if they want to
> contact you.

Kristian, I admire your zeal when it comes to things being done in the open. When MariaDB Corporation people ask me how to reach you, I always say, “use the public lists or ping him on irc”. When it involves customer specific cases, I hope you understand why they can’t do that?

I do try to coerce everyone to actually use the list (I myself like using it — except in instances like this where we wash dirty linen in public). I can’t remove myself from non-public communication channels because my salary is paid by MariaDB Corporation and I am duty bound to read their emails. I can’t CC all mails I send to a public list, considering I also deal with customers, sales people, support, products, etc. My role spans much of the organisation so its quite hard to CC everything to the public (and again I can’t ask MariaDB Corporation employees to use public lists for everything either).

We have brought up and said that most discussions will happen on #maria. If you came to Amsterdam a little earlier, you will note that this was a goal from that meeting.

I hope this alleviates your concerns, and I wish you will act with tact and consideration going forward


Colin Charles, Chief Evangelist, MariaDB Corporation
blog: http://bytebot.net/blog/ | t: +1-347-903-3201 | Skype: colincharles | Twitter: @bytebot

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