Re: Adjustments to our work mode - please read

Willy Tarreau <> Tue, 06 October 2015 05:49 UTC

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Date: Tue, 06 Oct 2015 07:45:13 +0200
From: Willy Tarreau <>
To: Mark Nottingham <>
Cc: HTTP Working Group <>, Barry Leiba <>
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Subject: Re: Adjustments to our work mode - please read
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Hi Mark!

On Mon, Oct 05, 2015 at 11:47:55AM +1100, Mark Nottingham wrote:
> Everyone,
> A number of folks have commented over the years about how it can be difficult
> to follow this mailing list. This is especially the case for HTTP
> implementers who don't have the time to focus on such a high-volume channel.

Interestingly, I think that the list provides *notifications*, something
that is not provided at all by a web interface that you have to spontaneously
visit to see if anything new was posted on each and every subject of interest.

With e-mails you can process one at a time when you have some time. A few
minutes several times a day. Emails can be marked read or moved to an archive
for example. You can also easily see if you've responded already and you keep
threading. I'm not seeing these possibilities with an issue tracker. To be
honnest, I'm already predicting that I'll disappear from the discussions
that I used to discover (like this one), because I've mostly been reacting
to certain discussions, which will not happen anymore. But let's try.

I'm also seeing something which I'm not sure will be easy to handle. Till
now, some e-mail based discussions were split in several threads leading
to multiple issues being created and addressed in parallel. I don't know
if it will be possible to split issues into several ones, and even if
possible I'm not sure it will be as easy to review the history of an issue
as easily as it is with e-mail.

But I welcome the experiment! If it is easier to deal with for certain
participants (I'm still wondering how and why) and these participants
provide more value than what we lose from other ones, it can in the end
be positive. We don't know yet and that's the purpose of an experiment.

In fact it raises an interesting point. It has always been difficult to
track issues on the list, especially during "hot" discussions. It has
happened several times that after things calmed down, some issues were
restarted because someone (any of us) forgot the outcome due to many
proposals made. We've seen this even more on hybi where it was very hard
to agree on something and all of us were trying hard not to restart an
issue by fear of losing the very small value we were seeing in the outcome.

So it doesn't appear a bad idea at all to try to mix this with an issue
tracker. If the experiment goes well, maybe we should switch to one which
supports bidirectional e-mail. That provides everything we lose above
plus the archival. For instance I've been dealing with some bugs handled
by bugzilla on some sites and was using e-mail just as we do here, without
having to check every day on the site if something new was posted regarding
the issue I was interested in, nor searching it everywhere.

In the mean time I have no idea if it's possible to configure github to
automatically post an e-mail here (in addition to the new list dedicated
to issues) to indicate that an issue was updated (and ideally with a copy
of the contribution). Or maybe it would simply be better not to have a list
dedicated to issues only. The current list is already for issues, that's
what participants discuss all the day. I don't know either if it's possible
to block edition to ensure we never lose any contents just because someone
felt that something he said was stupid and preferred to remove it. The value
is often in ideas initially considered as stupid :-)

Overall this seems like a good idea to experiment with and the right timing
to try it. There's no emergency to deliver anything critical right now, we
can try different formats without the risk of losing people/value/time yet.