KDE Doc: What mailinglist to use

Frans Englich frans.englich at telia.com
Thu Aug 26 04:51:54 BST 2004

I have many thoughts on the subjects touched in the top mail, so I'll split 
the reply up in several mails.

>  o set up a mailing list: kde-guidelines at kde.org

We use multiple mailinglists to reduce traffic by narrowing its content. The 
downside with multiple mailinglists is people only subscribe to a set of them 
and hence miss what goes on on the others(communication overhead), and that 
lists with too low traffic dies and witter away -- there are examples of 
both. In other words, we don't want to add yet another mailinglist unless 
it's necessary.

Is it suitable to start kde-guidelines, and if not, what should be used 

There's /currently/ a lot of attention around this project, but it will run 
over a long time and it's quite possible things naturally settle down or even 
that people loose interest, get hit by a car, get a baby, etc., and then we 
easily end in the situation where we have a "ghost" list; perhaps we will 
have a little bit too much traffic initially if we choose an existing list, 
but rather that than a dry river later on. Remember kde-usability-devel.

By choosing existing list(s) we gain the following advantages:

* Better exposure and larger idea flow. With a separate list, only those who 
"hardcore writers" will be on the list, and this typical knowledge net 
caused by different people who knows what goes on in all corners, and what's 
relevant, is lost. All the expertise the people on the current lists have, is 

* Free publicity and integration. For example, the HIG means everything to 
usability development, and by having HIG development on kde-usability it 
brings awareness and focus on the guidelines. Many people who (up till now I 
guess) haven't participated in the KDE community would also easier slip in; 
and this huge project come closer to the community(instead of a group of 
wizards working far away on a cathedral).

* More relevant content. People don't want to know about Guidelines in 
general, they want to participate in guidelines related to artwork, 
accessibility, or usability.

What lists then?

Accessibility is a subset of usability(taking a certain user group in 
consideration) and artwork is also a subset of usability(focuses on a certain 
technical part, not widgets, but pictures and colors): The central subject of 
all this is usability, and hence kde-usability is suitable as a main list. 
kde-www would be used for technical issues(having all the people on that list 
as help desk), and kde-a11n and kde-artists CC'd/mailed when those are more 
suitable than kde-usability.

But isn't kde-usability a pain?

Personally, I think the last month have been outstanding: Big documentation 
projects, two kick-ass reports, and a fruitful KControl thread. But right, it 
can be noisy.

kde-usability doesn't need ignorance -- it need help. I think the list shows 
the problems the open source community have with usability development; we 
need to be able to handle the "ordinary" community, and by bringing high 
quality discussions, competent people, and Real Work to that list it will 
shape up. Combine moderation with kua8[1] which is my planned tool for 
shaping up the list, and the result is a noise free list, and two subjects 
automatically synced which would need extra work anyway. With good work we can 
"ride the storm out" of kde-usability and wipe that problem away too.	

BTW, assumptions from private mails with Ellen, reaches the conclusion she's 
not on kde-core-devel nor kde-usability. On what lists are people? Isn't it a 
good idea if people who are to maintain our guidelines are on our common 


What is KDE Usability Articles? More about that in another thread.

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