URGENT: A Plea to the owners of linux.dev.kernel

Todd Graham Lewis (tlewis@mindspring.com)
Wed, 2 Apr 1997 12:42:28 -0500

On Mon, 31 Mar 1997, Matthew Barbour wrote:

> No intent to flame here, but yes it is off subject. These type of issues
> are better discussed on the Newsgroups.


Sometime, Christian Lameter wrote:

> Get Debian from ftp.debian.org...
> But what does this have to do with the kernel? I have not seen kernel
> related messages for awhile on linux.dev.kernel. Anything wrong?


On 28 Mar 1997, Neal Becker wrote:

> About 75% of the stuff being posted to this list has nothing to do
> with linux kernel. Can we please stop using this as a place to ask
> arbitrary sorts of linux question? I understand that sometimes one
> isn't sure if a problem is kernel-related, but we've gone way beyond
> that.

These are but three of the many complaints coming into the list over the
past few days.

The kernel developers' list has been riddled with off-topic, inappropriate
posts for a while now, and the trend is getting much worse. This is a
very real problem, especially given the propensity of Linux users and
developers never to rebuke an inappropriate posting, or even when rebuking
the poster to offer an answer to his question, thereby offering absolutely
no incentive for newbies et al. to go to the help groups rather than to
the friggin' kernel developers' list.

Those of us who lurk here, silently soaking up the wisdom put forth by the
developers in the hopes of someday being kernel-clueful are, by and large,
distraught over this turn of events. Increasingly, the kernel developers
are turning away from public fora for kernel development towards private
one-on-one mail and private lists. I don't blame them one bit for this; I
would much rather they be able to continue kernel development, and private
lists are, in the present case, probably the only way they can do this.
But while I can understand and sympathize with the motivations behind
this trend, I can't help but bemoan it.

What, then, can be done? Simply put, linux.dev.kernel should become at
least quasi-moderated. Linus, Alan, maybe David if he's polite (8^), and
the rest of the developer crew should have carte-blanche access. Others
who have proven their cluefulness by posting ten(?) or more approved
articles are given posting privileges. Everyone else, including myself,
has to have their submissions moderated.

If a step similar in effect to this one is not taken, then the days of
public and open kernel development will soon (and may already be) over.
I'm not saying that this step is the only one which can solve the problem,
but some step must be taken.

Yggdrasil? Rutgers? Does anyone out there even care anymore? Am I the
only one who enjoys (enjoyed) reading clueful discussions on

Todd Graham Lewis             Linux!                 Core Engineering
Mindspring Enterprises  tlewis@mindspring.com   (800) 719 4664, x2804