[hackerspaces] Productive conversations (was: Unified Open Source / Open Development dashboard for projects)

Nathaniel Bezanson myself at telcodata.us
Mon Oct 10 17:38:06 CEST 2011

This is a process known as bikeshedding, or painting the bikeshed:

Simply being aware of the phenomenon, and raising it (like Godwin's law
when an argument becomes silly, or The Complicator's Gloves) at the
appropriate time, can bring conversation back on track and lead people to
focus again.

I'm forking the subject line here, because I think this is an interesting
topic I've been meaning to ask on this list for a while: How do you keep
etiquette on your hackerspace's mailing-list or forum? How do people
manage to be productive, when there's so much temptation to discuss
trivialties ad nauseam?

I feel that in part, it's been an especially big problem at i3detroit
because so many of our members are do-it-yourselfers but not computer
experts, and not netiquette-savvy, and turning a single shouting noob into
a considerate community member takes a whole lot of time and patience from
an ever-larger group.



> "What if open source projects would have possibility to use unified
> dashboard instead of creating one for every project?"
> In my opinion the answer to that question is "Then they would fork the
> code a thousand times to make similar but slightly incompatible
> versions of that dashboard for reasons that are ultimately trivial but
> that the developers think are very important to their projects."

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