Thanks for your email. I've read your response as well as those from all the 
others who responded and one thing is very unclear to me in the position being 
advanced. You write, and other respondents appear to share the following 

| I personally don't care if you have private discussions with other folks
| regardless of what their ATC status and impact on the community is. You're
| free to do so, I don't plan to critizice that and that's entirely your
| problem. However, I do care when those discussions happen in a private IRC
| channel because I don't beleive that's neither good for our community nor
| necessary.

How is a private IRC channel any different from a culture of private 
discussions? Having a chat over lunch, in the hallway, on the telephone, etc., 
If [hypothetically] you and I were located in the same location and were having 
these conversations and someone else joined us, we could just as well change 
the subject, no?

I fail to understand the fascination and focus on a private IRC channel as 
being somehow the instrument of evil and the cause of "back room decisions" 
that needs special attention?

If you don't care with whom I have private conversations [and] any impact they 
may have on the community,
how come you view private IRC channels as being different?

To be clear, I'm opposed to private conversations of all kinds if they impact 
the decision making in the community. And I agree with you that the correct 
approach is to build a culture where open conversation and discussion are 
fostered and encouraged. And a community where when people hear the statements 
similar to what you describe as "it was discussed in a call", they feel 
empowered to push back and force an open discussion.

So to summarize my first question, what's so evil about IRC (specifically) that 
you think it is bad but other private discussions that impact the community are 

Now, I have to assume that you are speculating that in these password protected 
IRC channels to which you have no access, there are all these decisions being 
made and discussions being had that you (and others) are being excluded from. 
And that the information therein is never revealed to the outside world and 
that this is bad for the community. 

I am a member of several private, password protected IRC channels (where the 
participants are OpenStack ATC's). After I read your email, I thought long and 
hard about what I'd seen in these private IRC channels. I can honestly tell you 

(a) the discussions there that could have been had on a public medium had 
nothing to do with OpenStack (unless OpenStack is impacted by the musical 
preferences of some participants, or OpenStack was adversely impacted by the 
fact that some people really love barbecue from a specific place, xkcd 
cartoons, and in one case a person saying he was leaving his [then] current 
employer and moving to a new workplace. I can give you some more if you would 
like but I think you get the idea). Oh, and someone shared a cute youtube video 
of their house lit up to music and it made me wonder whether I could do that 
with my raspberry Pi.

(b) the discussions that related to OpenStack could not have been had on a 
public medium. They involved things of a legal nature, they involved things of 
a sensitive and confidential nature, and they involved a couple of bugs that 
related to security.

The information about the barbecue is well known, i.e. there's no password 
required to go to this establishment but you have to get there at about 9am and 
wait in line. The fact that the individual in question has moved on from his 
[then] current employer is now also known. The discussion about the legal 
issues resulted in some actions being taken in the project, some code changes, 
some private conversations, and some not-insignificant legal expense for the 
parties involved. The issues relating to the security bugs have been addressed. 
The sensitive personnel issues are still a work in progress [I believe], but 
that’s my opinion.

So, I don't believe that there is anything happening in the channel(s) that I 
know of that I would consider to be detrimental to open communication in the 
community. And if anyone required me to have some of these conversations in 
public rather than in private I would rather leave the community in a hurry for 
fear of prosecution for slander [or libel depending on whether IRC is 
considered written or oral].

I firmly believe that it is important for us to build a community where open 
discussion and participation are important. And I didn't know about the 
programs you describe (outreach and GSoC) but I'll find out more and ping you 
about those (in a private message :)). I know not that which you talk about 
with respect to the fact that people who have been in the community longer 
appear to be more "not-open". 

Finally, you write:

| Our community is far from perfect but lets try to not make it worse.
| So, if you are participating in a private IRC channel, I ask you to please
| reconsider leaving such medium and encourage the openness.

Let me be honest with you and say this. If you or someone else can show me a 
good reason why the IRC channel (password protected) that I participate in is 
somehow bad for open communication, I will be happy to fix that. And so far, no 
real indication of why IRC is worse than a private phone call or a water-cooler 
conversation on a regular basis. So if you think that eliminating private IRC 
channels will solve some problem, I have to tell you that this it is my 
considered opinion that this is a misguided notion, and suggest that in the 
interest of the shared goal that we have (open communication, ...) that we 
address the real problems and build the right behaviors.

Stefano writes,

| On Thu, 2015-02-12 at 10:37 +0100, Thierry Carrez wrote:
| > Right. You can't prevent occasional private discussions and pings, and
| > you shouldn't. It's when you encourage and officialize them (by for
| > example creating a channel for them) that things start to go bad.
| Yes, that's very bad. Private IRC channels are a bad habit that reinforces
| a bad, anti-social behavior. And IRC is mostly a habit: I join tens of
| channels but I regularly read one or two. Most people I know have similar
| habits.
| Private conversations are a fact of life but in OpenStack space they
| should be the *exception*, created when needed and destroyed after the
| crisis.
| I have private conversations all the time: they are about specific
| individuals, include sensitive data, legal issues that cannot be diffused
| and similar. I create a private channel or a PM for that conversation
| only.
| I don't hang out with others in a private channel: that's a very bad
| habit. if you have a private channel you hangout there, you'll read that
| channel, share jokes on that and will eventually throw in there topics to
| discuss that are perfectly safe to discuss publicly.

Stefano, I agree. Private conversations should be the norm. And private 
conversations that circumvent the public discussion decision making process are 
bad. Why then the specific demonization of private IRC in particular?

My 2c, and thanks for surfacing this issue and keeping this conversation in the 



Amrith Kumar, CTO Tesora (www.tesora.com)

Twitter: @amrithkumar  
IRC: amrith @freenode 

| -----Original Message-----
| From: Flavio Percoco [mailto:fla...@redhat.com]
| Sent: Thursday, February 12, 2015 3:06 AM
| To: OpenStack Development Mailing List (not for usage questions)
| Subject: Re: [openstack-dev] [all][tc] Lets keep our community open, lets
| fight for it
| On 11/02/15 17:19 +0000, Amrith Kumar wrote:
| [snip]
| >Mostly, I'm very happy to see Flavio's email which ends with this:
| >
| >> All the above being said, I'd like to thank everyone who fights for
| >> the openness of our community and encourage everyone to make that a
| >> must have thing in each sub-community. You don't need to be core-
| reviewer or PTL to do so. Speak up and help keeping the community as open
| as possible.
| >
| >Open decision making and discussion are absolutely the lifeblood of an
| open source community. And I agree, as an ATC I will fight for the open
| discussion and decision making. In equal measure, I recognize that I'm
| human and there are times when a quiet "sidebar" with someone, either on
| the telephone, or over a glass of suitable beverage can go further and
| quicker than any extent of public conversation with the exact same
| participants.
| >
| >You write:
| >
| >| This is seriously disturbing.
| >
| >Yes, what would be seriously disturbing would be if there were decisions
| being made without the open/public scrutiny.
| >
| >There seems to be a leap-of-faith that a private IRC channel implies
| covert decisions and therefore they should be shutdown. OK, great, the
| Twenty-First Amendment took the same point of view, see how well that
| worked out.
| >
| >I assure you that later today, tomorrow, and the next day, I will have
| private conversations with other ATC's. Some will be on the telephone, and
| some will be on public IRC channels with some totally unique name that
| you'd never know to guess. But, I will try my best to, and I welcome the
| feedback when people feel that I deviate from the norm of ensuring public,
| open discussion and decision making where all are invited to participate.
| >
| >Personally, I think the focus on password protected IRC channels is a
| distraction from the real issue that we need to ensure that the rapidly
| growing community is one where public discussion and decision making are
| still "the norm". Let's be adult about it and realize that people will
| have private conversations. What we need to focus on is ensuring that the
| community rejects "private decision making".
| I personally don't care if you have private discussions with other folks
| regardless of what their ATC status and impact on the community is. You're
| free to do so, I don't plan to critizice that and that's entirely your
| problem. However, I do care when those discussions happen in a private IRC
| channel because I don't beleive that's neither good for our community nor
| necessary.
| It's not good for our community because it *excludes* people that are not
| in such channels and it creates the wrong message around what core means,
| just like it happened with "integrated" projects and like it happens with
| PTLs. In addition to that, it isolates discussions which is something
| we've been encouraging people not to do because not everyone sees it the
| same way.
| Furthermore, I don't think it is necessary because at the very end you
| will have to disclose the discussion in order to make it effective
| upstream. If this is not happening for you then I really don't want to
| know it because I'd just rage quit. The reason for that is that the only
| way to push something upstream without disclosing a hallway/phone
| conversation is by having a small group of folks pushing whatever was
| discussed quickly enough to avoid other community interactions, which is
| more than just wrong.
| Side Note: note that the above is not an accusation but just a speculation
| based on your previous email and on the fact that I keep fooling myself
| with the thought that I had seen it all and then finding out new things.
| Unfortunately, being an adult doesn't seem to be enough, we're lacking of
| education on how open-source works and it's affecting a community that
| we've been fighting to keep open and welcoming. If these "casual"
| private conversations are affecting our community, I'd rather not have
| them than seeing the work of these last years vanish.
| Our community is far from perfect but lets try to not make it worse.
| So, if you are participating in a private IRC channel, I ask you to please
| reconsider leaving such medium and encourage the openness.
| One last note. As someone that has mentored for the last three cycles in
| Outreachy and that also mentored in GSoC in one of those cycles (That
| makes it 4 programs in 3 cycles), I find it very offensive that people
| that have been longer in this community do the opposite of what I've been
| encouraging the participants of these programs to do. That is, having the
| courage to participate in public discussion and engaging with the
| community.
| >There, I said it, and I said it in the open.
| And I infinitely thank you for this.
| Flavio
| --
| @flaper87
| Flavio Percoco
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