On Sun, Jun 10, 2007 at 12:50:11PM -0400, Greg Smith wrote:

> This is all true, but the reality here is that people in such a situation 
> are usually flat-out violating their corporate policy by posting to the 
> list at all from inside this kind of company.  

We don't know that in advance, and we can't know it, either.  If
someone wants to do something wrong, that's not our responsibility or
fault; and by posting to a mailing list, the purported cover offered
by the disclaimer is lost (on this we seem to have ample agreement).

> I've watched more than one attempt to sneak open-source source into a 
> large enterprise get completely blown away because unapproved mailing list 
> involvement to resolve issues became associated with making corporate 
> information public.

It might not be "sneaking"; it might in fact be two camps within a
company disagreeing about this.  Imagine, for instance, the case
where the operations department of a company (to which the current
DBAs report) are opposed to any changes, because their Oracle DBAs
feel threatened and their boss thinks his career is enhanced by a
large budget under management.  At the same time, the new product
development department is under pressure to lower costs and deliver
new services without adding more licenses.  Since operations controls
the mail servers and the firewalls (and are adding the disclaimer),
the developers will get no help from the operations people in making
things work better.  But if the developers really do deliver a new
service that costs substantially less than, say, what it would have
with Oracle, Postgres gradually finds a place in the company.  And
these developers have a mandate to change things.  That's how change
happens in large companies, and we have to remember that we won't be
talking to the people who don't want the change to happen.

> Ever watched someone get fired for responding to "can you post your config 
> file?" in an environment where that's a clear violation of corporate 
> policy?  I have.

You bet.  But what we seem to be asking in this thread is that people
find some way to violate what is clearly a corporate policy, or we
won't help them.  We don't _know_ whether some other policy is being
violated, and it's not our responsibility to know it either.  Since
we claim that we have such great community support, though, we do
have a responsibility at least to try to support people.

Perhaps we make a policy that corporate-style ("disclaimered") mail
is encouraged to seek support via corporate-style channels (e.g. is
pointed at the commercial support companies).  I'm uncomfortable with
such a policy, but it'd be better than "ignore these nasty corporate
victims", which is what the proposal so far sounds like to me.


Andrew Sullivan  | [EMAIL PROTECTED]
I remember when computers were frustrating because they *did* exactly what 
you told them to.  That actually seems sort of quaint now.
                --J.D. Baldwin

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