[linux-dvb] [Proposal] Regarding the mailing lists

CityK CityK at rogers.com
Fri Jan 11 00:33:13 CET 2008

As many of you know, I'm working towards a merger of the two subsystem's 
wiki's, as it just seems to be a logical step in regards to 
informational purposes.

But, for a good while now, there has been something else that has struck 
me as being another very logical step towards providing general 
improvement around here.  Specifically, after having seen an increased 
frequency of "dvb-related" posts on the v4l list, and vice versa, as 
well as the large number of such mis-postings commonly entertained  on 
the two #irc channels, it has spurred me into thinking/believing that a  
change on both of these fronts is required.  Here is what I suggest:

- merge/consolidate  the [linux-dvb] and [video4linux-list]  into one 
"[LinuxTV-users]" list

- that a separate, but totally open and transparent, "[LinuxTV-devel]" 
list be created for the express purpose of housing v4l and dvb subsystem 
development discussions ... Now some might say "keep the subsystem's 
discussions separate!", which is fine - i.e. we could simply create, for 
example, "[LinuxTV-v4l- devel]" and "[LinuxTV-dvb-devel]" ... although, 
in my assessment, given that there is a low amount of traffic in these 
regards (i.e. actual development discussion, as opposed to end user 
problems and troubleshooting),  I'm not sure that the creation of 
separate "devel" lists is necessarily warranted ...discussions placed on 
a single "[LinuxTV-devel]" list could easily be made to distinguish the 
topic coverage by simply using a "v4l:" or" dvb:" prefix in the subject 
header.  But again, if distinct development discussion lists are deemed 
more desirable (for whatever bona fide argument)  then that is perfectly 

- the maintainer list .. well, it can either stay as is, or perhaps it 
might be logical to wind it up and move its operations into the unified 
devel list (or separate devel lists if that is deemed more desirable) 
... there may be perfectly good reasons (that I'm unaware of or 
overlooking)  for keeping it as is, so its not particularly important 
... but in the context of creating a "[LinuxTV-devel]" list, it seems 
that having a separate maintainer list just for patch and pull requests 
would be kind of redundant and better served on the "devel" list as well

One factor that perhaps adds some weight to this argument/proposal is 
the diminishing importance that analogue TV related issues are going to 
hold over time ( as more and more countries switch to digital 
transmission systems).  Of course, the light won't go out for analogue 
TV for a number of years to come, but I think that users familiar to the 
lists will have already noticed the trend towards dvb related topics on 
the v4l list.

Some of the other "pro" arguments to back this proposal are as follows:

- ease and convenience for the end user (i.e one list, and not two 
separate lists) ... quite frankly, the typical end user does not 
understand or make the distinction that v4l is an analogue related 
subsystem -- its all video for linux for them -- both dvb or analogue 
questions ... similarly, I have doubts that all that many end users 
really grasp that dvb is in relation to a digital subsystem.
- in general, I like the unified branding that "LinuxTV" permits ... its 
about TV on Linux based computer systems ... its name should be pretty 
straight forward in conveying that fact (at least, it strikes me as 
being such) ... and it avoids the end user having to figure whether they 
need to post on v4l or on linux-dvb lists ... quite frankly, "v4l" is a 
poor descriptor -- if I were a novice, I'd be more inclined to think 
that it was about video cards as opposed to being an analogue capture 
subsystem...in these regards, "dvb" certainly isn't much better in 
conveying that its dealing with the reception or capture of (digital) 

- turning to the #irc channels, the same arguments hold, except that the 
dvb related channel isn't even named as such...rather it carries the 
"linuxtv" name ... now, I know that the channel topic headers will 
describe the type of discussion related to that channel, but honestly, 
next to no one heeds any attention to that...so it is of my opinion that 
the situation is even less then clear for the end user....in my opinion, 
its time to make a single channel function for all end users .... if so 
desired  even two channels -- "#LinuxTV-users" (or even just usurp the 
existing #linuxtv channel into becoming multifunctional) and possibly 
another for developers if they so desire (i.e. "#LinuxTV-dvel")

In short, we can:
- help alleviate end user confusion
- improve the lines of communication (i.e end users will only need 
approach one list/#irc for their TV or capturing need, regardless of 
whether their questions/problems are analogue or dvb related)
- provide a greater user pool looking at all the end user problems
- capitalize on a unified branding (i.e. "LinuxTV")
- help promote a unified front/effort, and put an end to the 
segmentation .... something that I feel is needlessly too common of an 
occurrence in respect to Linux ..... (nine hundred and ninety-nine 
largely non differing distros being a prime example)

... and perhaps some other good reasons that I'm just not thinking about 
right now.

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