An important advice/directive about repo management registration, thread hijacking and other recent items #AdminNotice

 

Dear add-ons list members,

 

This is your friendly list owner/head moderator speaking…

 

After reviewing recent messages posted to this forum, I think it’d be best to send out an admin notice so we can be on the same page regarding some important things:

 

Thread hijacking: unless you have really compelling justifications, please do not hijack threads. The most recent occurrence being asking for a CAPTCHA solver when an active review of an add-on was happening; a thread about reviewing a potential add-on should not be a runway to complain about lack of an add-on that resolves something totally different than what the add-on under review is trying to solve. I might go so far as kindly request that you DO NOT (ever again) hijack an add-on review thread UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, because doing so breaks the review workflow and concentration of add-on reviewers and authors.

 

Suppose an active review thread is going on, and suddenly you got an idea you wish to talk about that may have nothing to do with the add-on under review. One way to do so without breaking the review workflow is starting a new topic, unless you reply to the review thread and give a compelling justification. In this case, I would like to advise authors and reviewers to take it as a feedback item.

 

Requesting access to Bitbucket repo: a few years ago, we had a situation where someone was granted access to addonFiles repo, and somehow deleted that whole repo. Since then, we’ve become a bit stricter about who has access to that repo. In case of our latest addition (no, not the one that came afterwards, which I’ll address below), I’m okay with this for now; however, in the future, I think it’d be best to grant access to only those who have a track record of providing reviews and known to be reliable at their duties, all of this subject to a community-wide dialogue about repo management.

 

Now as for the access request that came in a few hours ago: if this person fulfills all of the following criteria, then I believe this individual should be given at least commit rights:

 

  1. Has done at least one basic review (I think, without that, request should be denied).
  2. Known to be a reliable role model in terms of add-on authoring, reviewing, maintenance, and promotion (repo management is a job with tons of responsibilities).
  3. Known to be responsive to communication to and from users and other developers.
  4. Keeps an eye on NvDA Core development.

 

Although personal issues may weigh in, I think that should not be the sole reason for saying “no” when repo access is requested. Remember this though: if the access request is done in a manner that is seen (perceived or actual) as threatening or harmful to the individual being asked to register a new maintainer, or for that matter, to the whole community, access request will be denied, and this will be archived forever (to serve as a lesson for the actual individual who did this in the first place, as well as for the community). I do know that this is not going to be easy for some of us to digest, but requesting access to add-on files repo means you are ready to commit yourself to becoming a role model in terms of maintaining an important repo (hence the really high standards).

 

Lastly, about perceived or actual interpersonal conflicts: we are interpersonal beings, and we’re surrounded by conflicts – both personal and social. I do understand that interpersonal conflicts may arise on forums like this, and I do let some of them slip by (I also had conflicts with some folks a while back, now resolved). But I think we must remember that our words and conduct matters, especially part of NVDA’s reputation stems from social belonging, along with what we create and distribute. Under any circumstances I will not advocate for a complete ban on personal comments that could spark conflicts (policies like that, although good, does not work well in practice), but if the need arises to address an individual in a way that may bring harm to others, I would like to ask you to do the following: take a deep breath, walk around, and write a warmer message to the individual you are having issues with offlist.

 

That’s all. As always, you can address me and other mods here by sending a message to nvda-addons+owner@groups.io (or if you need to talk to me alone, you can always reach me via my email address).

Thank you.

Cheers,

Joseph

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