#gnucash public logging?

Josh Sled jsled at asynchronous.org
Mon Dec 11 19:19:27 EST 2006

After our long-serving channel bot Scrambler had gone away for a period
of time, we setup a new channel bot (gncbot) for #gnucash, which is
hosted on {svn,lists,wiki}.gnucash.org.

Another IRC channel that I frequent has a persistant, public channel
logger: all channel activity is recorded, html-ized and published via
HTTP.  It is then indexed (primarily by Google, of course, though we
have namazu as well) and searchable.  I propose that we should institute
the same mechanism for #gnucash.

It turns out to be a convenient way to record both specific and general
project knowledge.  As well, the logs can be useful to "backfill"
participants who are joining in the middle of a conversation, as well as
those (devs and interested parties) who haven't decided to inhabit the
channel persistently, but are curious about the goings on they might
miss.  As well, a longer discussion which results in a decision no
longer needs to be copy-and-pasted to -devel, since the URL of the logs
can be posted.

On the down side, it does change the dynamic of the channel, both for
the transient participants as well as the devs.  We have certainly used
the channel to discuss things that we would consider "private".
However, the logger does support an "[off]"-log prefix, and in my
experience this actually works pretty well in allowing off-log
conversation; however, it only works if you know about it...

It's only courteous to inform random people who stop by the channel that
they're being recorded and published.  While people do seem to err on
the side of caution when spilling personal financial details, that is
another wrinkle.  The channel topic probably suffices, but some sort of
channel entry notice -- as supported by the channel service of most
other IRC networks -- would be better.

On the whole, I think publishing channel logs is a win, or I wouldn't be
suggesting it. :)  But what do you think?  I guess the options are:

- do it.
- do it for a month or two and re-evaluate.
- don't do it.

http://asynchronous.org/ - `a=jsled; b=asynchronous.org; echo ${a}@${b}`
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