[uf-discuss] Reflections on community time, rules, guidelines, and banning Andy

Ryan King ryan at theryanking.com
Tue Mar 4 10:08:39 PST 2008

The admins have recently spent some time reflecting on the past 18  
or so the microformats community, our progress on various efforts,
participation, and how time has been spent.

One of the larger conclusions is that a significant (majority) of  
time has been spent dealing with community meta matters, identifying and
diagnosing misbehaviors or other community damaging patterns within the
community, careful drafting of additional how to play wiki editing [1]  
mailing lists [2] guidelines.

Unfortunately this has meant that significantly less time has been spent
over the past 18 months or more on doing actual microformats work,
resolving issues, iterating and improving existing specs and  
and helping guide the development of new microformats as well as improve
the process for the development thereof based on all the feedback.

An analysis of the "how to play" and "mailing list" rules and guidelines
has revealed that the vast majority of these rules have been created in
response to the community misbehaviors of one individual: Andy Mabbett.

This is an acknowledgment that the continued process of identifying a
misbehavior, creating a rule to avoid it, and then warning subsequently,
has been insufficient, or rather has merely resulted in admins spending
most of their time on microformats on administrivia rather than actual
microformats, and that this lack of active productive participation is  
primarily to the actions of one individual.

As a result we have decided to ban Andy Mabbett from community
participation (wiki, lists, blog comments, IRC) for a period of 18  
This is not Andy's first ban and this action is not taken lightly.

The how-to-play and mailing-lists pages have been updated with  
documenting which of the rules have been created directly due to one or
more of Andy's actions (wiki edits and/or emails).

As time permits, the admins will both hyperlink each of those  
to the specific email in the archives or edit in the wiki history that
caused it, as well as annotate any remaining rules with their causes as
well.  We believe this will help provide better transparency and

In addition, in the coming days and weeks we will be taking the time  to
document more how-to-play and mailing-lists rules and guidelines (most  
which are directly due to Andy's actions as well) in the hopes of  
minimizing community misbehaviors, and making it clearer to newcomers  
kinds of behavior are or are not acceptable.

Ryan King (on behalf of the microformats admins[3])

[1] http://microformats.org/wiki/how-to-play
[2] http://microformats.org/wiki/mailing-lists
[3] http://microformats.org/wiki/admins

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