[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: rudeness in general

Op di, 11-01-2005 te 13:21 +1100, schreef Sam Watkins:
> I accidentally posted the following to debian-user this morning, it was
> supposed to go to debian-devel in this thread; please excuse me
> re-posting it.
> On Mon, Jan 10, 2005 at 07:14:29PM +0100, Wouter Verhelst wrote:
> > It's impossible not to be rude on written media. What's a harmless
> > joke to one is an insult to another, and an attack to one's
> > personality to a third one.
> Sure, misunderstandings happen.  But people are also objectively rude,
> whether deliberately or as a matter of careless habit - this is what I
> find unacceptable, not the occasional misinterpreted joke or whatever.
> Deliberate or careless rudeness is much more common on our lists that
> such misunderstandings.
> If I say "Debian might release sarge any *year* now :)", that is not
> objectively rude (although it might be a mild troll depending on my
> intent).  If someone responds by calling me a "!@#$% loser" or tells me
> to go to hell, that is unacceptably rude.  That is an unacceptable
> response on a Debian list, no matter what the provocation.
> Public <plonk>ing, unless in response to extreme provocation, is also
> very rude.  If you want to killfile someone, go ahead.  Send them a
> private message, but don't make a scene of it.
> > You can't expect everyone to be happy with everything you might
> > possibly write.
> Similarly I can't expect that I will always write code that is
> completely free of bugs - nevertheless I try not to write buggy code,
> and I try not to offend people unnecessarily.
> You seem to be saying that we shouldn't attempt to address the issue of
> rudeness because we can't achieve perfect harmony and concordance.
> > 'RTFM' means "Go read the documentation, that's what it's for". I
> > personally find it far more rude to go on a mailing list, ask for the
> > obvious, and expect a bunch of volunteers to come up with an answer
> > that's been answered in great detail in the documentation, than to be
> > sent back with an 'RTFM' as answer to that question.
> I suppose there might be two kinds of "RTFM" response to a newbie
> question, about bash completion for example:
>   1. Go read the bash manual.
>      (and stop wasting our precious bandwidth and time!)
>   2. Try "info bash", type ^S for interactive search, then "completion".
>      Check out the info tutorial, if you haven't used it before :)
> The first response is unacceptably rude, a _real_ waste of bandwidth.
> Even "Go read the bash manual." by itself is no good.

No, that all depends on the context.

If the original mail was sent to debian-user@lists.debian.org, and the
archives do not (easily, or recently) provide an answer to that
question, it indeed would be rude.

If this question would've been asked on -devel, it wouldn't be as rude
(for such questions don't belong on this list; and hey, it at least
contained partial answer); or if the question was asked for the sixth
time in two days on the same mailinglist, it wouldn't be as rude either.

> The second response is fine, because it is polite and helpful.

It isn't always possible to be polite and helpful.

> If the newbie keeps asking questions before checking the manual, you can
> answer his question politely and then suggest - politely - that next
> time he ought to check the manual before posting.

The experience I've acquired on various mailinglists and Usenet
newsgroups suggests to me that this simply isn't always possible.

> If you've got time to reply, you've got time to do a good job.  

I reserve the right to decide for myself what exactly constitutes a
"good job".

Yelling "RTFM" can indeed be rude, but it all depends on the context. I
don't think people calling eachother "rude" is solving the problem.
Sure, one should behave; but there's no point in telling other people
that, IMO.

     smog  |   bricks
 AIR  --  mud  -- FIRE
soda water |   tequila
 -- with thanks to fortune

Reply to: