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Re: apply to NM? ha!


Am Dienstag, 25. Januar 2005 01:26 schrieb Helen Faulkner:
> Based on comments made to me by a number of women who are interested in
> contributing more to Debian, the level of agressiveness on some of the
> mailing lists and IRC channels is a problem.   It is preventing people
> (women and men, no doubt) from getting involved, because they don't want
> to have to deal with that behaviour, should it be directed towards them.
> I often find myself explaining to people how they can avoid attracting
> the attention of those who are likely to be unpleasant to deal with, and
> also repeatedly emphasising the fact that, despite some appearances,
> there really are many very pleasant and supportive people involved in
> Debian.  It's a pity that such explanations are actually required.

I would be interested in how you explain that and whether there are some basic 
recipes (except for the sometimes necessary "don't deal with xy then" route). 

> I do not believe that being thick-skinned enough to cope with people who
> are very agressive or insulting should be a requirement for involvement
> in Debian.  Sadly, it seems to me that this is effectively the case.
> Shouldn't we be more interested in someone's technical skills, and their
> ability to work well with others?

Though I am not sure whether that is a rhetoric question (sad fact for 
itself), the question is how to change this environment for the better. 
Often, making people aware that they were in fact being aggressive is 
sufficient. Sometimes you also need to explain to them in private why being 
aggressive because "user is so stupid"/"I've had a horrible day"/whatever is 
still not a terribly good idea. And in the extreme, maybe enough people 
pointing little "aggressiveness is uncool, we don't like this/you here, 
debian is our project, too" fingers at offenders might be necessary.

That takes a surprising amount of work, though (being present in most threads 
obviously is, but mustering the courage to tell the "brute" to soften up can 
be stressful, too - and is most rarely done by those people really bothered 
by aggressiveness, and/or those not already "blessed" by full DD-ship)


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