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Re: apply to NM? ha!

Malte Cornils wrote:

Am Dienstag, 25. Januar 2005 01:26 schrieb Helen Faulkner:

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 tend to tell people some mixture of the following, depending on the context:

1. Remember that lots of Debian people are lovely and helpful and basically really nice. They will support and help you. (list of people known to the person I'm talking to who will definitely be supportive and helpful).

2. Don't start an interaction with the following people, and ignore them if they talk to you: (list of people who it's better not to deal with at all at first).

3. If anyone says something to you that is insulting or upsetting or offensive, you are possibly better off just ignoring it than trying to argue with them. Remember 1 :)

4. Don't be insulting or nasty in your own communications (actually, this in general doesn't need to be said, with the kind of people I am usually talking to about this stuff).

5. Choose your battles. Some things, while definitely problems, are not worth wasting effort on.

All of this is fairly obvious stuff, I think.

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)

Yes, exactly. Of course, the people who are most bothered are probably the least likely to speak up about this kind of thing. And because Debian promotes a culture of "speak up for yourself and don't speak for others", such behaviour is often apparently tolerated, even though I would guess that the majority of people disagree with it, in general.


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