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

Re: apply to NM? ha!

On Monday 31 January 2005 16:16, Anthony Towns <aj@azure.humbug.org.au> wrote:
> >>1) - a community where people are pleasant to each other, where
> >>disagreements are discussed politely, and where people who are unable to
> >>be civil are not glorified for their behaviour.
> >
> > This isn't too far from the situation we have.
> Really? A moment ago you were saying that flaming a polite, competent
> coder was a respectable way to become famous.

Flaming competent coders can be a quick way to become infamous.  Read my 
messages again and you will discover that I did not say that flaming good 
coders makes anyone famous, just that good coders can generally ignore the 

> In any case, mere civility is a woefully low bar to set. Is there really
> some reason Debian shouldn't be an absolute pleasure to be involved in,
> ubiquitously and continually? Perhaps we can't hope to never receive
> nasty comments from outsiders, but is there any particular reason we
> can't make our development forums technical, productive, kind, and
> generous?

While we have an open posting policy for the Debian lists with no moderation 
it is impossible to have "kind and generous" lists.

Make all posting by non-subscribers moderated (and all postings to this list 
by non-DDs moderated) and have a set of rules for posting that are enforced 
and there might be an improvement.  With such a system the post that started 
this thread would not have gone to the list and would instead have received a 
message from a moderator explaining why it's a bad message to send to the 

However such changes are extremely unlikely to happen.

But even enforcing rules about posting won't necessarily make the lists "kind 
and generous".  Some lists and forums that I have read which have such 
behavior rules are filled with posts that try to get as close as possible to 
the line without crossing it.  However to get the result that one flame might 
get they use a series of more subtle attacks carried out over a period of 
weeks or months.  The end result is often a cold-war in the list which can 
over the period of years end in a split in the community.  One list that I am 
on has had two such splits over the course of a few years due to on-going 
subtle attacks which didn't quite break the rules.  Two forums that I have 
lurked on have had cold wars that greatly exceed the scope of anything that 
happens on the Debian lists (they ended up having PCs hacked, lawyers called 
in, and lots of other nasty stuff).

Finally even if you prevent flame wars and cold wars in the community that 
doesn't mean that things will always be working well.  In some communities 
there are no flames so people who offend others just get ostracised.  The 
problem with that is that every time you are late replying to an email the 
other person might think that you hate them.  It's really annoying when 
someone thinks that I have a grudge against them just because their email is 
in my queue of 5000 messages that need to be read.

PS I've been in discussion with the originator of this thread off-list.  He 
seems OK now that he's calmed down, and doesn't seem likely to lose it again 
in that manner.  He'll probably end up becoming a DD if given a chance.  
Things seemed to work out OK in this instance.

http://www.coker.com.au/selinux/   My NSA Security Enhanced Linux packages
http://www.coker.com.au/bonnie++/  Bonnie++ hard drive benchmark
http://www.coker.com.au/postal/    Postal SMTP/POP benchmark
http://www.coker.com.au/~russell/  My home page

Reply to: