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so long, and thanks for all the fish

On Thu, 04 Apr 2013 12:45:55 -0300
Ben Armstrong <synrg@debian.org> wrote:

> Just take care in future that the style of communications you used
> triggered someone's "wetware spam filter" with a false positive.

I initially wrote up a detailed bug report, and then when somebody
suggested that the problem would get fixed faster if a patch were
provided, I wrote that too. Somebody else pointed out that the patch
contained a bashism, which couldn't be used in the installer, so I fixed
that within a day. It was then objected that the patch might break
something, so I wrote a set of test scripts to show that it produced
exactly the same results as the existing code if operated in decimal
mode, and offered to write tests for binary mode, if anybody could
suggest what would constitute acceptable correctness proofs.

I then waited for eight months for any indication that the slightest
notice would be taken of any of this.


Seeing none, and concluding that a technical "style of communications"
had failed, it occurred to me to resort to allegory, and a literary
reference which I thought would be both familiar and directly relevant.


When THAT disappeared into a black hole, another literary reference came
to mind (1984, if anyone cares).


Apparently some conclusions are so obvious that they may never be

> Learn and move on.

Yes, indeed. What I've learned is that technical arguments, and patches
offered in support of them, will be either completely ignored,
apparently forever, or actually ridiculed as being "incredibly picky"
and "splitting hairs".

Previous experience with the Debian BTS suggests that if I presume to
offer ANY technical comment at all, I may be subjected to personal
insults and told to keep my mouth shut.


Attempts to reason by way of analogy to different but parallel
situations, while quoting directly from previous argument, will be
assumed to be "spam", and vaporized at the click of a mouse button.

So you win. There is apparently no mode of argument, or "style of
communications", which is capable of penetrating the Debian
bureaucracy. It is impervious, even to patches which have been
previously solicited. Silly me, for taking that seriously.

As for moving on, I think I will, to some other project where they don't
think that lying to absolutely everybody who installs it, about the size
of their disk partitions, by as much as seven or ten percent, is a
matter of complete indifference, to be dismissed in favour of More
Important Things.

And in case you hadn't noticed, the subject line of this message is yet
a THIRD literary reference. I guess you're well rid of me and my spam.


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