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

Re: Advocating Ben Finney <ben+debian@benfinney.id.au>

On Sun, Feb 28, 2010 at 02:10:49PM +1100, Ben Finney wrote:
> > Pedantic, repeated insistence on a language distinction that no one
> > else in the Debian community has a hangup over, while comically
> > stereotypical as a concept, does nothing to advance Free Software and
> > is bloody annoying to read.

> Okay, I accept that you view the message that way. It was written in the
> spirit of seeking clarity in communications about technical topics, and
> was not intended to annoy.

Did you honestly find the message you were replying to unclear, or think
that other people would?  I find this hard to believe; I think the original
message was unambiguous, and entirely consistent with the non-RFC usage of
the term "header" among Debian developers.

I myself am an unrepentant grammar nazi, but I try to refrain from
correcting people's grammar on lists because as much as it grates on me to
see native speakers lose at English, the mistakes are almost never actually
an impediment to understanding, and such corrections come /at the expense
of/ the technical discussions that we're meant to be having.

> If this is about *style of* communication, I'm not sure what about the
> style is objectionable or how my style in that message would best be
> modified. I see it as a polite message; perhaps someone else can shed
> light if that's not the case for them.

The "style" here is a pattern of correcting people on matters that are at
best incidental to the subject at hand (while either failing to recognize
that common usage is against you, or failing to accept that this means
you're not going to change the prevailing practice).

> Is it rather that you object to the topic of discussion? Do you think
> that raising the topic of terminological precision should bar an
> applicant from being accepted as a Debian Developer?

No, the issue is not the topic, it's the context in which you choose to
*raise* the topic.  If the topic at hand had been a patch which *used* the
word "header" inconsistently with the email RFCs, it would be reasonable to
make sure we were getting the language right; but in this context, it's a

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: Digital signature

Reply to: