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Re: Disputes between developers - draft guidelines

[in reply to a private message of iwj's that discusses nothing in

So that I do not quote Ian's private mail to me, I will simply enumerate
the substance of the issues raised.

0) In a document that is supposed to speak for a large collective, I
think it is important to minimize the number of personal idiosyncrasies
in spelling, grammar, punctuation, and usage of idioms and
colloquialisms.  I belabor this point because many of Debian's
developers are not native speakers of English, and some are not very
fluent in it.  By using standard forms and avoiding localized -- or even
individualized -- dialectal forms, we enhance the comprehensibility of
the document to our full audience.  Please note that I didn't "correct"
the Commonwealth spellings of words to their U.S. English equivalents; I
would expect any reader of standard English to be able to comprehend
both.  I thus immunize myself from the accusation that I am trying to
"Americanize" the document.

1) "flamage" appears in The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing and the
Jargon file; "flameage" appears in neither.  It might be best to avoid
this word altogether and substitute something like "emotional rhetoric".

2) I disagree that using `...' as a form of quotation is "correct
US-ASCII".  It is certainly incorrect in all ISO 8859 character sets as
well as ISO 10646, and furthermore code point 34 decimal can be used in
all of the above as a quote character for maximum portability and
minimal ambiguity[1].

3) Regarding the presence of a space between terminal punctuation and the
final letter of a sentence, see 0) above.

4) "Slanging match" may be a little too colloquial for a formal
document with an international audience.

5) I appreciate your willingness to delete the sentence about "go away
and grow up", but more important to me is the issue of whether you think
it's sound policy for the Technical Committee to refuse to "grant
certiorari", if you will, to a developer who is willing to
constructively discuss a dispute when the person he or she is in
conflict with isn't.

6) The main point behind my edit to the first paragraph of section 4 is
the notion that there are certain issues that the Technical Committee
regards as non-justiciable; since the Committee has declined to rule on
a dispute on that basis at least once in the past, I presume the
Committee still feels that way.  Please correct me if I am mistaken.
The thrust of section 4 appears to be advice to developers for resolving
disputes when the TC cannot be involved.  If so, I think that should be
made explicit.

7) I could not locate the language "consider writing it" in the draft
you sent to debian-project.

8) I was unaware that RFC 1738[2] had been obsoleted.  Could you please
advise me as to which RFC supersedes it?

Despite these minor points, I continue to feel that the general tenor of
your proposed draft is sound, and needed.

[1] <URL:http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/ucs/quotes.html>
[2] <URL:http://www.w3.org/Addressing/rfc1738.txt>

G. Branden Robinson                |    Build a fire for a man, and he'll
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    be warm for a day.  Set a man on
branden@debian.org                 |    fire, and he'll be warm for the
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |    rest of his life. - Terry Pratchett

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