Dealing gently with our peers (was: confusion about non-free)
On Mon, 4 Aug 2008 21:17:20 +0200
Robert Millan <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Just to make it clear, please don't take it as if I were recriminating
> something to you. My understanding is that this problem is about general
> perception and I don't think it's your fault in any way.
I understand that it wasn't personal. But neither did you consider the
personal factors in any way.
> I don't have an eeepc myself, but what I gather is that Lenny doesn't fully
> support them; it is Lenny + non-free which does (or otherwise you have no
Correct. That was my error. I could see ath5k coming right around the
corner. I saw that Lenny was going to support the earliest models as
well as anyone can at this point. So I overstated the case and claimed
"full support" in Lenny before it was realized.
> It wasn't my intention at all to hurt someone, so I said things in the kindest
> way I could, without getting personal.
No, it was not the kindest way you could. A private email to me would
have sufficed to correct the problem in my statement. As you can see,
I was prompt to issue a correction once I saw my error. What you did
was humiliating. It completely soured what should have been a happy
time for me.
> But you have to see both sides of
> things. When I saw that mail, the first thing I think is the press will
> pick it and announce to everyone that Lenny supports this hardware, with
> the implicit assumption that we have dropped our ideals and joined the
> non-free bandwagon (actually, this is still likely despite my reaction).
So it was far more important to drag this out before the project as
soon as possible than it was to consider your peer's feelings and
privately contact him first to give him a chance to correct himself?
The ideals you were defending here justified your means?
> The ideal to stand and defend freedom is the whole reason I care about Debian,
> so when I feel that its reputation is being damaged, I get hurt too.
Hmph. Sorry to sound callous, but I don't buy this. The injury
defending the reputation of an organization you're affiliated with
can't possibly compare with the personal injury you're apparently
oblivious of having inflicted on your peer by calling him down in
public. Please learn what "kindest" and "not personal" means before
you consider doing this again to me or to anyone else in our project.
> Anyway, I really appreciate your work on making eeepc's better supported
> in Debian.
Thank you. Now please take seriously what I have said. I work on this
for Debian for *fun* and also because I *share* your ideals. You need
to learn to deal gently with your peers *before* you go fixing what's
wrong with the project.