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Community hostility [Was Recent spam increase]

On Wed, 2006-10-25 at 23:43 -0700, Steve Lamb wrote:
> T.J. Duchene wrote:
> > Granted, several of the new MUAs aka "mail clients" or more precisely
> > "mail user agents" have some very primitive filtering capabilities, but
> > ladies and gentlemen, the most practical mail filtering or sorting is
> > almost always done server side before your MUA even gets the mail.
>     "Almost always" doesn't count much when it comes to a Linux crowd.
> > My humble advice to those who care...learn to use SpamAssassin (or some
> > other milter), procmail, ClamAV or even MailScanner (for the opensource
> > server admin crowd).
>     Or, hey, ditch the who "server" paradigm completely!
> > Don't expect Outlook, Thunderbird, Mutt, Pine, or even Evolution to do
> > anything more than simple blob sorts or spam checking.
>     You mean like Thunderbird having a built-in Bayesian scanner which catches
> spam my rather tight SA install lets slip through?  Amazingly most of it here
> on d-u.
>     Or that it has anti-scam filters built in that catch what SA and clamav
> let slip through?
>     Or the fact that Sylpheed-claws and KMail both have for some time had
> hooks for SA scanning?
>     Or that Sylpheed-claws has hooks for ClamAV scanning?
>     Oh, er, sorry, you were telling us unwashed non-mail admins about these
> "primitive" things called MUAs.  Carry on.


I'm sorry if you took my comments the wrong way.  Relax, man!  

Most MUA's don't have built in software for this sort of thing, they
depend on something else to do the job, often hosted "server side" in
point of fact.  When I say "server side" I'm also including the fact
that most of our machines, even personal workstations are setup with the
same software used on mail servers.  

I did mention Thunderbird as an exception with its built in Baysian
filter in my original post.  

Nothing on these lists is a personal attack, and it gets so tiresome to
see all this hostility all the time.  Honestly, that's one of the
greatest problems with Debian or any other list.  You make a comment,
and the next thing you get is a "flame war".  My comments weren't
intended to be condescending. I was merely trying to say I have some
experience in the area in question.

This isn't a retort to even you, Steve.  I've been guilty of arguments a
few times myself.  We both made valid points, but this isn't a game to
keep score.

I'm going to delibrately make a few comments now, and if everyone gets
upset, so be it.

I've seen a lot of arguing on the Debian lists over the last year or
two, to the point where we have even lost some very good people who have
contributed greatly to Debian for years.  I've heard of "f* Ubuntu"
shirts at Debconf.  Some of the developers who have left Debian have
made, admittedly biased but accurate remarks on public record about the
community's behaviour.

This isn't the kind of public image we want to present the rest of the

For example, for all the strange dislike between Debian and Ubuntu, I
remember having a discussion several years ago on the Debian lists about
newbie users.  The general consensus back then was that newbie users
were better served using a different distribution rather than Debian,
because our primary focus was technical perfection as I recall.  

I was there.  Ubuntu is built to solve a need where we left an opening,
for someone else to step up.  It's a need that the Debian community
dismissed years ago as not as important.

Then  Ubuntu comes along, and suddenly a vocal number of developers gets
upset to the point of scathing remarks - some of which might even be

Now before you make comments, I know how our community feels about
Ubuntu, the patches, compatibility, or even communication between the
two camps. I'm not trying to provoke a defensive response here.  I'm not
trying to assign blame. 

While we still have a great deal of respect as a "perfectionist"
distrib, focused on technical achievement, we have lost a great deal of
public respect because of fighting amongst ourselves.  Now, it is also
true enough that every single project ever done has this problem.  I've
even seen speculation as to whether or not Debian will survive given
losses and all of the public disagreements. 

Not that I believe Debian is going to fall apart for even a second, but
even that that kind of chatter exists begs the question in the public
eye of our unity and ability to accomplish our charter.  

I think the release of Etch might help things, but we need to reassess
our attitudes a bit.   



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