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Re: Community hostility [Was Recent spam increase]

On Thu, Oct 26, 2006 at 09:45:34AM -0500, T.J. Duchene wrote:
> 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
> world.   
> 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
> justified.  
> 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. 
> 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.   
Thank you, calm voice of reason.

I __don't__ know about Ubuntu.  My impression is that it is focused on
non-english use, including all basic docs available in non-english.
Whatever its reason for being, if it fills a need that Debian left
unfilled, why complain.  Why not see what Debian can do to facilitate
Ubuntu's needs.

I love Debian.  I get it set up, trust the security team to keep it
secure, update regularily, and get on with using the computer.  Other
distros aren't as rock solid; I would miss Debian.

Flame wars get in my way.  I'm sure they get in everyone's way.  We
subscribe to the list to be helpfull and get help; to be a community.
Unfortunatly, mailing lists keep everything, including disagreements, in
everyone's face.  Perhaps a usage policy change should occur so that
instead of flame wars, people who disagree can "take it outside" off the
list to resolve it.  Perhaps a list-directed request "can we take this
off-list" to which the other party agrees.

There are times when people of good charater need to disagree.  If they
simply agree to disagree then no progress toward truth is made.
Argument is the only way to progress.  There are no times when it is
appropriate for people of any charater to be disrespectful.  I love a
peaceful argument.



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