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Re: Community hostility [Was Recent spam increase]

T.J. Duchene wrote:

I'd like to start by applauding your effort to spread some oil
on these waters.

What follows is the $0.02 USD worth of commentary of one who
has essentially abandoned contributing in whatever small way he
did to this mail list.


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

How can you be sorry for something he did? Either he misinterpreted
you, or your were ambiguous/vague. If the former, you need not be
"apologetic". If the latter, then there is no need to mention his
behavior, only your own.


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

Umm, how can you put "nothing on these lists is a personal attack"
and "I get tired of the hostility here" into the same sentence?
Isn't that oxymoronic? Isn't what you are complaining about the
personal attacks which occur in ostensibly technically oriented

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 would come off better if you wouldn't use minimizing language
like "merely".

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"

I dunno about "contributed greatly to Debian for years", but I've quit
posting to three Linux related mail lists due to this kind of thing, and
Debian is one of them.

I find the hostility on *all* the Linux-related lists off-putting,
myself. That's why I hardly ever contribute here or on the other
Linux lists any more. It just isn't worth it. I've gone on to other
technical interests. Whether that is a loss to Debian is something for
the people who think I helped them to determine, not me.

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

This makes a lot of sense. Too much sense. You are going to get drummed
out of the mail lists.

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'm not sure I understand why you consider technical perfection and ease
of use to be incompatible with each other. I think they go hand in
hand. Technically imperfect software fails in certain circumstances,
which makes it hard for newbies to use because they can't fix it.
Technically perfect software, with good user interfaces, doesn't fail,
so is easy for non-technical types to use.

If people around here (and elsewhere) would quit treating Linux/GNU
project as if it were a religion, a political statement, a way to
change the world paradigm, a poke in the eye at the mythically evil
MicroSoft Empire, an end to capitalism as we know it, and a triumph
of the downtrodden masses over the evil rich in general, and treat it
as an Operating System and associated Support Programs we'd ALL
be better off.

From my perspective, Linux is an OS which is useful for loading
my applications and managing my hardware resources. That's it.
If that attitude were to prevail, Linux would be better, the
GNU project would be better, Debian in particular would be better,
and distro in-fighting would stop.

Each distro, just like each OS, has its strong points and its
weak points. If people would realize this and stop making holy
war on each other based on what OS and applications they happened
to prefer, it would be a lot better.

I recall on one list one time a fellow suggested that a particular
thread be taken off-list, because there it would die. He stated that
once the egos were not publicly visible, the emotional stakes would
decrease, and the impetus to continue would be gone. ISTM that much
of the posturing comes from attempts to save egos from mistakes,
either minor or major, and attempts to appear smarter, or better, or
more technically adept than others.

Then there are the off-topic hate mails against other distros, other OS,
Bill Gates, prominent political figures, etc.

In any case, there is too much emotion.

I wish the Bill Gates haters and the Other Distro haters and
the George Bush haters, and the Big Corporation haters and the
"I know more about this than you do, so there, you were WRONG"
people would disappear, and let the ones who want to address
technical issues get on with helping each other make their machines
run better.

Maybe they could form another list titled something
like love-debian-hate-all-else-advocacy or debian-new-way-of-life
or born-again-debianistas or i'm-never-wrong-debian-users or similar.

I've gotten active with some people who repair, refurbish, and
refinish old tube radio equipment (tubes are how I started in
electronics in about 1963 or so) and have been pleasantly pleased
at how cordial, sympathetic, friendly, helpful, and polite
these people are. I find the emotional maturity refreshing after the
adolescent atmosphere around here and on other Linux mail lists.

Flames to /dev/null

This message made from 100% recycled bits.
You have found the bank of Larn.
I can explain it for you, but I can't understand it for you.
I speak only for myself, and I am unanimous in that!

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