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Re: Code of conduct, question to all candidates

On Sun, Mar 05, 2006 at 11:37:48AM +0100, Wouter Verhelst wrote:
> Secondly, I believe the "personality problems" thing is about a quote of
> mine on -private[1] 

Actually it wasn't really a quote at all; if anyone cared I was going
to point at Ted/Jonathan's platform with remarks like "Most of us are
disfunctional in various ways." That claim might even be true; but I'd
rather recognise all the smart and dedicated people we have as such,
rather than calling them flawed or broken, even if they are.

> The claim was not that you need to have certain personality
> problems to be a good Debian Developer; rather, that it takes a certain
> personality type to be at all _interested_ in being a Debian
> Developer---one that is not what most people think of when they think of
> "normal" people.

You know, I might've said the same thing a year ago, but I think that's
actually really wrong. You have to explain it differently -- you can't
just say "free source makes programs easier to grok, and then you can
hack on it and make it shiny!!" but the principles there are actually
pretty universal: sharing, building better things, openness, cooperation,
friendly competition... You don't have to be remotely abnormal to like
those things.

Ubuntu's doing a really good job of promoting that; the shipit stuff, and
the related OpenCD stuff which is free software for Windows machines,
isn't just going to geeks but to regular people who don't know or
care about the difference between sed and perl regexps. And I don't
know how well they're actually doing, but they're at least trying to
build a user community of those people that contribute back to Ubuntu
-- whether in translations, or advocacy, or artwork or other stuff;
and there are real contributions to be had there. The Linux Australia
podcasts (http://la-pod.k-sit.com/) are an interesting example: James
Purser who started doing them is a real Linux geek, but his wife Karen
is now heavily involved too in rounding up the LUGs around the country
to see what's going on. Is she a Linux geek? She's actively contributing
and interested, but she's not a hacker in the traditional sense at all...

> [0] I'm sure you and Steve put in a lot of effort to create a fair CoC,
>     but it's just the two of you "against" the entire project -- i.e.,
>     you'll need to involve a lot more people 

Hey, if other people want to be involved, please go *right* ahead. The
-tech charter was developed with as much input as I could finangle at
the time; more's always good.

> IME, once you have a Niceness Police, people either walk away from the
> police or from discussing altogether; that way, you throw away the kid
> with the bathwater.

I should probably note I've had... not the opposite experience, but an
opposing one maybe; namely that without anyone being authoritative on
whether something's naughty, you get people arguing about it without
any resolution, with people then leaving due to the bickering about the
rules instead.


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