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Re: Question to all candidates: Perceived hostility within the community

On Mon, Mar 05, 2007, Matthew Garrett wrote:

> Research[1] has shown that one of the primary factors deterring women
> from involvement in free software is the perceived hostility of many of
> the communities. Do candidates believe that mocking of other members of
> the project is acceptable[2], given that a side effect may be to
> discourage a significant body of the population from participating
> within the project?

   On a larger perspective, I believe most of the mocking you may
have witnessed is a mere epiphenomenon in regard to Debian's general
arrogance towards users, inability to communicate and frequent refusal
to admit our errors or our defects. I'd also like to stress that poking
fun at actions does not necessarily constitute mocking individuals, and
is seldom done without a reason.

   The research you quote also suggests that a major discouraging factor
for women to participate in Debian would simply be our high standards of
competence, due to their shorter average history in computing.

   That said, I am all for making computing, Debian usage and Debian
development more accessible to women (and I believe the debian-women
project addresses a good share of this goal) and my platform has a lot
about making Debian a fun place to work and welcoming new people. A
friendly atmosphere where people don't attack each other would therefore
be preferable.


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