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Re: Question to all Candidates: Heated discussions

Le Sun, Mar 14, 2010 at 02:40:32AM +0000, Dmitrijs Ledkovs a écrit :
> Hello =)

Hello again :)

> Sometimes technical Debian discussions (mailing lists, bug reports,
> blog posts, etc.) become personal flame-wars.
> Do you think current frequency/amount of heated discussions is
> acceptable for the Debian project?
> What would you do to reduce those?

One way to cool a heated discussion is to add a lot of ice on it. Very few of
our communication media really need to be repsonsive in real time. Especially
on our mailing lists, I would not mind if the admins would have a big red button
that would suddenly delay any email posted there of a couple of hours. I think
that some mailing list systems implement that capacity.

Of course, self-cooling is much more friendly. Even in constructive threads, I
try to limit myself to one or two messages per day when they are on central
mailing lists. I really invite the other subscribers to do so. In order to get
as many insights as possible, we must remember to keep the door open to other
contributors. And if after two days of absence, there is a 100-mails thread in
their mailbox, I think that the door is closed.

Also, as a DPL I will make an effort to prepare neutral summaries that resurect
important discussions that had a productive part, but were killed because one
part of the thread exploded in a deluge of emails. It is important that people
have the guarantee that their opinion will be taken into account even if there
has already been 50 emails exchanged by other persons. This will be another
incentive for everybody to just press the delete button and let things
cool down.

I would also welcome much stricter policy about voluminous off-topic
discussions, and invite the listmasters to ban for a couple of days people
engaging in this behaviour. Many personal flame-wars fall under this

In addition, I think that we should reduce our institutional tolerance to
aggression and insults. We already often underestimate how we can hurt others
with simple words and direct criticisms. Attacks are unacceptable. This said I
think that everybody loses control sometimes in their life, and we should
welcome sincere excuses.

Have a nice day,

Charles Plessy
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan

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