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Re: Welcome to DW (was: Re: DW

Hi Julie, all,

Julie Sloan wrote:
> On Tuesday, 16 August, 2005 at 01:23 +0200, Herman Robak wrote:
>>On Tue, 16 Aug 2005 00:32:35 +0200, Helen Faulkner <helen@debian.org>  
>>>but even so, this kind of comment is not helpfulto the aims of  the DW  
>> It was too terse to make sense, apparently.
> No, in my opinion it was perfectly clear and I took it as aggressive.  I
> do understand that the escalating discussion here over the last few days
> is not the norm in D-W, but just the fact it's gone this far and had this
> overall increasingly "unfriendly" tone is disturbing.

Well, I'm sorry that you are worried by it.  I'm worried by it too, though I do
know that the occasional conflict is pretty much inevitable when dealing with a
community that is still changing and attracting an ever-more-diverse group of
people to be involved.  It's just one of those things, and the best we can do is
 try to not let it escalate further, in my opinion.

> I guess I came here expecting it to be more like linuxchix.  For one
> thing, I did not understand it's a group primarily for developers rather
> than new users.  Instead of a "springboard" into the main Debian group I
> thought this would be a place women can ask "stupid" questions without
> expecting the terse slaps in response so common on male-dominated
> groups.  

I don't really know what linuxchix is like, but I am aware that there are some
difference.  You can certainly ask any questions about Debian usage or
involvement and expect a civil response.  Please go ahead and ask your questions
and hopefully someone will answer you quickly and usefully.

The debian-women project's main aim is to get more women involved in
contributing to Debian.  That begins, for most of us, with using Debian and
moves on to stuff that anyone can do, like reporting bugs (all you have to be
able to do is write an email), and possibly moving into more technical stuff
like contributing to the website, translating Debian material, packaging Debian
software, etc.  Please don't assume that everyone involved is a developer, since
that is far from the case.  We do want to help you learn to use your Debian
systems better and we hope that this will encourage you to contribute more to
Debian in the future :)

> For another, the name debian-*women* seems a little misleading when such
> a large percentage of the more vocal posters appear to be male.  Nothing
> personal against any of the men posting; none of them seem to be leering
> or making rude noises, but still, it's a bit startling when I was
> expecting something else.

Since nearly all the people involved in Debian at present are men, we were
always going to have a lot of men involved in the Debian Women project,
especially to start with.  I believe that this is a good thing.  It allows new
people to get to know more experienced Debian people, which promotes general
social cohesion and makes it easier for people to get involved with other
aspects of Debian.  It has also given the people involved in the Debian Women
project as "learners" (in whatever area), who are mostly female, the opportunity
of accessing the expertise of people with high levels of technical skill, who
are, at present, mostly male**.  As the number of women involved directly with
Debian increase, I expect that the female:male ratio of postings to this list
will increase.

** Please note, incase anyone is worrying about this, that I am in no way
implying that women are less technically capable than men.  But with about
5/1000 Debian Developers currently being female, it is to be expected that on
average, most of the very technically able people around Debian at present will
be men.  This will change in time, of course.

I hope that this all makes sense.  Julie (or anyone), do you have any more
questions about this kind of thing, or anything else?


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