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Re: Welcome to DW

On Tuesday, 16 August, 2005 at 14:39 +1000, Helen Faulkner wrote:
> Julie Sloan wrote:
> > 
> > this overall increasingly "unfriendly" tone is disturbing.
> the occasional conflict is pretty much inevitable

Actually, it's not.

> I don't really know what linuxchix is like, 

Judging from what I've seen so far, linuxchix is a ski lodge while d-w
is a government office.  This is how the tone of the two groups compare.

> 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.

Civil, yes.  I expect that anywhere.  Friendly and warm, on the other hand,
I don't see an overabundance of *that* going on here.

Thank you, Helen.  I don't have any questions about Debian yet.  I came
here to lurk and get to know the "inhabitants" of the list, while
waiting for the install discs of my debian-based distro to arrive.
Currently I'm using Mandrake.  Eighteen mnonths ago I was using Win98
and had never heard of linux.  Seven years ago I was thirtyseven and had
never used a computer.  So the questions I end up having are often
pretty basic ones. 

> 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 :)

I do want to contribute to FOSS, but as I am getting a rather late start
it might be a while before I'm very useful.  Infighting, accusations,
bickering, these all distract from learning and discourage from

IIRC the thread that spawned this one concerned setting up a subgroup
for translators.  I paid attention because of an earlier statement that
"even people who are fluent only in English can be translators."  The
thread quickly degenerated into a lot of talk along the lines of "we
don't need no stinkin' subgroups," then finally an explanation why.
There were a lot of unfriendly and unneccessary words before that final
clear and concise explanation.

(an aside to Clytie, if she's reading:  maybe there's room in linuxchix
for a women-translator's list.  If you are still interested in forming
one, IMO that'd be the place to ask)

As far as Jutta's complaint that a section of the site wasn't accessible
with lynx (and responses concerning lynx), there again a lot of
unnecessarily defensive and aggressive words were exchanged.  I've used
lynx and been very pleased with it; I'm not aware that it's buggy.  I
*am* aware that as text browsers go, it's the most well-known one among
the layman.  Perhaps developers know of a dozen alternatives to lynx,
but people like me, you say "text browser" and we think "lynx."
Although the accessibility problem seems to be solved, and I wasn't here
when the conflict arose, from what I've read I have to agree with Jutta
that if there's a problem the correct response should not be to deny
there's a problem.

> > For another, the name debian-*women* seems a little misleading when such
> > a large percentage of the more vocal posters appear to be male.
> 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.  

How long has D-W been in existence?  Is this still "to start with?"  Are
there no experienced Debian female people here?  I really do think the
men -by nature, not by design- have added a tone of aggression, and it's
affected the tone of the list as a whole.
To someone more timid than I, or of a gentler culture <s>, this would be
a serious deterrant to speaking up.  I know this, as I was once much more
timid  :)

> I believe that this is a good thing.

I disagree.

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

Thanks for taking the time to answer.  I hope you -and others- will also
take time to consider the points I raised.


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