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SubjectRe: [Ksummit-2013-discuss] [ATTEND] How to act on LKML
On 07/16/2013 07:53 PM, Myklebust, Trond wrote:
> On Tue, 2013-07-16 at 19:31 -0400, Ric Wheeler wrote:
>> On 07/16/2013 07:12 PM, Sarah Sharp wrote:
>>> On Tue, Jul 16, 2013 at 06:54:59PM -0400, Steven Rostedt wrote:
>>>> On Tue, 2013-07-16 at 15:43 -0700, Sarah Sharp wrote:
>>>>> Yes, that's true. Some kernel developers are better at moderating their
>>>>> comments and tone towards individuals who are "sensitive". Others
>>>>> simply don't give a shit. So we need to figure out how to meet
>>>>> somewhere in the middle, in order to establish a baseline of civility.
>>>> I have to ask this because I'm thick, and don't really understand,
>>>> but ...
>>>> What problem exactly are we trying to solve here?
>>> Personal attacks are not cool Steve. Some people simply don't care if a
>>> verbal tirade is directed at them. Others do not want anyone to attack
>>> them personally, but they're fine with people attacking their code.
>>> Bystanders that don't understand the kernel community structure are
>>> discouraged from contributing because they don't want to be verbally
>>> abused, and they really don't want to see either personal attacks or
>>> intense belittling, demeaning comments about code.
>>> In order to make our community better, we need to figure out where the
>>> baseline of "good" behavior is. We need to define what behavior we want
>>> from both maintainers and patch submitters. E.g. "No regressions" and
>>> "don't break userspace" and "no personal attacks". That needs to be
>>> written down somewhere, and it isn't. If it's documented somewhere,
>>> point me to the file in Documentation. Hint: it's not there.
>>> That is the problem.
>>> Sarah Sharp
>> The problem you are pointing out - and it is a problem - makes us less effective
>> as a community.
> Not really. Most of the people who already work as part of this
> community are completely used to it. We've created the environment, and
> have no problems with it.

You should never judge success by being popular with those people who are
already contributing and put up with things. If you did that in business, you
would never reach new customers.

> Where it could possibly be a problem is when it comes to recruiting
> _new_ members to our community. Particularly so given that some
> journalists take a special pleasure in reporting particularly juicy
> comments and antics. That would tend to scare off a lot of gun-shy
> newbies.

That is my point - recruiting new members is made harder. As some one who
manages *a lot* of upstream kernel developers, I will add that it is not just
new comers that find this occasionally offensive and off putting.

> On the other hand, it might tend to bias our recruitment toward people
> of a more "special" disposition. Perhaps we finally need the services of
> a social scientist to help us find out...

To be fair, we usually do very well at this, especially with new comers to our

I think that most of the problems come up between people who know each other
quite well and are friendly with each other in person. The problem is that when
you use language that you would use with good friends over drinks to tell them
they are being stupid and do that on a public list, you set a tone that reaches
far beyond your intended target. All of those new comers also read this list and
do not see it as funny or friendly.

I really don't think that we have to be politically correct or overly kind to
make things better.

As a very low bar, we could start by trying to avoid using language that would
get you fired when you send off an email to someone that you have power over
(either manage directly or indirectly control their career).


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