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SubjectRe: [Ksummit-2013-discuss] [ATTEND] How to act on LKML (was: [ 00/19] 3.10.1-stable review)
On Tue, 16 Jul 2013 19:50:08 -0400 Theodore Ts'o <tytso@mit.edu> wrote:

> The other question where I think you and Linus differ is the belief
> whether polite messages of the form, "it's really rude to break the
> kernel ABI, I would rather prefer if you wouldn't do that" are as
> effective at establishing community norms, compared with his style of
> e-mail messagtes, and whether the priority in establishing community
> norms around technical excellence compares with the priority around
> community norms around "civility".

Can I call "strawman" here?

A maintainer has a significant power - to accept, reject, or revert.
I fully expect them to use that power.
Linus (or any other maintainer) doesn't need to say "I would rather prefer
if you wouldn't do that".
They say:
This is wrong. I will not accept that patch.
or
This was wrong. I have reverted it.

And when absolutely necessary: "After a long succession of uncorrected
errors I regret to advise you that I can no longer consider any patches you
send".

Using emotive language is an attempt to control someone else by addressing
them at an emotional level. That sort of control is not needed when the
above power is available, and it is a sort of control which is out of context
and can affect different people very very differently.

Personally, I find that a blunt but civil acceptance or rejection of patches
is quite sufficient to establish community norms of technical excellence.
Beyond that there are plenty of examples of very helpful and constructive
dialogue that improve patch quality even more.

NeilBrown
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