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SubjectRe: [ATTEND] How to act on LKML
On 7/16/2013 3:39 PM, Sarah Sharp wrote:
> On Wed, Jul 17, 2013 at 12:18:21AM +0200, Willy Tarreau wrote:
>> On Tue, Jul 16, 2013 at 02:12:35PM -0700, Sarah Sharp wrote:
>>> I *hate* both direct personal insults and indirect personal insults.
>>> Neither should be acceptable in our community.
>>>
>>> As I stated in an email to Rusty, what I'm objecting to here is not
>>> kernel developers criticizing code. I'm objecting to personal attacks,
>>> and developers directing personal verbal abuse towards each other. This
>>> include all developers, not just Linus.
>> Well, there are people like me who don't mind getting personally
>> insulted but who are really pained when their work is criticized.
>>
>> You'd rather tell me I'm a fucking moron than all what I carefully
>> designed, wrote and tested is pure crap. Probably that part of the
>> reason is that I'm as I am and I'm not really responsible for this,
>> so I don't care. Call me ugly if you want, why should I bother ? But
>> if you tell me I did some crap, it's entirely my fault and that hurts
>> a lot more.
> I think we come from different perspectives here. I can change my code.
> Therefore, I don't mind my code being insulted. I cannot change myself.

Sure you can, he began politely.

It's a process called personal growth, and it happens to most
of us as we go through life. It is in reasonable to expect change
and to some degree manage the way in which one's self changes. It
is unreasonable and expect to manage changes in others, although we
do insist on trying.

Communities develop expectations of behavior based on many factors.
No community responds well to individuals who demand changes in the
norms of the community. This is especially true when the change is
a demand that some aspect of the community that is seen as unique
or empowering by the members of the community be suppressed.

Email communities are notorious for what would be considered
inexcusable behavior in most other kinds of community. I do not
know of any explanation, nor will I attempt to justify the claim.
I suspect that the relative anonymity has something to do with it,
as does the fact you can't actually raise your voice or glare. Or
smile smugly, for that matter.

The norms of the Linux kernel community have changed over time,
and will continue to do so. Communities, like the individuals that
make them up, change over time. Linus and Al Viro have changed over
the years. I have changed over the years. If you stick around, you
will too. If you don't you'll still change, but in different ways.

The changes that the community makes may or may not suit you when
they happen. You can certainly work to influence the behavior of
the community. Demanding that the community change to suit your
desires doesn't work in your apartment building (dorm, homeowner's
association or county courthouse) either. That's basic social
behavior. Look to yourself for change before you look to change
others. It works better.

> Therefore, I don't want to read verbal abuse directed at me personally.
>
> Things get blurred when we're talking about something a person did.
> I can change how I act as a maintainer. Therefore, tell me politely
> what I did wrong, and I will change it.
>
>> So you want criticism to change focus for good, but it will not
>> necessarily achieve the result you're expecting. Maybe we can lose
>> more talented people by telling them their work is pure crap because
>> we did not understand it than telling them they're stupid and let
>> them argument their choices. At least I don't claim to know which
>> one is better, all I can say is that what we have right now works
>> well enough in my opinion.
> We can tell them their code is bad without calling it crap. Cussing
> them out is just a lazy shortcut.
>
> Sarah Sharp
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