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To: gentoo-dev@g.o
From: Alec Warner <antarus@g.o>
Subject: Re: Tone in Gentoo
Date: Tue, 15 Jun 2010 22:03:40 -0700
On Tue, Jun 15, 2010 at 8:33 PM, Sebastian Pipping <sping@g.o> wrote:
> Hello!
> Tone is currently not a strength of Gentoo.
> As I have heard there are people not joining Gentoo because the
> atmosphere in Gentoo is lacking respect and empathy.
> I have searched a few places for rules on tone, looking at the Gentoo
> Social Contract [1], the Code of Conduct [2] and the Philosophy of
> Gentoo [3].  In a way the Code of Conduct defines what good and bad
> behavior is.  The term "Acceptable behaviour" may make sense as a
> counterpart to "Unacceptable behaviour" but feels like "what you can get
> away with" to me anyhow.

We had enumerated bad behavior in the past and people walked the line
(Ciaran is a good example; but there were others.)
We had a rather open policy where DevRel had leeway to 'take necessary
action' and community members cried out for abuse due to lack of
We had COC enforcers that would attempt to moderate mailing list traffic.

I don't think any of these were a raging success.  I like the open
policy one because I think it makes DevRel's job easier and the buck
needs to stop somewhere.  Here is a hint; if you want to stay on as a
developer; don't piss of HR (or infra, or probably a number of other
groups that could make your life hell.)

> What is surprising me:
>  - How come tone is so rough when we actually meant to be
>   a friendly community?  Has it always been that way?

I don't see the tone as tough; but you have to understand that I work
with a bunch of socially inept engineers on a daily basis.  People
writing dumb crap in email is something that happens every day.  I
think a lot of the 'bad' threads people just reply to email every 5-10
minutes (I used to do this years ago...)  Stop reading email that
often.  Reply to a thread once a day.  If you need to converse in real
time you can use jabber or irc or whatever.  You tend to reach a
logical consensus quicker over chat than over email.

Avoid people you know you interact badly with.  Do Not Feed The
Trolls.  I remember at work often I'd be dragged into a thread with
one of the Ganeti guys; he would complain about how cfengine was
awesome and puppet was crap.  I tended to stop replying to that guy
when that subject came up (he is a nice fellow; but holy lord the
puppet vs cfengine debate could rage forever.)

>  - With these Code of Conduct rules in place how come DevRel
>   is not publicly reminding of these rules where necessary?

Probably because DevRel is small.  If the community expects people to
act a certain way I'd expect 'the community' to call people on it; not
necessarily just DevRel.

> Could it be we expect perfection from each other instead seeking to
> understand and complement each other?  What can we do to make Gentoo a
> friendlier community?

I haven't seen the crazy crap on the lists that was present in
2007-2008 so I'm actually fairly happy with the current style.  I'd
love to throw around more compliments but I tend to compliment people
by using their software and sending them patches...or making fun of
them on IRC, either way.

> Thanks for your interest,
> Sebastian
> [1]
> [2]
> [3]

Re: Tone in Gentoo
-- Jorge Manuel B. S. Vicetto
Tone in Gentoo
-- Sebastian Pipping
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