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Old 06-16-2010, 03:33 AM
Sebastian Pipping
 
Default Tone in Gentoo

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.

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?

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

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?

Thanks for your interest,



Sebastian


[1] http://www.gentoo.org/main/en/contract.xml
[2] http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/council/coc.xml
[3] http://www.gentoo.org/main/en/philosophy.xml
 
Old 06-16-2010, 03:51 AM
Mike Frysinger
 
Default Tone in Gentoo

sounds like something that should be on gentoo-project
-mike
 
Old 06-16-2010, 05:03 AM
Alec Warner
 
Default Tone in Gentoo

On Tue, Jun 15, 2010 at 8:33 PM, Sebastian Pipping <sping@gentoo.org> 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
transparency.
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] http://www.gentoo.org/main/en/contract.xml
> [2] http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/council/coc.xml
> [3] http://www.gentoo.org/main/en/philosophy.xml
>
>
 
Old 06-16-2010, 05:43 AM
Jeroen Roovers
 
Default Tone in Gentoo

On Wed, 16 Jun 2010 05:33:27 +0200
Sebastian Pipping <sping@gentoo.org> wrote:

> 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.

That's a conclusion first, then a premise?

> 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.

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

What are you referring to? forums.g.o? bugs.g.o? #gentoo? Who, where,
when, what channel, thread?

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

When did you point this out to 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?

Being probably guilty of all of the above, I'd say it would help if the
Gentoo users would file GOOD bug reports, and would know when to use
forums.g.o instead, but since I don't know what you are really
referring to, I decline to answer that one.


Regards,
jer
 
Old 06-16-2010, 03:36 PM
Nikos Chantziaras
 
Default Tone in Gentoo

On 06/16/2010 08:43 AM, Jeroen Roovers wrote:

On Wed, 16 Jun 2010 05:33:27 +0200
Sebastian Pipping<sping@gentoo.org> wrote:


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.


That's a conclusion first, then a premise?


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.



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


What are you referring to? forums.g.o? bugs.g.o? #gentoo? Who, where,
when, what channel, thread?


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


When did you point this out to devrel?
[... snip ...]


Those replies are a good example of the rude behavior the poster is
referring to. The replies consisted of sarcastic questions in "you're
an idiot" style. The only thing they do is trying to trigger a hostile
response from the poster.


Very good example of tone in Gentoo.
 
Old 06-16-2010, 04:39 PM
"Paweł Hajdan, Jr."
 
Default Tone in Gentoo

On 6/16/10 5:33 AM, Sebastian Pipping wrote:
> As I have heard there are people not joining Gentoo because the
> atmosphere in Gentoo is lacking respect and empathy.

This is really sad. And the kind of people who value that often make
good developers if they also have good technical skills.

> I have searched a few places for rules on tone,

I believe one can't solve this problem by using rules.

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

I think the initiative is on the offended person's side. If a developer
is being aggressive and needlessly argumentative towards other people,
that's clearly a misconduct. Similarly for aggressive users.

> Could it be we expect perfection from each other instead seeking to
> understand and complement each other?

That might be a part of it.

> What can we do to make Gentoo a friendlier community?

We need leadership. I remember very well when the leader of one of the
Gentoo projects I participate in reminded me to always say "thanks" to
people who are helping us on Bugzilla. A small thing, but wasn't he right?

I believe it's the project leaders and the Council who ultimately set
the tone.

Paweł
 
Old 06-16-2010, 05:07 PM
Angelo Arrifano
 
Default Tone in Gentoo

On 16-06-2010 18:39, "Paweł Hajdan, Jr." wrote:
> On 6/16/10 5:33 AM, Sebastian Pipping wrote:
>> As I have heard there are people not joining Gentoo because the
>> atmosphere in Gentoo is lacking respect and empathy.

You are not the only one hearing that. If we jump over our own fences,
that will be much more visible.
>
> This is really sad. And the kind of people who value that often make
> good developers if they also have good technical skills.
>
>> I have searched a few places for rules on tone,
>
> I believe one can't solve this problem by using rules.
>
>> - With these Code of Conduct rules in place how come DevRel
>> is not publicly reminding of these rules where necessary?
>
> I think the initiative is on the offended person's side. If a developer
> is being aggressive and needlessly argumentative towards other people,
> that's clearly a misconduct. Similarly for aggressive users.
>
>> Could it be we expect perfection from each other instead seeking to
>> understand and complement each other?
>
> That might be a part of it.
>
>> What can we do to make Gentoo a friendlier community?
>
> We need leadership. I remember very well when the leader of one of the
> Gentoo projects I participate in reminded me to always say "thanks" to
> people who are helping us on Bugzilla. A small thing, but wasn't he right?

Damn right. Motivation is something that is very easy to lose. If we
developers don't show users that we appreciate their contributions (even
when we don't), we risk losing potential contributions in the future.

I've seen some bugs [sorry no references right now] where some
developers point out facts in a *very* aggressive way. Even when what
they have to say is true, they will scare away people. Is this what we want?
I understand there are a lot of factors that leads into a aggressive
response: private life, karma, the persistence of people doing things
*wrong*, etc.. we are humans after all. But if such behavior is the rule
instead of the exception, then I believe something is wrong and devrel
should be brought into attention.

- Angelo
>
> I believe it's the project leaders and the Council who ultimately set
> the tone.
>
> Paweł
>
 
Old 06-16-2010, 06:18 PM
Alec Warner
 
Default Tone in Gentoo

On Wed, Jun 16, 2010 at 8:36 AM, Nikos Chantziaras <realnc@arcor.de> wrote:
> On 06/16/2010 08:43 AM, Jeroen Roovers wrote:
>>
>> On Wed, 16 Jun 2010 05:33:27 +0200
>> Sebastian Pipping<sping@gentoo.org> *wrote:
>>
>>> 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.
>>
>> That's a conclusion first, then a premise?
>>
>>> 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.
>>
>>> *- How come tone is so rough when we actually meant to be
>>> * *a friendly community? *Has it always been that way?
>>
>> What are you referring to? forums.g.o? bugs.g.o? #gentoo? Who, where,
>> when, what channel, thread?
>>
>>> *- With these Code of Conduct rules in place how come DevRel
>>> * *is not publicly reminding of these rules where necessary?
>>
>> When did you point this out to devrel?
>> [... snip ...]
>
> Those replies are a good example of the rude behavior the poster is
> referring to. *The replies consisted of sarcastic questions in "you're an
> idiot" style. *The only thing they do is trying to trigger a hostile
> response from the poster.

Don't read so much between Jer's words. The tone of the reply could
certainly use improvement but I do not think his questions were meant
to be sarcastic at all or imply the poster was an idiot. The only
thing Jer was trying to 'trigger' is a response with some evidence of
'bad tone' so we can continue the discussion. I don't think a hostile
reply was intended at all.

You may not like the tone of the questions but certainly asking for
examples of 'bad tone' is likely a key step in improving the tone of
the community. Otherwise people have no idea what they are doing
wrong in the community's eyes and have no way to improve it.

DevRel tends to be a body of folks that do not act unless things are
reported. Asking 'when did you report these items to DevRel and what
action did they take if any' is likely a reasonable question as well.
Again pointing out what DevRel is doing wrong and providing
alternative actions will likely be a necessary part of this process.

>
> Very good example of tone in Gentoo.
>
>
>
 
Old 06-16-2010, 06:47 PM
Nikos Chantziaras
 
Default Tone in Gentoo

On 06/16/2010 09:18 PM, Alec Warner wrote:

On Wed, Jun 16, 2010 at 8:36 AM, Nikos Chantziaras<realnc@arcor.de> wrote:

On 06/16/2010 08:43 AM, Jeroen Roovers wrote:


On Wed, 16 Jun 2010 05:33:27 +0200
Sebastian Pipping<sping@gentoo.org> wrote:


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.


That's a conclusion first, then a premise?


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.



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


What are you referring to? forums.g.o? bugs.g.o? #gentoo? Who, where,
when, what channel, thread?


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


When did you point this out to devrel?
[... snip ...]


Those replies are a good example of the rude behavior the poster is
referring to. The replies consisted of sarcastic questions in "you're an
idiot" style. The only thing they do is trying to trigger a hostile
response from the poster.


Don't read so much between Jer's words. The tone of the reply could
certainly use improvement but I do not think his questions were meant
to be sarcastic at all or imply the poster was an idiot. The only
thing Jer was trying to 'trigger' is a response with some evidence of
'bad tone' so we can continue the discussion. I don't think a hostile
reply was intended at all.


It's the overall tone that isn't nice. Usually, when someone posts
something, lots of people reply with sarcastic-looking "you're wrong,
prove it or gtfo" replies. Even if the OP is wrong, that's not the way
to tell him that. If you want to be constructive, you should include
the reasons of why you thing he's wrong in your reply, or ask him to
elaborate more.


Just look at some threads where lots of developers were fighting each
other and track down the first post that triggered the flame; it's
usually of the "proof or gtfo" sort. It's bound to annoy the poster and
make him get hostile even if his original intentions were anything but
hostile.
 
Old 06-16-2010, 07:31 PM
Jeroen Roovers
 
Default Tone in Gentoo

On Wed, 16 Jun 2010 18:36:31 +0300
Nikos Chantziaras <realnc@arcor.de> wrote:

> Those replies are a good example of the rude behavior the poster is
> referring to. The replies consisted of sarcastic questions in
> "you're an idiot" style. The only thing they do is trying to trigger
> a hostile response from the poster.

They were simple questions. I asked them because I care, not because I
am planning to defend a status quo.

> Very good example of tone in Gentoo.

Maybe instead you have come to expect a certain "Gentoo tone" to
accompany the silent letters of an e-mail? I certainly didn't put that
tone in there.

What I think but didn't initially say:

1) that there are probably some good examples of the bad tone that sping
referred to, perhaps in the devrel/userrel domain and therefore not
initially public, and that unless those projects fail (to uphold the
CoC), we should probably not be talking about it on a public mailing
list.

2) that "tone" is unavoidably a subjective matter, which is precisely
the reason that some in our community choose consciously to be concise,
informative and dispassionate, while you might infer that this results
in curt, graceless and unaffectionate communication, or "bad tone" in
short.


Regards,
jer
 

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