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Re: More metaproblem

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: Re: More metaproblem
Date: Sat, 06 Dec 2014 14:11:48 +0900

Eli Zaretskii writes:

 > > Date: Thu, 4 Dec 2014 23:01:31 +0100
 > > From: Jorgen Schaefer <address@hidden>
 > > Cc: Karl Fogel <address@hidden>, address@hidden,
 > >  address@hidden, address@hidden
 > > 
 > > On Thu, 04 Dec 2014 23:21:33 +0200
 > > Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> wrote:
 > > 
 > > > > It's precisely that I don't have time to be more active than I am,
 > > > > that leads me to want the project's development procedures to be
 > > > > more conducive to developers like me -- there are many of them out
 > > > > there.
 > > > 
 > > > Then you don't have the right to whine about how the project is
 > > > being managed.
 > > 
 > > Do you realize how incredibly hostile this comes across as?
 > It's not.  Just try reading it with fresh eyes.

That's also a "hostile" response.

In the brave new world, the writers are supposed to be responsible for
not offending the readers and considering the needs of the reader.
Sometimes this is taken too far, but in general it's very workable and
has some advantages.  In particular, it helps avoid long stupid
threads.  (It's not a vaccine, but it does help.)

In particular, the older "infrastructure" projects (the earlier GNU
projects such as gcc, glibc, Emacs, the Linux kernel, the BSDs) today
have a widespread reputation for hostility in general and
unfriendliness to "diversity" in particular.  One respected developer
in another community recently referred to GNU as a "cesspit" in the
same breath as condemning GitHub for its hostile internal environment.

I don't agree with this evaluation of Emacs or other GNU projects, but
it's only fair that you know that it is indeed widespread.

 > In any case, it's no more hostile than Karl's attack.

If "Karl's attack" refers to the text "It's precisely ... out there."
quoted above, your retort was indeed more hostile.  That quote nowhere
describes only the feelings of Karl himself, and therefore cannot be
considered hostile.  The word "whine", however, is hostile, however

 > And it's the truth.

It's not obvious he was whining.

What's true IMO is that Emacs doesn't necessarily need more drive-by
contributions (although ELPA does want them).

 > > As a possible contributor, reading this, how inclined do you think this
 > > makes me to bring up possible stumbling blocks I might have when trying
 > > to contribute to Emacs?
 > I hope the same as you were before.

Doesn't work that way in the brave new world, sorry.  Consider this

 > > | - ensure that the project’s ‘About’ page and documentation include
 > > |   information about what types of contributions are most needed, and
 > > |   how to contribute
 > > | - acknowledge and celebrate contributions, so that people who do
 > > |   contribute feel appreciated and motivated to continue;
 > > | - monitor questions in the project’s email discussion list and/or
 > > |   forums, particularly those from newcomers, to ensure that they are
 > > |   answered;
 > > | - provide information to the project’s community about the project’s
 > > |   future development, perhaps in the form of a ‘road map’ that lists
 > > |   the planned changes and enhancements;
 > > | - ensure that documentation is up-to-date, and that aspects of the
 > > |   software that may be perceived as complex are explained clearly;
 > > |   and
 > > | - find out what barriers participants encounter when making a
 > > |   contribution to the project, and take steps to minimise or
 > > |   eliminate them.

Emacs indeed does not come up to current "standard" for these aspects
of project management.  But since when does GNU conform to standard,
rather than take it as suggestive?  OTOH, you might want to consider
that "current standard" does affect the desire of new contributor to
participate in the Emacs project.

 > > And only somewhat related, for you especially, Eli, I can highly
 > > recommend John E. Vincent's essay on _Software Empathy_.[2]
 > That's simply unfair and uncalled for.

Indeed, *that* was hostile.  Compare to the first quote in the stack
at the very beginning.

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