Re: What do you think of the foundation?

On Mon, 2009-06-01 at 11:04 +0200, Dave Neary wrote:
> > Dave's ten steps mean that as soon as you refuse to publicly apologize
> > for <insert something undefinable>, his foundation board will kick you
> > and your project out of GNOME. 
> "My ten steps" were, as I pointed out, a list of measures which I feel 
> te boad should have at its disposition, in cases where they are 
> warranted. I also clearly said that "to get beyond 4 or 5, you would 
> need to be an aggravated and repeat offender" - that is, you would need 
> to be repeatedly and aggressively behaving in a manner which the board 
> finds unacceptable.

You publicly embarrassed an individual at item number two. And no, you
can't make your item number two look any better by trying to escape it. 

What do you think will happen in reality once you do that?

Flowers and sugar? Happiness and joy? Group laughter? Babies?!

That would be quite naive to hope for, wouldn't it?

The person will hate you, will hate the board and will start persuading
other people to join him. And for many people he'll most likely succeed
after such extremely childish board behaviour, too.

Ten commandments or steps to kick somebody out don't change harsh but
simple reality. 

You're trying to persuade a community that *IS* in fact experiencing its
most friendly cultural period ever to convert itself into a culture of
maximum behaviour control.

Just look at the replies from people: there's an almost unanimous
agreement that our community is doing just fine. Why are you trying to
fix anything? There is no problem. Is that so hard to accept? 

Besides, you're trying to escape having to prove that the people you
talked with meant it how you formulated it. Trying to escape this
*equals* bla bla bla, Dave. I wont believe this until you prove it.

As I already said: people who claim that as a group we are unethical,
are being intellectually dishonest. You know it, I know it and they know
it, too.

There's nothing fundamentally wrong with GNOME as a group. Why trying to
inject fundamental changes into our culture?

I don't want people to be fearful of the board. The board is at this
moment our cozy own friendly leadership. This is a great achievement of
our community.

Don't fundamentally change that. Just don't.

> > The items underneath item number two: imagine an actual situation. His
> > procedure will always end up at step ten. Every next step worsen the
> > problem. 
> With a certain type of person, perhaps - the type of person who refuses 
> to acknowledge any wrongdoing, even when an ombudsmanly body of his 
> peers *repeatedly* asserts that he has.
> > Maintainer of competing project X tries to get maintainer of project Y
> > to become angry, succeeding he now sends some silly mail to the board
> > and then, enacting Dave's ten steps, the board will ask for an apology.
> Yes, because the board is an automaton who will exercise no judgement at 
> all on receipt of a complaint.

No, but the board is also seated by people who might have an agenda.

Ignoring that is naive.

This most definitely is dangerous when combined with your ten steps to
kick somebody out officially.

> Let's say, for argument's sake, that someone from the board contacts the
> maintainer of project Y asking him for his side of the story, and the 
> board looks at both sides of the story, and decides that while there was
> some provocation by the maintainer of project X, the reaction from the
> maintainer of project Y was uncalled for, and should not be condoned. 
> What do you think would happen at that stage?

Sure, make it look like children playing in the garden. Doesn't help
your argument. Really.

We're grown up people. The situation will be forty to fifty times more
complicated, recursive and multiple entire social -and team networks
will be involved.

Let me translate this to the point of view of a software developer:

o. Many threads for spaghetti code that isn't compiled with -ggdb and
   with -02 on a mobile device with a CPU architecture that gdb doesn't
   yet support.

Your ten steps wont even be applicable. But I'm pretty sure that due to
pressure the board will nonetheless apply them. With big consequences.

> I imagine that the maintainer of project X and Y bothh get told to grow 
> up a bit, and the maintainer of project Y gets an extra rebuke from the 
> board for his language & behaviour. If the maintainer of project Y 
> protests, a short "don't aggravate your situation, drop it, don't do it 
> again" would be what I would expect. Think of it as the ref having a 
> word with a player after a tackle.
> > You kicked him out STARTING the public embarrassment. Why did you even
> > execute the seven other steps? That's even a waste of time.
> If someone sends hate mail to another member of the project (this is the 
> impression I've got from your hypothetical example), then if they don't 
> recognise that they've done anything wrong, surely the board and the 
> project owes it to ourselves to say "here's what happened, we will not 
> stand for this" - and let the facts speak for themselves. You call that 
> public embarrassment. So be it. You know the archives of these lists are 
> mostly public too? Is it public embarrassment if we point to a publicly 
> accessible email in a list archive and say "this kind of behaviour is 
> uncalled for, and the board does not approve of it"?

> To my mind, the person is embarrassing themselves by behaving in a way 
> that is rude.

This is irrelevant and not even always going to be the case. Not all
fights happen publicly, for example.

The public repeating by the board is still a public embarrassment.

In fact, if it all happened in public, then why is the board repeating
it anyway? Rub sand and salt in the wounds?

Other than the board wanting to perform such childish behaviour, what
would be the purpose of that?

Worsening the situation?

Your steps achieved nothing constructive in this hypothetical case.

Nothing at all. Not one single thing.

Philip Van Hoof, freelance software developer
home: me at pvanhoof dot be 
gnome: pvanhoof at gnome dot org

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