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From Stefano Mazzocchi <stef...@apache.org>
Subject Re: The need for 'hints'
Date Wed, 19 Jun 2002 08:35:05 GMT
Pete Carapetyan wrote:
> 
> Peter Royal wrote:
> 
> >Having worked with Phoenix (*and* Cocoon/ECM) I came to the understanding
> >that you and Stephen are promoting the correct solution. And the common
> >metainfo discussions are the path that we should be persuing with vigor at
> >the moment.
> >
> >I'm just not as good as you at the clever and sarcastic explanations
> >
> I can't figure out if you guys are all just young where it doesn't hurt
> yet, or I have just become too tender, but all these terrific
> discussions punctuated with quite personal attacks are a bit of an *ouch*.
>
> The phrase someone laid on me, I think, is *ad hominum* which describes
> the making of a personal attack as a part of the discussion. Appears to
> violate some SoC pattern of communication.
> 
> Speaking only for myself of course, I have been amazed at the quality of
> intelligence among participants, and have not seen one person yet who
> seems worthy of such a personal attack. Very sharp fellows, one and all.
> 
> Nice place to learn about how to understand Avalon better though! Just
> hard to filter through all the <JaneYouIgnorantSlut/> stuff. At least I
> finally am beginning to get a handle on which containers are blessed,
> and which not, and how to use certain methods. This is good, thanks.

Let me tell you something: I'm not scared by personal attacks... in
fact, I developped my thick skin in OSS and I helped me a lot in real
life as well... but I'll tell you guys something that you might not
experienced before: razor-sharp ego battles like avalon's (or those who
happen over at members@apache.org or a fight with rms@gnu.org, which are
orders of magnitude sharper believe me! I usuallly got beat up quite bad
in those locations) keep a community still.

One thing for all: have you ever seen a women subscribed to this list?

In Cocoon, I had a very hard time making people to understand that
ego-based battles scare women away, no matter how
smart/brilliant/capable/useful/nice/strong-egoed they are. It's their
nature... like ego-fighting is ours. Nicola knows what I'm talking about
since he almost managed to piss each one of them off simply by stating
something in the wrong way.

Some people on this list follow Jon Stevens's patterns: fight 'till the
opponent surrenders (or leaves).

Let me tell you: Avalon is doomed if this attitude is kept. Sure, we are
debating as some philosophical issues here and it's hard to remain
perfectly neutral and dissipate the negative energy that develops, but
at least, one should *be aware* that such negative energy (sarcasm,
personal attacks and so on) DO NOT make a community stronger, nor
development better.

Some believe that this razor sharp attitude makes the community sharper
on technical details... My experience tells me the exact opposite: it
scares possible new contributors away.

Over the years, I came up with a design pattern for this: 'when you feel
personally attacked, write a nasty mail back and then delete it without
sending it, then start over again, you'll see all the negative energy
dissipated and you see what the other says'.

I must admit I use this pattern everytime Peter writes something to me
and this is *very* annoying. He would be *much* more helpful if he
stopped this (admittedly defensive) attacking attitude.

Sure, we are all sellfish and egocentric, that's our big human problem,
but it's not an excuse not to try to improve ourselves before trying to
improve the software we write.

-- 
Stefano Mazzocchi      One must still have chaos in oneself to be
                          able to give birth to a dancing star.
<stefano@apache.org>                             Friedrich Nietzsche
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