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From Jonathan Revusky <>
Subject Re: Dear trolls...
Date Mon, 01 May 2006 18:25:19 GMT
Paul Speed wrote:
> Frank W. Zammetti wrote:
>> On 4/27/06, Patrick Lightbody <> wrote:
>>>> Dear trolls,
>>>> Please go. Or at least try to form your rambling in to some sort of 
>>>> actionable suggestion. But don't just bitch for the sake of knowing 
>>>> that people are reading, because...
>>>> Dear everyone else,
>>>> Please stop reading or replying to the trolls. Seriously. You guys 
>>>> are just as bad for feeding the trolls. Ignoring them is the fastest 
>>>> way to make them go away. I have not and will not entertain them 
>>>> with any sort of response. I suggest you do the same.
>> I wouldn't have a problem with this except for one thought that 
>> crossed my mind as I read it: one person's troll is another's 
>> crusader.  I'm sure the King of England viewed the first Continental 
>> Congress as a bunch of trolls before the revolution happened :)
>> I would hope everyone around here is mature and professional enough to 
>> withstand criticism and not reject out-of-hand those ideas that do not 
>> immediately jive with your own.
>> You *always* have the choice whether to read someone's posts or not. 
>> You *always* have the choice whether to reply or not.  Filters are 
>> easy to set up, or it only takes a fraction of a second to delete 
>> someones' posts (or an entire thread if it doesn't interest you).  
>> There are many times where I simply ignore some topic, or some person, 
>> when I don't wish to be bothered.  But I *never* want to be in a 
>> situation where someone can't say what they want freely.  That would 
>> be far, far worse than any "troll" ever could be IMO.
> Of course, there is a difference between polite discourse and trolling. 
>  I think we all know who the real trolls are and I think the term has 
> been leveled a little heavy-handed lately.  I think the bottom line is 
> that if someone doesn't use the product, doesn't like the product, 
> doesn't like any of the people who work on the product, frequently finds 
> themselves always disagreeing with everyone else on the list then maybe 
> it is time for them to find another place to argue.

Well, I think the above begs the question. In terms of certain comments 
I have made, and questions I have posed, look, we all know that *only* 
an outsider to this project would ever say those things. This is 
particularly true in situations where the insiders are largely chosen on 
the basis of them being people who won't rock the boat.

So, I mean to say, that if an insider won't say certain things (because 
they just won't) and an outsider is not supposed to say certain things 
(because it's somehow improper) you're basically saying that *nobody* 
should say certain things.

IOW, nobody should make certain pointed comments or ask certain hard 

BUT... if the questions and comments are legitimate, it seems that they 
should not be off-limits, they should be asked. By somebody....

Now, OTOH, if your position is that certain comments or questions are 
illegitimate, you should be able to explain why. But that should be 
independent of who is making the comment or asking the question...

> Also, you bring up a good point because those of us who have a person 
> filtered into dev/null don't even have to read the messages unless 
> somebody responds.  So stop responding! :)
> As mentioned earlier, I've been reading these lists for six or seven 
> years or something and always enjoyed the high signal to noise ratio. 

Well, it is fairly clear to me that the culture you describe so 
nostalgically has not been good at maintaining any forward technical 
progress. Maybe, just maybe, this is because a culture where people all 
nicely agree with one another is inherently kind of sterile, and nothing 
new or innovative tends to emerge from such an environment.

Jonathan Revusky
lead developer, FreeMarker project,

> Lately it's been ridiculous.
> -Paul

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