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From Phil Steitz <p...@steitz.com>
Subject Re: Open Source, Cold Shoulder (fwd)
Date Sat, 09 Oct 2004 01:40:34 GMT
Yoav Shapira wrote:
> Hi,
> I don't think the article merits any sort of official response.  It's
> interesting reading, but once I got to the (quote) "People often speak of the
> FLOSS “community,” but that phrase implies a degree of coherence that has never
> existed" (end quote) assertion, I realized the article had negligible
> credibility.  How can you possibly assert that?  I see it proven false on a
> daily basis in every "FLOSS" community I belong to.  I think most readers of SD
> Online are intelligent enough to conclude the same.
> 
> I have two good counter-examples from the Tomcat community.  Amy Roh has been a
> great, productive, creative, fun-to-work-with committer for a long time.  We
> further have a number of woman who regularly post both questions of their own
> and answers to others' questions on the tomcat-user list, so while they're not
> Tomcat committers they are definitely part of the Tomcat community.
> 
> But you know what, on a night like tonight with the Sox moving on in the
> playoffs, even an apparently bashing article like this doesn't bother me much! 
> Have a good weekend everyone ;)
> 
> Yoav

Its hard for me to argue with one of the most friendly folks @apache ;-) 
but I actually think that the article makes some valid points. The stuff 
about technical focus and women (on average) being less interested in 
programming, etc.is nothing that we can really do anything about; but when 
it comes to making people welcome and comfortable in the community, I 
think we can always improve that. The "steep learning curve" and 
occaisonal curt or unhelpful responses that people get when trying to get 
involved can also be barriers. Could be these barriers disproportionately 
exclude women. Regardless, the point is that by being more helpful and 
making our projects and infrastructure more approachable, we can improve 
the community.

Phil


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