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From Mark Thomas <ma...@apache.org>
Subject Re: At what point do you unsubscribe/deny a misbehaving user?
Date Sun, 18 Dec 2005 19:40:02 GMT
Noel J. Bergman wrote:
> Mark Thomas wrote:
>>Noel J. Bergman wrote:
>>>what thickness of skin should be required of participants on our lists?
> 
>>Thick enough to take to criticism, whether it be right or wrong, and
>>to respond in a positive manner.
>> 
>>Personal attacks of any form or degree are not acceptable behaviour
>>and therefore we should not require people to have thick enough skin
>>to ignore them.
> 
> Can you elaborate on this, framing it in terms of policy and practice?

I'll try.

Policy:
1. Criticism must be constructive and include a justification.
2. Criticism must never be personal. Criticise the proposal, not the
person making it.
3. Personal attacks are never acceptable.

Practice:
Following the above, providing one counts to ten before responding to
the more inflammatory posts, isn't too difficult. The difficult part
is what to do when someone crosses the line. I don't think a standard
response can be developed as the right response will vary on a case by
case basis. Possible factors to consider when framing a response may
include context, motivation, nature of transgression, etc.

Generally I would advocate (in no particular order):
1. Lead by example (mainly aimed at committers).
2. Remember that Apache is world-wide community and that each person's
understanding of the nuances of the English language may be different.
3. Give people the benefit of the doubt. E-mail is a very impersonal
communication medium and it is very easy for something meant as an
off-hand joke to be seen as offensive. If a comment can be taken two
ways, assume the more positive one was intended.
4. Expect to make embarrassing mistakes and to have them pointed out
in public. This is the nature of open source.
5. If attacked, don't attack back.
6. Always be polite.

Mark


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