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From Stefano Mazzocchi <stef...@apache.org>
Subject Design patterns for flame-free mail list
Date Thu, 24 Feb 2000 23:20:24 GMT

I'd like to share something with you.

There is no such thing as a perfect world... this is reflected by the
fact that there are no flame-free mail lists.

But the during the years, we tried hard to make the apache mail lists as
smooth as possible. Why? flames reduce signal/noise ratio, increase
frustration, decrease self-confidence and reduce friendship and loyalty.

Bullshit? well, can you stand newsgroups anymore? anyone?

Anyway, here is my simple design pattern that I wish all of us used:
I'll call it the "you-idiot design pattern" (some of you already know
it: please apologize the duplication).

When you see a mail that irritates you or gets irrationally personal do
the following:

1) write the nasties possible reply to that guy forcing yourself to
finish at least one screen dense of insults, bad words, nasty
meanings... all that stuff.

2) instead of hitting the send button, hit the delete one and throw it

3) start over with the same intent.

You'll find out that irrational negative energy was "dissipated" during
that first loop... and you start seing things differently. 99% of the
time, you don't even end up writing that mail... you simply ignore that.

There is no chance to remove the "irritating social noise" that comes
out of a mail list, or a group of people. Filtering this with kind of a
"negative feedback filter" like the one explained above reduces the
noise and increases the signal.

Think about it and try once. You'll help the community by reducing
unnecessary noise.

Of course, when starting a thread... try to be as respectful as you can
:) It always helps.

Stefano Mazzocchi      One must still have chaos in oneself to be
                          able to give birth to a dancing star.
<stefano@apache.org>                             Friedrich Nietzsche
 Come to the first official Apache Software Foundation Conference!  
------------------------- http://ApacheCon.Com ---------------------

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