[linux-elitists] Re: GNOME > you

Chip Salzenberg chip@pobox.com
Tue Jan 6 08:26:17 PST 2004

According to Jeff Waugh:
> I'm talking about investment in the commons by Free Software
> developers, whatever their project may be, and what I think is a
> fairly reasonable idea: We should be gracious, polite and respectful
> of their contribution, even in disagreement.

You're conflating the person, the project, and the code.  Again.

Jeff, please pay close attention to this.  And think about it.
And review the thread in your mind as you read it.

  1. YOU are not the body of ALL GNOME CONTRIBUTORS.
  3. The GNOME CODE is not the GNOME PROJECT.

When we criticize the CODE we are criticizing the FUCKING CODE, OK?
Not you, not them; the CODE.  I write good code, I write bad code;
everybody does.  It's not personal.  Don't take it personally!

When we criticize the PROJECT DIRECTION, we are not criticizing YOU,
we are criticizing the PROJECT DIRECTION.  Which is an entity of its
own, separate from (though evident in) the code.  Don't take it
personally, to the extent possible.  And if the direction is partly
your fault, then take your lumps like a mensch.

When we criticize YOU for your rhetorical shortcomings, we are
criticizing YOU, not the PROJECT, and not the CODE.  Mocking you,
when it occurs, is all about YOU.  And frankly you've earned most
of the abuse you've gotten.  But that's a SEPARATE point from the
issues of code and project.  You are not Gnome!  Gnome is not you!

> I do think that the "act" of Free Software is good, and that
> deserves respect in and of itself.

Altruism of motive and value of product are totally orthogonal.  Why
should we respect someone for producing something of little value?
Chip Salzenberg               - a.k.a. -               <chip@pobox.com>
"I wanted to play hopscotch with the impenetrable mystery of existence,
    but he stepped in a wormhole and had to go in early."  // MST3K

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