[linux-elitists] My Anti-Qmail Page

Rick Moen rick@linuxmafia.com
Sat Nov 5 18:30:11 PST 2005

Hi, Paul!

Quoting J. Paul Reed (preed@sigkill.com):

> As an example, I've heard numerous times (I haven't ever researched this,
> so I'm not going to claim it's actually happened, but I have heard this
> from numerous sources, If you want a better, documented example of this
> type of behavior, substitute Theo de Raadt) stories about Mr. Bernstein
> kicking people off of "his" mailing lists when they are advocating
> ideas/improvements he doesn't like. Assuming this (for now) hypothetical is
> true, that's something I'd want to know before I start using his software,
> and it's something I would consider as a negative to using his software.

I link to a well-known incident of that happening in the middle of 
http://linuxmafia.com/~rick/faq/index.php?page=warez#djb , the link
anchor being the last few words of the sentence "Further, if you attempt
to discuss patches he doesn't approve of on his mailing lists, Bernstein
has been known to threaten to kick you out."

In that context, it was neither helpful nor necessary to editorialise.
I just linked directly to the incident, and let readers draw their own

> In an open source context, developers' attitudes towards their users and
> the dialogue that occurs is very analogous to technical support in a
> commercial context;

Sometimes.  Even in DJBland, most people don't _have_ to deal with Dan
directly on his mailing lists.  In fact, there's a fairly large, active,
and mostly pleasant and constructive third-party support community (good 
people like Russ Nelson), much of whose activity isn't even on Dan's
mailing lists at all.  The people who have to deal with him are the
subset seeking to influence development -- or _would_ have to deal with
him, if he hadn't ceased that activity.

Just to clarify, I'm not saying your points aren't worth noting, but I 
(for one) wasn't saying that these matters can't or shouldn't be
mentioned, just that they're touchy and difficult to discuss without
_appearing_ to indulge in pure interpersonal squabbling.  I was saying
the problem is the unintended rhetorical effect.

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