Subject: Re: src/dist is a *bad* idea
To: None <>
From: Ken Hornstein <>
List: current-users
Date: 12/14/1999 01:35:02
I'm probably going to regret this .... buuuutttt ...

>If one wants to killfile everyone who communicates in a different way than
>one does, realize now that there are lots of different ways to present ideas,
>and the Internet is a biiiigggg place.
>Killfiles are for spammers and maybe people with CAPS LOCK DISEASE - not for
>people who disagree with you (in a reasonable way) or communicate differently.

I think we have different definitions of "reasonable".

Here's my one-sided view on things:

I've been aware of Greg Woods for a while (seems like forever, but
it couldn't possibly be that long :-) ).  Greg has stuck primarily in
my mind because he's on my "kooks" list.

By that I mean he's one of group of people who's messages I just
mentally filter out.  Why is that?  Well, it's generally because:

- Their messages are all about a few "hot button" topics.  With Greg,
  it's configuration management (but IIRC they're not limited to that).
- They're generally the same post over and over.
- They're all in essay format.

Now, I like to learn new things, and I like to think that I try to read
most messages here and on other mailing lists and try to really
understand what the person is saying.  I don't always succeed, but hey,
I try most of the time.

What I realize a while ago is that there are a group of people (for
lack of a better term, I have mentally tagged them as "kooks") for
which I start to know exactly what they're going to say as soon
as a particular topic comes up.  As soon as someone on info-cvs
mentions file renaming, I know almost exactly what Greg will say.

Now, does the fact that Greg has strong opinions or that he voices
them make him a kook in my mind?  Nope, it's going the extra mile
and writing the essays in response to _every_ message that does it.
In the threads I've followed, I don't believe Greg would ever give
up on a thread until the people on the other side give in first.
I think most people get simply too bogged down and give up out of
sheer frustration, not because they've been convinced.

I know that for me, when I see it's a "kook" thread, my eyes start
to glaze over and I quickly hit "delete", because I've learned long
ago that I know what the rest of the message is going to be, and I
_certainly_ won't learn anything new from it.

Is Greg an intelligent person?  Definately.  Does he have a lot of
experience on the subjects that he will so gladly pontificate on?
Probably.  Is he completely incapable of changing his mind and the
only way you can hold a reasonable discussion with him is to agree
with everything he says or just shut up?  Sure looks that way from
here.  That's probably an exaggeration, but I've seen pit bulls
with less tenacity than Greg explaining to someone how you really
want to do CVS branching.  (As an aside: I really have no idea
how Greg can write so _much_!  Where the hell do you get the time?)

I personally wouldn't put Greg in a killfile, because when he's
not on a "kook" thread, I don't mind his messages.  But I can see
why some people when faced with a deluge of email resort to that.

And just for the record, I'm not trying to be mean-spirited ...
I'm trying to offer a view from someone who doesn't know Greg,
has only seen his messages, and who has not ever participated
in one of these mega-threads or even exchanged one piece of email
with Greg directly (a view from the peanut gallery, if you will).
And yes, I see the irony in complaining about long posts _in_ a
long post myself, but I think my total throughput is such that
I'm allowed a few long ones now and then.