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#NetBSD on FreeNode
This is not really one of those types of emails i enjoy writing or sending.
However, i do believe this needs to be examined and addressed, because someone
else reported it to me. It's happened to me a number of times, and i just
chalked it up to personality differences, the abstraction layer of the
Internet, and/or maybe one of us was not having the best day and the first
person to know about it was the one on the other end of the line. Perhaps so,
perhaps not. Who knows? Anyway...
I was chatting with the maintainer of a project regarding the status of their
package on *BSD, because i am interested in packaging it, testing it, and
possibly using it daily. He asked me a question that i didn't know the answer
and which the answer was not immediately obvious to me from doing a quick
search. I referred him to #NetBSD (FreeNode). He related to me that he "had
some terrible experiences on #NetBSD". The first time someone "talked with him
in a sarcastic tone", and the second he had to wait two hours for a reply.
Now, the second experience could be understandable. #NetBSD isn't
It's not unreasonable to ponder if the user was deliberately ignored due to
his question being perceivably too obvious/simple for the wizened UNIX guru.
Let's give ourselves the benefit of the doubt and assume that maybe he asked a
question to which no one had the answer. I have had that experience.
However, the first situation is entirely unacceptable. This is not a moral
judgement, but rather a logical conclusion. When we ask ourselves the
questions: "Is this sort of behaviour inline with the project's goals?",
"Will responding to others in a such a manner incline more people to
use/contribute to NetBSD/pkgsrc?", "Would we appreciate if others responded to
us the same way?"; the obvious answer is "no".
I do my best to communicate to upstream regarding the status of their packages
in pkgsrc (build successes/failures, patches, suggestions, etc.). I don't want
to feel that these efforts are wasted when upstream comes for support or to
contribute (the whole point of involving them in the first place) and someone
in IRC is a huge prat to them. I'm not typing this cross-legged, hovering in
mid-air, pretending that i've never been a heinous git to anyone either (this
message is CC'd to me).
There's no need to bang on about this issue. I don't mean this to generate a
long thread of remorse, apologies, excuses, promises, flaming, etc. It's just
important to recognize that it happens and it's up to the individual to cease
it. We can surely see the evolution of these actions if they are tolerated and
fed within ourselves by looking at several other "support" channels on the
same network. Then, if we pose the question, "Is that where we want to go?", i
believe the answer to that is a resounding "no".
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