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05 March 2006 @ 04:28 pm
Momentum makes teletubbies go away  
David, you are perfectly right: momentum is what makes the fun. However I completely disagree with your conclusions. Trolls won't stop if you tell them to stop; a code of conduct doesn't help more in this matter than arguing calmly with them. You have to show the code. If debian-x has been free of flamewars last year, just like is e.g. debian-gtk-gnome for a place that I know more, it is because it is now a place dedicated to make things better by actually getting the work done. When the software works, nobody is looking for stupid ways to get it to work better. In other words, when technical solutions come up for technical issues you don't have to look for social ones.

What I call a teletubby is a person who is repeatedly saying we should just be kind, and everything will be fine, and flowers will grow, and Debian 3.2 will rock. If you want to see what is a teletubby, just read Andreas' platform. But there's only one way to make our next release rock: to work on it. Harder and better. People promoting the code of conduct are just teletubbies as well. Having a code of conduct doesn't change the contents of a mailing list, only the wording ; and in Debian, we can be sure it will just serve as an excuse for more trolling. Trolling about the code of conduct itself, trolling about whether this or that person is going against the code of conduct.

In Debian, the winning solution isn't the one discussed on mailing lists; it's the one getting implemented and used. Coming up on a mailing list with advice, ideas, or telling other people what to do doesn't bring anywhere. In the end, the only thing that counts is the code. Mailing lists are for people looking up for advice to start with, or for information. Anything else is just troll. You can zap those threads and won't see any difference.
(Anonymous) on March 5th, 2006 07:33 pm (UTC)
Purpose of a code of conduct
A code of conduct doesn't exist as a way to *tell* trolls to stop. A code of conduct exists in order to have an objective standard with which we can, in good conscience, *force* trolls to stop by banning them from lists. I'm not talking about the random person who posts stuff like "why haven't we released yet" once; I'm talking about the people who continually and knowingly troll a list with the intent of disrupting useful conversation; we have a fair handful of those on the lists.