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Re: [alpine-devel] a discourse on the troubles of being an alpine developer these days

From: A. Wilcox <>
Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2017 17:25:18 -0500

Hash: SHA256

[I realise I am a relative outsider here. If this is an inappropriate
thread for me to chime in on, please disregard this message.]

On 31/07/17 15:05, Natanael Copa wrote:
> I believe we can fix it. I don't think it will be easy, but I
> believe we can.
> I think a good starting point is that every individual: - try to be
> friendly with others - try improve your own communication skills
> (google gave me this:
> -
> acknowledge that everyone makes mistakes, even yourself - don't
> expect everyone to agree with you, and that is ok - maybe even a
> good thing. - don't try fix everything everybody. instead pick your
> "fights". This means that you need to let some things go, even if
> you disagree or if its suboptimal.
> That was just a few points that came of the top of my head. There
> are probably more.

These are some of the most important points. In Adélie we have an
established code of conduct that boils pretty cleanly down directly to

We are still pretty small (30 people in IRC at its maximum), but I
have found that something like #musl's rule of "yield offtopic talk
for musl talk, but if nothing's happening, talk about whatever" works
very well. This allows a sense of camaraderie to build that can't
foster in a strictly on-topic channel. Note however that this is a
pretty fine line to walk and there will be mistakes made from time to
time. I have not been on #alpine-devel enough to really know if a
similar environment is set up there. (I have been there off and on
since 2010, but only been paying closer attention the past few
months.) At any rate, the most important thing is not to immediately
start in by saying "this is OT move it somewhere else", if it isn't
hampering other discussion.

The one thing that all projects should absolutely be strict on: no
personal attacks. Two very similar yet importantly-different things
were made clear in Adélie's CoC:

* When people say something like "vi sucks", they are insulting a
software, not you. If you like vi then you can continue liking vi.
Don't take it personally.

* However, when people say "you use vi and you suck", that's a
personal attack and never acceptable. Don't say something like that.

Maybe a better example for Alpine would be systemd. I'm sure most of
us loathe systemd from a technological and code standpoint, but I
don't hate people who use it. Maybe they want the integration it
provides, or maybe they just don't know of better solutions, or maybe
somewhere between. It's important to separate the technological
(editor, init system, distro, whatever) from the people who use it.
The conflation of the two is where the so-called "hate machine" gets

>> Is the future being pursued, ironically in the name of "quality
>> assurance" by those actors, the future that everyone including
>> Docker and IBM want? It's not the future I want at any rate. I
>> say we must kick that agenda and those who pursue it to the
>> curb.
> Being hostile does not equal high quality and having a friendly
> community does not equal having low quality product.

This is a very important note. I have seen all varieties of
{friendly,hostile} {low,high} quality software. (Look at LKML some
time for an example of a very high-quality yet hostile product.) But
it is always better to have a friendly and welcoming environment,
because that leads to more contributions and better recognition.

Perhaps that could be a goal to work towards for Alpine: becoming a
Friendly distribution.

All the best,
- --arw

> -nc

- --
A. Wilcox (awilfox)
Project Lead, Adélie Linux
Version: GnuPG v2


Received on Mon Jul 31 2017 - 17:25:18 GMT