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

From: Natanael Copa <>
Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2017 22:05:55 +0200

On Sun, 30 Jul 2017 02:57:57 -0500
William Pitcock <> wrote:

> It's become abundantly clear to me that Alpine no longer has the same
> values that it did when I joined the project many years ago. We've
> been through a lot and have exceeded expectations many times over, but
> unless some major changes happen very quickly, which I don't expect to
> happen, I think I'm out.
> The reality is that when bpitrowski_at_ was run out of the project by
> jirutka_at_ and some contributors that are part of his social clique, the
> core team did nothing to stop it, with individual members (including
> myself) expressing sorrow about the situation.

I actually did spend time talking with the involved parts in private. I
did not want involve more people than needed.

> Since then it has
> become clear that inaction of the core team has sent a very harmful
> message. The group who systematically harassed bpitrowski_at_ until he
> resigned have had other actions which have lead to perceptions such as
> "spewing hate is part of the Alpine brand."

> It has now been a year since he was run out of the project, and almost
> two years since I started raising concerns about this targeted
> harassment. In the past week, this group has felt even more
> empowered:

I am talking with him about it.

> Natanael in his role as the person who founded the project quickly
> stepped in to apologize, but, yet again, no sanction has occurred
> because of it. History repeats itself: the core team is too cowardly
> to actually sanction the behaviour.

I talked with him. He actually came to me immediatly after, realizing
it was a mistake. I didn't think there was need for any sanctions.

> One of the solutions proposed, in part, to curb the behaviour of that
> particular clique was a Code of Conduct. Instead, they hijacked the
> process of authoring a Code of Conduct by jumping out in front of it
> by being the first to propose text for a Code of Conduct:

He submitted a Code of Conduct because I asked him to do so.
Unfortunally it came at a time when I didn't have time (or energy) to
comment on it.

> This was explicitly stated by them to be a "defensive measure against
> SJWs." As if so-called SJWs are the only people who care about having
> a Code of Conduct. We are talking about a consistent and coordinated
> effort to undermine the project from specific actors.

I asked him to come up with a proposal because he was involved in the
incident that caused bpitrowski_at_ to leave.

> Ever since the bpitrowski_at_ incident, I have struggled with deciding
> whether or not to leave. But lately it has become obvious that
> leaving is the only thing I can do personally, as the core team as a
> whole clearly refuses to take any action to even understand why and
> how that incident played out. In fact, the core team has never
> discussed or attempted to analyze the incident. As far as I know,
> nobody ever bothered to ask why he left either, which means no
> analysis could be done even if they wanted to do it.
> What I know is that I cannot personally maintain good faith when it
> comes to interactions involving these people, largely because they ran
> a developer out of the project. And since I can't maintain good faith
> with these people anymore, it makes little sense to stay with the
> project, when I can work in a derivative instead.
> So really, my question is: why should I continue to do my work inside
> Alpine, to participate as a core developer when I am at risk of being
> harassed in the same way? Why should I spend my time contributing to
> a project that doesn't stand up for it's own when they need it the
> most?
> When Alpine was a younger project, solidarity was a crucial aspect of
> the core team. We worked hard and spent many nights hacking out
> fixes. Where we are now would never have happened if it wasn't for
> our loyalty and solidarity to each other.

We have grown alot since then, fast. But failed to deal with the growth.

> The true tragedy is that people have come in and destroyed that solidarity.

I think we have experienced the dead sea effect, sort of.

The public channels becomes hostile and unfriendly, the friendly people
leave (or are silent) the public channels, and instead do the
communication via private channels.

Whats left (active) in the public channels becomes even more unfriendly
and hostile.

> I want to believe we can fix this, but right now, a year after the
> bpitrowski_at_ incident, I find myself still hurting. I do not like that
> I have to be pensive around certain people to avoid becoming their
> next victim.

I believe we can fix it. I don't think it will be easy, but I believe we

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.

> 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.


Received on Mon Jul 31 2017 - 22:05:55 UTC