|| ||Chase Venters <chase.venters-AT-clientec.com>|
|| ||Cooling down the flames|
|| ||Mon, 19 Dec 2005 16:54:46 -0600 (CST)|
I wanted to take a moment out of my day to address the community's
reaction to the use of profanity and strong verbage by Linus Torvalds when
addressing GNOME developers in recent mailing list discussions. It would
be quite silly for me to attempt to address any one side of the argument
over another... it is clear that there are still tempers and feelings
which would turn any such attempt into another 200+-comment flamewar.
What troubles me is that the "friendly" press (I'm inventing the
term to describe sites like Slashdot that tend to cover issues related to
our community) did not report on any strong points Linus made - quotes
simply included his strong language and his call for people to use KDE.
Aaron Seigo, a lead KDE dev, had this to say in his blog:
> but how to express [my] frustration in a way that makes any sort of sense
> is not easy. the question that keeps circling around my head is: if people
> are as passionate about this open source stuff, why do they engage in
> destructive behaviour that works directly against the efforts of those who
> are trying to make it better? this is not a soap opera for your benefit,
> this is a real effort being made by a relatively small number of people
> that, goddess forbid, ought to actually be enjoyable. and someone writing
> one impassioned email, even if that someone is the pope of linux himself,
> does not qualify as a reason to ignore that.
By reducing what should have been a valid debate over design
philosophy into the irrelevant side-comments made in the course of that
debate, participating news outlets reduced themselves to the practices of
sensationalist reporting that would unfortunately scar the public's
perception about the matter at hand.
Linus could be right or he could be wrong. Given the amount of
hysteria generated by Linus raising his voice, I plead that anyone forming
an opinion on this matter first read Linus's remarks in full.
And to those of you who call Linus's remarks "childish" or
"immature", well, would as many of you be saying the same thing if Linus
were screaming instead at Microsoft engineers? Would the same people
call Linus's remarks childish or immature if he were screaming at the
KDE people? Would this have even been a major news story if it was, say,
me that was flaming the GNOME developers - not Linus?
At the end of the day Linus is just a person... a living,
breathing human being like you or I. He expressed his opinions not because
he had been sitting around, twiddling a mustache and planning a chaotic
flamewar, but because of the hope that by considering his frustrations the
developers might be able to better serve their users in the future.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Comments (11 posted)
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