Not logged in
Log in now
Create an account
Subscribe to LWN
Pencil, Pencil, and Pencil
Dividing the Linux desktop
LWN.net Weekly Edition for June 13, 2013
A report from pgCon 2013
Little things that matter in language design
LinuxCon Japan: Making kernel developers less grumpy
Posted Jun 13, 2012 13:36 UTC (Wed) by broonie (subscriber, #7078)
It's just a generally bad way of correcting people's behavior.
Posted Jun 13, 2012 22:32 UTC (Wed) by nevets (subscriber, #11875)
I've been complimented on being one of the politest developers on LKML. I jump into heated flames all the time without resorting to insults, even when insults are directed at me.
But as I started working on more core kernel code, and becoming more responsible for code that was used by a wider audience, I started getting some of these crazy requests. I started with the polite responses, but that just seemed to bring more craziness my direction. Then the polite brush offs, which also attracted this crap. Ignoring it made me look unprofessional (not responding to email). Finally I resorted to some insulting feedback and that seemed to work.
I wasted my own time trying to be nice. One thing that you can get from Greg's report is that kernel developers have very limited time. Time is our most precious resource. If being polite wastes time, and a quick jab is more effective, then those quick jabs become the efficient process.
Sorry, but unfortunately it's just part of the job. Now, as we are still humans, some developers can go overboard with their insults. But just imagine getting email every day from people that don't make the effort to understand the process. When being a bit of a jerk back either makes them understand or just go away, and you get more work done, one tends on being that jerk.
If you're creative with your insult you might even get the added benefit of appearing on LWN's "Quote of the week" :-)
Posted Jun 18, 2012 12:36 UTC (Mon) by marcH (subscriber, #57642)
Answering harassment or trolls is anything but professional. Ignoring harassment is definitely professional.
Whom do you trust to define what is professional versus not, the harassers?
Posted Jun 18, 2012 15:05 UTC (Mon) by nevets (subscriber, #11875)
But it's usually people that expect something for nothing, or just do not listen to the responses you give. After a bit of explaining the same thing multiple times, and getting the same answer back without it going any further, is where one starts to get frustrated, and a quick jab can sometimes wake them up.
Posted Jun 18, 2012 16:36 UTC (Mon) by marcH (subscriber, #57642)
This what I called "harassment". Please search/replace with a better term, thanks.
Copyright © 2013, Eklektix, Inc.
Comments and public postings are copyrighted by their creators.
Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds