Tuesday Sep 01, 2009

Easing Communications

I'm reviewing Chapter 6 of Producing Open Source Software by Karl Fogel. It's an excellent read. It covers communication on open source projects and how to interact in the most efficient and professional way possible. Also excellent is How Open Source Projects Survive Poisonous People by Ben-Collins Sussman and Brian Fitzpatrick (slides). I view this video every few months to keep sane. I've gotten much better with my online communications in recent years in that I don't get bogged down in flames or respond to attacks anymore, which only leads to being attacked even more. I used to try and respond to everything in an effort to shape a thread or calm people down or deflect unwanted advances. But that's just not realistic. More bluntly, it's a waste of time. And it only distracts you from taking advantage of all the interesting opportunities out there. Instead, I'm trying to focus my communications by engaging more with people who are respectful and open to my efforts. I am trying to protect my most important resource: my attention. It's going good.

Tuesday Mar 25, 2008

Don't Feed the Trolls

"I think trolling in the broader sense has four causes. The most important is distance. People will say things in anonymous forums that they'd never dare say to someone's face." -- Paul Graham, Trolls, 2/08

The other three causes are good, too, but the first is key for me. Get together from time to time. A hand shake or bow and a beer can make all the difference in the world.

Thursday Jan 10, 2008


Just watched the Google video to this poisonous people presentation. Very good suggestions. Some may be hard to implement, but you need to have at last some standards to encourage specific behaviors within any organization of people.

Tuesday May 24, 2005

Attack of the Rabid, Brain Dead Pit Bull

So, while I was away with the baby recently it seems I came up in a couple of, ah, conversations about OpenSolaris. Sometimes on this project I have to stop and look over my shoulder just to make sure Rod Serling isn't back there narrating my life.

Here's a post from Slashdot and my comments in bold red (thought I didn't correct the original typos):

\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\* Post Starts Here \*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*

People just can't stand Sun's endless stream of BS (Score:0)
by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 06, @06:27AM (#12450385)

What are these people complaining about? (We're tired of getting attacked.) I mean, it was Sun's very own Jim Grisanzio (What ... no link?) who set the tone here. (How`s that? I've responded, not attacked. Please cite your evidence to the contrary.) For month (No. I've been responding to attacks on Solaris for over a year now.) he is attacking every critical statement (Oh, no ... I've missed hundreds of attacks on Solaris, but I've been trying my best to keep up.) about Sun's OpenSolaris release like a brain-dead pitbull with rabies (appologies to all pitbulls) (Ouch. Now that hurt. Great quote, though. I'm saving it.).

And JG is not even funny or imaginative (I'm not trying to be ... are you?). He is just playing the same old record: "People who complain are stupid.", (I never said that. Any evidence to the contrary?) "People who ask for details are brain dead and don't get it". (Nope. I never said that one either.) "OpenSolaris will be released real soon now". (Well, it will.)

OpenSolaris is indeed vapourware (Yes, from your perspective; no from ours. It's a draw.) with an GPL incompatible license. (I thought it was the other way around.) And Sun is working very hard to piss of even more programmers. (Even more? Even more than what?)

It is high time for Sun to put up or shut up. (Totally agree.) That propaganda dog-and-pony show is going on many potential developer's nerves. (Like who?)


And then there's this comment at ZDNet (could it be the same guy?):

Fullname:   Anonymous
Location:   -
Occupation:   -

Well, the thing is, the baby is still not born. (Partially correct.) But Sun did already throw one birth party after the other (More than that, actually.), colleced the presents (positive press) (and massive attacks) and expects everyone to praise the unseen baby's beauty. (No. We're just telling our customers and developers what we're doing, that's all. It really is that simple.)

The birth is almost six month overdue, (Oh, goodness no, it's much longer than that.) and of course people start to ask the obvious questions: Why does it take so long, (You wouldn't want to know, believe me.) and is the lady really pregnant?

Sun's reaction to these questions, especially that of the community manager JG is not adequiate. (Correct. I've been pushing for a much more aggressive response to the attacks, a faster release cycle, and zero marketing.) Blindly declaring all critics as being stupid (I never said that.), "not geting it", (Yep. I say that sometimes to those who blindly attack Solaris and deny that the Solaris community even exists.) leechers (I don't know what that means.), or trolls (Not a word I generally use.) works only so fare. The reaction of the open source comunity (Which open source community?) is predictable. This is not a community that swallows marketing bull. Instead, the statement "put up or shut up" is exactly the right one. (Correct. And we are. We have a license, we published a road map, we announced a Community Advisory board, we released DTrace, more to come.)

It is hight time for Sun to stop the propaganda and "show us the code" (another cl\*\*\*\*ic request of the FOSS community). Many have tried to join the FOSS community with all talk and no code. (Correct. We've got 10 million lines of Solaris code coming ... not to mention all the other projects we have out there.) The trolls are the ones who can't show code, not the ones who ask to see it. (Is that all you are doing? Just asking to see the code?)

\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\* Post Ends Here \*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*

Fun stuff, eh? So, these comments came from a Slashdot conversation -- Sun Developers Refute OpenSolaris Vaporware Claims -- and a ZDNet article -- OpenSolaris developers defend their baby.  For more of this you can see Dan, Dennis, Alan, Jason, and Bill. And they have a bunch of links as well.

I know, I know ... people told me not to respond to this, but I couldn't help it. Bullies never like it when you fight back and defend yourself. But, sorry. I do.



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