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Re: Code of Conduct complaint about Linus's comments at DC14

On 8 September 2014 22:03, Russ Allbery <rra@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> What I hear when I see people make this argument an implied argument that,
> by doing great technical work, one earns the right to behave as one
> chooses towards other people,

The right to behave how you choose is probably pretty close to inalienable. :)

I think you mean something more like "one earns the right to be
treated solely according to the quality of your technical

There's a possibly interesting (though probably not very informative)
parallel there with the way some women in technology would like to be

> or at least to behave worse than we'd
> tolerate from someone else in the community.  I can see some of the appeal
> in this argument, but I fundamentally disagree with it.  I don't think
> anyone has the right to treat people disrespectfully (dis-courteously?


> He also occasionally acts really nastily towards other people.

In this thread, you've described Linus's behaviour/actions/comments as
"really nasty" (above), "poisonous", "destructive",  "disappointing",
"unhealthy", "aggressive[ly] contempt[uous]", "aggressively nasty",
"hostile", "destructive to the community", "unacceptable treatment of
human beings", and "globally unacceptable anywhere".

At some point, doesn't that fall afoul of Debian's code of conduct?
"In a project the size of Debian, inevitably there will be people with
whom you may disagree, or find it difficult to cooperate. Accept that,
but even so, remain respectful. Disagreement is no excuse for poor
behaviour or personal attacks". You disagree with Linus, and find it
difficult to cooperate with him -- you're not joining the kernel
community any time soon, as a result. That's obviously fine. But at
this point, it seems to me more like your descriptions of Linus's
behaviour falls into the domain of "personal attacks" than
particularly informative/productive discussion, no? [0]

> There's a
> human tendency to try to reduce everything to simple statements of good or
> bad, but the world doesn't work that way.  It's important to be able to
> hold both of those concepts in one's mind at the same time.

So, personally, I prefer Linus's style of attacking folks. The main
things that Linus does that allow me to find it unobnoxious are: his
rants are focussed on technical issues, not personality/style; he
doesn't hold grudges -- if he flames you to a crisp one day, you can
work through it and have a constructive and productive dialogue a week
later; and he's willing to be persuaded he's wrong or agree to
disagree if you've got a reasonable argument for your point of view.

But hey, what's good for me doesn't have to be good for you; and what
works for the kernel doesn't have to be what works for Debian.

> That's just me, obviously, and other people will have different takes on
> it.  But I've gotten the impression from several people that they somehow
> think that we would be negating the good things that Linus has done by
> objecting to the things he does that we find unacceptable.

As I understand it, we've established that Linus didn't do anything at
DebConf we found unacceptable; and more particularly, didn't do
anything at DebConf that you found unacceptable. I'm not sure what my
point here is -- I guess your mails kind of come across as "I really
want Debian to sanction Linus, because dammit he deserves it, this
just isn't a good enough excuse". Which more or less holds all the
attributes that I do find unpleasant (all about personality rather
than technical things; it's holding a grudge over things that are
weeks, months or years in the past; and doesn't really allow much
acceptance for alternate views).


[0] Also, what does that mean for where on the "DebCon" scale this
thread ranks? --

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