[aur-general] TU application - Kyle Keen

Xyne xyne at archlinux.ca
Thu Dec 9 08:49:04 CET 2010

keenerd wrote:

> On Tue, Dec 7, 2010 at 4:57 PM, Ray Rashif <schiv at archlinux.org> wrote:
> > You shouldn't let other issues hinder your application. Reconsider
> > withdrawing, because it would disappoint your sponsor. You were asked
> > a very simple question:
> >
> > "Considering this and the still-ongoing discussion about the AUR guidelines, do
> > you agree that it would be prudent to be more patient in the future and wait
> > until we've come to a conclusion before going ahead with something like this
> > again?"
> That depends.
> Here are three examples were it is pretty cut and dry: Using the good
> name of the TUs, using magic tu.php powers, or using information only
> TUs have access to.  Before going anywhere near that stuff I'd get
> permission in triplicate.  In other words, great responsibilities are
> attached to even the least of *TU* resources.
> However, an AUR scanning/reporting bot could be made and operated by
> any *non-TU* in less than two hundred lines of any scripting language.
> I'll agree the bot was poorly executed.  The trigger thresholds were
> initially set a bit too low.  Less than 1/3 through the scan I greatly
> increased the triggers (ignore improper nesting, ignore less than four
> PNGs/GIFs/JPGs).
> To act as if this is a black and white issue draws a parallel with a
> very unethical Non-Compete agreement:  "While you are a programmer for
> FOO Corp, you are not allowed to write/release software outside of
> work."  I have never and would never take employment with such a
> company.  (Conversely, I have never worked on FOSS stuff for fun while
> on the clock.)  What rights, that we have as ordinary users, are given
> up even outside of the TU sphere?
> Retracting my withdrawal would be cheating.  I will wait at least
> three months, as a fair interpretation of the Bylaws requires.
> By the way, this ML has very strict and undocumented rules regarding
> attachments.  I do all sorts of work to get my charts and graphs the
> under the 100KB limit, only to find that all PNGs are scrubbed out.
> The irony.  Check my site later for those.

I never said that it wasn't within your rights to launch the bot. It isn't even
about the bot itself.

The issue as I see it is that you presented the idea on this list for
discussion but didn't care to follow that discussion until a conclusion was
reached. Some TUs objected to the bot and I think you should have taken those
objections into consideration (e.g. that icons should be tolerated, etc). The
TUs exist to manage the AUR and their collective interpretation of the rules
should carry weight.

Instead, you decided that your own interpretation of the AUR guidelines was
correct despite those objections and went ahead on your own. As a result, many
AUR users may now be confused regarding the rules of the AUR. Of course that's
within your rights, but it's not something that a prospective TU should do.
Using your wild west analogy of the AUR, it shows that you see yourself as the
lone gunman who lives by his own rules. That doesn't work well in a team

Again, the bot itself isn't the issue for me. The attitude is, or at least I
think it could be. All I asked for was some indication that you wouldn't skip
discussions in the future and ride off on your own, but I understand that my
message and the comments it evoked were demotivational. It's unfortunate that
you took it the way that you did rather than simply allay the concerns.

As for your FOO Corp analogy, you weren't being asked to sign a non-compete
agreement. You presented yourself as an applicant to FOO Corp. You also noticed
that FOO Corp has a Facebook page and that many of its clients have posted
various comments there. FOO Corp presents itself as a "family-oriented
business" and you felt that there were many comments on the Facebook page that
were not in line with this image. You therefore wrote a bot that could send
messages to those FOO Corp clients to inform them that their comments were
inappropriate. You presented your idea to the people at FOO Corp. Some of them
agreed with you about which comments were inappropriate and some disagreed. You
ignored those who disagreed and launched your bot before the people at FOO Corp
had even reached any internal conclusion about how "family-oriented business"
should be interpreted and used to evaluate the appropriateness of the Facebook

Could someone outside of FOO Corp write such a bot. Obviously.

Is it within your rights to do so? Yes.

Is it understandable that it would raise some eyebrows while considering your
application? I think it is. Even if you do so on your own time, FOO Corp should
be worried if you have a different interpretation of FOO Corp's policies and
act on that interpretation in a way that directly affects FOO Corp's clients,
especially if you show that you have no interest in determining official policy

The intention is clearly good but the wrong interpretation of the desired
outcome leads to bad results.

The length of my replies might be taken to mean that this is a bigger issue
than it really is. I'm simply trying to be thorough in explaining myself. This
isn't an attack on you. I really hope that this doesn't diminish your overall
enthusiasm for Arch.


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