[aur-general] Being an asshole to package maintainers is a bannable offense, and that's okay (Was: EQ And Community Kindness)

Eli Schwartz eschwartz at archlinux.org
Wed Jan 15 22:09:24 UTC 2020

On 1/15/20 4:17 PM, michael Bostwick via aur-general wrote:
> Hi,
>     This is my first time writing the mailing list, to be honest I would
> have preferred anther way of bringing this up, but *I didn't see an easy
> way to bring my concern to someone who's empowered to fix this strong
> comment or make it better.* I was looking into a package to solve a complex
> programming task when I encountered a rather jarring pinned comment . (
> https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/libc%2B%2B/#pinned-678768 )
> "
> Hi people, this is your regular reminder to SHUT UP about validpgpkeys
> checks and complaints about the fact that test suites exist.
> This package is doing the correct thing, and there has been a great deal of
> pointless moaning and whining about it, but there is also multiple pinned
> comments explaining why every one of those complaints is not only null and
> void, but retroactively ridiculous.
> The banhammer is ready and waiting in case you *still* want to ignore all
> this on top of the Trusted User warning."
> I really hope no one was banned by the writer of this comment,and I really
> hope as trusted users in the future you guys would *be a little more kind*
> to members of the aur community.

The package in question has suffered to a very surprising degree from
tremendous quantities of abuse heaped upon the maintainer.

Since that pinned comment was added, users have stopped being mean to
the maintainer. As a result, no one has needed to be banned.

If you had moderator privileges on the AUR and could see the contents of
the deleted comments -- of which there are many -- I suspect you'd
rapidly understand why people are at the end of their tether.

> Many linux users may be familiar with
> Linus Torvalds writings on his mistakes with EQ, I hope no one in aur has
> to experience that.

I'm not even sure I recognize the abbreviation "EQ", but given it's some
sort of Linus Torvalds reference I'm fairly positive no one has been
personally attacked or called names on that AUR page.

Some people who were behaving very impolitely indeed, were given an
ultimatum that their behavior was not an acceptable way to treat people,
but more on that later.

Hmm, I wonder: does that make me the champion of community kindness,
here? Is my attempt to enforce that, now being met with objections from
you, who would like to defend the right of users to be as offensive as
they want without having to suffer the consequences of being banned for
their behavior?

> For those trusted AUR members that have been kind I say *thank you for your
> hard work*, and for those that mean well but are harsh please keep in mind
> when you see a package the first thing you see in the pinned comment (and
> alot of context that is missed), and that speaks loudly to your impressions
> of aur.
I have been kind... to the AUR package maintainer. This is more
important than being kind to users, because the package maintainer is
the one who does the work, and therefore we would like him to continue
doing the work rather than being chased away by ungrateful users heaping
abuse upon him because he wrote a PKGBUILD for software that takes a
while to compile, and users apparently hate maintainers that don't offer
instant gratification.

Futhermore: the so-called "unkindness" you speak of is simply a warning
stating that users are not permitted to complain about two very specific
things which are simultaneously correct to do *and* which the package
maintainer has very patiently explained the purpose of and the makepkg
options to disable them if the user optionally chooses that they don't
wish these things to happen.

Despite these very patient, thoughtful pinned comments by the package
maintainer, we would periodically have like ten comments in a row
discussing those two things, by people who did not read the pinned
comments and were upset that the package "doesn't work", calling the
maintainer stupid, demanding a binary repository for the package, or
simply derailing the comments with some discussion about their needing
to delete gpg.conf in order for the /usr/bin/gpg command to work.

Most people will not even see this warning, because they simply download
the PKGBUILD with an AUR helper and neither see existing comments nor
post their own.

Eli Schwartz
Bug Wrangler and Trusted User

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