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

Santiago Torres-Arias santiago at archlinux.org
Wed Jan 15 22:42:02 UTC 2020

Hello, Michael, Eli.

On Wed, Jan 15, 2020 at 05:09:24PM -0500, Eli Schwartz via aur-general wrote:
> 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 think it's perfectly fine to reach out to the community at large like
this. Welcome, and nice to meet you.

> > 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.

I'd like to echo this, because I think it speaks to the context of the
message. It's hard to keep your temper when somebody is constantly being
harassed and abused for no reason and people are not willing to listen.

Having said that, I do think that the message is not at *all* welcoming,
and that's the crux of the problem that Michael is bringing up.
Somebody, anybody, that walks into that package page without context
would assume somebody is being an asshole to anybody who disagrees. I
strongly think we should rephrase it into something that still maintains
the warning for trolls/unsavory users, without being this acid. It's a
valid concern the one that Michael bring, and I think we should listen
to it.

> 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?

on the other hand, Eli, I think we should probably save ourselves things
like this. They add very little to the conversation.

> > 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.

I don't fully agree with this. Everybody is part of the community. I do
appreciate you stepped in to defend a Packager, but Users are a *very*
important part of the community and we should strive to make them feel
as such.

> 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.

I don't think anybody here would disagree with the goal of the pinned
message, but rather the tone of it.

To close, I think giving context is important. It's hard to stay at our
best when you see somebody facing an onslaught of abuse, yet I think
it's in our best interest to work towards a more welcoming community.

Eli, I suggest you re-phrase that message. Michael, thanks for bringing
this up.

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