Erlang forums (was Re: PING TEST)

Loïc Hoguin essen@REDACTED
Sat Dec 18 10:49:50 CET 2021

On 18/12/2021 07:09, Contact | Erlang Forums wrote:
>> ...while successfully keeping politics and personal morality out of it
> What you consider politics I consider a duty of care towards members of 
> our community, many who are our friends or colleagues and people we are 
> deeply fond of.

You know the saying, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions". 
We just think you chose the wrong path.

> Not only would it be tragic if one of them committed 
> suicide,

Nobody has died as a result of using the Erlang mailing lists as far as 
I'm aware.

> but I am sure many of us would be mortified knowing that, had 
> we not included it, a small gesture of kindness like the explicit 
> protection/mention of them in our terms may have prevented them from 
> taking their life because they might not have felt so alone or that 
> there was no other way. Acknowledging their struggles and supporting 
> them by affording them tiny protections like this may seem like politics 
> or a small thing to you, but it could make all the difference in the 
> world to them. That's why we do it.

Playing favorites for one group over another can be seen as an act of 
kindness in some parts, but it also means that the other groups are seen 
as less important. There is no such thing as "positive" discrimination, 
there's only discrimination. I am advocating for universalism instead: 
the rules should be enforced as stated and apply to everyone; nowhere in 
the rules should a particular group be singled out. There should only be 
the individual and the whole as far as policies and rules are concerned. 
Finally the rules should always be enforced as written, no exceptions.

> It is also quite telling that Loïc's opening post here omits the very 
> nature of his complaint that he spent so long persisting and demanding 
> we rectify, hence I feel this is terribly disingenuous and reeks 
> of being nothing more than an attempt to create/spread FUD. 
> Unfortunately some people unwittingly get dragged into things, which of 
> course is usually the intention.

As I said in my post here, this has all been discussed before when we 
got the initial ML CoC. I do not think I need to repeat myself, my 
concerns over the ML CoC are the same I have with the forums.

You're exaggerating the time I spent talking to you, and the politics 
aspect of the rules was only part of it. The non-binding part (due to 
never agreeing to the rules) and the weird attempt to claim "this is 
what Joe Armstrong would have wanted" were also in the discussion. I 
have spent far more time on the ML CoC issue and even more on the 
ToS issue.

> For us a large part of 
> that means fostering a positive inclusive community, including looking 
> out for those who may be the most vulnerable and supporting those who we 
> feel need our support and help. As I said previously, for us, that's 
> what community is all about.

For you, community is about having the power to push your politics, that 
much is clear. As should be evident for anyone paying attention in the 
past 10 years, inclusion policies are often just about excluding people 
who do not conform to your political and/or philosophical views. This is 
not to be confused with apolitical "inclusion" such as building a ramp 
for people who can't climb stairs, or making a site text-reader 
friendly, which are about enabling access to everyone.

>>> is becoming increasingly apparent that the underlying grievance 
>>> is over the CoC - due to what you've written here and because this is 
>>> exactly what Loïc (the person who started this thread) complained 
>>> about, and subsequently threatened he would post here about.
>> And now you've engaged in mind reading and assigned ill motives to 
>> thoughtful and considered objections to this move. The rest of your 
>> response continues to disparage and dismiss the morality of everyone 
>> that has raised concerns choosing not to address a single one of the 
>> substantive issues raised but, instead, to question the character of 
>> those who would raise concerns. The fact is that I was willing to 
>> personally overlook concerns of the ToS and CoC and just judge it 
>> based on it's feature merits. Your reply has caused me to reconsider 
>> my position about the ToS and CoC now and not in the manner you intended.
>> That is not how you keep the trust of a community that you are 
>> presumably supposed to be serving.
>> The Erlang/OTP community and this mailing list are one of the best 
>> examples of how to keep a technical group focused on technical issues 
>> while successfully keeping politics and personal morality out of it 
>> that I've encountered in my 30+ years of experience. It is NOT broken 
>> and does not need your help in fixing any such issues. Everyone here 
>> has commented (both pro and con) on the move with real skin in the 
>> game and a level of trust that everyone participating in the 
>> discussion shares the same priorities and only wants the best outcome 
>> for the technical community. No one raising objections has done so in 
>> a manner that suggests any other motive than that. None have deserved 
>> to be maligned in a manner in which your replies have consistently 
>> oriented themselves. All of them deserve responsive substantive 
>> consideration because they were offered in the same light.

I agree wholeheartedly.

I personally believe the larger Erlang community (contributors, IRC, ML, 
conferences) to have been one of the best I have ever interacted with. 
It all started going down the drain when some people started becoming 
ideologically possessed, as in "if you disagree with me you're a bigot". 
I don't blame them, I mostly blame social media.

Perhaps when the time comes some of us can take over the ML duties and 
keep it running as before. I don't think any kind of move would be 
positive: the idea that everyone subscribed here would go to some other 
ML or to forums is nonsense, you always lose people.


Loïc Hoguin

More information about the erlang-questions mailing list