[erlang-questions] Announcing Erlang.org Code of Conduct

zxq9 zxq9@REDACTED
Tue Mar 24 03:35:07 CET 2015

On Monday 23 March 2015 17:48:20 Raoul Duke wrote:
> > And there is top posting where the entire previous
> > message has been included without thought, and I have
> > to trawl carefully through it to see if I have missed
> > some added material. I imagine it is that kind of
> > post that has given top posting a bad name.
> + lots, for pointing out an underlying usability distinction.
> I also do not mind top-posting as long as it isn't the pathalogically
> unthinkingly bad type.

[Expanded the quote for context]

Finally, the problem.

Its not that top posting or bottom posting or addressing points by interleaved 
quotation is always best -- it is that of all the forms, top posting is the 
one most commonly associated with thoughtless, effortless responses that are 
likely to waste the reader's time.

In fact, top posting being the default for most mail clients is the very thing 
that makes me suspicious of top posts, because it is indeed effortless. It is 
likely anything quoted was only an inclusion incidental to thoughtless use of 
a mail agent, instead of something that required effort. In the few seconds it 
requires to place the cursor at the end of a message one has just a moment to 
reflect, to cool down, to visually recognize just how much irrelevant digital 
garbage one is about to bat right back at the mailing list server. This is a 
good thing.

Perhaps we should embrace the idea that statements made in public places 
should be thoughtful and require some effort. This doesn't mean they must be 
dry, humorless, or even polite.

One thing that has always stuck out to me about this relatively small but 
abnormally skilled community it is that it seems to place a very high value on 
quality. While this means different things to nearly everyone, "quality" and 
"thoughtless" tend to not go together.

This is better expressed as an ethos than a rule set, and perhaps that is part 
of why there has been so much backlash in this thread. Some people clearly 
feel their expressive freedom is violated when asked to immediately comply 
with some unfamiliar CoC.


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