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

Bengt Kleberg bengt.kleberg@REDACTED
Fri Mar 27 16:14:33 CET 2015


It is very kind to suggest that there is some point to this discussion. 
However, if it is to be about selective quoting in general I have to add 
that my comments are only supposed to be about this practice in emails. 
erlang-questions is not the right place for a general discussion of that.

The relative badness of heavy editing of quotes in emails is minor. Only 
2 people on erlang-questions have expressed a dislike. Neither of these 
is such strong wording as the top anti-top-posting sentiments that have 
been seen. So perhaps it would be better to continue with inline 
comments to avoid incurring that kind of emotions.


On 03/27/2015 08:37 AM, Richard A. O'Keefe wrote:
> On 27/03/2015, at 7:23 pm, Bengt Kleberg <bengt.kleberg@REDACTED> wrote:
> I think there is some point in continuing the discussion,
> but NOT as a discussion about top-posting vs inline
> annotation.
>> Given a background of no problems with heavily edited quotes and inline comments I understand that such an experience would make one like that practice. My experience is not one of those. I would prefer no editing of what I have written. It is therefore I top post. Do unto others etc.
> We are now onto something that has nothing to do with the
> mechanics of mail.  This is perhaps the key question.  One
> reason it is a key question is that Bengt Kleberg's
> position is one I find morally consistent but could never
> have imagined it possible to hold.  If he's right about
> selective quoting being wrong, I have been doing bad things
> for a long time and need to change.  So have I?
> It has been standard practice in the West, for about the
> last two thousand years, when you quote someone to quote
> only part.  (I'm thinking not just of Augustine and Origen
> but Clement, Ignatius, Paul, the Evangelists, the fragments
> we have of the pre-Socratics that survive because they were
> quoted, ...) To be sure, the tractate "Ethics of the Fathers"
> (Pirkei Avot) says in chapter 6, verse 6:
>      ... Torah is acquired with forty-eight qualities.
>      These are: study, listening, ...., exactness in
>      conveying a teaching, and saying something in the
>      name of its speaker.  Thus we have learned:  On
>      who says something in the name of its speaker
>      brings redemption to the world, ...
> [Quoted from the English translation at http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/2122/jewish/Chapter-Six.htm]
> This teaches the ethical importance of quoting accurately
> and attributing correctly.  But Pirkei Avot is practically
> made up of *short* quotations.  E.g., chapter 1 verse 12:
>      ... Hillel would say: Be of the disciples of Aaron---
>      a lover of peace, a pursuer of peace, one who loves
>      the creatures and draws them close to Torah.
> [http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/682498/jewish/English-Text.htm]
> For the record, I'm not a Jew and never have been,
> but I find Pirkei Avot edifying.
> If it was ok to make a tiny extract from Hillel's teaching,
> how can it be wrong to make an excerpt from mine?
> Or let's descend to the (deliberately) ridiculous:
> Lowering the Bar.  (www.loweringthebar.net).  The
> recent blog entry "Court: Obligation to Make Sense May
> Not Be Delegated to Client" quotes *part* of the
> petition it's holding up to ridicule.  (And links to
> the whole.)  Kevin Underhill also quotes *part* of the
> Court's response.  The previous entry, "Minor Woodfoolery
> in Today's Supreme Court Opinion", quotes *part* of what
> Justice Kagan wrote and *part* of what Justice Scalia
> wrote.  (There's a link to the full document, just as
> e-mail messages have message-IDs to track quoting.)
> Or for an example from our own discipline, consider
> http://tug.org/TUGboat/tb34-3/tb108reviews-knuth.pdf
> That's David Walden reviewing the book "The Essential
> Knuth", "primarily an interview of Don Knuth by Edgar
> Daylight".  In that review, David Walden quotes just
> *four sentences* out of 90 pages.
> If it's OK to extract one tiny point out of a book
> and comment on that, when it's *KNUTH* in question,
> how could it be wrong to edit my messages?  Heavily!
> Seriously, I do not have a right to expect, and I do
> not expect, that anything I say, if quoted, will be
> quoted in full.  The most I can expect is that the
> attribution be correct and the editing be fair.
> Éric Pallieau (eric.pailleau@REDACTED) already
> directed our attention to
> http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1855
> which is quite explicit.  Section 2.1.1 says
>      ... You may shorten the message and quote
>      only relevant parts, but be sure you give
>      proper attribution. ...
> This is basically the Pirkei Avot rule.
> So I have two questions.
> - For Bengt Kleberg: why do you desire e-mail
>    quoting to be so different from quoting
>    practice in other verbal media?
> - For the rest of us: if there is to be a
>    code of conduct, is it generally agreed that
>    * quoting extracts is OK
>    * quoting in a way that distorts what the
>      author meant is not OK
>    * you should at least try to get attribution right
>    or is Bengt Kleberg's position common?

More information about the erlang-questions mailing list