I composed this note a week ago, because I saw a couple topics taking on some tension that wasn't furthering the conversation. The conversations have resumed a civil tone, though.
Nevertheless, I thought it might be a good time to ask everyone to keep in mind LEDE Rule #12 ("Be Nice To Each Other") and a topic that we can refer to if things get heated again.
I have come to treasure our member's intense concern for the LEDE Project. We all have good will toward the project and want it to be the "best software" we can make.
The way we do this is by talking, discussing, or even arguing with other members about how things should be. It's OK to disagree. It's OK to have strong opinions. But each of us needs to remain respectful of others.
It's totally appropriate to talk to someone else, saying something like, "I disagree with your statement X..." (It's unarguably true, as well. You do disagree... That, in of itself, doesn't make either person "right", but it's a fair comment. The rest of the conversation can determine the path we choose.)
It's not appropriate to make comments about others, or about their beliefs/statements. Good examples of bad behavior:
- "You can't possibly believe X and Y..." that's pretty clearly a destructive tone
- "You could have done X and Y..." it comes across as scolding
- "Everyone knows you should do X and Y..." is almost always a put down
Any time I feel the urge to start a sentence with "You...", I stop, and wonder if there isn't a way to make the same point, but starting with "I"... For example, those items above could be rephrased like this:
- "I don't understand your reasoning for X and Y..."
- "I would have found it better/more helpful if you had done X and Y..."
- "I usually do X and Y..."
Rather than coming across as a scold or a put down, these statements elicit more information, or coach the reader toward the desired behavior. Same sentiment, same information, but a very different effect on the reader.
Finally, if someone's comment makes you angry, please remember that they most likely do not intend to make you mad. (So far, touch wood, no trolls...)
- It may have been an imprecise statement: there are plenty of members whose primary language isn't English. Cut them a break.
- It may have been an inartful way to phrase a thought. We all say the wrong thing sometimes. Cut us a break.
- If you're really furious, take some time off. Walk away for a while. Don't respond right away: let the conversation cool down. Cut us all a break - none of us likes to read a long, contentious thread.
For more on this, see our Forum Guidelines. Thanks for listening.