Following OpenWrt Rule #12

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 OpenWrt 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 OpenWrt 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.


Update - February 2022: Change "LEDE" to "OpenWrt"


The other day i noticed that this forum has a ignore or 'mute' function. I can't find it right now so maybe it is an optional function that's turned off now? I'm not sure where i have seen it... Or does it need special user privileges?

But that function could be useful as well in case of a not so nice situation.

Yes, and there are administrator functions as well to quell rampant name-calling/abuse/rule breaking/etc.

But I wrote this note to remind people they can just throw in a reference to Rule #12 if an otherwise-useful conversation is getting a bit emotional/personal.

Both options can work side by side, Sometimes it is more productive to have a mute button.
Just so that you personally can ignore someone, and that others may still be able to see the foolish comments. Waving with the rules leads to wasting a moderator's time. So a mute button as first line of defence would make a moderators life more easy. But if we can manage without any of this that would be even better. :slight_smile:

And it sure is good to have a reminder to rule#12 every once in a wile.