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Subject: Re: apology

Re: apology

From: Glenn Ervin <>
Date: Sun, 21 Jun 2009 13:18:23 -0500

Antony wrote:

Everyone seems to accept that the developers (or at least, the people who
and insist upon the rules in these lists) have the right to set whatever
rules they wish, but I'd like to ask whether they might in fact be better
relaxing those rules somewhat, and meeting the rest of the people on the
(ie: those who keep having to be reminded of the rules) halfway?

After all, aren't these lists supposed to be all about Rockbox, making it
better, helping people to use it, and spreading the word that this wonderful
open source project is available for a range of media players?

It seems to me that drawing up a set of list guidelines and enforcing them
rules, especially in a way (which has been pointed out by several others in
this thread) which doesn't match with the expectations and habits of a large
proportion of the people who want to post to these lists, is not the best
to encourage widest participation in and enthusiasm about the Rockbox

Of course, if the list maintainers prefer to restrict the lists to people
follow rules, rather than open them up to as many people who want to use and
potentially contribute to Rockbox as possible, then it's their right to do
so, but I seriously don't think this is in the best interests of the Rockbox
project, and little bit of compromise would be a significant improvement all

So please, etiquette enforcers, consider relaxing the rules and running the
Rockbox lists rather more like many other open source project mailing lists
(I'd be surprised if you're not also on several of those as well, so you
how unusual Rockbox is in this respect), so that the lists end up focusing
discussing Rockbox software, how to use it, how to improve it, and how to
encourage people to install it on their players, and not on arbitrary rules
of how to write emails or which list to ask questions on.

By all means ask people to post next time in a different way, or in a
different place, when they make a mistake, but please do so *as well as*
giving them a friendly and helpful answer to their question.

These lists would be a far nicer place for everyone if the focus were
"discussing Rockbox, using these guidelines" rather than "how to use mailing
lists, and this one's for Rockbox".

Personally I don't get the need to bottom post, as if I am responding to to
a thread, or reading one for that matter, I know the text of the message one
is responding to, because I have been following the thread, and it is a pain
to keep reading through stuff I already read to get to the answer.
But I understand that this the list ediquette, and I do my best to comply.
But I agree whole-heartedly with Antony's statements.
I do think it might be a good thing to start another group where our
prefered method of reading messages is better accepted, that is, the
preference for top-posting.
And I must state that I have seen the same attitude about the manual on the
Linux lists, but not as much so, such as, rather than giving an answer, just
responding with something like
"use the man command or type help with the command".
And to me, that is like saying that you have to learn like I do.
But I do appreciate it when someone has taken the trouble to include an
exact link to a page where an answer can be found, along with their take on
the answer that is sought after.

Many people learn by exploration, rather than reading through a manual, and
they just need to be able to get started, and then they can take it from
I remember back in the 80s when I took a basic programming class, and I
frustrated the instructor because I found it harder to do a flow-chart of my
program than it was to just write it.
So I would write the program, and then I would write the flow-chart, which
was easier to write from the completed computer program.

But if we really wish to keep folks coming into the RockBox world, I think
that there should be one list available with tolerance to the way people
learn and communicate.
And I realize that this is not a vote, or written with any expectations of
my words making a difference, but I hope the list owners consider the
majority, if it is possible to get a consensus.


"There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home."
 - Ken Olsen, President of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC, later 
by Compaq, later merged with HP)
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Received on 2009-06-21

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