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Comment Re:Not foolproof (Score 1) 54

I'm not asking people to agree on every contentious issue. Yes, there will be some variance on what "be civil" means, but working in a group also requires a bit of tolerance. That's part of peacefully coexisting in a diverse workforce. No, I'm not talking about tolerating blatantly racist or sexist behavior, but recognizing that, so long as there is no ill intent, we should be willing to forgive minor trespasses or foibles.

My concern with creating a list of all principles, rules, prohibitions, etc, is that it appeals to rules lawyers, and no one else. I'm pretty sure Uber has a big list of these rules and prohibitions, but look at what that place is (allegedly) like, especially for female engineers. In short, it feels a bit to me like a feel-good measure that doesn't actually prevent bullying and backstabbing, and in some cases, even provides the tools for doing so.

I don't actually oppose codes of conduct per se, despite my Devil's advocate position. I just think recently that they've taken on a life of their own, and have gotten too complicated or convoluted, and in the process undermines their purpose. You've probably heard of this line in the Open Code of Conduct:

Our open source community prioritizes marginalized people’s safety over privileged people’s comfort.

I think it's inappropriate for a code of people to define and divide people into "marginalized people" and "privileged people". Are people surprised then, when the Code of Conduct itself becomes controversial? This line is, by its own admission, quite divisive.

Ubuntu's, on the other hand, reads like this:

Be considerate

Our work will be used by other people, and we in turn will depend on the work of others. Any decision we take will affect users and colleagues, and we should consider them when making decisions.

Be respectful

Disagreement is no excuse for poor manners. We work together to resolve conflict, assume good intentions and do our best to act in an empathic fashion. We don't allow frustration to turn into a personal attack. A community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened is not a productive one.

Take responsibility for our words and our actions

We can all make mistakes; when we do, we take responsibility for them. If someone has been harmed or offended, we listen carefully and respectfully, and work to right the wrong.

And then goes on for a few thousand more words... But one thing I appreciate is they try to offer advice on how to achieve technical excellence as well as inter-group harmony, which I think makes sense for an open-source project.

If you feel you must have a Code of Conduct, it seems better to affirm the positive attributes to which community members should strive, rather than listing all the ways one person can be horrible to another person, like the Open Code of Conduct, which defines "harassment" with a litany of examples.

Comment Re:a Code of Conduct is a weapon (Score 1) 54

I understand the necessity of a Code of Conduct for a business that hires employees. Because federal laws, and lawsuits, and all that other fun stuff.

I don't understand why a programming language, as a recent example, requires a Code of Conduct. If you want your official forums to be civil, than enforce civility. Why on earth would you write up a multi-page document explicitly listing every little prohibition and affirmation, unless it's just for virtue signalling?

Comment Re:Not foolproof (Score 4, Insightful) 54

I see they're recommending a "Code of Conduct" for open source projects. How else could we possibly get along with one another if all the rules of behavior aren't spelled out in the most minute details. Generally speaking, all of those boil down to "Be civil" anyhow, just expressed in a few thousand more words.

Is it really not adequate these days for a project or community to just tell everyone to "be civil", to enforce that civility with common sense, and leave it at that?

Comment Re:Drone collisions... (Score 1) 51

From your own link:

On Jan 10th 2017 Mozambique's Civil Aviation Authority reported in a press conference in Maputo that they concluded the radome most probably failed as result of a structural failure caused by air flow pressure, contributing factors probably were a defective installation of the radome and inspection of the ribs. A foreign object damage was ruled out. The CAA added, that the radome had been purchased second hand through an American company supplying aircraft parts and components, the radome was installed on the aircraft during major maintenance in South Africa on Jun 27th 2016.

Notice that there was no collateral damage beyond the radome, which would seem unlikely with a drone strike.

Comment Re:USPS Investigation? (Score 4, Informative) 150

I recently had USPS packages lost. You first have to sign up on their website, which is irritating enough. After a lengthy claims-reporting procedure, it was LITERALLY impossible for me to file a claim on their website, as the mechanism was completely broken, preventing me from submitting. When I called the tech support number listed on their web site to report this, I got an advertisement/marketing survey asking me my age (and if you're not in the correct age range, they just hang up on you). Beautiful. Then I called a general help number, selected the "claims / lost package" section, and still wasn't able to talk to a human being (apparently, you could only look up an existing claim by ID). All other options resulted in the same thing. No way to talk to a person that I could discover. I had already wasted several hours by this time, and the package wasn't valuable enough to pursue things further, so I just wrote it off as a bad experience.

NEVER, EVER send anything you deem valuable or important via USPS unless you have no alternative, or are willing to write it off if it goes missing. Most of the time it gets their fine, but if not, you're probably screwed, and they apparently don't give a crap about fixing mistakes like these.

Lost packages happen - I'm not asking for perfection. But I've dealt with other carriers and have gotten rare mistakes quickly resolved.

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 1) 247

I doubt it. In case you haven't heard, Volvo has already committed to doing this prior to any government regulations. It seemed likely that most were going to have to take this step anyhow to bolster consumer confidence. Plus, this just makes sense. If manufacturers aren't willing to accept liability for real-life accidents caused by their software, then that software obviously isn't ready for deployment on a mass scale.

Comment Re:Thanks. Mr. Obvious (Score 1) 247

At that point, with very few accidents *caused by* the self-driving vehicle, there won't be a financial incentive to shift the burden away from the manufacturer and onto the customer. The PR hit alone probably wouldn't be worth it.

Keep in mind that "acts of god" and other stuff for which the manufacturer can't be blamed is still going to require individual insurance.

Comment Re:Talk about a subset of a subset (Score 1) 61

I definitely agree that MS made some bad decisions that annoyed a lot of their customers, and that may have pushed a few of them away, but let's be honest here: we still haven't seen any significant shift away from Windows in the desktop numbers. Microsoft Windows still dominates at 96%, Mac is an also-ran, hanging in their at ~3% or so, and Linux trails at 1%, like it always has, with even that spread across several popular distros, and dozens of less popular ones.

For gaming, you're seeing more support for Mac and Linux because the major engines support those platforms, and so it makes sense to release for all platforms possible. That's definitely the good news. I think many game developers (including myself) would LIKE to see Linux doing better as a hedge against MS, so go out of their way to support it when feasible.

If you're waiting for MS to die, though, it's going to be a long wait. They've wisely started focusing on things like cloud services, Xbox, new high-end hardware, and so on, and of course, they still completely dominate in the business world (for PCs and productivity software). They've also got a lot of cash reserves. They're no longer the dominant player in the industry like before, but they're hardly becoming irrelevant.

TL;DR: Wake me when Linux on the desktop breaks 1%.

Comment Re:Talk about a subset of a subset (Score 1) 61

But the game industry, and Valve in particular, are in a difficult spot as Microsoft moves to force everyone to go through their app store.

No one except a few outspoken crazies in the game industry believe that's going to happen. Even APPLE hasn't shut down non-store apps. There are simply too many legacy apps that are critical to businesses and/or individuals for MS to kill the Win32 API, and that's what would essentially be required to force this on everyone. Windows' strength is its backwards compatibility and the size and robustness of its 3rd party ecosystem. Windows isn't open-source of course, but it IS still a very open development platform.

So, no. Will not happen anytime in the foreseeable future. There's plenty of other stupid shit that MS is doing with Windows (like you mentioned) without worrying about stuff like this.

Comment Re:Mostly, send the snowflakes to Venezuela (Score 4, Insightful) 192

I heard a rather heated argument the other day at work. It was heated because the devs were up against a deadline, and the debate was (from what I gathered) whether to push a fix forward or not for the next release. Not once did I hear any rudeness toward other team members by those in the debate. Any swearing and most of the frustration was directed at the code and process, not other people.

More to the point, such a culture is set by the guys at the top. Our boss isn't the type to rant or yell at others, and in turn, everyone understands that such behavior doesn't belong at our company. Simple as that.

It's entirely possible to remain civil with fellow employees at all times, even when you're frustrated or tense. It's not exactly *necessary* for a company to behave that way to be successful, but all in all, I'm going to prefer working at a company in which people are expected to remain civil with each other.

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