Was it something I said?

This morning I re-tweeted a a post from @petdance where he says (or, moreover, I understood him to say) OpenSource developers can be surly. I agree.

Shortly thereafter, I read a post from @briandfoy_perl and discovered, much to my discomfort, that this is part of a larger conversation about the perl community specifically.

To summarize, the post of Andy's that I originally saw seemed to me fairly innocuous, to the tune of "open source developers have a responsibility to bat down the trolls for the good of their communities". Brian then responds in his own post (linked above) defending the Perl community specifically and saying Andy's position is perverted because Andy interactions with the Perl community are mostly via mailing lists and website forum comments and that these are among the most toxic forums.

When I saw Brian's post, and started following links I was embarrassed and thanked him for the background. That's when I got a private message from Andy on twitter. The tone of Andy's message finally made me aware of what I had somehow failed to grasp: tensions are high and it's getting on toward personal.

That's a real bummer to me for a couple of reasons

  1. Andy and Brian both make excellent points in their respective posts, I agree that

    1. it is harmful to (both to the image and the reality) of open source programing when we start flaming each other, especially in public forums, and

    2. The Perl community is made up of some very nice people who you would probably really like if you had an opportunity to meet them.

  2. Those involved in the current controversy are some of the most important (to me, for sure) people in the perl-verse; that I didn't see what was seemingly "really going on here" makes me feel naive and takes some of the shiny off the buzz I get from knowing them.

Speaking as a person who has been repeatedly flamed in (but never banned from) various incarnations of IRC#perl, I do think that a thick skin is required and I don't think that's a good thing.

Anyway, posting here as a means to vent and also to record my currently understand of what's up with all this. No doubt I will have botched some of the detail and will be summarily corrected in no uncertain terms. I remain ready to receive, actively attempting not to become discouraged.

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user-pic Perl. Yes, have some.