shameful censoring of mono opposition

John McCabe-Dansted gmatht at
Wed Jun 10 14:10:14 UTC 2009

2009/6/10 Mark Fink <mpfink at>
> yes it does and the people behind the censorship need to be exposed
> for what they really are


As I understand, the Ubuntu forums are for useful, constructive posts that
adhere to the Code of Conduct. It would appear to be almost a consensus that
those posts were not useful advocacy, and if taken as coming from the Ubuntu
community would put Ubuntu in a poor light.

If you want an unmoderated forum there are plenty of those, but Developers
don't get a free pass either. I've had contributions (code) rejected for a
number of reasons:
* Use of POSIX in a pure Ansi-C project.
* Use of Perl.
* Disagreement as to whether my feature is actually useful.
* Feature became obsolete by time it was ready to be merged.

There was even a prominent developer who literally broke his back (if you
consider a injury a break) working on the Kernel, and never had his patches

Even so, I have to say I find advocacy harder than submitting code.

First of all advocacy requires challenging the believes of others while
maintaining their respect. I do not find this an easy task. First of all,
although a human won't crash if you miss a semi-colon, excessive spelling
and grammatical mistakes will cost respect. But in advocacy, formal
correctness is not nearly enough. If you don't respect them they will lose
respect for you, and won't listen to you when there are so many others to
listen to.

Perhaps most importantly, everything that makes it harder to submit code
makes it harder to submit *bad* code. 90% of your mistakes, in code, will be
found by the compiler. More will be found by basic testing. Feedback from
reviewers helps you ensure that the code you are writing is actually useful
to the intended recipients.

Advocacy may seem easy. There are no compile time errors. However this just
means that it is just that much harder to check for problems in your

For example: "...obviously some of the forum moderators are novell

Presumably the people you are trying to convince are people who disagree
with you, but who are not nefarious agents of some malevolent entity. These
people *know* that they themselves are not secretly Novell employees*, so
they know that this is not why they disagree with you. To them it will be
clear that this is an "Ad hominem" attack, even if they don't use those

So your contribution was rejected. This is a everyday occurrence for a
developer. You have the same options
1) Learn from the feedback given, try to adapt your contribution so it is
2) Learn from the feedback given, take your contributions elsewhere.
3) Take your contributions elsewhere.

I'd recommend (2).  For starters moderation isn't really on topic for
ubuntu-devel-discuss.  You could possibly discuss moderation on sounder, but
it seems to be have been discussed to death already. Also, the problem with
unmoderated forums, is that few people read but a few of posts. But even if
they do read your post they are unlikely to be persuaded... I doubt that a
post that doesn't pass moderation is likely to be very persuasive.

I guess the point I am getting at it the moderators are helping you and the
anti-mono position by filtering out posts the don't meet basic standards.
There was one time I was glad I posted to a moderated forum, because the
post I wrote wasn't exactly inflamitory, but it wasn't that constructive
either and all and all I was glad that my less admirable prose wasn't
permanently archived on the web.

* Of course, if you argue eloquently enough you could perhaps persuade
Novell employees of your position. Just because you work at a company
doesn't mean you agree with all their decisions; and someday they might even
be able to reverse some of those decisions. I don't think is likely, but
insulting them isn't going to make it any more likely.

John C. McCabe-Dansted
PhD Student
University of Western Australia
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