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Re: Advocacy

On Mon, 3 Mar 2003, Sheridan, David wrote:

Hi Sheridan,

> I'm saddened to have to post this. After submitting a bug report (complete
> with source code fix) about rsync, I've now been flamed by various members
> of the list for having a disclaimer at the bottom of my e-mails. The flames
> I received were thoroughly sarcastic and accusatory, and suggested that I
> should not post to the list.

Please don't let their unkind words dissuade your from continuing to

Something I've learned over time is that people often read as being
harsher in email than in person.  Don't read too much into their
criticisms.  Often what you might interpret as a mean jab might well have
just been intended as a off-hand or flippant remark and general grousing
about something unrelated to what you'd emailed about.  In this case,
they appeared to have objected to your disclaimer (though just how they
objected to it would tell more about what they are objecting to).  One
tends to have to grow a thick skin where email sarcasm is concerned.
You'll get used to it.  Unless everyone becomes as eloquent as a
novelist, I'm afraid a lot of toes get stepped on no matter what you type
or how hard you trie.  I'm probably doing it right now :)

<puttin' on my CGF hat>
And if I am, that's life, so deal with it.
<takin' off my CGF hat>

(Sorry, Christopher, couldn't resist :)

> At my place of work, access to free e-mail websites is blocked, so the only
> e-mail I can send is via my official account. This adds the disclaimer you
> see at the bottom. I can't prevent that. You can ignore it very easily, and
> delete this message if the disclaimer offends you. No, I don't mention you
> by name but yes, you are an intended recipient of the message.

This is somewhat common for company email accounts and anyone who
receives email with a company disclaimer should know it for what it is
and move on.  Complaining about someone's signature is like complaining
about someone's belly-button.  Everyone has one, weither they want it or
not, and if they can change it, good for them.  If not, so what?  Note
it, if you like, and move on.

I feel that you should review their responses to you, determine if they
are truely striking out at you because of your companies policies, and
respond back.  Yes, email them back!  Make them put their money where
their mouths are and justify their complaints.  Anyone who really
participates on this list will tell you that they back up every word with
something stronger than just fist waving.  If they can't or won't, then
just ignore them.

> After receiving this abuse from list members, I'm unlikely to contribute
> anything further to cygwin, and will not report further bugs. If this is the
> behaviour the cygwin developers wish to encourage, you need to do nothing
> further. If you think it's a shame, please encourage the list members to
> read up on advocacy. This is exactly the reason that open source is having a
> hard time being adopted widely by the commercial world.

Please don't judge the whole of the list based on an insensitive few.
Without people feeding back on problems or "features", the product will
never improve. 

> My apologies if the disclaimer in this message has caused you any anguish.
> Any trolling replies will be deleted. Anyone with serious comments is
> encouraged to reply to this address, since as you may have guessed I'm not
> subscribed to the list.

If you are a regular user of cygwin, you might want to considder joining.
There is a digest version of the list.

> -Dave

BTW, this seems like standard company "coverying-thy-ass" postscript.
Nothing objectionable about it.

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Peter A. Castro <doctor at fruitbat dot org> or <Peter dot Castro at oracle dot com>
	"Cats are just autistic Dogs" -- Dr. Tony Attwood

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