Code of Conduct?

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Code of Conduct?

Søren Hauberg
Hi All

I don't really have time to contribute at the moment, but I do try to at least follow discussions on the mailing lists. Recently, I've been getting more and more annoyed by the tone of conversation used by certain people. Perhaps I'm just oversensitive, but would it be sensible to introduce a code of conduct like Debian has (essentially, it just asks people to behave nicely):

  http://www.debian.org/MailingLists/#codeofconduct

? I fear that the aggressive tone I see from time to time is scaring of people, but it may just be me overreacting.

Cheers
Søren
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Re: Code of Conduct?

Torsten
Hi Søren,

it is not just you, I had the same impression during the last weeks. The
question is whether a Code of Conduct can really prevent this.

Best, Torsten


On 15.12.2012 10:30, Søren Hauberg wrote:

> Hi All
>
> I don't really have time to contribute at the moment, but I do try to
> at least follow discussions on the mailing lists. Recently, I've been
> getting more and more annoyed by the tone of conversation used by
> certain people. Perhaps I'm just oversensitive, but would it be
> sensible to introduce a code of conduct like Debian has (essentially,
> it just asks people to behave nicely):
>
> http://www.debian.org/MailingLists/#codeofconduct
>
> ? I fear that the aggressive tone I see from time to time is scaring
> of people, but it may just be me overreacting.
>
> Cheers Søren
>

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Re: Code of Conduct?

Rafael Laboissière
* Torsten <[hidden email]> [2012-12-15 13:19]:

> it is not just you, I had the same impression during the last weeks.

Me too.

> The question is whether a Code of Conduct can really prevent this.

Even worse: I doubt that the concerned people will notice that they
are concerned.

At any rate, having a Code of Conduct is better than having none.

Rafael

> On 15.12.2012 10:30, Søren Hauberg wrote:
>> Hi All
>>
>> I don't really have time to contribute at the moment, but I do try to
>> at least follow discussions on the mailing lists. Recently, I've been
>> getting more and more annoyed by the tone of conversation used by
>> certain people. Perhaps I'm just oversensitive, but would it be
>> sensible to introduce a code of conduct like Debian has (essentially,
>> it just asks people to behave nicely):
>>
>> http://www.debian.org/MailingLists/#codeofconduct
>>
>> ? I fear that the aggressive tone I see from time to time is scaring
>> of people, but it may just be me overreacting.
>>
>> Cheers Søren
>>



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Re: Code of Conduct?

Michael Godfrey
In reply to this post by Søren Hauberg
On 12/15/2012 04:30 AM, Søren Hauberg wrote:

> Hi All
>
> I don't really have time to contribute at the moment, but I do try to at least follow discussions on the mailing lists. Recently, I've been getting more and more annoyed by the tone of conversation used by certain people. Perhaps I'm just oversensitive, but would it be sensible to introduce a code of conduct like Debian has (essentially, it just asks people to behave nicely):
>
>    http://www.debian.org/MailingLists/#codeofconduct
>
> ? I fear that the aggressive tone I see from time to time is scaring of people, but it may just be me overreacting.
>
> Cheers
> Søren
"Code of Conduct" sounds restrictive.  It could put off as many people
as does some annoying "tone."
It might make sense to have some guidance like:  Octave is meant to be
widely inclusive ans d it
is expected that participants will recognize the sensibilities of others.

Michael

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Re: Code of Conduct?

Danilo Zanatta


On Dec 15, 2012 3:11 PM, "Michael D. Godfrey" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> On 12/15/2012 04:30 AM, Søren Hauberg wrote
>> I don't really have time to contribute at the moment, but I do try to at least follow discussions on the mailing lists. Recently, I've been getting more and more annoyed by the tone of conversation used by certain people.

Me too.

>  Octave is meant to be widely inclusive ans d it
> is expected that participants will recognize the sensibilities of others.

As in any other mail list, or any other human interaction for that matter.

Peace ;),
Danilo

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Re: Code of Conduct?

Michael Goffioul
In reply to this post by Søren Hauberg
On Sat, Dec 15, 2012 at 4:30 AM, Søren Hauberg <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi All

I don't really have time to contribute at the moment, but I do try to at least follow discussions on the mailing lists. Recently, I've been getting more and more annoyed by the tone of conversation used by certain people. Perhaps I'm just oversensitive, but would it be sensible to introduce a code of conduct like Debian has (essentially, it just asks people to behave nicely):

  http://www.debian.org/MailingLists/#codeofconduct

? I fear that the aggressive tone I see from time to time is scaring of people, but it may just be me overreacting.


I think a lot of people are sharing your concern, including me. A code of conduct is nice, but as Torsten mentioned it, would it really prevent the issue? What's unbelievable is that you need to remind those rules to people who are supposed to be adults. IMO, what would be more effective is a moderator and banning those who do respect the rules (with a few preliminary warnings). Yes, this sounds harsh, but the octave mailing lists are not a place for what happened these last few weeks.

Michael.

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Re: Code of Conduct?

Alexander Hansen-2
On 12/15/12 9:46 AM, Michael Goffioul wrote:

> On Sat, Dec 15, 2012 at 4:30 AM, Søren Hauberg <[hidden email]
> <mailto:[hidden email]>> wrote:
>
>     Hi All
>
>     I don't really have time to contribute at the moment, but I do try
>     to at least follow discussions on the mailing lists. Recently, I've
>     been getting more and more annoyed by the tone of conversation used
>     by certain people. Perhaps I'm just oversensitive, but would it be
>     sensible to introduce a code of conduct like Debian has
>     (essentially, it just asks people to behave nicely):
>
>       http://www.debian.org/MailingLists/#codeofconduct
>
>     ? I fear that the aggressive tone I see from time to time is scaring
>     of people, but it may just be me overreacting.
>
>
>
> I think a lot of people are sharing your concern, including me. A code
> of conduct is nice, but as Torsten mentioned it, would it really prevent
> the issue? What's unbelievable is that you need to remind those rules to
> people who are supposed to be adults. IMO, what would be more effective
> is a moderator and banning those who do respect the rules (with a few
> preliminary warnings). Yes, this sounds harsh, but the octave mailing
> lists are not a place for what happened these last few weeks.
>
> Michael.
>

I assume you'd ban those who "do _not_" respect the rules. :-)

Judging by the traffic in my inbox, I'd argue that the Octave community
seems not to be so big or unruly that this issue couldn't be handled as
Michael suggested above.  A formal code of conduct sets a bar for entry
for newbies.
--
Alexander Hansen
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Re: Code of Conduct?

Søren Hauberg
In reply to this post by Michael Goffioul

On Dec 15, 2012, at 5:46 PM, Michael Goffioul wrote:
> I think a lot of people are sharing your concern, including me. A code of conduct is nice, but as Torsten mentioned it, would it really prevent the issue? What's unbelievable is that you need to remind those rules to people who are supposed to be adults. IMO, what would be more effective is a moderator and banning those who do respect the rules (with a few preliminary warnings). Yes, this sounds harsh, but the octave mailing lists are not a place for what happened these last few weeks.

I agree that having a code of conduct without having consequences for violators would be pointless. I don't think having a single moderator would be practical, though. I think some sort of community based system would be more realistic; I'm unsure about the details of such a system.

Søren
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Re: Code of Conduct?

Michael Goffioul
On Sat, Dec 15, 2012 at 12:38 PM, Søren Hauberg <[hidden email]> wrote:

On Dec 15, 2012, at 5:46 PM, Michael Goffioul wrote:
> I think a lot of people are sharing your concern, including me. A code of conduct is nice, but as Torsten mentioned it, would it really prevent the issue? What's unbelievable is that you need to remind those rules to people who are supposed to be adults. IMO, what would be more effective is a moderator and banning those who do respect the rules (with a few preliminary warnings). Yes, this sounds harsh, but the octave mailing lists are not a place for what happened these last few weeks.

I agree that having a code of conduct without having consequences for violators would be pointless. I don't think having a single moderator would be practical, though. I think some sort of community based system would be more realistic; I'm unsure about the details of such a system.

I don't think you need a democracy to handle the obvious. A single (wise enough) person should be enough. It's a dirty job, but apparently it's needed.

Michael.

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Re: Code of Conduct?

bpabbott
Administrator
On Dec 15, 2012, at 4:52 PM, Michael Goffioul wrote:

> On Sat, Dec 15, 2012 at 12:38 PM, Søren Hauberg <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> On Dec 15, 2012, at 5:46 PM, Michael Goffioul wrote:
> > I think a lot of people are sharing your concern, including me. A code of conduct is nice, but as Torsten mentioned it, would it really prevent the issue? What's unbelievable is that you need to remind those rules to people who are supposed to be adults. IMO, what would be more effective is a moderator and banning those who do respect the rules (with a few preliminary warnings). Yes, this sounds harsh, but the octave mailing lists are not a place for what happened these last few weeks.
>
> I agree that having a code of conduct without having consequences for violators would be pointless. I don't think having a single moderator would be practical, though. I think some sort of community based system would be more realistic; I'm unsure about the details of such a system.
>
> I don't think you need a democracy to handle the obvious. A single (wise enough) person should be enough. It's a dirty job, but apparently it's needed.
>
> Michael.

I agree that a single benevolent moderator should be sufficient.  If he turns out not to be sufficiently benevolent, then a democratic process may be applied to resolve the problem?

Ben
 
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Re: Code of Conduct?

Montgomery-Smith, Stephen
In reply to this post by Michael Goffioul
Hey guys,

I only joined this list recently, with the merging of the octave and
octave-source lists.  But I am wondering which messages are the bad
ones.  Did they occur before the merge took place?  I am looking all
over the archives, but so far I am only finding what I consider to be
very professional and technically oriented emails, expressing at worst
mild irritation or frustration.

The other possibility is that I have been on the internet so long that I
am totally desensitized to rudeness on mailing lists.

Either way, can you provide me with an example so that I know what this
discussion is about?

Thanks, Stephen

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Re: Code of Conduct?

bpabbott
Administrator

On Dec 15, 2012, at 5:35 PM, Stephen Montgomery-Smith wrote:

> Hey guys,
>
> I only joined this list recently, with the merging of the octave and
> octave-source lists.  But I am wondering which messages are the bad
> ones.  Did they occur before the merge took place?  I am looking all
> over the archives, but so far I am only finding what I consider to be
> very professional and technically oriented emails, expressing at worst
> mild irritation or frustration.
>
> The other possibility is that I have been on the internet so long that I
> am totally desensitized to rudeness on mailing lists.
>
> Either way, can you provide me with an example so that I know what this
> discussion is about?
>
> Thanks, Stephen

I'd like to respectfully suggest that we not divert to pointing fingers at this point.

Ben

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Re: Code of Conduct?

Montgomery-Smith, Stephen
On 12/15/2012 04:40 PM, Ben Abbott wrote:

>
> On Dec 15, 2012, at 5:35 PM, Stephen Montgomery-Smith wrote:
>
>> Hey guys,
>>
>> I only joined this list recently, with the merging of the octave and
>> octave-source lists.  But I am wondering which messages are the bad
>> ones.  Did they occur before the merge took place?  I am looking all
>> over the archives, but so far I am only finding what I consider to be
>> very professional and technically oriented emails, expressing at worst
>> mild irritation or frustration.
>>
>> The other possibility is that I have been on the internet so long that I
>> am totally desensitized to rudeness on mailing lists.
>>
>> Either way, can you provide me with an example so that I know what this
>> discussion is about?
>>
>> Thanks, Stephen
>
> I'd like to respectfully suggest that we not divert to pointing fingers at this point.
>
> Ben

Then at least tell me if these discussions took place before the merge
of octave and octave-forge (I said "source" above, but I meant "forge").
 Or maybe someone can email me privately.  But I honestly have no idea
what you guys are referring to.

Thanks, Stephen


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Re: Code of Conduct?

bpabbott
Administrator
In reply to this post by Søren Hauberg
On Dec 15, 2012, at 4:30 AM, Søren Hauberg wrote:

> Hi All
>
> I don't really have time to contribute at the moment, but I do try to at least follow discussions on the mailing lists. Recently, I've been getting more and more annoyed by the tone of conversation used by certain people. Perhaps I'm just oversensitive, but would it be sensible to introduce a code of conduct like Debian has (essentially, it just asks people to behave nicely):
>
>  http://www.debian.org/MailingLists/#codeofconduct
>
> ? I fear that the aggressive tone I see from time to time is scaring of people, but it may just be me overreacting.
>
> Cheers
> Søren

Perhaps the next step should be drafting a code-of-conduct on the wiki?

Once the code-of-conduct becomes stable, it can be moved to the "Get Involved" page at octave.org

        http://www.gnu.org/software/octave/get-involved.html

Ben
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Re: Code of Conduct?

Michael Godfrey
On 12/15/2012 06:26 PM, Ben Abbott wrote:
> Perhaps the next step should be drafting a code-of-conduct on the wiki?
>
> Once the code-of-conduct becomes stable, it can be moved to the "Get Involved" page at octave.org
Not a good idea.  Lets just forget this and get on with what we can do
to be useful.

Just to may things clear: a code of conduct will mean that I will remove
my name form the list.

Michael

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Font Size

StandardOctaveUser
This post has NOT been accepted by the mailing list yet.
In reply to this post by bpabbott
Hello,

I have a very raw idea and I didn't think deeply on what possible
pros and cons that might bring but, If it was possible for each
user to independently have a control of

a. Font Sizes of each thread to be shown on under a topic
b. Font Sizes of threads from a specific user if one desires to change it

effective only in their own browser with "show just this time" like
exceptions on threads made easy and the data of options people
use was stored in an annonymous way (and not to be shared).
(may be stored just in user's own PC),

I think that could be useful in the long run. Advertising such a
functionality for a week on main page and reminding each new comer
of the possibility at the time of registration can let people know
about it, if they would like to use it.

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Re: Code of Conduct?

Alexander Hansen-2
In reply to this post by Michael Godfrey
On 12/15/12 4:35 PM, Michael D. Godfrey wrote:

> On 12/15/2012 06:26 PM, Ben Abbott wrote:
>> Perhaps the next step should be drafting a code-of-conduct on the wiki?
>>
>> Once the code-of-conduct becomes stable, it can be moved to the "Get
>> Involved" page at octave.org
> Not a good idea.  Lets just forget this and get on with what we can do
> to be useful.
>
> Just to may things clear: a code of conduct will mean that I will remove
> my name form the list.
>
> Michael
>

I don't see the need for a code of conduct, either.  Go with a simple
approach:

1)  Have a list administrator.  You probably do already since my inbox
isn't full of SPAM. :-)
2)  Have the administrator read the list mail.
3)  Use common sense.  We can all tell when someone is off-topic and
offensive.  Anyone who can't shouldn't be a list admin.
4)  Based on 3), if the admin decides that enough is enough by whatever
criterion, they can do what is needed--on the lists I moderate it's easy
to force a subscriber's posts all to be moderated.

If people really want community policing, then an email list is NOT the
way to go.  I get almost as annoyed by dealing with a string of replies
to an off-topic and offensive post as to the original post.  Nip it in
the bud.


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Re: Code of Conduct?

bpabbott
Administrator
On Dec 15, 2012, at 7:47 PM, Alexander Hansen wrote:

> On 12/15/12 4:35 PM, Michael D. Godfrey wrote:
>
>> On 12/15/2012 06:26 PM, Ben Abbott wrote:
>>> Perhaps the next step should be drafting a code-of-conduct on the wiki?
>>>
>>> Once the code-of-conduct becomes stable, it can be moved to the "Get
>>> Involved" page at octave.org
>> Not a good idea.  Lets just forget this and get on with what we can do
>> to be useful.
>>
>> Just to may things clear: a code of conduct will mean that I will remove
>> my name form the list.
>>
>> Michael
>
> I don't see the need for a code of conduct, either.  Go with a simple
> approach:
>
> 1)  Have a list administrator.  You probably do already since my inbox
> isn't full of SPAM. :-)
> 2)  Have the administrator read the list mail.
> 3)  Use common sense.  We can all tell when someone is off-topic and
> offensive.  Anyone who can't shouldn't be a list admin.
> 4)  Based on 3), if the admin decides that enough is enough by whatever
> criterion, they can do what is needed--on the lists I moderate it's easy
> to force a subscriber's posts all to be moderated.
>
> If people really want community policing, then an email list is NOT the
> way to go.  I get almost as annoyed by dealing with a string of replies
> to an off-topic and offensive post as to the original post.  Nip it in
> the bud.

Sounds reasonable to me.

Ben
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Re: Code of Conduct?

Montgomery-Smith, Stephen
On 12/15/2012 07:52 PM, Ben Abbott wrote:

> On Dec 15, 2012, at 7:47 PM, Alexander Hansen wrote:
>
>> On 12/15/12 4:35 PM, Michael D. Godfrey wrote:
>>
>>> On 12/15/2012 06:26 PM, Ben Abbott wrote:
>>>> Perhaps the next step should be drafting a code-of-conduct on the wiki?
>>>>
>>>> Once the code-of-conduct becomes stable, it can be moved to the "Get
>>>> Involved" page at octave.org
>>> Not a good idea.  Lets just forget this and get on with what we can do
>>> to be useful.
>>>
>>> Just to may things clear: a code of conduct will mean that I will remove
>>> my name form the list.
>>>
>>> Michael
>>
>> I don't see the need for a code of conduct, either.  Go with a simple
>> approach:
>>
>> 1)  Have a list administrator.  You probably do already since my inbox
>> isn't full of SPAM. :-)
>> 2)  Have the administrator read the list mail.
>> 3)  Use common sense.  We can all tell when someone is off-topic and
>> offensive.  Anyone who can't shouldn't be a list admin.
>> 4)  Based on 3), if the admin decides that enough is enough by whatever
>> criterion, they can do what is needed--on the lists I moderate it's easy
>> to force a subscriber's posts all to be moderated.
>>
>> If people really want community policing, then an email list is NOT the
>> way to go.  I get almost as annoyed by dealing with a string of replies
>> to an off-topic and offensive post as to the original post.  Nip it in
>> the bud.
>
> Sounds reasonable to me.

Can I make some observations?  First, thank you to the person who told
me privately which emails we are talking about.  But I should tell you
that one other person privately emailed me saying in effect "I hope it
wasn't me!"  And to be honest if I had been around on these lists for a
while, I might also think it was me you were talking about.

Second - I understand that you want to make "octave-help" a friendly
place.  So I do understand you wanting to ban those who have bad people
skills.  But I think you should only cut them out from "octave-help" and
not any of the other more technical lists (like "octave-maintainers").
Otherwise it begins to smack of censorship.

People with bad people skills usually think they are providing a good
service towards those to whom they lecture.  Telling them they have bad
people skills rarely works.  And then they are left just as angry as you
are, because they genuinely do not see how they are offending people.

But these "difficult" people are also useful contributors to society.
They may have a poor manner of expressing themselves.  But they also can
have gems of insight that will get lost if we totally ban them from
communicating with us.

I would compare "octave-help" to the front desk of a car repair shop.
There you put the people with good communication skills.  You keep the
grumpy mechanics in the back, where they can get on with fixing cars.

Last night I had a fun discussion with a high school student.  He told
me that he is very good at explaining mathematics to people.  I jokingly
replied "I am also very good at explaining mathematics to people - the
problem isn't me - it is those dunderheads who don't understand the
explanation I am offering!"

Finally, if you want to ban people who go on rants that are totally
unrelated to octave, or use curse words regularly, I have no problem
with that.  But while the person I think you are talking about did have
his rants, they were not totally off topic.  And personally I found some
of them rather well written and amusing.  My idea of totally off topic
are people who go on and on about things like how the NASA moon landings
didn't take place.  (I am not making any statement about the truth of
these assertions - I am merely saying that octave-mailing lists are not
the place to discuss this.)

Thanks, Stephen

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Re: Code of Conduct?

Alexander Hansen-2
On 12/16/12 9:41 AM, Stephen Montgomery-Smith wrote:

> On 12/15/2012 07:52 PM, Ben Abbott wrote:
>> On Dec 15, 2012, at 7:47 PM, Alexander Hansen wrote:
>>
>>> On 12/15/12 4:35 PM, Michael D. Godfrey wrote:
>>>
>>>> On 12/15/2012 06:26 PM, Ben Abbott wrote:
>>>>> Perhaps the next step should be drafting a code-of-conduct on the wiki?
>>>>>
>>>>> Once the code-of-conduct becomes stable, it can be moved to the "Get
>>>>> Involved" page at octave.org
>>>> Not a good idea.  Lets just forget this and get on with what we can do
>>>> to be useful.
>>>>
>>>> Just to may things clear: a code of conduct will mean that I will remove
>>>> my name form the list.
>>>>
>>>> Michael
>>>
>>> I don't see the need for a code of conduct, either.  Go with a simple
>>> approach:
>>>
>>> 1)  Have a list administrator.  You probably do already since my inbox
>>> isn't full of SPAM. :-)
>>> 2)  Have the administrator read the list mail.
>>> 3)  Use common sense.  We can all tell when someone is off-topic and
>>> offensive.  Anyone who can't shouldn't be a list admin.
>>> 4)  Based on 3), if the admin decides that enough is enough by whatever
>>> criterion, they can do what is needed--on the lists I moderate it's easy
>>> to force a subscriber's posts all to be moderated.
>>>
>>> If people really want community policing, then an email list is NOT the
>>> way to go.  I get almost as annoyed by dealing with a string of replies
>>> to an off-topic and offensive post as to the original post.  Nip it in
>>> the bud.
>>
>> Sounds reasonable to me.
>
> Can I make some observations?  First, thank you to the person who told
> me privately which emails we are talking about.  But I should tell you
> that one other person privately emailed me saying in effect "I hope it
> wasn't me!"  And to be honest if I had been around on these lists for a
> while, I might also think it was me you were talking about.
>
> Second - I understand that you want to make "octave-help" a friendly
> place.  So I do understand you wanting to ban those who have bad people
> skills.  But I think you should only cut them out from "octave-help" and
> not any of the other more technical lists (like "octave-maintainers").
> Otherwise it begins to smack of censorship.
>
> People with bad people skills usually think they are providing a good
> service towards those to whom they lecture.  Telling them they have bad
> people skills rarely works.  And then they are left just as angry as you
> are, because they genuinely do not see how they are offending people.
>
> But these "difficult" people are also useful contributors to society.
> They may have a poor manner of expressing themselves.  But they also can
> have gems of insight that will get lost if we totally ban them from
> communicating with us.
>
> I would compare "octave-help" to the front desk of a car repair shop.
> There you put the people with good communication skills.  You keep the
> grumpy mechanics in the back, where they can get on with fixing cars.
>
> Last night I had a fun discussion with a high school student.  He told
> me that he is very good at explaining mathematics to people.  I jokingly
> replied "I am also very good at explaining mathematics to people - the
> problem isn't me - it is those dunderheads who don't understand the
> explanation I am offering!"
>
> Finally, if you want to ban people who go on rants that are totally
> unrelated to octave, or use curse words regularly, I have no problem
> with that.  But while the person I think you are talking about did have
> his rants, they were not totally off topic.  And personally I found some
> of them rather well written and amusing.  My idea of totally off topic
> are people who go on and on about things like how the NASA moon landings
> didn't take place.  (I am not making any statement about the truth of
> these assertions - I am merely saying that octave-mailing lists are not
> the place to discuss this.)
>
> Thanks, Stephen
>

Yup.  It's all about balance and context.

I'm against outright bans, too.  On the other hand, I don't necessarily
see anything wrong with putting someone on moderation after a warning if
their posts are hindering rather than helping the discussion.  Since
their posts are all queued up the moderator can release items that do
contribute to the discussion.  Or even everything.

There is, of course, the option of putting everybody on moderation.
Everybody gets treated identically that way, but it's more effort for
the admin.

Alex
12