Sunday, August 27, 2006

Slackware Wikipedia Entry, ##slackware road rage that has to stop

Here it is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slackware

The above link is for people who constantly enter ##slackware asking what Slackware is about or how it compares to other distributions.

The questions are highly irritating, as the information is ALL over the internet and people tend to not use http://www.google.com as it was intended. There are comparisons between Slackware and other distributions everywhere. Information on Slackware and its philosophy is also everywhere, so it is a bit ridiculous going to ##slackware and asking for comments, especially when one will most likely receive biased opinions: of course we aren't going to slight our own distribution.

##slackware on the whole has become very weird lately. We've lost a few old-timers that offered excellent support. We've also decided to kill the more off-topic banter unless there is absolutely nothing else to chat about...then we tend to get visitors who think we serve them like it is a paying job and we're customer support. We also have regulars who try to dictate to the channel operators the way the channel should be run...they pretty much threaten to hijack the userbase by opening other channels if they don't get their way or say in the matter.

I should explain how things should work:

1. I'm the head operator of ##slackware on irc.slackware.com. I maintain the channel's chat flow. I don't lord it over the channel. Proof that I do not abuse operator power is documented in your own IRC client logs (if you've visited ##slackware) or at http://wigglit.ath.cx/slackware_botlogs/.

2. The guidelines are enforced by the operators based on the guidelines posted at http://wigglit.ath.cx/slackware-rules/rules.shtml. Those rules SUPERCEDE the server guidelines (http://freenode.net/channel_guidelines.shtml). What's good for the server isn't necessarily good for our channel. Don't complain to the server ops about this because they will not become involved, as is their policy...they don't govern the channels, that's what the channel ops are for.

3. The channel guidelines are just that: guidelines. They are there to give the visitors an inkling of what's accepted and what's not. These are not constitutional laws, so when you find yourself banned because you think we won't take away your speech and we do, realize that IRC doesn't give you the right to tell someone to fuck off or post porn links or 'fight the man', with 'the man' being the channel operators.

4. Visitors should NOT expect us to answer every question that is asked. Some of us have day jobs. Some have families. Some may not have the experience or knowledge to answer the question. Some don't care. Don't expect the conversation to gravitate toward you when you ask a question. Current discussions may not stop when you ask your question, so don't get ticked off...keep asking (within limits; don't spam the channel with the same question every 60 seconds or you will get removed), maybe every 3 or so minutes. Also, BE SURE YOUR QUESTION PERTAINS TO SLACKWARE, AND NOT SOFTWARE THAT MAY BE INCLUDED IN SLACKWARE'S BASE INSTALL!! This means that if you've an issue with KDE or a KDE application that's installed on your Slackware distribution, your issue isn't slackware-related, its KDE-related, unless you can PROVE that the underlying issue is indeed related to Slackware. This also applies to hardware.

5. If anything happens in the channel that upsets you, take a deep breath and use your IRC client's ignore function to filter out the unwanted chatter. Don't take the matter into your own hands by insulting the offender, as you may become kicked or banned from the channel, regardless of your intentions. We recently had an incident where someone decided to attack someone based on the perception that the victim was overweight. The offender was asked to stop with a 'first and last warning' but continued 10 minutes later and was banned. Also, at this point, the victim had previously been passive to the attack, but became aggressive when the attacker ignored the operator's warning. After the attacker was banned, an onlooker decided to join the fray by insisting that the victim should also be banned because the victim defended himself by attacking also. The fact remains that the first attacker was banned because he directly ignored an operator's warning. The onlooker was also banned because he couldn't this issue, which was none of his business, die. Is all of this considered favoritism? In the above context, no, but if you're someone who is used to inciting anarchy, the rules/guidelines of ##slackware will never be enough. This is why every operator is empowered to handle things as they see fit, even when an abuser's tactics skirt the guidelines.

6. Lastly, if you bait an operator just for the sake of skirting guidelines, you're going to lose that battle. An intellectual debate is one thing, a targeted yet subtle attack is beyond the norm and will be dealt with.

I'll probably be posting the link to this entry to ##slackware so people can be aware of how assinine the drama in ##slackware has been lately.

A good example of some of the above activity can be found at this link:

http://wigglit.ath.cx/slackware_botlogs/slackware.log.27Aug2006

Use your browser's find function to find 'corto' and read from there until he gets his voice taken (around 4:22PM).
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