[vlc-devel] Update on the VLC project

Rob Jonson rob at hobbyistsoftware.com
Wed May 16 07:48:55 CEST 2012

>  - Avoiding simple unfriendliness that damages the community: sometimes
>   it goes fast, harsh replies can arise in 10-line IRC conversations or

>   fashion. I suggest that a couple people be mandated to facilitate a
>   nice and constructive discussion in these cases. Nothing too formal,
>   I may be wrong but being mandated as such could help people step in,

+1 on this.

I think it is a great shame that VLC leaks developers who could make a
positive contribution due to the unfriendly nature of criticism on
this list.
I'm thinking of one developer in particular who was making a really
positive contribution, but who left after being called an idiot. I'm
sure there are many more.

One of my former employers had a 'rule' for interactions. 'Assume
positive intent'.

Given that most people are contributing in their spare time - it seems
like a good rule of thumb for this project. When someone sends a patch
with an 'obvious' error in it, it is probably because they don't
understand - rather than because they want to harm the project. Their
intention is probably to improve VLC, and they have probably put in a
bunch of effort in order to get as far as submitting their first

They are probably not idiots either - even if their code is obviously
wrong to people who know the project intimately.

It does take a littler longer to explain and help them rather than
just call them an idiot (or reply in such scathing tone as to make
them feel like one).

I think the project suffers from the fact that some developers choose
not to take this extra time.

Having a person with an official role to step in could help a lot.

e.g. "Rob, that was harsh - please apologise to Bob; He's new, and
trying to help'



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