Community

Perlbuzz news roundup for 2011-06-20

June 20, 2011 Community, Conferences, CPAN, Perl 5, Perl 6 No comments

These links are collected from the
Perlbuzz Twitter feed.
If you have suggestions for news bits, please mail me at
andy@perlbuzz.com.

Perlbuzz news roundup for 2011-05-09

May 9, 2011 Business, Code craft, Community, CPAN, Perl 5, Perl 6

These links are collected from the
Perlbuzz Twitter feed.
If you have suggestions for news bits, please mail me at
andy@perlbuzz.com.

Stand up for your communities and projects

April 26, 2011 Advocacy, Community, Opinion 5 comments

In the flurry of commentary about Sunday’s blog post, three themes have recurred:

  • Andy has done bad things, too!
  • You didn’t give specifics!
  • Welcome to the Internet, that’s just how people are.

Yes, I’ve done anti-social things before. I’ve been part of the problem. That fact doesn’t change the validity of my points. We still need strong, human-based communities as the bedrock of any open source project, and those communities can only thrive when people are respected.

Second, I intentionally did not list specific grievances. I don’t need to. It’s not necessary to give an example of blatant disrespect for us to recognize it. I don’t have to mention a time when someone disregarded the basic humanity of others. We’ve all seen it.

Third, I understand that anti-social behavior passes for normal on the Net, in open source, and among programmers. That doesn’t mean we have to let it go unchallenged, or believe that nothing can be done. I accept that this is often the normal state, but I do not approve of it. We can be better than that.

Today’s post from the always-insightful Seth Godin couldn’t be more timely.

A bully acts up in a meeting or in an online forum. He gets called on it and chastised for his behavior.

The bully then calls out the person who cited their behavior in the first place. He twists their words, casts blame and becomes an aggrieved victim.

Often, members of the tribe then respond by backing off, by making amends, by giving the bully another chance.

And soon the cycle continues.

Brands do this, bosses do it and so do passers-by. Being a bully is a choice, and falling for this cycle, permitting it to continue, is a mistake.

This fits with something chromatic told me last night. He said, “I want people to know that they have permission to stand up to bad behavior.” So here it is.


Every one of us has the permission to stand up to the bullies, to the anti-social behavior in our communities. In fact, we not only have permission; we have the responsibility.

Next time someone, for example, cusses out a newbie for asking a “stupid” question, let the offender know how much he or she is hurting the community. Don’t accept the bully’s excuses for being cruel and abusive to others. If moderators or persons of authority can’t or won’t intervene, don’t be afraid to walk away.

Bullies are damage and need to be routed around.
Start your own community if need be, and make sure the people from the original community know about it. Vote with your feet.

It’s time to stop pretending this problem doesn’t exist. It’s time to stop accepting that it’s just the way things are. It’s time to stand up for your communities.

Perlbuzz news roundup for 2010-12-08

December 8, 2010 Community, CPAN, Perl 5, Perl 6 No comments

These links are collected from the
Perlbuzz Twitter feed.
If you have suggestions for news bits, please mail me at
andy@perlbuzz.com.

Think, for Perl’s sake

November 29, 2010 Community 5 comments

I’m no longer surprised when I read about
verbal abuse of other humans in my community.
It makes me sad, both for the person who would say that to someone else, and for the person who gets the abuse.
Worse, it makes me sad that the abusers don’t care about the effects on their fellow human beings, or on the projects that they are representing.

Using technology in a community like ours is far more than just a choice of which code does more. Choosing to use a technology on a project is an investment. When you invest in a project, whether it’s a language like Perl, or a module like DBIx::Class, you’re not just investing in code. You’re investing in the community that comes with it. There are at least two major Perl projects I will not invest any time in because of the communities that surround them. I’m not alone in my convictions and actions.

The other day I ran across an acronym, THINK, that gives questions to ask about what you’re about to communicate, before you actually say it.

Is what I’m about to say:

Thoughtful
Honest
Intelligent
Necessary
Kind

Geeks in technical discussions are really good at the Intelligent, and usually Thoughtful. The Honest is just a given.

It’s with Necessary and, especially, Kind where some fail, with damaging results.

I’d like to urge all of us to keep THINK in mind in all our interactions, whether in IRC, mailing lists or in person at user group meetings and conferences.

As an aside, I’ve always moderated Perlbuzz comments, and will continue to do so. THINK crystallizes my criteria perfectly.

Passing of Randy Kobes

November 9, 2010 Community 6 comments

Curtis “Ovid” Poe forwarded to me this announcement from the University of Winnipeg about the passing of Perl community member Randy Kobes. Most Perl people will know of Randy because of his kobesearch alternative CPAN search interface.
> It is with profound sadness that the University learned yesterday of the passing of Associate Dean of Science Randy Kobes. Dr. Kobes passed away after a recent battle with lung cancer.
> Randy was an excellent academic, physicist and educator of young people. He was fully dedicated to public engagement in science. His contributions to community learning at The University of Winnipeg went far beyond the classroom.
> Randy was a primary driver of the University’s Let’s Talk Science and was also keenly involved in the Eco-Kids programs, and numerous other outreach activities that involved inner-city children and youth. He was also the leader of numerous new degree programs in science, including Radiation Health and Safety; Science, Environment and Indigenous Knowledge; and pre-professional programs.
> Randy was truly dedicated to student success. Almost all of his work efforts were directed to encouraging student success in one way or another. Along with the many initiatives mentioned above, he volunteered his time in the summer with the CSI (Community School Investigators), an inner city summer learning enrichment program and was very involved in the homework club at the Wii Chiiwaakanak Learning Centre. He also personally drove students to Sisler High School, where the University had established an off-campus homework club.
> Randy obtained a B. Eng. degree in Engineering Physics from the University of Saskatchewan in 1978 and a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of Alberta in 1983. He held postdoctoral fellowships at the University of British Columbia and at Memorial University of Newfoundland before joining the University of Winnipeg in 1987.
> His research interests included the application of quantum field theoretic methods to topics in theoretical particle physics and investigating non-linear effects using numerical techniques. He held an NSERC Discovery Grant since joining the University of Winnipeg, and most recently served as the University’s Associate Dean of Science.
> In June 2005 Randy was awarded the Marsha Hanen Award for Excellence in Creating Community Awareness. He founded the Manitoba chapter of Let’s Talk Science, which promotes scientific literacy by having University of Winnipeg volunteer scientists visit classrooms, present interactive experiments and raise awareness of science. In October 1999 he won the Erica and Arnold Rogers Award for Excellence in Research and Scholarship.

Perlbuzz news roundup for 2010-05-28

May 28, 2010 Community, Conferences, CPAN, Perl Foundation No comments

These links are collected from the
Perlbuzz Twitter feed.
If you have suggestions for news bits, please mail me at
andy@perlbuzz.com.

Perlbuzz news roundup for 2010-04-22

April 22, 2010 Code craft, Community, Conferences, CPAN, Perl 5, Perl 6 No comments

These links are collected from the
Perlbuzz Twitter feed.
If you have suggestions for news bits, please mail me at
andy@perlbuzz.com.

Perlbuzz news roundup for 2010-02-01

February 1, 2010 Community, CPAN, Perl 5 No comments

These links are collected from the
Perlbuzz Twitter feed.
If you have suggestions for news bits, please mail me at
andy@perlbuzz.com.

Perlbuzz news roundup for 2010-01-07

January 7, 2010 Community, Conferences, CPAN, Perl 5 No comments

These links are collected from the
Perlbuzz Twitter feed.
If you have suggestions for news bits, please mail me at
andy@perlbuzz.com.