[isabelle-dev] Rules of conduct

Florian Haftmann florian.haftmann at informatik.tu-muenchen.de
Sat Aug 18 20:34:14 CEST 2012

Dear all,

I am in a similar situation as Alex since I will leave tomorrow morning
for a one-week-trip (offline!), so I can just spend my few cents here.

>> Tjark, you have no business here.
> This is, finally, too much for me!
> I trust that the community as a whole will come to the conclusion that
> the quoted reaction is completely inapproriate. In particular since any
> rules that may have been violated are not clearly stated anywhere and
> were never pointed out to Tjark (or anyone else, AFAIK), let alone
> agreed upon explicitly by more than one person.

I fully agree with Alex that this escalation on the mailing list is not
bearable – please do not understand this as taking part for one »party«
or another, since I believe that there has ever been no »evil intention«
on either »side«.

It is a natural thing that wherever more than one or two people there is
potential for conflicts – conflicts themselves are not evil, but there
must be devices to handle and in best case resolve them.  And this did
not work out here, and for this we should be concerned about.

What has been said and done cannot be undone, and I personally do not
see me in the position to contribute anything concerning the past –
except concerning the private exchange between Tjark and me, which I
will document in the original thread for clarity (I do not »judge« here,
just contribute to reconstruct the facts).  But some issues come to my
mind which might help to prevent similar situations in the future.

> Should there be no such clear and outspoken conclusion, I'll know that I
> have no place here any longer and will no longer participate in this
> community.

A good item here is »community«.  We are a »community« in the general
sense like »some people working on similar ideas«, but our means of
organization lacks some properties of typical open source »communities«.
 Some rules have evolved ever over the years, and this worked out well
as long as most contributors shared the same table for lunch – an
assumption which does not hold any longer.  (Btw. also these were not
the golden Elder Days, it was just a little bit simpler to communicate
then).  So, if rules appear to be violated, it is high time
* to discuss them publicly, in order to establish them in agreeable
fashion in all minds taking part; and
* to adjust the technical conditions accordingly.  A single critical
point is the »administrative repository« access at TUM, about which
certain ideas have been floating around over the last years but which
never evolved into technical consequences, e.g.
  * moving the »main« repository from TUM to a hosting service, with
separate access administration
  * to pluck up courage and adjust the access permissions to the TUM
repository, in discussion and consent with the people from whom it is
going to be revoked then

Have a nice evening,


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