From: Colm Buckley (colm at domain tuatha.org)
Date: Tue 09 Jul 2002 - 13:37:09 IST
[totally pedantic response to Colm Buckley... completely off topic...
most likely you don't want to read this]
Most likely they don't. Possibly not for the reasons you suspect,
Let's take it slow, for the hard-of-thinking.
> Yes Colm.... errm I might point out, I'm empolyed as quote a 'Junior
> Devleoper' endquote.
And I'm a Sneiro Ssytme Amdinitsrtora of sorts. For the record, I
have thirteen years experience with Unix systems administration;
perhaps more than most, but a lot less than some. Your argument seems
to be something like "I don't know what I'm doing, and it's not my
main job anyway, therefore it must be better than your way." Can you
spot the flaw here?
> 1. I have no choice in the mail client I use.... tough.
Your email client does allow you to edit the messages you send,
though, right? All that's required is that some *easy to see*
distinction be made between the text you're writing and the text
you're quoting. Everyone else seems to manage it, even those
unfortunate enough to be stuck with Outlook Express. You can see
above that the lines beginning with "> " are written by you, and the
other lines are written by me, right? This allows a conversational
style to develop which allows other readers to clearly see who said
what. It's not a pedantic egomaniacal constraint; it's merely a
courtesy to list readers.
> 2. I am trying to get the damned software to work... my ad-hoc
> approach to facets of sysadmin ... which I am not officially
> employed to do.. has in the past produced results like getting my
> winmodem to work with linux drivers... by adding the correct entry
> to the inf file... and what is the problem with this?
My problem... isn't with the... occasional necessity for...
once-off modifications like you... describe, it's... with the end
result of many... such modifications. As I've... explained already,
such a sequence of modifications... leaves you with an
unmaintainable... system. It's perhaps not... *so* bad on a single
system, but it sure... doesn't scale well.
Can you see... indcidentally... how overuse of ellipsis makes your...
writing very disjoint and gives... the distinct impression of lack
of... mental organisation?
> One of the great things about open systems like linux is that it
> enables you to tinker with the internals... or perhaps rewrite them
> if you see fit.. some people might call this ad hocery.. some might
> call it freedom.
Absolutely. But there's a difference between tinkering with your own
system to learn how everything works, and with jeopardising the
stability of production, mission-critical systems in the name of
"freedom". I *said* this in my first email on the subject - my first
Linux was Slackware too, and it's an excellent system for learning
lots of things from first principles; but it's *seriously* unsuitable
for a production system. This is not an attack on you or your
expertise; it's merely *my* experience talking. I settled on Debian
after many evaluations of different strategies; Debian allows me to
keep 20 boxes all patched and synchronised, while maintaining and
propagating customised changes, all for less than an hour a day. I
strongly doubt that your system would scale beyond a single box.
> 3. While I appreciate your input on this... like I say I have no way
> of controlling the mail client's I use... I'm not senior enough and
> to be honest it is the most pedantic irrelevant thing to me right
> now.... if all operating systems were run by your criteria..... then
> it would be the case that as the standard on the desktop is
> Windows... everyone would be required to use windows.
The one-word rebuttal : Arse.
The short rebuttal : you're talking nonsense here.
The longer rebuttal : This is what we call "setting up a straw man".
You're taking some aspect of my argument, distorting it, taking it to
a logical extreme which isn't warranted by the scope of the argument,
then pointing at it and going "how terrible!" I'm *not* suggesting
total homogeneity or conformity in everyone's email clients (or,
indeed, operating systems), merely that certain conventions have
developed over the past thirty-odd years on the Internet, and they've
been proven to work well. As an analogy, I'm not *demanding* that
everyone in the pub wear the same clothing and drink the same drinks,
merely that they all refrain from fighting.
On balance, I prefer the one-word rebuttal.
> I quote the way that I do, but unless you have a polite constructive
> suggestion for me...
Actually, I did have a polite and constructive suggestion for you. I
even demonstrated it.
> which in the free world I'm not required to adhere to as you aren't
> my mother nor my father and even if you were I still wouldn't adhere
> to arbitrarly imposed pedantic egomaniacial constraints on quoting
There's the straw man again. There's nothing pedantic nor egomaniacal
about the suggestion I made; it was merely an attempt to make your
posts more readable, as a common courtesy. I am not joking or being
trivial here; I speak as someone whose main form of professional
communication is by email - bad formatting and inconsistent quoting
make everything vastly more difficult than it needs to be.
As an aside, I *am* the linux.ie listmaster, so even though I'm
neither your mother nor your father, I *could* insist that you abide
by my pedantry and egomania. However, I'm not that kind of
listmaster; I merely ask that you take the comments made here on
> you don't find me trying to impose constraints on you vis-a-vis your
> own quite rude and self important opinions on others so kindly
> extend me the same curtosy.
I don't have the legs for curtseying, I'm afraid.
Was I rude to you? If so, I sincerely apologise; it was not my
intention to be rude to anyone. I am trying to *help* you - you did
ask for help, you understand.
> Why exactly should I change around the configuration of my mail
> client to suit YOU when you can't even say something even remotely
> curtious to me?
My position on this is set out above. Feel free to continue posting
as you see fit, but please bear in mind that there are many aspects to
your current style and attitude which will lead to your being nothing
more than a laughing-stock.
And again, I honestly don't think I'm being rude or discourteous; you
*asked* for help with various things, and I made an attempt to assist
I could try for "angry", however. You're consistently attributing
opinions and motives to me which I don't possess. If you want a flame
war, you only have to say the word.
> And tell me why should I care if you have opinion one about me, my
> sysadministration, my programming skills or the price of cabbage?
> You seem to be suffering from the delusion that I care ...
> correction .. I don't.
You sure post a lot for someone who doesn't care. I would think a
more accurate assessment is that you've made some rash posts to the
list, which you now regret, because it means that your system
administration skills are now open to public scrutiny and criticism.
However, instead of an admission that your inexperience has led to
some bad policies and decisions, you've decided to throw up a massive
smoke screen, invoking "freedom", "paranoia", "pedantry", "egomania",
"irrelevance", "coercion", "courtesy", and all manner of other things
to cover your basic insecurity. Just keep remembering: you *asked*
for help, and you *posted* the details of your current setup. This is
an invitation to criticism - a person possessed of greater grace would
have taken the comments on board and pursued the necessary changes;
however you've chosen to be defensive. This is all well and good, but
you really should stop pretending you don't care.
> Furthermore, you might like it if you and people who used
> distrobutions you regard are adequate were the only people who used
> Linux .... some sort of Darwinian Operating system
> pesudo-intellegentsia, but sadly in the real world.. I could care
> less, bottom line my box is configured.. it works.. it has save my
> company money... so insult my sysadmin skills till the cows come
> home.. I can assure you we're laughing all the way to the bank on
> that one.
I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. There's an implication
that my comments are elitist. There's an implicit admission that your
system is badly configured, but is good enough for the required
purpose. There's an indication that your methods are the most
cost-optimal for your company. Any or all of these may be true
(although I would take serious issue with every single one of them),
but they don't add up to anything; they're just an incoherent jumble
of statements, with a tone of mildly paranoid defensiveness.
> The rule text mail only is fine... but seriously grow up and get out
> of my face now please.
> 1. I don't want nor have time to talk about this crap... it's
> stupid... response formatting is utter crap and nothing to do with
> linux... and until such time as I have to do as you say...... ie
> there is a clear and unambiguous rule there is no reason I should
> capitulate to you guys when you are simply talking off topic crap.
A request to "grow up" from you is a bit rich; you're by far the most
childish of the contributors to this thread. You've reacted to even
the mildest criticism with frantic defensiveness; you've avoided
answering any of the arguments made against you; and you've made ad
hominem attacks on those taking issue with your statements and
assertions. It's you who should grow up.
As for the formatting "rule", I have made it clear that there is no
such rule, and there shall be no such rule. There is a combination of
a set of *guidelines* on the web page at
http://www.linux.ie/community/mailinglists.php, and a direct request
from the list owner (me). If this isn't good enough for you, you will
have to learn to live with the consequences.
You got "doesn't play nicely with other kids" on your report card at
school, didn't you?
-- Colm Buckley | colm at domain tuatha.org | +353 87 2469146 | www.colm.buckley.name If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?
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