[Matplotlib-users] Sarcasm and scorn? (was Re: How to close plot window in interactive mode?)

Thomas Caswell tcaswell at gmail.com
Wed Jul 1 14:44:33 EDT 2020


I agree with both Juan and Paul.

There is no place for sarcasm or scorn on our mailing list (or any of our
spaces). We follow the PSF Code of Conduct (
https://www.python.org/psf/conduct/ ).  Your initial email (which you call
"brutal") is not considerate, respectful, or professional and is not
appropriate for this list.

This is not the first time you have been rebuked [1], but given this
defense of your behavior I see that I was giving you too much benefit of
the doubt.

If you can not bring yourself to answer questions on the mailing list in a
respectful, considerate, and professional manner, please do not answer at


[1] https://mail.python.org/pipermail/matplotlib-users/2020-May/001891.html

On Wed, Jul 1, 2020 at 9:39 AM Paul Hobson <pmhobson at gmail.com> wrote:

> Jerzy,
> We should strive to make this list a welcoming place. If a user's question
> bothers you, I encourage you to ignore it and find a more productive use of
> your time.
> -paul
> On Wed, Jul 1, 2020 at 1:11 AM Jerzy Karczmarczuk <
> jerzy.karczmarczuk at unicaen.fr> wrote:
>> I answered somewhat brutally (but I *answered*!) a question about
>> closing a window in Matplotlib. I got the following reproach:
>> On 01/07/2020 3:54 am, Juan Nunez-Iglesias wrote:
>> if you want to "teach users to fish", that's fine, I get that. But this can be done with encouragement and direction rather than sarcasm and scorn.
>> No Sir, your humane attitude wrt people who ask trivial questions on
>> this, and on thousands of other list is defendable, but I have reasons to
>> disagree with your teaching me manners. Here's why...
>>    1. Sarcasm need not be treated as an attack. In the concerned context
>>    is the *community defence*. You sweep over a widely open door,
>>    remainding us that:
>>    "1M results is a lot of noise to wade through. Additionally, it is a
>>    well-documented problem that a lot of Matplotlib answers on the web are out
>>    of date and use APIs that are no longer recommended by the core team. It is
>>    not reasonable to expect new users to be as effective at cutting through
>>    that noise as more experienced ones. Nor is it reasonable to expect
>>    everyone to have read through **all** the very extensive matplotlib
>>    documentation before daring to post to the list."
>>    *Did you ever ask yourself WHY *there is so much noise, and why
>>    beginners have difficulties to squeeze through useless "information"? A
>>    substantial part of the reason is that too many people don't read
>>    documentation, and lazily ask the mailing lists, etc. to solve the problem
>>    for them. I hope you don't think that I am as silly as to ask G.A.  to read
>>    1e6 answers. Every "nice" and "pedagogic" response adds to this noise, and
>>    increases the global level of laziness. And such answers, often incomplete,
>>    will remain on the Web for years.
>>    2.
>>    Please, don't be trivial: nobody needs all the documentation, but
>>    even my 8 years old granddaughter is able to ask a simple question on
>>    Internet, Google etc. is for that. What proficiency do you need to ask "how
>>    to close a window in Matplotlib"? The questioner began with the affirmation
>>    that he searched for the answer. Difficult to believe, no, he didn't search
>>    anything at all... Shall we encourage such attitudes, and amplify this
>>    social disease?  Sorry Sir, but I believe that those "helpful answerers"
>>    serve the devil.
>>    3. There is an official documentation for Matplotlib, well indexed
>>    and structured. I strongly believe that such lists as this one has a
>>    pedagogic role, and may be very, very helpful to beginners, but a good
>>    answer to a (seemingly) trivial question is to *provide a good link*,
>>    not an off-the-shelf banal, pre-digested solution.
>>    4. Sorry for being egotistic, and speak about myself, but I taught
>>    thousands of students... (half a century of teaching...). After some time I
>>    simply refused to answer some questions, demanding often some additional
>>    *details*, such as
>>    - what did you REALLY try to find the solution of your problem?
>>       - What is the context of your issues?  Your platform, OS version,
>>       packages used versions...
>>       - SHow me your codes
>>       And in many, many cases my students encouraged (or "forced")  to
>>    prepare a complete dossier with their problem, found themselves the
>>    solution.
>>    5. The horrible Stack Overflow is reputed for their lack of
>>    tolerance, many people don't like it, neither do I. But we must acknowledge
>>    that they succesfully protect themselves from avalanches of repetitive
>>    trivial questions. You don't find therein many "cases" which pollute - for
>>    example - the Anaconda mailing list, where it is *not rar**e* to find
>>    questions similar to: "I downloaded Anaconda, it doesn't work. What shall I
>>    do". Seriously!  So, dear Juan Nunez-Iglesias, what would you answer,
>>    without being sarcastic, and without being trivial, demanding the details,
>>    asking whether the "victim" followed some instruction, etc.?
>> Sorry for this long post, thank you for the "inspiration"...
>> Jerzy Karczmarczuk
>> /Caen, France/
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Thomas Caswell
tcaswell at gmail.com
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