[Python-Dev] str.rreplace

Nick Coghlan ncoghlan at gmail.com
Sat Jan 25 01:41:05 CET 2014

On 25 Jan 2014 09:46, "Brett Cannon" <brett at python.org> wrote:
> On Fri, Jan 24, 2014 at 6:02 PM, Mark Lawrence <breamoreboy at yahoo.co.uk>
>> Okay, I'll leave the snarky comments to the people who are authorised to
be snarky.  How do you get on this list?  Is it any core dev, or are there
more severe restrictions than that, for example do you have to be a member
of the PSF, in which case I'd guess you can be very snarky without having a
word said against you?
> I suspect Brian's point is sarcasm is fine in moderation. I'm sure we
have all had incidences online where sarcasm was not understood and someone
took it the wrong way. And with this list being international the chance of
something not catching something as sarcastic just goes up. So sarcasm is
fine, but keep it on the lighter side is all.

I personally draw the line as so:

- is my draft post *just* snark? Then I delete it rather than posting -
such posts never further the discussion, increase the level of noise on the
list, and generally waste the time of other list subscribers solely for
some momentary emotional satisfaction on my part. If I really feel the need
to vent, then I'll send the unhelpful post directly to a friend rather than
to the list. This is the kind of post that has no place on any of the core
development lists.

- is there a snarky side comment in an otherwise constructive post? Then
I'll usually take it out anyway, since such comments still usually hinder
communication rather than helping it, and we already have enough inherent
barriers to effective communication due to a relative lack of knowledge of
each other's backgrounds and experience. However, if I'm genuinely
irritated, I'll sometimes leave them in - I'm not a saint, and a snarky
comment that indicates "I am annoyed by this thread or situation" is a
vastly different thing from a snarky *post* that says to someone else "your
post was bad and you should feel bad".

- there are other times (fortunately rare), when I consider it necessary to
express genuine concern or anger. My main tool for dealing with such posts
in the most constructive manner possible is to find every occurrence of the
pronoun "you" (or other people's names) and figure out how to replace it
with the pronoun "I". The purpose of such rephrasing is to help ensure the
post is a constructive one expressing my concerns and sharing my
impressions and experience rather than a destructive one that causes the
recipients to become defensive, because once we dig in our heels and start
defending our positions out of ego rather than reason, then the opportunity
for a meaningful, productive discussion is lost.

So, a snarky side comment or two in otherwise constructive post? Not
preferred, but usually acceptable. A post consisting of nothing but snark?
Not acceptable - either don't post it, or send it to a trusted friend
off-list in order to vent.

In this specific case, our general communication about the different
purposes of the core lists *isn't* particularly good, so it's entirely
expected that we'll still get the occasional post to python-dev that is
better directed to a different list. That's why everyone gets a free pass
to asking one or two inappropriate questions on python-dev, since it isn't
always clear to them that the question is off-topic. The appropriate
response is to politely explain the purposes of the different lists and
redirect them to the correct one.


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