Proposal: Official whitespace response

Forrest Cahoon fcahoon at
Fri Feb 18 00:16:12 EST 2000

In article <8pOq4.122$mYj.170920448 at>,
  "Fredrik Lundh" <effbot at> wrote:
> Forrest Cahoon <fcahoon at> wrote:
> > I'll admit to being somewhat confrontational in my original post,
> > all along, it was constructive information like this I was really
> would have been easier to ask for that from the
> start, wouldn't it?

Not really.  You must understand, that I was genuinely troubled by the
growing popularity of python, because of my nightmarish esperiences with
whitespace management.  I made a really honest, direct post.  It's true
I could have toned it down, and from my genuine angst asked a few
watered-down questions, but I don't think that would really have been
best.  By being simple, straightforward, and direct, I was able to
engage in a lively discussion that I could really put myself into.

I did state, quite honestly, in my original post :
"While I'm sure this will strike many of you as a bunch of gratuitous
flamage, I really am only trying to promote reasoned discussion, honest.
I hope no one gets really _personally_ upset!"

I think that statement was more than adequate to assure most readers of
my post that I wasn't a troll.

The discussion which followed was quite interesting, and I don't know if
removing the confrontational element would have generated quite as much

The typical response read like "Oh YEAH?!?!?  Well, if you really think
it's such a problem why don't you just use X?  It's not a problem!"

Where X could be, for example,

While the tone seemed to imply that I was a fool not to know about X,
and realize that my problems were moot, the Xs themselves were of great
value, and as a consequence I am now somewhat less intimidated by this
whole whitespace thing.

The tone was, of course, dictated by the way I started the discussion,
and because I understand this, I can't fault anyone for putting their
description of X in that way.

> > I'm really happy -- especially now -- with the level of
> > here.  It's a shame that Moshe Zadka has insisted on sending me some
> > really snide, asshole flames to me by personal e-mail that there is
> > way he would post in public.  He's really a blemish on your fine
> > community, and I humbly suggest you consider adding him to your
> > killfiles, and not answering his questions until he grows up.
> if you want others to behave like grown-ups, I
> suggest you start with yourself.

Are you suggesting that my initial posts were immature, or my public
mention of the noxious private e-mails I received from Moshe Zadka?

If the former, I believe I have addressed this above.  As for the
latter, it is difficult to know what to do when someone, who
participates civally in public discussion, sends private e-mail that is
very much less than civil.  (He got the "Oh YEAH!?!?" part down really
good, but there was nothing remotely resembling an 'X' in what he had to
say.)  Moshe Zadka is the only person who sent me mail from this
discussion that wasn't also posted.  Netiquette dictates that I not post
his private e-mail publically (although I wonder about that), but
mentioning this private behavior to the public audience seems the only
reasonable response.  How else could I discourage his behavior?
Responding to him directly would only have encouraged him.

> until then, hope you'll enjoy sitting in my killfile.
> *plonk*

Somehow, I couldn't come up with a response to this "threat" that didn't
sound as silly as you sound.  Maybe a little bit of silliness is OK,


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