Code of Conduct, Trolls, and Thankless Jobs [was Re: Python Unicode handling wins again -- mostly]

Terry Reedy tjreedy at
Tue Dec 3 04:22:21 CET 2013

On 12/2/2013 4:25 PM, Ethan Furman wrote:
> jmf is certainly a troll

No, he is a person who discovered a minor performance regression in the 
FSR, which we fixed. Unfortunately, he then continued for a year with a 
strange troll-like anti-FSR crusade. But his posts in the Unicode 
handling thread were not part of that. It seems to me that continually 
beating someone over the head with the past discourages changed 
behavior.  To me, the point of asking someone to 'stop' is to persuade 
them to stop. The reward for stopping should be to let the issue go.

> haven't seen any threads from that one lately -- did he give up, or has
> he been moderated away?).

Action was taken, including changing the usenet (clr) to mailing-list 
gateway. (I already mentioned this twice here.) The was done by one of 
the mailman infrastructure people at the request of the list 
owner/moderators. The people who stuck their necks out to privately 
contact the person in question displeased him and got privately 
mail-bombed with repeated insults. I guess he subsequently gave up.

> the coddling of trolls and help-vampires also makes the list an
> unfriendly place to be.

I agree with the that as a statement, but not the implication. Was I 
hallucinating, or did you not recently participate in the discussion and 
decision to stop coddling our most obnoxious 'troll' in the community?

> Terry, would it be appropriate to share some of what the moderators do
> do for us on this list and the others?

Python-list moderators discard perhaps one spam post a day. You already 
noticed a recent major benefit.

> And what does the Code of
> Conduct have to say about trolls and help-vampires?

I need to re-read it to really answer that adequately. The term and 
defined concept 'help-vampire' is new to me (as of a month ago) and 
probably to the CoC writers.  However, the behavior strikes me as 
disrespectful of the community, and that *is* generically covered.

Terry Jan Reedy

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