"shouted down", "shot down", apologies

Christopher Faylor cgf@redhat.com
Wed Jun 27 13:15:00 GMT 2001

I have been concerned by two recent messages where people have felt
that their ideas have been "shouted down" or "shot down".

That bothers me.  It bothers me because I assume that most, if not
all of the negative perception undoubtedly came from me.

I do have some strong opinions on how some things should be done.  For
instance, I think that overloading a FAQ with excessive information is
counter productive.

I also feel that the majority of "newbie" requests here do not come from
people who have exhaustively studied available documentation.

So, filling the FAQ with non-frequently asked questions does not seem like
the way to go to me.  It seems like it will make the FAQ harder to navigate
and will make it easier for people to miss things.

Telling people that the way to use google is to type something like:


does not make sense to me.

Updating the documentation *does* make sense to me.

Some recent email of mine may have made it sound like I am an inflexible
bastard.  I regret sending it.

I'm open to new ideas but I sometimes need to be convinced.  And, even
when convinced, it does not necessarily follow that I will now make
it my life's mission to carry out the new ideas.

I've said that repetition is important, so I'll repeat it one more time:
If you want to see something change, don't "suggest".  Don't "it seems
to me".  Don't "It would be nice".

Please reorient your thinking from "This is what they should do" to
"This is what I can do".

If I have dropped the ball on someone volunteering or if I have rudely
shot down your offer to help then I sincerely apologize.  I know that
my attempts at humor have sometimes been interpreted as rudeness.  I
know that sometimes I get impatient with ignorance (you can ask my
family about this trait), especially intractable ignorance.

Regardless, I have no real excuse.  I am sometimes exasperated and mean.
I hope that it is clear that I am doing what I'm doing because I want to
help.  In some cases, I'm even doing things that I come close to
detesting, like maintaining gcc or make.  I do this because I know that
it is important to people even though it is really not my specialty.

And, I also enjoy running a project like Cygwin.  I think that the net
release of Cygwin has improved dramatically in the last couple of years.
That is because I've lobbied for changes inside of Red Hat and solicited
active maintainers outside of Red Hat.  And, I've encouraged the
development of the cygwin installer.

There is still lots and lots and lots^10 of room for improvement.  I
would like to improve the documentation.  I would really like to expand
the cygwin test suite.  There are still problems with cygwin signals
and the cygwin spawn command.  setup.exe could stand all sorts of

I actually have a tendency to just see all of the negatives in cygwin.
I have to keep reminding myself that people are using it successfully
every day.  Most of them don't care that zip stores full MS-DOS paths
or that spawn(_P_NOWAIT) doesn't work on non-cygwin programs.

Anyway, if someone has volunteered and I have dropped the ball, please
ping me again.  I'll try to rectify my mistake in not acting on your

If someone has suggested an idea and didn't appreciate my response,
then I also apologize.  I'll try to do better in the future.

(Although, I will probably still try to be "humorous" from time to
time.  Be warned.)


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