I also have read this thread several times, and I feel bad because:
I feel negative emotions when I read a discussion in this tone, even
if I don’t participate in it myself.
No one has called-out that the discussion has went wrong, and that
sort-of normalizes it.
On non-meta level, discussion seems very uproductive because two
- why don’t we want to start with a placeholder syntax and fill it
with real one later?
- do we feel comfortable stabilizing a syntax which wasn’t baking
in nightly for several releases?
got completely bogged down in the minutia back-and-forth
So, hence this post, which I am not even sure I should be writing, but
which I hope will be useful
My goal here is to make participants of this discussion to reflect on
their behavior. I don’t want to make anyone to change their
behavior, but I hope that a bit of reflection can help to make future
discussions better for everyone, it’s not a zero-sum game!
In particular, @stepancheg, @Pauan and @Yato got engaged into
self-reinforcing “no, you are wrong” cycle which is the core of the
It’s interesting how this all started:
with “it’s easy to write a macro yourself” to leaxoy’s comment
stepancheg, thinking that this was response to their macro proposal,
replied “but that doesn’t help at all with postponing syntax
Paupan, thinking that stepancheg replies to reply to leaxoy,
disagrees with it:
stepancheg: You didn’t get the point. A macro could be used to postpone syntax decision.
Paupan: No, that was not their point.
point refers to different things here!
It all went downhill
I certantly can’t blaim neither stepancheg no Paupan for not
understanding who replies to what. That’s really hard in on-line
discurs! In fact, I myself realized that Paupan was replying to leaxoy
only when writing this post.
However, there are tricks to make this less likely.
It’s useful to make crystal clear to whom you are replying, by quoting
or @mentioning. If Paupans comment started with
@leaxoy, I wondn’t
be writing this text now
But a more powerful trick is to understand that you are actually
arguing with another person (understanding is a hard bit here), stop
the “arguging” and tell, in your own words, the other person’s
position (i.e., what are you arguing against). Don’t refer to it as
“the point”, spell it out like “I think your position is so and so, is
Another useful meta thing is realising that we argue because we find
it pleasurable! Really, petty hating is pleasent (kudos to Andrey
Breslav for this thought)! It’s important to realise this and
understand, that, if you feel the urge of engaging into argument, that
might be just because you want to say “you are wrong”, and not because
you really want to make a point. Guilty as charged here! My previous
comment was partially “someone’s wrong on the internet”, but I’ve
thought that this particular example of strange macro was never
brought up before, so I’ve decided that it’s valuable to make that
I guess that’s all I want to say?