[JSR308] JSR 308 discussions

Michael Ernst mernst at csail.mit.edu
Fri Feb 2 21:59:05 EST 2007

> Apparently I have been too circumspect in my emails -- I am terrified, 
> too, to the point where I have concerns about being associated with a 
> potential train wreck.

Such comments are not a productive use of this mailing list.

Clear, technical critiques -- of any part of the proposal or of the
whole thing -- are very welcome.  Name-calling (like "train wreck"),
me-tooism, and vague complaints (that are irrefutable merely because
they lack details) are not -- nor are a variety of other underhanded
rhetorical tricks I have observed people using to derail our
discussions.  In addition to common courtesy, another reason to keep
the discussion civil and thoughtful is that it's the most effective
way to convince others of your position.

One critical rule of thumb is that you should try to understand the
point that someone is making, rather than just take a potshot at some
comment that you can dispute.  And, of course, your messages should
make understanding you easy rather than a struggle.  This is harder
than whipping off a quick message, but it is worth the effort.

I have already had people tell me they would like to participate in
the discussions but have left the list because of the tone and volume
(not to mention the fact that some of most vocal people seem ignorant
on important issues).  So if there is a "train wreck", it might be of
this mailing list due to poor etiquette by a few members.  I'm sorry
to pick on Tom by quoting his text above; he is a good guy who has
made worthwhile contributions (and I hope he will continue to!), but
his is merely the most recent message of this variety in my inbox at
the moment.

Thanks, again, to everyone for the discussions.  I greatly appreciate
the many good points that have been raised, and we can all learn from
one another.  Let's try to focus on civil, thoughtful discussions
rather than meta-discussions or non-discussions.


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