A meta-discussion, how dangerous! Let's see whether it can help us
improve the way we work together, though.
I'll talk about how I think, from my perspective, we can improve the
quality of discourse on this mailing list and be more constructive.
What lowered the quality of this discussion? I think it is because
various people became quite upset and annoyed. That's because I reverted
Hanno's changes to the ZTK trunk. I shouldn't have done that just like
that, but I needed the subsequent discussion to come up with a better
In the turmoil, my attempts to formulate a solution that would satisfy
everybody's concerns fairly well seemed to have been overlooked a little
bit. Instead we focused a lot of time on discussing bits we ironically
enough actually more or less agreed about, such as the role of the ZTK.
Nobody seemed to quite notice that I'm in fact in favor of a smaller
ZTK, even though I said so repeatedly.
That's because I'm *also* in favor of maintaining the zopeapp bits a
while longer and not just throwing those away. I want an exit strategy
for those bits. A transition strategy. That is a legitimate topic for
this mailing list at the very least.
Instead, we had endless debates about whether it was a legitimate
concern for the ZTK maintainers. I'm of course still right that it is.
I have wonderful and coherent reasons to support my position just like
everybody else does who disagrees with me. It's not really very
important anyway. We're here together on this list to work together
beyond the ZTK itself.
So how can we have better discussions?
We can have better discussions by helping me.
How can you help me? Of course it helps if you agree with me. I realize
that's frequently infeasible, but I certainly wouldn't mind. :)
If you disagree with me, I'd like you to try to understand my concerns
as much as you possibly can. In addition, try acknowledge my concerns as
much as you possibly can without feeling you're lying. This works beter
than just rejecting them.
How else can you help me?
You can propose realistic solutions for how we as a community can take
care of these concerns that I have. And still fulfill your concerns at
the same time. Such solutions were entirely possible in this discussion.
Constructive debating is an art I'm still learning, but I had the
feeling people enjoyed the rest of the debate too much to be very
constructive this time...
Of course the way you'd help me is the way anybody would be helped in a
discussion, as the discussion becomes more constructive.
Again, I know as much to blame as anyone else. I helped spark it due to
my revert and my continued insistence that I am right. The revert
shouldn't have happened. But I didn't know that at the time as I hadn't
had time to think yet either.
So how else can you help me? Give me some space to think. I believe my
concerns could have been easily taken care of if we'd stopped and talked
for a little bit *before* drastic changes were checked in. So, you can
help me by discussing things that you know are drastic changes before
you do them.
I know we have had a lot of problems reaching conclusions in such
discussions in the past, but we can't learn how to do better at that if
we don't. And we are going to do better if I can help it.
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