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From: David Abrahams (dave_at_[hidden])
Date: 2003-07-22 15:51:58

"Edward Diener" <eddielee_at_[hidden]> writes:

>> I think:
>> "I have never quite understand why so many good, and often
>> brilliant programmers, take it so hard when others suggest that
>> they document what they do in easily understandable
>> sentences. There must be something wrong in the educational
>> systems of the countries from which most programmers come when
>> they can not, or do not, want to write clearly."
>> speaks for itself. If you meant something else by that remark,
>> perhaps you'd like to clarify?
> You have no doubt read something into a general remark which I did
> not intend. Clearly that was not targeted to "library authors who
> don't publish the ChangeLog" or I would have been much more specific
> about it. Nor do I accuse anyone of being poorly educated.
> I am critical, again in general, about the unwillingness of many
> programmers to want to communicate their ideas in clear and cogent
> prose, and about educational systems, in general, that do not feel
> it is their responsibility to educate students so that basic writing
> proficiency is met. But that is my right in a free society, to think
> for myself and have my own opinions and beliefs about those things.
> I still do not understand the brouhaha which is often caused when
> someone suggests that things be documented as a help to other
> programmers. When someone says that an implementation might be
> improved by changing something in some way, programmers discuss this
> rationally and reasonably in most cases, usually no matter how
> assertive people are in their suggestions as long as it remains a
> technical issue. When someone suggests, let's have better
> documentation of something, programmers get very defensive in most
> cases and hostile in some others. It appears to be sacrosanct ground
> one is treading upon when one seeks to improve things in the
> programming world by encouraging better documentation, and argues
> for that improvement even in a low-key way.

...and all of this is a general remark about programmers which has no
particular relationship to what's going on here at Boost?

>>>> This is hardly first time we've been over this
>>>> ground:
>>> These are irrelevant to the present post.
>> Except that I'll be much more likely to "react vehemently" to posts
>> I perceive as aggressive if there's a history of similar offensive
>> behavior behind it.
> I don't see offensive behavior in those posts. That's not a fair way
> of criticizing positions with which someone doesn't agree, by
> calling it offensive.

You apparently managed to offend several people with them.

I have already detailed at length what the problems were with that
post (

> But even if you do really feel it is offensive by your standards,
> past interpretations of actions should not be used to view judge
> present situations.

Human nature, sorry.

> We are getting nowhere in this discussion, however, and I don't
> think we are really disagreeing with each other. I can only attest
> that my remarks were meant to encourage Boost programmers to better
> document changes in their libraries so that users could better
> understand how each new release affects their own programming
> endeavors with Boost.

I suggest that in the future, to avoid misunderstanding, you leave out
irrelevant "general remarks" about the attitude of "many programmers".

Dave Abrahams
Boost Consulting

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