[CentOS] A request from the CentOS Project

Wed Apr 18 15:26:01 UTC 2012
Johnny Hughes <johnny at centos.org>

The CentOS Project seems to be having a problem within some of our
community interactive areas that we need to address.

As most of you know, the project provides CentOS software free of charge
and we also provide community areas like a Wiki, Mailing Lists, IRC
Channels and Fora for our users to interact with one another and allow
the CentOS community to provide support for each other.

There are some companies out there that provide paid CentOS support, but
for the most part our users utilize community areas to get support for

That brings us to our problem ... some members of the community in the
areas provided by the CentOS Project are rude to users who are coming in
for help. This happens much more often than it should.

These complaints are not coming from newbies ... I would expect that to
happen. The complaints are coming from people who are very knowledgeable
in the open source community and who are involved in other open source

Taking that into account, I would like to ask the following from all the
people who frequent the CentOS Project's community areas (Wiki, Mailing
Lists, Fora, and especially the IRC Channels). I ask that each of you
who answer questions there to try and look at it from the other person's
point of view and try to be polite. Treat other people like you would
like to be treated when interacting with them.

There is a time and a place for telling someone what you think of them
and their question. Believe me ... I am speaking from much experience
here :P … but there is also a time and a place for at least trying to be
polite first.

Please try to think of the community areas of the CentOS Project as you
would think of your front porch, front yard, or the park by your house
where you take your children to play. Try to interact with the people as
you would if they asked you a question face to face in those settings.
Be courteous and use proper etiquette to make your points and if someone
will not listen to reason then we (the CentOS Project) have moderators
in all the community areas who can try to help in that situation.

Sometimes users can be very inconsiderate when asking for help,
especially users who are new to open source. They can sometimes seem to
project themselves as entitled to support from free community venues in
a manner that would lead you to believe they think they are paying a
million dollars for a support contract. In those situations, those users
do need to understand that there are paid alternatives where they can
treat the workers like hired help … but that in a community setting
their actions are not considered appropriate. In those situations,
please contact the applicable moderators that the CentOS Project has in
place and we can help to resolve the issues. I have no problem reminding
people that there are paid alternatives to CentOS if they want an
service level agreement type of relationship with the vendor ... but
lets let that be handled by the people that the Project has in place in
our community areas.

Lets try to keep the vitriol to a minimum on both sides and work as a
group to make the community areas of the CentOS Project as quality a
place to be as the software we all love and use.

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