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Nine Attitude Problems in Free and Open Source Software

Oct 16, 2008, 17:04 (15 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bruce Byfield)

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"4) Hostility to newcomers

"Any community tends to become an in-group. Consisting of networks of association that have existed for years, and because status in it tends to be based on contributions, FOSS is probably more insular than most communities. A newcomer to FOSS has to develop both a certain amount of technical expertise but also a body of largely unwritten philosophy or knowledge before they can hope to fit into the community.

"All that is understandable, but it is no excuse for the undisguised impatience and scorn that many community members show to newcomers. Too often, I've seen well-meaning, if uninformed newbies lose interest in learning about FOSS because their basic questions provoked rude replies in which "RTFM" featured as a prominent comment."

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