Forum OpenACS Development: Re: Calling ad_script_abort from within ad_returnredirect

"Changing the default semantics of ad_returnredirect solely to "protect" incompetent programmers from themselves is an exceedingly bad idea."

I want to set the record straight here as Andrew's talk of incompetent programmers diverts attention from the important issues at hand.

The proposed change was to make the proc do what it should have done in the first place, behave as most programmers would expect it to behave, and most importantly behave as those programmers *want* it to behave in the vast majority of cases.

So to summarize, the proposed change would have been an improvement of our API, not only for incompetent programmers as Andrew suggests, but for the majority (or even all) programmers. Still, and this is important, we choose not to make the change since we take upgradability very seriuosly.

So am I making this post merely to prove that I am not an "incompetent programmer"? No, I also have another and more important agenda. Recent conversations with Mohan have helped me realize that throwing around terms such as "exceedingly bad" and "incompetent programmers" in the OpenACS forums does not help foster the friendly and inviting atmosphere that this community so sorely needs if it is to grow beyond the confines of elitism and arrogance that it inherited from ArsDigita. This means that senior members in the community, such as Andrew and myself, need to set a friendly, encouraging, forgiving, and even diplomatic tone, so that newcomers feel comfortable asking questions and contributing ideas.

14: tone (response to 13)
Posted by Andrew Piskorski on
Anyway, I don't find it especially interesting, but since this new topic (tone of OpenACS Forums posts) started between Peter and I in email, and is at least potentially important (e.g., if I'm wrong below it could be very important), here's my contribution:

On Wed, Apr 09, 2003 at 02:32:33PM +0100, Peter Marklund wrote:
> Hey Andrew!
> I take your point, and it's good. However, please note that this kind of
> tone in our forums does not invite beginners to ask questions. Mohan

[shrug]  Well, you're entitled to that opinion.  My tone is usually
much more helpful, even (especially?) to clueless newbies who don't
know what they're doing, as you can see from my posting history.  In
this case, the tone seemed justified to me, even necessary.  Why else
would I post an essentially redundant comment, after all?  For

> Pakkurti has talked to several developers in Europe who have confirmed
> that this is a real problem that we have.

Rumor and hearsay.  If we're going to go by anecdotal evidence (which
in this case is probably fine), we should at least know the full
details of the anecdote.  And any such discussion probably belongs in
public on the BBoard, not here.

Tone and culture cut both ways.  I would hope that NO developers
trying to use and/or contribute to OpenACS consider themselves
"incompetent".  If they do, well, I don't think we want them, do you?
(Of course, the truly incompetent never consider themselves such, but
that's straying of topic...)             

Further, IMNSHO, the OpenACS BBoards show an unusually high degree of
both competence and helpfullness on the web.  High signal to noise
ratio.  That's why I like it so much.  I could be wrong, but in
general I don't see any "tone" problem.