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Author Topic: How Open Source Projects Survive Poisonous People  (Read 13119 times)
Gavin Andresen
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January 31, 2012, 01:26:04 PM
 #1

Thanks to midnightmagic who directed me to this very helpful video about identifying and then dealing with "poisonous people" in open source software projects:
  http://youtu.be/ZSFDm3UYkeE

Advice on disinfecting:
  http://youtu.be/ZSFDm3UYkeE?t=34m22s

Watch the whole thing for examples of "poisonous person" behavior, like repeatedly flooding mailing lists/forums with their opinion or comments, not listening to the opinion of others, or making sweeping "the world will end if..." statements about the project.

I'll be blunt:  I think Luke Dashjr fits the definition of a poisonous person, and I think Bitcoin would be better without him. At the very least, we wouldn't be creating two BIPs for every technical issue, one for Luke and one for the rest of us (see BIP 16/17, and now we have BIP 20/21, too).

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bittenbob
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January 31, 2012, 01:29:33 PM
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Maybe we should stop trying to implement BIPs until there is more agreement on them. It seems you did not find a major bug in your BIP until a couple of days ago and you also stated that Luke's was highly vulnerable to attack. Until you both can agree on something I think we should just leave it as it is.
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January 31, 2012, 01:45:33 PM
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One more point on this matter: You and Luke need to stop this public feuding as it is causing somewhat of a rift among the Bitcoin community. We need to get back to unity for the sake of the project. I don't know a whole lot on the matter other than that you two disagree and now it seems as if you are going for each other's throats (I understand the difference between BIP 16 and 17). It projects a negative image of the project to outsiders. Perhaps the only person that could resolve this issue is Satoshi but he has not been heard from in a long time so you two will have to work it out amongst yourselves.

Just my two bitcents.
Gavin Andresen
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January 31, 2012, 01:49:19 PM
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bittenbob:

You replied 3 minutes after I posted.  You obviously didn't watch the video link I posted.

At that link, two experienced subversion (another successful open source project) developers talk about what to do if somebody in your open source community makes it impossible to have unity and agreement.

You say "we need to get back to unity" -- I agree.  That is why Luke must go.

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January 31, 2012, 01:52:16 PM
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bittenbob:

You replied 3 minutes after I posted.  You obviously didn't watch the video link I posted.

At that link, two experienced subversion (another successful open source project) developers talk about what to do if somebody in your open source community makes it impossible to have unity and agreement.

You say "we need to get back to unity" -- I agree.  That is why Luke must go.


You are right I didn't look at the video but I just wanted to comment on the matter as a whole. If Luke must go then there should be some consensus among the community and then he can be forced out.
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January 31, 2012, 02:19:19 PM
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Quote
It seems you did not find a major bug in your BIP until a couple of days ago
Seems kind of important, could you please point to the actual discussion/description of this? I seem to be lost in all the late threads on these BIPs.

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January 31, 2012, 02:20:01 PM
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You say "we need to get back to unity" -- I agree.  That is why Luke must go.


Statements like this are also poisonous.  Just saying.

I mean, I'm trying hard to be on your side here Gavin, but statements like that make me think twice about my stance.  Is attempting to excommunicate someone from an open-source rooted, decentralized community really the best way to reach consensus and move forward?

What about the recent bug caused by BIP 16?  What if there are other unintended consequences?  I really understand the need for better multisig support, but I really don't understand the rush.  Sure, it will help adoption, but we have plenty of time for that.  Patience.

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January 31, 2012, 02:31:17 PM
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Everybody watch the damn video and STFU until you have seen it all the way through.

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January 31, 2012, 02:33:55 PM
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I think that Luke has the mental skills and knowledges to give a great help to the Bitcoin project, but he has also the wrong attitude, and this ruins everything.
I hope that he will find a better way to give his precious help to the project.

From the other side, it seems that Gavin is taking it too personally ... so it will be easy that sometimes he doesn't think clean.
I also don't support this "rush" way to add a features that will change the future of this project without any options to come back.

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January 31, 2012, 02:36:54 PM
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Advice on disinfecting:
  http://youtu.be/ZSFDm3UYkeE?t=34m22s

"Maintain calm and stand your ground" I guess...
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January 31, 2012, 02:40:29 PM
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I guess we can write off a productive future with both of them developing, due to hostilities.

There's only one thing to do.


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January 31, 2012, 02:45:14 PM
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You say "we need to get back to unity" -- I agree.  That is why Luke must go.


Statements like this are also poisonous.  Just saying.

I mean, I'm trying hard to be on your side here Gavin, but statements like that make me think twice about my stance.  Is attempting to excommunicate someone from an open-source rooted, decentralized community really the best way to reach consensus and move forward?

What about the recent bug caused by BIP 16?  What if there are other unintended consequences?  I really understand the need for better multisig support, but I really don't understand the rush.  Sure, it will help adoption, but we have plenty of time for that.  Patience.

You (and the guy telling Gavin to debate Luke's ideas, not his person) have to keep in mind that Gavin is also a person. He's committed substantial amounts of his free time to this project and it must be immensely frustrating to feel like someone's intentionally wasting the little free time you have.

Of course, Luke has also committed lots of his free time to the project, so from his point of view Gavin (and many others?) might be doing the same thing.

In the longer run, I feel it might boil down to losing one of them (at least from the core team) over this disagreement. It's easy for us to ask them to sort it out peacefully, but sometimes different personality types just don't get along and shouldn't work together.
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January 31, 2012, 02:51:03 PM
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It's a good video…should be required viewing for anyone working on an open source project.  As for those that are advocating a position of not rushing things, I think the opportunity to move forward is now while it's on the forefront of a lot of people's minds.  If you delay or defer work on this, we'll just rehash all the same issues again in 3 months time and get nowhere.  I think it's time to move forward with the process as Gavin outlined it (it's not rushing anything).

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January 31, 2012, 02:55:26 PM
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In the longer run, I feel it might boil down to losing one of them (at least from the core team) over this disagreement. It's easy for us to ask them to sort it out peacefully, but sometimes different personality types just don't get along and shouldn't work together.

My worst fear is Gavin would leave because Luke wouldn't. I can't imagine a worse thing happening to Bitcoin right now...
This is n-th call to action by Gavin on forums these days and I think we should listen.
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January 31, 2012, 03:00:37 PM
 #15

What LukeDashJr did to coiledcoin, without his users consent, or permission, is proof positive of why he needs to be severed.


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January 31, 2012, 03:03:26 PM
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I've read many of the developer logs from Bitcoin and I must say I'm surprised this hasn't really come to a head earlier. If you read luke-jrs response to pretty much anything he disagrees with he does the "you do that and I'm not going to mine it" approach. "If you do that I'm going to fork the chain" . Basically turning every minor problem into a major one and using his pool as his body guard.

Does anyone actually think Luke-Jr is a positive presence? Attacking other currencies, filing false claims to hosts, inserting religious text into Bitcoin and finally holding Bitcoin development team to ransom to stall development? With that sort of positive presence I'm glad he's over here rather than focusing on SolidCoin. Tongue

Try SolidCoin or talk with other SolidCoin supporters here SolidCoin Forums
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January 31, 2012, 03:06:26 PM
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But Bitcoin is a very different kind of project from svn. If a poor design choice is made in svn, it can easily be reverted.
how so? svn projects have a history that cannot be altered. there are many year old projects relying on svn! so, it's just like with the blockchain.
also, the amount of money behind the projects using svn is certainly far far higher and more important than bitcoin.

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January 31, 2012, 03:09:12 PM
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My worst fear is Gavin would leave because Luke wouldn't. I can't imagine a worse thing happening to Bitcoin right now...
i fear the same and hope gavin is a strong enough BDFL http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benevolent_Dictator_for_Life to resolve this problem. And yes, it's a major problem - and also it turned into a nightmare once this discussion leaked to the actual users who don't know anything about software development …

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January 31, 2012, 03:14:24 PM
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If you delay or defer work on this, we'll just rehash all the same issues again in 3 months time and get nowhere.  I think it's time to move forward with the process as Gavin outlined it (it's not rushing anything).

Whilst I do agree it would be best for everyone to just move forward with BIP 16 (since the wheels are already in motion). There is still no need to rush it, make the decision now, but the switch on date should still be at least a few months in the future (not a ~week as in the original proposal). Ideally there should at least one new client release before the change is switched on, giving both miners, users and merchants opportunity to upgrade.

Follow the example of Satashi. A change he made two years ago to the bitcoin client is only just being activated now http://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/2788/what-are-the-february-20-changes-to-the-bitcoin-protocol

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January 31, 2012, 03:18:54 PM
 #20

Sure, let’s just wait with multisig until Bitcoin is deserted because normal people keep having their Bitcoins stolen by malware and therefore simply shouldn’t use Bitcoin, but rather stay with PayPal and online banking. Grin

Remember what happened in summer? Why do you think did people store their Bitcoins with MtGox or Mybitcoin.com? The ability to not have your money stolen is not important at all when it comes to a new, hardly accepted currency, really.

We have time. Let’s implement it in a few months.

"Bitcoin had been transformed from an anarachistic challenge to the financial status quo, to the crypto spawn of Satan, fuelled by cut-throat greed and delusions of avarice." - MatTheCat
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