BobSongs has PM'd me some examples of what he thinks Maestral is referring to, and incidents where he thinks inappropriate comments have been made to other members. I will refer to this as "sniping" and "professional sniping". His msg very much helped me to see the pervasive nature of this problem, and allowed me to form a much more objective perspective (whereas my previous msg was fairly well an emotional reaction) (although certainly factually correct). I will condense some of my comments in my reply to him, since they turned out to be nice overview of my perspective.
Unfortunately, I am not personally equipped, nor authorized by the admin, to moderate what might be called sniping, I guess. I tried, in my reply to Maestral to exlplain why I don't and/or can't provide a strong leadership or authority in this area.
My best guess about what microUgly would want done, is nothing. The last I heard from him on this subject (literally years ago) is that he thinks the forum should be self-disciplining. Everyone should act like professionals, and problems like this should be worked out among the participants in the problems. I think, he thinks, as long as everyone behaves like professionals, this type of problem should be minimal. I think he would say that there will always be this kind of sniping in a professional forum, but for the most part, forum members and visitors are able to access whatever info they might need about Inkscape, despite the sniping, and that's, after all, the purpose of this forum. That's paraphrasing what micro has told me in the past, about how to handle sniping.
I'm telling you, I've seen this coming. I know full well the limitations I have in acting as a moderator, in this particular forum. I've seen the forum, over this last 6 months, really begin to mature, and provide a depth and richness of support for Inkscape. I see so many discussions, that in my whole entire life will never be able to understand. It's impossible for me to moderate a discussion that I don't understand. When it's a blatant offense (such as druban's "comedy" routine) or a direct personal attack, yes, I can jump right in. (Although it's quite difficult to discipline someone for offending me directly. That's just 1 reason why we need another moderator!) But when it's buried in a long and technical discussion, and especially one which I don't understand, I literally am helpless to moderate any sniping which might occur. (Helpless due to lack of understanding of the subject matter, as well as lack of any formal or official authority to do so.)
Yes, indeed, as this forum has begun to mature, this sort of professional sniping has leaked into the forum, and now I understand that it's nearly pervasive, at this point. I didn't see it, because my focus is approving new members' first 2 msgs, deleting spam, banning spammers, and trolling for any spam that might have leaked through (and of course answering what msgs I can). Because of microUgly's early tutelage on the subject, I see the sniping, and as long as it's not outrageous, I let it go.....because that's what I was taught to do, as a moderator, in this forum.
Also, Maestral, I do not mean to belittle your comments and feelings, in relating how I was taught to handle this kind of thing. Now that I see the pervasive nature of this issue, and see it objectively, I am in total agreement with you. I do think, at this point in this forum's growth, we need moderators (or at least 1) who would be capable of handling such "professional sniping". But we're all somewhat bound by the wishes of the admin, at least in my opinion. (I guess it's really not worth mentioning that I personally disagree with this approach. But somehow I feel like I should. That's probably part of what makes this so frustrating for me, but I really do feel obligated to act as I think microUgly would like me to, or as he taught me.)
Should we find ourselves continuing to get by without administration, perhaps we might want to develop some rules of conduct for ourselves, and pledge to try to participate accordingly? That's one thought I've had, towards a solution to this problem. But I seriously doubt that could ever happen, for several reasons (some obvious, others not worth mentioning).
Short of any guidance, or otherwise authoritative intervention from microUgly, I can only offer the following, 2, very strong and emphatic pleas:1. If you don't have any constructive suggestions to offer another member who has asked for assistance, please simply refrain from replying!2. If you don't posses the technical skills and knowledge with which to participate constructively in the discussion, please simply refrain from replying!
The only exception to these, would be if the member has specifically asked for comments, including
SO! Now to summarize all of this, on strictly a personal level, I would like to emphasize the following:
This is me:
(and my squawing seagull has flown the coop)
Any support you can give me, whether to alert me to any sniping which you may feel have "crossed the line"; or make suggestions for how to handle certain situations; or just to take heed of my above 2 pleas; would be extremely, and gratefully, appreciated! Thanks
PS -- a hopeful sign -- I've just heard from micro via email!
PPS - sorry this is so long