[gmx-developers] FW: Gromacs quotes

Bogdan Costescu bcostescu at gmail.com
Thu Dec 20 15:21:48 CET 2012

On Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 10:45 AM, Tsjerk Wassenaar <tsjerkw at gmail.com> wrote:
> I don't think the particular discussion is important in the context of
> gromacs. It's being made much more than it's worth.

I would actually like to question how much is it worth. So let me ask
a few "why" questions:

- why were the quotes introduced ?
- why was the default to print them ?
- why continue to keep them ?

There were only 3 brief answers in this thread to the first question:
David van der Spoel: "Does it have a purpose? It can put a smile on
someone's face."
Justin Lemkul: "I'm a big fan of witty quips, though :)"
Mark Abraham: "...I'm all up for bringing an occasional smile to a face..."

To me these reasons are not enough to make it worth arguing about
offensiveness and other attributes of these quotes. Applying the
principle of least surprise would mean to disable printing them by
default. Document that they can be enabled by an envvar and add to
that documentation a warning that they can be offensive/politically
incorrect/etc. This way, only those who make the step to enable them
will see them. Opt in rather than opt out. Someone mentioned earlier
that they use quotes at login; this used to be widely spread years
ago. Nowadays though this is no longer the default, you have spend
some effort to add it. So why not applying the same principle to


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