[gmx-developers] FW: Gromacs quotes

Ryan Johnson ryanphjohnson at gmail.com
Thu Dec 20 19:34:01 CET 2012

Another possible solution is immediately before or after the quote, mention
the GMX_NO_QUOTES option.  It adds a small amount of text, but if someone
should ever get offended they can clearly read how to fix that.

On Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 10:54 AM, Raf Ponsaerts <
raf.ponsaerts at med.kuleuven.be> wrote:

> Since the quotes are mostly composed out of natural language, they often
> can be interpreted in different ways and may trigger non-intended
> emotions. The response towards a quote probably depends on the
> background (cultural, educational, ...), personality and mindset of the
> reader. A quote may get another interpretation and can become offensive
> in time as well, while this was unintended.
> The fact that quotes are included, even by default, makes gmx distinct
> of commercial software for similar purposes.
> In my opinion, the quotes should be printed by default!
> You should not block a television channel (besides non X-rated perhaps)
> by default because there is one program that you do not like (I do
> seriously consider blocking the 'God'-channel...). But, if you don't
> like the television program, you zap to another channel or stop watching
> TV. You cannot claim that that the television channel stops broadcasting
> because you have issues with one or more television programs.
> Indeed, a reference could be added toward the manual (Quotes section?)
> in which you can state the intentions of the quotes (humor,
> non-offensive, ...) and where you provide the GMX_NO_QUOTES flag
> information.
> raf
> On Thu, 2012-12-20 at 15:21 +0100, Bogdan Costescu wrote:
> > 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
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Bogdan
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