[gmx-developers] Ideologically biased quotes

Vedran Miletić vedran at miletic.net
Wed Dec 7 15:55:25 CET 2016

On 12/07/2016 01:43 PM, Justin Lemkul wrote:
> On 12/7/16 7:40 AM, Berk Hess wrote:
>> On 12/07/2016 01:27 PM, David van der Spoel wrote:
>>> On 07/12/16 13:19, Erik Lindahl wrote:
>>>> ... and a couple of other things I've thought about, but not acted
>>>> on yet:
>>>> 1) Should we remove all non-English quotes (Maybe German/French is OK
>>>> too)? Gromacs has become a large and international project, and since I
>>>> don't think it would be very productive to add quotes in another ~20
>>>> small languages, maybe we shouldn't have any Swedish ones either.
>>>> 2)  Avoid jokes that depend too much on context (i.e., having been at
>>>> the talk) such as dropping a letter. While it might be fun to remember
>>>> for the few who were there, most other users probably won't understand
>>>> why it's fun.
>>>> 3) We have some historical quotes from rock music that I think we
>>>> should
>>>> keep, but for new ones I'd suggest we hold them to the same standard as
>>>> other quotes - i.e., they should be related to
>>>> science/engineering/programming.

1) I don't have any strong feelings either way. Google Translate works well.
2) I don't have any problems with the jokes. In fact, most of the quotes
do bring a smile to my face and faces of my colleagues. It would be
great to keep them.
3) Absolutely.

>>> As said let's not reiterate the whole discussion again. Maybe the
>>> time for
>>> quotes is over in the post-factual world and we can just remove them
>>> altogether.

I would strongly recommend to keep them.

>> Isn't the post-factual world all about quotes?

It is.

>> I like the quotes, since they often make me laugh, so I (and several
>> colleagues
>> I know of) would not like to see them go. I don't know about the
>> community at
>> large though.
>> I don't have strong opinions on rules, apart from avoiding
>> self-censorship.
>> Erik's suggestions sound reasonable to me.


> I agree.  I like them, and I know several people that certainly find
> them funny and make using GROMACS enjoyable and unique.
> The move from binary to plain text was motivated, in part, due to the
> previous discussion on charged quotes - people can edit out anything
> they don't like (yay, flexibility!) and we got rid of a few that
> consensus dictated were perhaps poorly received.  The fact that the
> quotes are now in a source file, requiring the user to completely
> re-compile the code rather than edit a simple text file has somewhat
> raised that barrier.  Obviously good from a software perspective,
> perhaps not so good from a user perspective.

People can edit the quotes, sure, as they can fork the project and
change all of the quotes and distribute their fork. That is not the
point; the point is avoiding picking a side in any ideological debate
unrelated to science and/or software. If we start adding quotes about
unrelated stuff, we can compete ad infinitum among us who can quote more
authors/politicians/pop culture in favor of their side. I would much
prefer to avoid that.


Vedran Miletić

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