[gmx-developers] Ideologically biased quotes
mark.j.abraham at gmail.com
Fri Dec 9 01:35:40 CET 2016
The quotes are fun, and many users mentioned to me that they find them fun.
There's even a Spotify playlist based on them(!).
If someone finds some of them potentially objectionable, then they can
propose a patch to remove it and it'll probably go in immediately. We've
done that before.
To help in future, we could have a comment on the bottom of the list (and a
pointer to it from the top of the list, so people read it) outlining some
policy, along the lines of Erik's suggestions. I would add the suggestion
that it seems likely to make someone laugh or think, and unlikely to feel
that the world is a bad place.
I realise being in a source file is less configurable than it used to be,
but it can still be disabled entirely at CMake or run time. If we skipped
quotes for mdrun, and would load (a single quote from?) a plain-text
installed quote database for non-mdrun tools at startup time, then
potential problems from needing to access the installation folder on big
iron machines for incidental behaviour are probably minimized. If someone
wants to write the code, that is :-)
On Thu, Dec 8, 2016 at 1:58 AM Justin Lemkul <jalemkul at vt.edu> wrote:
> On 12/7/16 9:44 AM, Vedran Miletić wrote:
> > 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
> >>>>> for the few who were there, most other users probably won't
> >>>>> 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
> >>>>> 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
> > 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.
> > +1
> >> 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.
> Trust me, I agree. As someone who has (so far) survived the political
> in this country, I want to keep my scientific software as
> non-controversial as
> possible (it's the one thing that will be that way in my day...)
> Justin A. Lemkul, Ph.D.
> Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow
> Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
> School of Pharmacy
> Health Sciences Facility II, Room 629
> University of Maryland, Baltimore
> 20 Penn St.
> Baltimore, MD 21201
> jalemkul at outerbanks.umaryland.edu | (410) 706-7441
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