V.Location

Mark Ovens mark at dogma.freebsd-uk.eu.org
Fri Jul 14 19:06:11 BST 2000


On Fri, Jul 14, 2000 at 02:11:29PM +0100, Helen McCall wrote:
> Hello Simon and Tony,
> 
> I am writing because you both now appear to understand what is wrong with
> this list.
> 
> I am a professional freelance Unix and Internet consultant, with
> experience spanning more than thirty years. I provide services to a number
> of ISPs and commercial clients. I use several versions of Debian
> Gnu/Linux, FreeBSD and BSDi on different machines in various parts of the
> world.
> 
> Most of the seasoned veteran professionals I personally know are all
> female. However when we try to offer the fruits of our experience on any
> of the user lists, we tend mostly to either get ignored or attract
> appalling flames and sexual propositions from young males who were born
> long after we became seasoned veterans.

I'm very sorry that you find yourself treated that way. I certainly
can't recall *any* female being ridiculed on this, or any other,
FreeBSD list and I believe that were it to happen the ridiculer(?)
would get flamed to hell (and possibly removed form the list(s)).

> 
> The freebsd-users list does not help in this, with its "Beer and Curry"
> clique appearing to totally dominate any discussion. Some time ago I
> worked out that it was best to consign any mail containing the words
> "beer" and "curry" straight to /dev/null.
> 

With respect that is a rather dramatic reaction. The fact that a
goodly percentage of those at the Oxford and Bath meetings fancied
going for a beer and curry should not be used to stereotype them. I,
and I suspect most others, would have been equally happy with a Pizza,
Chinese, Thai, or whatever.

> I find the general ethos in the freebsd world so embarassing that I do not
> like mentioning the name "Freebsd" to my commercial clients, preferring to
> refer to it as "Berkley UNIX" instead. The ethos as seen by myself and
> other women is that of teenage boys with all the naivity of youth, getting
> drunk on lager,

Now that proves you are confusing us with another social group; FreeBSD'ers drink bitter :)

> filling up with curry, and then as all women know probably
> being sick on the pavement. The name "FreeBSD" tends to conjure up the
> image of little pools of vomit in the street!
> 

That's a bit harsh.

> The "Beer and Curry Clique" is alienating a major sector of the Unix/Linux
> world; in the same way that the tedious and irritating "Computer Games
> Cliques" drove so many women away from computing in the early Nineties.
> Even the very professional Debian project tends to put women off with the
> amount of flaming on the developers' lists.
> 
> Please try and make this list more attractive to the older seasoned
> professionals by removing the "Young Lad" image.

Hmm, well I'm 42 and many more of us are in the 30-40 year old age
group. Teenagers are a definite minority, and those who are here are
mature individuals.

> Please also remember that
> us veterans very rarely ask questions on these kind of lists because the
> kind of queries we see on the lists are the simple little problems which
> we normall solve in a moment due to our enormous wealth of experience;
> which is why those of us old enough to be your mothers or grandmothers can
> offer some very useful advice, even if we do not know the latest slang.
> 

So participate, answer some of these questions, your experience will
be appreciated and you will find for yourself that your image of us is
wrong.

One more thing, Sue (whose surname escapes me at the moment) is very
heavily involved with the -newbies mailing list at freebsd.org so if
you feel that the FreeBSD world is a MCP dominated one then you are
mistaken.

Finally, take a look at http://www.transit.hanse.de/oxford/ for a
dozen or so photos from Oxford, both the meeting and the meal
afterwards, and then judge us.

> 
> Helen McCall
> 
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 
> On Fri, 14 Jul 2000, Simon Clayton wrote:
> 
> > Hi Simon, I felt the need to mention in all probability without the little
> > gathering in Newcastle, manchester, Glasgow and other places over the last
> > few years, that can in the eyes of some be described as a piss up, the
> > meeting in OXFORD would perhaps have not taken place.
> > It takes many a muckle to make a mackle.
> > 
> > My comments were not intended in any way as criticism, just observations
> > from someone new to the group.  I realise that the group is growing and
> > evolving, it's just that the whole "friendlyness" that is obvious within the
> > group can seem like a click of friends
> > 
> > You also wrote
> > As you say, and I agree with you it can be improved on, are you willing to
> > help ?
> > 
> > I will try my best, let me know what I could do.
> > 
> > Simon
> >   -----Original Message-----
> >   From: jimsinn007 [mailto:jimsinn007 at netscapeonline.co.uk]
> >   Sent: 14 July 2000 10:48
> >   To: Simon Clayton; freebsd-users at uk.freebsd.org
> >   Subject: V.Location
> > 
> > 
> >   </snip>
> > 
> >   I agree totally - when I first joined this list I got two impressions
> > 
> >   1.  Nothing much happens on it
> > 
> >   2.  The Newcastle meet was a bunch of mates going for a piss up!
> > 
> >   I'm sure some people will disagree but that is what I thought.  When
> >   the talk started of the Oxford meet I started to get more interested
> >   as it sounded a whole level more professional.
> > 
> >   I also think that -questions is far too busy for an average IT
> >   professional, there are a LOT of mails on that list and I actually
> >   stayed subscribed for a couple of months but then got bored with
> >   the questions which had no relevance to me.  This is an eternal
> >   problem, when I used to read the Novell Instructors forum you got a
> >   lot of people asking stupid questions which again meant that I stopped
> >   reading the list.
> > 
> >   My point is that firstly the UKUG list is valid and valuable but IMHO
> >   if it gets too busy people will unsubscribe - therefore, we also need
> >   to have a UKUG-questions list where we can start a more active UK
> >   community.
> > 
> >   Just my two penneth!
> > 
> >   Simon Clayton
> > 
> >   Hi Simon, I felt the need to mention in all probability without the little
> > gathering in Newcastle, manchester, Glasgow and other places over the last
> > few years, that can in the eyes of some be described as a piss up, the
> > meeting in OXFORD would perhaps have not taken place.
> >   It takes many a muckle to make a mackle.
> > 
> >   Do not be taken in by the
> >   snip********
> >   the talk started of the Oxford meet I started to get more interested
> >   as it sounded a whole level more professional.
> >   You would no doubt rush out to buy a loaf of Hovis bread as it looked more
> > Healthy. (I hope not)
> >   The point is quite simple , this list has been set up on a shoe string
> > budget, it is hosted @ manchester , its aim was to help. It has grown alot
> > over the last few years and the topics covered  have widened. The logical
> > next step is to have or ask for regional co-ordinators who will help with
> > input , meetings and promotional events.
> > 
> >   snip.
> >   My point is that firstly the UKUG list is valid and valuable but IMHO
> >   if it gets too busy people will unsubscribe - therefore, we also need
> >   to have a UKUG-questions list where we can start a more active UK
> >   community.
> > 
> >   As you say, and I agree with you it can be improved on, are you willing to
> > help ?
> >   Tony Watson : Newcastle
> > 
> > 
> > 

-- 
  If I buy a copy of WinDelete, and it doesn't delete Windows,
  am I entitled to my money back?
________________________________________________________________
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