The sheer amount of elitism and tool-shaming in open source communities is unreal. It’s everywhere — people being questioned or attacked in mailing lists, IRC channels and GitHub issues/PRs for their choices of text editors/IDEs, web browsers, operating systems...


I know it’s not a new thing but I feel like I’m seeing a lot of it recently. It must be so disheartening and off-putting for new and otherwise keen developers to see so much criticism and gatekeeping.

No one cares about emacs evangelism or tiled window manager tirades. Let people use and enjoy what they are comfortable with. Make an effort to meet users and other developers where they are.

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@neilalexander My feeling is that it's becoming less and less as FOSS becomes more diverse and has participants with a wider array of skill levels.

@cjd I would like to think that is the case, or at the very least that it will be, but it certainly doesn’t seem like it yet.

I always used to think that the FOSS world was as much about diversity as anything, but at this point I am starting to wonder if FOSS is really just about trading one monoculture for another.

@neilalexander Well, FOSS itself is very diverse. Eclipse Foundation is FOSS, Android project is FOSS, Rust is FOSS, Bitcoin is FOSS. But within the FOSS ecosystem, not everything is what it seems to be, and it is important to clearly understand the true nature of a thing before engaging with it.

@cjd That I do agree with, and I think understanding the true nature is a really succinct way of putting it, but it has to go both ways.

@neilalexander It's not new, and now that we have Mastodon it happens here, too:

There is only one kind of shaming about tools that I think is ok: using non-free tools in a way that forces such tools or consequences of their use on other people.

E.g. optimizing build and packaging tools for Mac over Linux, insisting on proprietary and privacy-invading video conferencing options like Skype and Zoom. If you are aware of free software at all, neglecting it is shameful.

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