my post yesterday about the dev wiki came off as rather bitter. that's because i was feeling rather bitter =) which is not the best mood to communicate in. a walk in the evening air last night helped, as did an unexpected phone call from a friend in the free software community.
i ended up considering why i was in such a bitter state. quite simply, i have personal limits as to how much negative response i can witness before it affects me. i really felt bad for the people who were involved in this particular set of situations and unhappy to be associated with those who would counter enthusiasm that was creating great things with "that's crap".
it happens too often that someone comes up with a 90%+ good idea, shares it openly and receives a needlessly discouraging response. unsurprisingly, they often get discouraged, possibly defensive, and conversation goes nowhere quickly except to alienate people. often times the original person walks away questioning if what they are doing is worthwhile or even wanted at all.
i know that recognizing the mental and emotional states of others in the course of creating technology isn't the most common of considerations, but it really does have an impact on people. yesterday i reached an internal limit for dealing with this pattern of behaviour.
there are ways of honestly sharing that you don't agree with someone or that you have another set of thoughts on the matter that also include taking into consideration the other person's hopes and feelings. it's really hard to have a well coordinated team that isn't constantly falling apart without doing so. i failed at that myself yesterday, ironically in the context of dealing with exactly that sort of failure.
i'm hoping that danimo will be able to broach the topic of the wiki name again with more progressive results this time.