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Culture War Roundup for the week of October 24, 2022

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Well, in another episode of "the people who write code for Minecraft-related projects are insane and/or teenagers," PolyMC, the open-source fork of MultiMC, has been beset by a dispute over the desire of some developers to add the ol' controversial "Contributor Covenant" Code of Conduct to the project. Ultimately, this has led the original lead developer of the fork to lock out other contributors and make a commit removing the CoC in order to, as the comment says, "reclaim polymc from the leftoids."

PolyMC is already a hostile fork of the original MultiMC project over some disputes related to licensing and distribution requirements. MultiMC is a third-party launcher for Minecraft, and it's one I used for a long time as I enjoy playing various versions and mod-compilations of the game. Notably, the MultiMC developer (peterix) refused to allow distribution of the launcher as a Flatpak on Linux (which is personally what I prefer for a project like this), and has been extremely touchy about distribution in non-distribution-package formats like Flatpak or AppImage, going so far as to call it trademark infringement to redistribute the launcher in that way without his permission (despite it being an open-source project under the Apache license) and threatening to shut down distribution of the code to enforce his desire and writing about users asking for such formats as people who are "entirely inconsiderate, relentless and can't be reasoned with in any way."

I believe peterix is now employed by Mojang and works on the official Minecraft launcher, and some users in the community have speculated that his touchiness about distribution of his unofficial launcher may be related to requirements set by Microsoft (his ultimate employer) about how they want third-party projects to use their login APIs (which are now required to connect to Microsoft accounts in order to download Minecraft). I don't really see any evidence of that, and I think this is just a simple case of "lead developer of an open source project is touchy and has Strong Opinions about how people should use their code."

Anyway, this longstanding dispute eventually led to the forking of PolyMC as an project that would be developed communally and be open to alternative packaging formats on Linux. I switched to the project for this reason, since I felt the Flatpak distribution worked better for my personal system.

Now, of course, the fork is embattled by another "opinionated lead developer" -- who I understand was relatively inactive for a long period of time -- who has seized control of the project and removed the CoC. We now have another fork, and I have another reason to bang my head on a table a few times every time I think about the programming community surrounding Minecraft. It's a fun game, I just wish the people who make the useful tools in its ecosystem had at least the maturity of a 22-year-old.

EDIT: I also looked up the new fork, and they've chosen as their logo something that is blisteringly obviously based on the Progress flag. If you were trying to rebut the accusation that you were using the project to promote a political agenda, using a political flag as the basis of your logo would not be the way to go about it. For the record, the new lead developer is denying that, saying, "please research what a Prism is" and mocking people for daring to make the connection between the Progress flag and the logo. Is this that "gaslighting" thing people keep going on about?

Okay, so, that's the background. What I'm really intrigued by is the response to this change in project leadership. I originally learned of the change due to an update message when I recently upgraded the flatpaks on my personal system:

This package is currently read-only until situation around OVE-20221017-0001 clarifies.

Looking up the OVE, I found this webpage, which describes the project leadership change as a security threat and a compromise of the package, apparently not based on any actual malicious code but merely on the fact that a right-winger who doesn't like leftism is now in control of the project. I am especially intrigued by the description that the project leader has "been reportedly using charged language and slurs freely as a result of being called out for this." I don't know anything about any slurs, but the charged language I've seen is little more than one might find some of our resident right-wing posters saying.

There is the theoretical possibility that the lead developer might use the laucher's ability to download Minecraft .jars to distribute malware to users of PolyMC. But I've never seen it substantiated that he actually desires to do that, and his recent commits seem like bugfixes and merging commits that add features. When it gets brought up, it's in terms like this (from GamingOnLinux):

Regardless on your views, this kind of behaviour is not something anyone of any sane mind should support. Who knows what they would do next? What they've done is only show how they are completely untrustworthy, and they've basically killed the project. You should 100% consider PolyMC to be compromised and move onto another launcher.

I honestly have no idea what this guy is going on about -- I mean, I think locking out other contributors is definitely a bad thing. But the way people are responding to this fact is tremendously out of proportion to the actual threat which is posed here. The advice which is given (including by my package manager) is basically "THE SKY HAS FALLEN THIS PACKAGE IS MALWARE WIPE IT NOW REMOVE IT THE GERMAN ARMY HAS ENTERED WARSAW POLAND IS NOT YET LOST," which I feel like is an incredible, almost hysteric, response to what is in reality a political dispute among contributors. My response would probably be, "keep it installed for now but keep and eye on it and what happens in the future, and be prepared to switch." It certainly would not have been on the same level of magnitude as literal Heartbleed.

One comment on GamingOnLinux offers basically my point:

I understand that people's confidence in the project may be shaken. No one likes a creator meltdown on a project they use. One of the cool things about open source is the ability to swap to a competitor for any reason, or for no particular reason at all. I personally wish PrismLauncher the best of luck.

That said, I think the only reason the community is rallying around this is because of the politics of it. The urgency of the message ("remove it immediately") on Twitter particularly is IMO unwarranted. I don't see any malicious commits, and even if there were any, the more level-headed response would be to reach out to distro/repo maintainers and ask them not to update the package until further notice. If there were people who feel inherently uncomfortable with using software made by a right-winger, that would justify the urgency. I'm just one voice, but that attitude, if present, is not healthy for the community long term.

In response the author of the post offers a wonderful reply that illustrates that everything about the comment was correct:

I was waiting for these types of idiotic comments to come along. Closing the comments here, before more people appear that only want to cause trouble.

If code of conducts are an issue for you: just leave GOL. I know what type of person that makes you instantly and you're not welcome here.

Basically, "get fucked right-wingers, and anybody who doesn't hate right-wingers."

Beautiful.

Is there an explanation anywhere, for the uninitiated, why leftists like codes of conduct so much? What does introducing a code of conduct accomplish?

It excludes the outgroup, or at least forces them to adopt your norms.

But all the CoCs I've seen seem pretty banal. How does it exclude people? A right-wing person can just focus on the actual development and not get involved in the political disputes and they should be perfectly fine.

Are you actually kidding? The default template for all tech codes of conduct specifically states:

[COMMUNITY] prioritizes marginalized people's safety over privileged people's comfort. The administrators will not act on complaints regarding:

'Reverse’ -isms, including ‘reverse racism,’ ‘reverse sexism,’ and ‘cisphobia’.

Communicating in a ‘tone’ you don’t find congenial.

Criticizing racist, sexist, cissexist, or otherwise oppressive behavior or assumptions.

I refuse to believe you have not seen this. It's the most common one out there. Look me in the eye and tell me you're not trying to gaslight people.

OK, this is my fault. Hanlon's razor and all that.

The phrase "all the CoCs I've seen" implies I've seen a decent number of them. In fact, at the time of writing that comment, I had only really seen two: the one that was removed from PolyMC (linked in the top comment) and the Wikipedia/Wikimedia "Universal Code of Conduct". Those two just happened to be fairly reasonable (in my view). The W3C CoC you linked below is egregious, and I can see how that sort of CoC could become a culture war battleground.

That, along with the comment by @thrownaway24e89172, answers my original question. My understanding now is that CoCs do not necessarily need to be designed to enforce wokeism, but actually existing CoCs often are. And I suppose a CoC that amounts to "be nice to each other" is kind of pointless, so people who are trying to get a CoC adopted usually have an ulterior motive. The PolyMC CoC still seems innocuous, though.

I’ve been in a group that tried to do things like banning “slurs” like “crazy” (even when used innocuously, as in “how crazy is that”) because it’s “harmful to neurodivergent and folx with mental illnesses” or something of that nature, explicitly in their CoC. (I wonder if it’s still up there?)

That said, this was also a group that had a serious discussion on their slack (or discord? Idk) about whether they should ban food photos because it’s exclusionary to people with eating disorders. I have to assume not all places are this nuts.

The default template for all tech codes of conduct

It's the most common one out there

Github's two default choices are the Contributor Covenant and the Citizen Code of Conduct, and neither of those documents contains that passage. It's true that a quick Google search for "will not act" "reverse racism" turns up quite a few hits, but I think you need more evidence for your inflammatory claims.

GitHub made it their code of conduct all the way back in 2015. The fucking W3 consortium uses an even worse version of it that bans "dog whistles and microaggressions"! Is the main internet standards organization that literally controls HTML not big enough to count?

He's claiming he's never seen such codes, which I think is an incredibly unreasonable claim to make and requires some kind of evidence, because he's insinuating that everyone else is imagining it and low-key sneering at them for it.

I did provide evidence such codes are widespread among major organizations. He should have to provide some evidence they're not if he wants to make that claim.

Is that good enough for you? Is anything good enough to counter zero-evidence claims of "I haven't seen this, so you're making it up and probably crazy"? Because gaslighting people about this seems to have worked without fail since 2015.

A quick Google search for "code of conduct" reverse turns up a few:

GNOME Foundation:

Safety versus Comfort

The GNOME community prioritizes marginalized people's safety over privileged people's comfort, for example in situations involving:

  • "Reverse"-isms, including "reverse racism," "reverse sexism," and "cisphobia"
  • Reasonable communication of boundaries, such as "leave me alone," "go away," or "I'm not discussing this with you."
  • Criticizing racist, sexist, cissexist, or otherwise oppressive behavior or assumptions
  • Communicating boundaries or criticizing oppressive behavior in a "tone" you don't find congenial

GeekFeminism's Recommended Community Anti-harassment/Policy:

COMMUNITY NAME prioritizes marginalized people’s safety over privileged people’s comfort. RESPONSE TEAM reserves the right not to act on complaints regarding:

  • ‘Reverse’ -isms, including ‘reverse racism,’ ‘reverse sexism,’ and ‘cisphobia’
  • Reasonable communication of boundaries, such as “leave me alone,” “go away,” or “I’m not discussing this with you.”
  • Communicating in a ‘tone’ you don’t find congenial
  • Criticizing racist, sexist, cissexist, or otherwise oppressive behavior or assumptions

IIRC, the GeekFeminism policy recommendation in particular came out right when these started showing up in a lot of open source projects and is probably responsible for a lot of the culture war surrounding this due to being widely cited.

EDIT: The links at the end of the GNOME Foundation's code of conduct include more examples, eg this template has an example section on reversisms.

Note: the guy who kicked the other developers out was rather inactive as far as actual development of the project goes, so that does make this a bit of a pointless move. In open source, power is awarded to those who do. Merely holding the keys does not make you the supreme ruler. If you kick out the majority developers of a project, they will fork the project and leave you holding an empty bag. What this kid tried to do is take over a project he's not a majority, or even substantial, contributor to. That is a faux pas and a no-go in open source, and the project should rightfully be "deplatformed" (*) because of it.

Not because of his political opinions.

(*) But, please, call a duck a duck. A hostile take-over is bad enough, why does the media have to distort and lie and frame this as "malware"??

What this kid tried to do is take over a project he's not a majority, or even substantial, contributor to. That is a faux pas and a no-go in open source, and the project should rightfully be "deplatformed" (*) because of it.

Isn't that what NeoVim did? Some group of devs were unsatisfied with the BDFL, they the project, and now it's basically the main fork. I don't think that at the time it was forked they were majority (tho I'm not sure).

Some people do think it was somehow bad to fork it. Pretty insane.

WDYM by 'deplatformed'?

Isn't that what NeoVim did? Some group of devs were unsatisfied with the BDFL, they the project, and now it's basically the main fork. I don't think that at the time it was forked they were majority (tho I'm not sure).

NeoVim didn't kick out everybody's commit access and steal the name and website of the original 'vim' project when they decided to fork.

WDYM by 'deplatformed'?

Brought to awareness that the thing is no longer what it used to be and that everybody should switch over to whatever new repo they were forced to use as a result of the original one being taken over.

That contributor graph is also in an odd situation because as a fork, PolyMC is pulling in all the commits from MultiMC which is why the MultiMC lead is top contributor on it. Actually scanning through the commits and merges it is mostly the crew that moved over to Prism doing the work. It did lead to looking at some of the code changes and it really is just the kind of mundane drudgery you see in package maintainer repositories. Not exactly technically difficult work but very much the sort of thing you need a dedicated person to handle day after day, week after week. The PolyMC lead probably will not be able to maintain that cadence, even if it's literally just merging commits from MultiMC and PrismMC.

Notably, the MultiMC developer (peterix) refused to allow distribution of the launcher as a Flatpak on Linux (which is personally what I prefer for a project like this), and has been extremely touchy about distribution in non-distribution-package formats like Flatpak or AppImage

To be fair, Flatpak and AppImage are abominations to those of us who are Linux sysadmins at heart.

Why is that, btw? My biggest issue with Linux is that package manager cliques get to decide what programs I can run, which doesn't seem much better than the apple app store.

I want to be able to just Download_The_.EXE.jpg in cases where you can't trust maintainers to be supportive.

Flatpak doesn't really change that. You could always go directly to the developer to download the package from them instead of getting it from your distro's package repos. You could do that manually, or set up your system to point to a repo maintained by the developer and it would work very smoothly.

That said I also don't have anything against flatpak either, so I'm curious as to the rationale behind what @kakistocrat said myself.

The big problem with adding other repos (which I've done often), is that it creates a security hole where theoretically any old package could be added to the repo and end up upgrading a core system package to a compromised or unwanted version. I haven't seen this happen myself, though.

But the real advantage of Flatpak for me is that it makes applications and therefore application configurations portable and containerized; I can use the exact same version of Thunderbird or LibreOffice or DOSBox or whatever on any distribution I want, and actually share the configuration files between them without worrying about version mismatch. I enjoy playing around on different distributions and with different desktop environments, so being able to share the config files and just configure the program the way I want once and then share it between distributions has been a real joy. I also appreciate how it makes errors more reproducible by taking the distro out of the equation, and therefore making them easier to track down.

I also have enjoyed using Fedora Kionite lately, and that system requires you to use flatpaks, as the root is immutable and installing new packages is mostly not the intended use-case. I could also use distrobox to run programs in their own containers, and for some things I do, but flatpaks are evidently the intended application installation method. /etc is of course writable, but the system tracks the changes you make there which makes it really easy to reproduce your system configuration in the future.

I rather like that Kionite is generally immutable, as it minimizes the state that's generated as I use my system. That's been a personal goal for a long time. I always hated the cruft of files and registry keys that always ended up ballooning on Windows, and in that way I feel like the Fedora folks are speaking my language. When I do use distrobox, I use an ansible playbook to install all the packages and set up my configuration, which accomplishes my goal further by treating even my pet containers in a way that makes them reproducible like cattle.

That being said, playing around with Linux is really just a hobby, so my focus isn't really on what the best practices are (that's pretty clearly OCI containers, which I was initially resistant to) or what the old sysadmins favored (which I understand, in the days before ubiquitous virtualization and containerization, included lots of manual work on bare metal). Instead I kind of like to try new and weird things just to see if I can get them to work. Flatpak was one of those, and it's one that ended up working really well for my personal use-case.

Snaps, however, were a whole different story, and I barely use Ubuntu now after being a big Ubuntu user for several years.

AppImages and Flatpaks can contain whatever libraries the packager wants. So, e.g. when there's a vulnerability in some library, they are not updated automatically to the new patched version when you run apt update && apt upgrade

My biggest issue with Linux is that package manager cliques get to decide what programs I can run, which doesn't seem much better than the apple app store.

That is a very bizarre objection to package managers? I'm not aware of any package manage where you can't just add another repo for it to check against. For instance, I have added several repos to my computer so I can get certain software not included in the distro's repos by default. It's as easy as adding a line to a text file.

I want to be able to just Download_The_.EXE.jpg in cases where you can't trust maintainers to be supportive.

You can always do that.. just download the .deb or .rpm or whatever format your distro uses and run dpkg -i mypackage.deb

Granted you'll have to manually resolve dependencies but it's not actually hard to do.

Guess I should clarify then: I'm a retarded techno-illiterate who's too used to being able to click a single button to install a program on windows. >_>

I didn't even realize that was an option before flatpaks. I'd just been getting everything from my distro's default repo.

Download a .deb or .rpm and click it in your file manager should even work in most cases! (although it won't auto-update) (although neither will the .exe installer unless the app itself bundles an updater)

Yes! I used the deb to put veracrypt on a live USB the other day. Really need to package my own iso at some point, or just cave and use medicat, but there's honestly much less use for live CDs these days.

To be fair, Lenny's been on this matter for a while, and while the "he'll install malware" paranoia is... paranoia, he's not acting impressively here and hasn't been for a while. I don't expect social cons to be willing or able to do a serious debate at length, but kicking people out from maintainership is very much of "take my your ball and go home" school of social action.

Because a launcher is effectively auto-downloading and unsandboxed JAR code, there's a lot of bad things an untrusted actor could do, and fucking around with git access is not an unreasonable thing to consider untrustworthy. The 'OVE' thing is stupid, but PolyMC was used heavily enough and by enough of a userbase that isn't checking exacts of changelogs that there's been a long history of treating overly dramatic behaviors as undermining trust. See the various snafus over DragonAPI's nag screen or the first and second Wars of the Brass for non-political variants. Tinker's Construct also had a thing where the programmer was actually compromised and everyone went full Madagascar until they could figure it out.

((Unfortunately, this sorta behavior is really common. One of the points of Quilt was specifically to avoid this sorta thing because it's happened at length before, and age doesn't filter well for maturity... and I don't think they've so much solved the governance problem as made their problems hard to criticize.))

That said, yes, there's little reason for conservatives (or even libertarians) to see even the most mildly-phrased 'pro-social' CoC as an evenhanded emphasis on treating people honestly and kindly, and the popular ones are pretty overtly and explicitly not that, and the ability to ambivalent between the two ends is part of the point. And using the flatpak and other package manager/signing systems like this is... not good in a lot of not-good ways: at minimum blurring the lines between ownership disputes a la leftpad, at worst an exporting of the Build Your Own App Store call. I'm not absolutely sure the logo is aggressively meant as a filtering thing -- for historical (bees) reasons, in Minecraft dev world the anti-socon red flag is a blue-and-pink-and-white one -- but even if it wasn't, I don't think any of the people who did it will complain if it's perceived as such.

I'm also skeptical that Lenny could or was interested in trying to make those debates seriously.

From my experience, I would estimate people who do forks for woke reasons run out of steam very quickly, because maintaining a fork of any project that does something substantial is a lot of boring and thankless work, and "to spite somebody" is usually not a good source of motivation for that. I've seen several such occurrences and it never survived long.

I also don't think "hostile fork" is a right expression. Forking a project that you don't like something about - whether it's code or maintainership - is an absolutely normal thing to do in open source. That's literally what the whole thing was designed for. If you fork and do better job - great.

The thing that makes me really frown upon it is fake CVEs for the purpose of hurling abuse towards somebody they hate. The whole security notification system (CVEs, etc.) run basically by a lot of people voluntarily cooperating, often when it's not even their paid job. Breaking this system would have enormous costs and huge real-life consequences. Corrupting such systems for political purposes is about as bad as making a fake bomb threats. Maybe even worse as there are actual threats around. Of course, it's only Minecraft but who knows if this mindset spreads where it could reach...

From my experience, I would estimate people who do forks for woke reasons run out of steam very quickly, because maintaining a fork of any project that does something substantial is a lot of boring and thankless work, and "to spite somebody" is usually not a good source of motivation for that. I've seen several such occurrences and it never survived long.

I'd be inclined to agree, but in this case it seems that all the maintainers Lenny ousted are now working on Prism. Only time will tell but I'd wager a guess that they are simply going back to business as usual, only without Lenny (or any other people they deem a "right-wing bigot").

Now, of course, the fork is embattled by another "opinionated lead developer" -- who I understand was relatively inactive for a long period of time -- who has seized control of the project and removed the CoC.

My understanding is that Lenny owned the PolyMC organization on GitHub and was thus able to oust all other maintainers that way. And he owned it because he started the fork. People have been passing around the commit graph chart on the PolyMC "Insights" page and saying "look, he didn't even do jack shit for the project!" but that's misleading because (a) every contributor's graph will look like that because PolyMC only forked from MultiMC in December of last year, and (b) GitHub is weird about crediting people on the graph if a commit was authored by person A but committed by person B, plus there are several merge commits that were made by multiple people who may or may not get credit for it on the graph, etc.

I originally learned of the change due to an update message when I recently upgraded the flatpaks on my personal system:

This package is currently read-only until situation around OVE-20221017-0001 clarifies.

So for those not in the know, this "OVE" is basically trying to mimic what is called a CVE report, and fake it enough such that maintainers get scared and take action to deplatform the package, despite it not even being a real CVE report. I'd go as far to say that calling it merely a "fake CVE" is being too charitable. That's how much this abuses a process that is (nominally) politically neutral and objective.

The package managers aren't the only thing PolyMC has been kicked out of. The user agent string it uses to fetch mod updates is now banned by CurseForge, so users have to change the string around. The API key they use so people can sign in to their Minecraft accounts has been mysteriously and silently deleted (allegedly, because a previous ousted maintainer owned it). Every single Minecraft-related Discord server has sent announcements fearmongering about the project, as well as respected figures in the community like KingBDogz, a Mojang developer, repeating the message that people should stop using it immediately "because he is promoting bigotry". Basically, everyone has done everything they can to screw over the project, all over allegations that it was "hijacked" by a "right-winger" for "malicious purposes". I get the sinking feeling that if the situation was reversed and it was instead a left-winger taking over to own all those Nazi chuds, people would instead be cheering them on (and any objections that the takeover now means they could install malicious files onto people's computers would just be dismissed as right-wing talking points). Just goes to show you who's truly in power.

So for those not in the know, this "OVE" is basically trying to mimic what is called a CVE report, and fake it enough such that maintainers get scared and take action to deplatform the package, despite it not even being a real CVE report. I'd go as far to say that calling it merely a "fake CVE" is being too charitable. That's how much this abuses a process that is (nominally) politically neutral and objective.

It gets even better. Just parsing the naming convention, you get "OVE", October 17th 2022, report 0001. CVE stands for Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures. I'd presume the O is related to Open as in Open Source but replacing the word Common with it doesn't make much semantic sense to me. In CVE terms that'd be the first report for the entire year but even then, the formatting is wrong since CVEs don't embed full dates just the year. Let's just take a look at the website that maintains the list of OVEs. It is literally some randos blog with nothing else related to vulnerabilities political or otherwise. Quite the social engineering effort.

Apparently OVEs aren't just something that the blogger cooked up out of thin air; some security group called "Openwall" maintains a service that generates these unique OVE IDs (you can generate your own here and verify that the site won't reuse IDs, even after a refresh). Of course, that doesn't change things too much; these OVEs are poorly-known enough that some of the blogger's friends only found out via this incident, and one wonders if the blogger would have used an OVE if the ID format and name didn't bear such a resemblance to the better-known, scary CVEs. But it's not quite as bad as the blogger making stuff up from whole cloth.

Yeah, when I found the only reference for the thing was some person's blog I started to realize what was going on. This has been a pretty astonishing experience for me and has really underscored how utterly captured the open source community and its ecosystem is by wokeness and its allies.

I thought Arch Linux leaned pretty old-school-libertarian, but as far as I can tell even the AUR is telling Lenny to eat shit.

So for those not in the know, this "OVE" is basically trying to mimic what is called a CVE report, and fake it enough such that maintainers get scared and take action to deplatform the package, despite it not even being a real CVE report. I'd go as far to say that calling it merely a "fake CVE" is being too charitable. That's how much this abuses a process that is (nominally) politically neutral and objective.

Ah, I see. Not being a professional in the field I was vaguely aware of "CVE" being a reference to a security problem or exploit, and so when I first saw the very similar looking string pop up when I updated I was rather concerned. Then I looked it up and it was just all this stuff. Do you have any clue what the "OVE" string/acronym is even supposed to mean?

And yeah, basically the whole world has gone to war against this guy, and it seems it would be impossible to continue using polymc even if I wanted to. I really don't like that.

Every few weeks I shutter at the thought that my own passion project will be beset by this one day. I don't blame either party here, when the enemy takes what you love, that really hurts. Neither party here seems to be inherently motivated by coding the thing. Unless I've not read it carefully enough?

Yeah, I think you're right. It seems like the new Prism fork has a greater desire to just code the thing, but they've really burned the goodwill they might have had with me by choosing a politicized logo and then denying that it's politicized. It seems like theirs is basically the survivor project, but at this point, given that we're two forks removed from the original code and the project is making itself into an echochamber, I'm probably just going to commit to finding another launcher that seems more institutionally stable.

I don't want to have to pick my software based on the political leanings of its developers. I miss the days when developers believed in creating code that could be used by anyone as long as they followed the license, when something like adding malware that would sabotage Russian or Belarusian computers was unthinkable. Maybe I'm nostalgic for something that never really existed, but I feel like there was a time long ago when people didn't use their code to make political statements, other than the longstanding "IP law is corrupt" stance that went alongside the DVD-CSS controversy. The software community felt like a culture of its own; now it feels like yet another colony of the mainstream left.

There was also an open-source android keyboard that added a COVID-19 awareness message over the suggestions and could not be disabled, along with an annoying bug that made it ever-present and was never actually fixed. I had to switch away from the keyboard because it was so annoying. And the developers acted like they were the Good Guys trying to help people, rather than people who inappropriately added a current events message to a keyboard app where it did not belong. I feel like our culture has become infatuated with "making a difference" that instead of actually Just Doing Things we Just Talk About Things.

Maybe I'm nostalgic for something that never really existed

You're definitely not. Time was that the extent of political argument in the open source community was about the issues salient to open source itself (licensing, copyright, etc) and nothing else. Beyond that it was about making software that did its job well, not about advancing a political agenda.

I really do miss the days when the big political dispute among coders involved copyright law. I mean, I was only a kid at the time. But boy, did those programmers with bright ideas about how computers could be used to empower and unite people, if we just gave software freedom a chance, seem inspiring to young me, who liked playing around with computers. But now, what's the culture of software about? Soc Cons and Liberals vs Progressives. It's like all the stuff about the community that made it unique has been obliterated. It's just another front of the overall culture. Perhaps in the internet age it was always going to end up that way.

Well, you wouldn't be the first to notice--remember the post on the old subreddit about "copyright reform as a failed hamartiology" (or whatever the title was)? I think things just kinda broke against those calling for freedom, and now all that's left is to just get on board the Culture War; a sort of cyber-Gallipoli where the hopeful attackers were forced to leave, having sustained heavy casualties and now being sent to the other, more salient fronts.

Honestly, I'd fully endorse right wingers not being welcome in a community that seemingly exists to waste people's time with video games in the most useless ways possible. Maybe they could get off discords run by shut-ins and do something real.

But the worrying thing is the way petty conflicts like this work as training wheels for leftist takeovers of organizations that actually matter.

It breeds mindless no-life zealots and trains them to follow party procedures for crushing opposition, rewarding them with a taste of power when they're allowed to summon the might of corporations to hurt people they hate; the pack has already been banned by Microsoft. And a lack of victories means there's no effective training for humans to oppose them, even In Minecraft.

Edit: I offer my deepest apologies to the gamer community for the offense and hurt this poorly considered post caused. It was a heated non-gaming moment that does not represent who I am. As such, I promise to Do The Work and fund a scholarship for children to compete for the prestigious "100% achievement no-keyboard" Minecraft Speedrun category. Their bravery and commitment to this valuable skill is an inspiration to us all.

This was a needlessly antagonistic post, and added nothing of value to the discussion. User banned for 1 day.

It would be great if this trend was limited to only "time wasting" software and not an ever growing list of open source projects.

Trad macho posturing bullshit like this is always so laughable being posted on a community that is an even less productive use of time than some Minecraft open source project. Say, MeinNameistBernd, shouldn’t you be teaching Sunday School, bodybuilding or reciting Greek poetry right now?

Trad macho posturing bullshit like this is always so laughable being posted on a community that is an even less productive use of time than some Minecraft open source project.

This antagonism gets you banned for a week. Please think of it as my personal contribution to the productive use of your time.

Can't say I agree with the discrepancy in time between the two posters ban lengths. It gives the impression that being antagonistic first is less against the rules than being antagonistic toward someone being antagonistic. Also, your flippant antagonism toward the person you're banning should get you banned as well if we were all playing on the same field.

Not to defend the mod decisions too much, but I'd imagine that they would've banned the replier for a longer length if the replier had more of a history of antagonizing people in this way than the original poster. Though, I'm not a mod and don't have access to the notes they have on each user, so I can't say for sure that's why they banned Westerly for longer than MeinNameistBerd.

It's possible, they usually specify if that's the case. I don't care that they were banned or even the lengths they chose I just think the discrepancy is too disproportionate all else being equal. To be honest this just seems like playful banter being interpreted as much harsher than either user meant it to be but maybe I'm wrong. nara's little poke with a stick to the user after the ban reminded me of what Hlynka would do with bans and why they bothered me so much (though I think they're both excellent contributors in general).

I'm putting in the new window I bought today, actually. Really dumb time of year to do it, but I liked the first one so much more than the old French doors that the project... Kinda grew again. Just DIYing a heat pump turned into a stupidly big house renovation.

How have you been?

Anyway, I want to offer some brief commentary on this. I'm someone who uses Linux for practical rather than ideological reasons -- I don't like Microsoft's telemetry and I have no interest in paying for an exorbitantly expensive Mac desktop that doesn't even have an updated version of OpenGL or supports Vulkan. And as with many other things in my life, I'm angered that the people on the left have decided that right-wingers are inherently bad, that they're a security threat despite not providing any evidence of intent to compromise security, that they are "instantly recognizable" as evil and are unworthy of engaging with in any way other than with immediate and unrelenting scorn. Wait, I think I've got a quote for this! They are "entirely inconsiderate, relentless and can't be reasoned with in any way." There, that sounds good. Now how do I accuse right-wingers of trademark infringement?

I'm reminded of that old phrase, which so many of you love to use: "you may not be interested in politics, but politics is interested in you." The fact that politics has played such a big role in the Minecraft community, with the Fabric schism and now with this, really solidifies that feeling for me. It's a game for -- well, not really for, at least originally, but certainly popular among -- children, and the members of the community are acting as though this is code that's running nuclear power plants. If running code written or maintained by a right-winger makes someone feel unsafe, I think -- as does the commenter above -- that this "attitude, if present, is not healthy for the community long term." It's especially bizarre to me, given the origins of the open source software community lie in techno-libertarians and vague communo-anarchists who eat shit off their feet. Have all the younguns who would've been libertarian weirdos in the past just become leftist weirdos? And what does that say about the personality traits of the younger generations?

The immaturity of the Minecraft coding community, in particular, seems to be a frequent cause of silly splits and various forks, and I'm kinda getting tired of the community being mired in schisms that ultimately resolve to political disputes, not code functionality. I suppose that relates to apparently a full 3/4 of the community being made up of queer furry zoomers, and the remaining quarter apparently being made up of edgy conservative zoomers, and these two sides being engaged in an annoying and useless culture war over which one can fuck over the other and assert their values. Speaking as a zoomer who was part of the first generation to really get into Minecraft, I just want to uninstall the game and any related projects and give up on the fucking thing.

I mean, after all, Microsoft seems to be engaging in a race to see how cringey they can make the game and its community -- when your marketing for children makes the "dedotated RAM" guy look like a sweet kid who got nervous, I think you've totally abandoned any pretense of trying to take yourselves seriously.

(I also hate how Notch, who literally made the game from nothing, has been unpersoned by his former co-workers, the company who bought his game, and the game's community. I really liked the guy back in the day and I'm saddened by how shit his life seems to have been since he became independently extremely wealthy. His wife left him, he doesn't seem to have actual friends, he seems to be burning away his massive wealth on whatever the nerd version of hookers-and-blow is, and the only thing of real note he ever did in his life is trying fanatically to separate itself from him. Honestly the downfall of Notch is one of the things that keeps me up at night.)

I guess I wish I could say this to all the Minecraft coders about their ridiculous disputes: this is a game about fucking cubes and green mutant pigs. I wish y'all could chill the fuck out. I say that not only to the genderqueer furry Discord admins who seem insistent on using the game and its community as an outpost of their political identity, but also to the conservatives whose attempts at resisting them include writing, in commit comments, things like "reclaim[ing] from the leftoids." Come on, dude, at least act like you think what you're doing is a little serious.

Well, I hope that wasn't too meandering. I suppose even this tradcon can engage in a little "OMG what is going on in this open source software project" I know serves as a popular genre here. I'm no programmer, I just like Linux.

(I also hate how Notch, who literally made the game from nothing, has been unpersoned by his former co-workers, the company who bought his game, and the game's community.

Also this (context)

If you're not aware, Notch has a lot of... let's say interesting ideas about the current state of the world and the people in it. There's a lot... but I'll just mention one that is important to me. Notch believes that Trans women are not women, that those who "claim" to be women are mentally ill, and that the concept of Trans-ness is evil. This is the same language that has been used to de-legitimize and put trans women in danger for hundreds of years now.

As a trans member of this subreddit, when I read that milestone, I don't think it reflects what it probably used to. And it's a reminder to me that there are people out there who would excuse the awful views of people who have created things that they enjoy, because it makes them uncomfortable. But I don't think that reflects the user and moderator base of this subreddit, so I wanted to bring up this topic for people to discuss further. Thanks for reading.

Frankly, it seems like there needs to be an explicit other side, which "doesn't tolerate the intolerance". Not right-wing (through inevitably it'd be dominant), just a side which doesn't ever interact/cooperate with the people who engage in these kinds of tactics. I really doubt batshit insane censors are the actual majority.

Like, open source projects with explicit anti-CoC.

I guess I wish I could say this to all the Minecraft coders about their ridiculous disputes: this is a game about fucking cubes and green mutant pigs.

How's the joke go again? The fights are so vicious because the stakes are so small, or something to that effect?

It's especially bizarre to me, given the origins of the open source software community lie in techno-libertarians and vague communo-anarchists who eat shit off their feet.

You link to a video of Richard Stallman here, which is fitting since a couple years ago he was more-or-less cancelled for having made comments about one of his former coworkers in a private email chain that fell short of condemning and demonizing him. I think at this point the open-source community more-or-less fell into some form of gentrification where now any difference is no longer seen as worthy or at least tolerable for the bigger goal of giving every user freedom over their own devices (which, sadly, has only gotten worse in recent years), but now a liability that "discredits the movement" and is just plain unpleasant, no matter how valuable they may be to the movement (I mean, he's literally Richard Stallman for god's sake).

You link to a video of Richard Stallman here, which is fitting since a couple years ago he was more-or-less cancelled for having made comments about one of his former coworkers in a private email chain that fell short of condemning and demonizing him.

He was sorta un-cancelled. Link.

OSS movement is now as full of cancel-happy CJWs as many other formerly respected and productive institutions. Nobody cares what you did or what you achieved if you said something that triggers the twitterati. They got Linus himself to bend the knee, what chance anybody else have got?

It's a game for -- well, not really for, at least originally, but certainly popular among -- children, and the members of the community are acting as though this is code that's running nuclear power plants.

To be fair one of the biggest security issues of this/last year affecting a huge number of systems was first found in Minecraft.

The lower the stakes, the greater the rage.

There's the infamous Hanford Parish Council Meeting (with the standing orders): https://youtube.com/watch?v=zy3Kml-F7J0

In the Starsector modding community there are endless squabbles over people using other's sprites, someone installed crashcode to make it so their mod wouldn't run with someone else's (mod in question was New Galactic Order which was vaguely Imperial-Germany/Nazi themed). Those on the /vst/ general bitch about the people on the discord and the forums bitching too much, about overpowered factions in a singleplayer game.

The lower the stakes, the greater the rage.

Indeed. No skin in the game effectively translates into no reason moderate one's behavior. Nobody actually expects to actually get punched in the nose or shot over something so trivial and thus they feel comfortable and safe letting their id take the wheel. Of course the cruel irony is that it is exactly this attitude that leads to people being assaulted or killed over "trivialities" in the first-place.