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paul wheaton
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These forums are now 17 years old. We have outlasted all sorts of different forums. I think that one of the smartest things I have ever done is to have the only rule be "be nice." And, of course, I am the only person that interprets what that means. So I am offering this thread as a feeble attempt for folks to understand the crazy voices in my head that determine what stays and what goes.

A long time ago I felt I could not find a place to talk about software engineering the way I wanted. So I created these forums. I didn't think it would get to be so big, but I did like being able to say my stuff my way. I guess there were quite a few others that liked my parameters. So here we are.

Some sites on the internet will publish anything that anybody submits. This is not one of those sites. People will submit all sorts of stuff here, and most of what is submitted meets my publishing criteria. And the rest is removed.

I want to talk about good software engineering. I wanna talk about how people learn good software engineering. I wanna talk about improving development velocity and how to make the world a better place from an engineering perspective .... there are hundreds of things I wanna talk about. And there are thousands of things that are not a fit for coderanch.com.

If people want to talk about politics or religion, they really need to find someplace else.

Another thing is that a component of good software engineering is sharing and brainstorming. Along the way comes stories like "I once heard of a guy that ..." or "didn't I read somewhere that you could ...." and this sort of attempt to figure things out is not helped by comments like "Citation needed." or "that's bullshit." or "prove it."

Another thing is that some folks are certain that their path is the only path and that other paths are unacceptable. That sort of thing is unacceptable to me. I prefer to see posts that offer "my position" rather than "the truth". I've deleted a lot of stuff with "the truth". The reason is that if somebody posts "the truth" and a second somebody has an alternative position, then posting the alternative feels a lot like entering into conflict - so it is less likely to get posted. And it is that alternative that I want to see shared on this site.

I tend to delete anything that suggests that anybody on coderanch.com is less than perfect. I'll even delete stuff that suggests that somebody that might come to coderanch.com is less than perfect. Or if a group of people is less than perfect and somebody on coderanch.com might be part of that group.

This isn't a site for debate. If you wish to debate these topics, you will need to find a different site, or start your own. Debate is for intellectual sword play. This site is for the more gentle souls of the internet to share their experiences and ideas.

Naturally, many people will find that these forums are "too restrictive" and "unacceptable". Which is entirely true .... by their standards. So, surely, there are other forums out there that are a much better fit for them. And, of course, if there are not other forums out there that are a better fit, and this one is not a fit either, then they have to go do what I did: make forums in the way that is best for them.

As time passes, I hope to expand on my thoughts in this space. And I invite people to ask for clarity.
With a little knowledge, a cast iron skillet is non-stick and lasts a lifetime.
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