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the only experience of a GNU projject community I have is #guix

As for #guile I never met personally anyone

But I thin I'm beginning to grasp what people mean whhen they say that #gnu is a toxic community

I'm beginning to think that I should stop suggesting people to use GNU tools and engaging with their communities

Even when they treat you well and answer your questions, they still manage to make you feel like an idiot

Are you saying that the Guix and Guile communities are toxic, or are you talking about some other GNU projects?


the #guix community surely is NOT toxic

Quite the opposite ! It's the sanest community I have ever found

The #Guile community, on the other hand, I'm sorry to say, is toxic

Now, let me expand a bit on this in the next few toots


as fo Guix, e few months back we had a problem on the guix mailing list. Someone was hostile to a non gender binary community member

The mantainer were adamant in enforcing the behavioral code.

And the culprit was a quite prolific contributor. He hasn't been since then

Also another contributor went away, because he felt the Guix environment was "radical"

He is a contributor to other GNU projects now


Like child abusing clerics, if you were hostile to minorities in a GNU group, you can always move to another one


Now, coming to Guile.

The guile community is toxic

In a couple of occasions I have been reprimanded

A a way smaller number off occasions I have been helped

You might argue that the reprimands were deserved

I won't go into that

I juust want to make a few notes


Guile is a failure

It completely missed its aim to extend the Emacs model to all GNU software and even to non GNU software at that

The only meaningful Guile based project is Guix

And the Guix founder is the former Guile mantainer

The guile community is asphyctic

The collection of guile based projects is ridicule.

Nothing meaningful is made with Guile

Because Guile is NOT for everybody

Guile is the reign of smugness and elitarism

@catonano @arunisaac

It's interesting to contrast the "failure" you discuss above with the message from Andy on his post "a brief history of Guile"

I think big bold goals are good for people and projects, but I don't think such negativity around success, or lack thereof is good for people or projects.

@cbaines @arunisaac


negativity is not good

But if there's something wrong, tha unsettles me, I think I hahve a right to express it

I tried hard to stay positive

But the quality of the interaction on the Guile channels is low and has been so for a very long time.

That's how I see it. Sorry

@catonano @arunisaac

Umm, I not sure I even feel the same way about negativity. I think it can be good, and is pretty essential.

Imbalance is where problems can really grow from, and at the moment the core Guile community seems so small to me that imbalance is easy to come by.

I too feel quite negatively about Guile sometimes, but it's important to balance that out with the good that has come of it, Guix for one thing.

@catonano @arunisaac

Maybe the community will continue growing.

If it does, hopefully that will bring with it some more diversity and balance to the project.

@cbaines @arunisaac

I really hope so !

In fact this is the reason why I make my concerns public

If I had no hope I would just sneak away siilently and maybe move to Racket

But I feel the amount of emotional labour that Guile requires is unfair

@cbaines @arunisaac

and I also agree that Guix is something good that came out of Guile

In fact I wouldn't be so concerned about Guile if I wasn't affectionated towards Guix

But Chris, I have my pain points

I hope this argument will bring some thought to the Guile community

I coud write a blog post about this

Last time I did I was assaulted on the irc channel...🙄

Please continue blogging about Guix and Guile. Just become someone verbally assaulted you, it doesn't mean that everyone feels the same way. But, it's too bad that most others remain silent when such verbal violence happens. It's happened to me too, and it's not at all pleasant. These days, I only contribute patches and rigorous technical points, if I have any. People don't seem to handle opinions and broad design discussions well. But, to be fair, I have had similar bad experiences with a lot of free software projects, not just Guix, Guile, or only GNU projects. As noted earlier, this seems to be a lack of balance due to the small size of the communities involved. Often, the community is just a single person, and that's the worst kind of community to negotiate with.


thank you Arun, I appreciate your encouragement

In my case, other people there tried to convince me, with gentler ways, that my assailant was right 😕

Because when you cultivate jerks, your community becomes a gathering of jerks

and guile is obviously way deep in this quagmire

Christopher Lemmer Webber @cwebber

@catonano @arunisaac I do think that Guile's maintainers all do want it to be a friendly community. Wingo, Ludovic, and Mark all care about having a good community as far as I can tell. But maybe there was a failure here.

Perhaps a good next step would be to ask the Guile community to adopt the same code of conduct that Guix has? I would enthusiastically support that endeavor.

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@cwebber @arunisaac

that's a good idea

And thank you for your support

But admittedly I also think that a tiny bit of public exposure will be a good incentive to these people to mend their ways

Mantainers aren't gonna be always there

@cwebber @arunisaac

thank you for chiming in Chris

I appreciate that

You too Arun !

It's important to collect at least some acnowledgement


@catonano @cwebber @arunisaac I'm sorry you had a bad experience in IRC. The guile-user mailing list seemed to be a civil place to me.

@sajith @cwebber @arunisaac

I have some grudges about the mailing list too

I'll explain my grudes in my blog post too

I just found one of my sources: a talkk in the Libreplanet 2018 titled: ""the dark side of Free Software communites"

@catonano @cwebber @arunisaac I missed the talk at LibrePlanet, and I am yet to watch the whole thing. Will watch later. Thanks!

I do believe that the Guile maintainers all want to be a friendly community. But, they're probably overworked and the fatigue sometimes manifests as toxicity. Hopefully, things will be better as and when the Guile community grows. I still retain hope. That's why I'm staying and contributing whatever I can.