Some months ago I was encouraged by Richard M. Stallman to join the
GIMP-devel, among other Free Software developer's mailing lists, to
contribute and comment on its usability and functionality from a
professional graphic designer's point of view. I also wrote an article
for Linux User and Developer magazine (www.linuxuser.co.uk) around the
same time, commending both the GIMP and Inkscape highly. Initially I was
welcomed to the discussion, but when I objected to the posting of a
half-naked female body to demonstrate a bug when any other photo could
have substituted, I was chastised like a child, accused of 'policing the
mailing list' and called a 'religious freak', among other names, by the
list admin, when my request was perfectly reasonable and was met with
reasonable discussion and eventually dropped by other list members. It
is noteworthy that the only other female developer on the list does not
download binaries and asked me to send her a link to the photographs. An
article follows on the 'little boys clubs' that F/OSS development lists
seem to degenerate into - or even 'little girls clubs' in the case of
Linuxchix, a list which I briefly joined, and left due to its exclusion
of and chastisement of men.
The final straw which lead me to publicise what could be considered a
minor issue was the list-admin's accusation that my contributions as a
writer and tester were of far less value than that of a coder. This was
in stark contrast to my initially warm welcome to the list a year ago,
and to the more mature attitude of Bryce Harrington's Inkscape team,
whom I shall be rejoining and supporting. It seems a little maturity is
needed in the Free Software community - Harrington certainly separates
the boys from the men in this regard. The Inkscape project has the
potential to far supersede the once-famous GIMP even if only due to its
versatility, and the attitude of those on-list has always been welcoming
to testers of usability and interface design - an area of considerable
importance if one is to attract users of Adobe and Macromedia packages
towards Free Software.
The Madonna Remix Project Lives On
A couple of new remixes have been posted to the News page, one by Torben
Müller, and another site (unrelated to the project) by Marcin Dolecki.
"I disapprove of what you say,
but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
~ www.iriXx.org ~ www.copyleftmedia.org.uk ~
Re: Copyleftmedia News: The GIMP and Sex, New Madonna Remix Project contributions
On Mon January 2 2006 20:32, miriam clinton (iriXx) wrote:
> welcomed to the discussion, but when I objected to the posting
> of a half-naked female body to demonstrate a bug when any
> other photo could have substituted, I was chastised like a
> child, accused of 'policing the mailing list' and called a
> 'religious freak', among other names, by the list admin, when
I myself am gay, and have no interest in objectifying women at
all (except when they ask for my help doing it to themselves...
corset shopping, accessorizing, et al.) Nonetheless, I also
think that anyone who objects to images of a partially clothed
woman (or man) in a visual arts context has no place working in
a visual arts context. I hate to think how you'd respond to
Regardless, as soon as your medium-critical posts exceeded your
on-topic and helpful posts as a "writer and tester", you became
a liability to that list. Not being a member, I couldn't say
whether that happened before or after the admin lashed out at
you, but if it was before, you probably deserved to be moderated
if not chastised.
> of usability and interface design - an area of considerable
> importance if one is to attract users of Adobe and Macromedia
> packages towards Free Software.
I would point out that support communities for at least some
Adobe products often feature material that's far more risque
than partially-clothed women. Maybe what's needed is a
gimp-dworkin-user list, if you find others in the strange
situation of wanting to be part of the electronic visual arts
community while never being exposed to the single most common
product of that community.
I'm not sure whether you came here looking for support, or to
chastise us, or just to troll, but rest assured that we have no
naked or partially clothed people here.... at least, not that
you can see.
> I myself am gay, and have no interest in objectifying women at
>all (except when they ask for my help doing it to themselves...
>corset shopping, accessorizing, et al.) Nonetheless, I also
>think that anyone who objects to images of a partially clothed
>woman (or man) in a visual arts context has no place working in
>a visual arts context. I hate to think how you'd respond to
The photographs were not at all in an artistic context - it is a pity
that I have lost them, as they would prove the point of my argument; the
lack of maturity within the F/OSS community. The photographs were pure
soft-porn, there was no art involved.
I am a trained artist and much in support of the artistic portrayal of
the human body.
I am not in support of the denegration of either sex for the purpose of
>Regardless, as soon as your medium-critical posts exceeded your
>on-topic and helpful posts as a "writer and tester", you became
>a liability to that list.
LOL. I made one small request regarding the appropriate use of
photography when a facial portrait could have demonstrated the same bug.
I made one further post defending my position, in which I stated that I
would leave th discussion at that point. It is the overreaction of the
list-admin, his childish attitude, and the immaturity of the F/OSS
community which I address. I would suggest that you might also not wish
our community to be so poorly represented by
> Not being a member, I couldn't say
>whether that happened before or after the admin lashed out at
>you, but if it was before, you probably deserved to be moderated
>if not chastised.
It all happened in his private posts to me - I made no provocation
whatsoever, just a simple request. What I quoted in my article was his
quite unnecessary, and unprovoked overreaction. I am hazarding a guess
that the list-admin is extremely young, and cannot moderate a list in a
mature fashion but instead responded to a polite request by lashing out
at me. He may disagree with my request, as others did, and I accept
their disagreement; what I write of is their lack of maturity in posting
soft-porn to a devel list, and his ridiculous and unprovoked attack. The
reason I write about this at all? GIMP is a major representation of the
GNU/Linux platform - it is essential that maturity is maintained among
our community if we are ever to reach mainstream distribution. One might
note that Windows and Mac users are at all times treated in a
professional manner - perhaps as support staff would lose their jobs if
they lashed out at customers or packaged their software with soft-porn
models on the cover.
>I'm not sure whether you came here looking for support, or to
>chastise us, or just to troll, but rest assured that we have no
>naked or partially clothed people here.... at least, not that
>you can see.
Neither, I regularly post updates regarding my Copyleftmedia project to
this list, although it has been some time since the last.
List readers may well have been interested in the continuation of the
Madonna Remix Project, which is on-topic for this list and has been
followed keenly by many list subscribers. I am intrigued as to why a
news update has caused such a stir; judging by the two responses I have
received from this particular list, in contrast to DMCA-discuss, Pho,
C-FIT Community and the other F/OSS campaign lists to which I posted
this message, neither of you have bothered to read the article and have
proven yourselves to be exactly the type of coders lacking in maturity
of which I wrote.
It intrigues me as to how oversensetive you are in your responses as
well - anyone who read the actual article would have seen that it
neither defends the demeaning of women by men, men by women, or same-sex.
A reader from DMCA-discuss responded that my story described perfectly
the reasons why F/OSS will never reach the mainstream - in his words,
the community must quite simply "grow up". /This/, and not a knee-jerk
commentary on so-called 'sexism', was the focus of the article - the
immaturity of a list admin towards a simple point made on-list,
discussed briefly and dropped. The fact that the list-admin could not
handle very mild debate over what was indeed an unnecessary use of
photography (a portrait of a face could suffice) proved his immaturity
and poor representation for a major piece of software in the F/OSS
community. This list-admin, if he does not address his attitude towards
subscribers and inability to cope with debate, will continue to work to
the detriment of F/OSS software. Is that not of concern to us as
Re: Copyleftmedia News: The GIMP and Sex, New Madonna Remix Project contributions
On Tue January 3 2006 19:44, miriam clinton (iriXx) wrote:
> List readers may well have been interested in the continuation
> of the Madonna Remix Project, which is on-topic for this list
> and has been followed keenly by many list subscribers. I am
> intrigued as to why a news update has caused such a stir;
The rant was 34 lines and came first; the Madonna thing was 2
lines and came last. I have zero interest in Madonna, and in
fact would think it's ultimately more harmful to associate
unauthorized remixes of such an anti-commons artist with
copyleft than to allow example images of women in J.Lo outfits.
The latter will make the world think, perhaps correctly, that
most Free Software developers and users are oversexed, socially
inept males. Since the world already has that opinion,
The former will make the world think, however incorrectly, that
we really don't care whether or not we violate other artists'
copyrights. Madge's posting of the "WTF" quote to Kazaa herself
doesn't grant blanket remix rights to everybody in the world, so
by promoting the remix project on LAU and other free software
mailing lists, you are promoting copyright infringement. If
there's anything Linux doesn't need, it's that association. I
hesitate to even post my opinion of the project lest it come
back someday to bite us.
I'll take "chauvinist" over "criminal" any day, when it comes to
free software's "professional image".
I also assumed that the post was simply a copy and paste of the
content from the link at the top, since they began the same way;
apparently, I was in error. However, the version on the web
seems substantially the same to me, with some additional
material about objectification and anorexia and apparently the
kinds of images people are attracted to. I'm not going to
debate those points, because they didn't appear on this list and
they'd have been even more off-topic than our discussion.
Without being privy to the original conflict, my comments stand
as they are.
> It intrigues me as to how oversensetive you are in your
> responses as well - anyone who read the actual article would
Again, I misunderstood the purpose of the link at the top of your
post, but I see no need for ad-hominem attacks, nor the overuse
of "immature" you keep throwing around: from your perspective,
posting cleavage is immature, while from my perspective,
objecting to someone else posting cleavage is immature. And
doing so while potentially exposing the list to legal liability
is irresponsible at best.
I know I'm not going to change your mind, so you might as well
declare us immature and walk away again.
On Tue, Jan 03, 2006 at 12:32:56PM +1100, miriam clinton (iriXx) wrote:
> Some months ago I was encouraged by Richard M. Stallman to join the
> GIMP-devel, among other Free Software developer's mailing lists, to
While I sympathise with the Gimp folk in that most of their usability
feedback comes from people who cant get past their MS/Apple/Adobe
indoctrination, I think its very telling that you got a better reception
from Inkscape - a fine piece of software.
Useability work is very important and unfortunately very *difficult*.
Often frustrating and unrewarding Too. Dont be put off by
overreactions from persons who you rub the wrong way - perhaps better
not to engage these people, and instead concentrate on the positives.