Anti-pattern: tolerating bad behvior from people who make important contributions to a project.

It has a tendency to drive away other contributors,, even before their first contribution. Or long-time contributors.

If you let such a situation happen, it can be quite painful to fix it.

I'm partly to blame for Debian being in this situation. I joined Debian as a deveoper in 1996, and have only in recent years realised that we let it become a toxic environment.

@liw Similar has unfortunately happened in Alpine, which in part, started as a reaction to Debian's lack of quality environment.

@liw Good on you to recognize your part in the problem. That's step 1.

I recently chose to report a problem to the makers of a tool I like to use. A self-proclaimed moderator who doesn't work for the company "runs" chat rooms and discussion boards, bullying contributors and issue issuers, undermining the validity of contributions. It's quite off-putting, but it also explains the slow progress this tool sees in some areas.

@liw Indeed the longer you let a "rock star" behave badly whilst continuing to become more indispensable the worse the problem becomes and the more disruptive it can be to resolve the situation.

I've experienced this myself when I was 5 months into a job and my employer's badly behaving rock star of many years finally left the company. Not only did I have to figure out his poorly documented "clever" implementations, I had to face the fallout of his behaviour and his attempts to steal customers!

@liw it is a difficult way to learn a lesson. People can get blinded by the fact such people "get things done" but once they are finally gone:

1. You see how much of a barrier they are to enabling OTHER contributors to get things done, and

2. Customers/users are too intimidated to report that certain important things get done, so they don't get done and the project stagnates.

This is applicable to any collaborative situation and a big reason big tech has gotten so terrible lately.

@liw But Debian put out good code, no?
It seems to me like this "not tolerating bad behavior" could similarly scare people of their behavior behavior being deemed bad and lead to them not contributing.
I don't know anything about the situation, please forgive.

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