Also, in an attempt to redirect the attention and purpose of the question back to the question itself, I replied to the detracting comments by bringing up my original dilemma again, but then this comment was deleted. I don't know if this particular moderator is the one who deleted it (if such a thing is possible), but now it is gone.

These two things together give suspicion credence to the necessity of using serverfault to ask only questions that please the moderators--that that is complicit with the site topicality.


  • 5
    ♪♫ Let it go...let it go...♪♫
    – TheCleaner
    Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 19:26
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    Well, the first thing you do is post on Meta citing a specific example, with a link to your question so the rest of the community and moderator team can look at it and decide if your complaint is warranted. I'm not digging through your user history to find what you think is a "negative, ad hominem comment", so until you make this easy for me my level of caring is pretty much zero...
    – voretaq7
    Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 19:26
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    What did your deleted comment say exactly? I find it hard to believe that a moderator would delete a comment that attempts to clarify a question unless that comment was rude or inappropriate. I believe that moderators can see deleted comments but cannot disclose their content due to the moderator rules that they abide by. Without knowing what it actually said, there's no way to know whether you're full of hot air or if someone is abusing their power (and given your response in Michael's answer, I find the latter tough to believe).
    – MDMarra
    Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 19:30
  • @MDMarra It was a snarky retort to Michael's comment, prototypical of the "Just give me teh codez" questions.
    – Chris S
    Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 19:35
  • I don't remember exactly what I said, but it was something about how this Michael Hampton moderator, who after him having posted a rude comment about me, I wished that he would not have done so as I didn't want him detracting the attention of my question towards how he felt that I was asking something that shouldn't be asked.
    – jxqz
    Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 19:36
  • The problem with that is, I never posted a rude comment about you. You started this yourself. Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 19:37
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    @jxqz It looks to me like he gave you the answer to your question. Recompile the code. That you don't like this answer, or aren't allowed to use it changes nothing. It's still the right answer and not even remotely an "ad homenim" attack. Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 19:41

4 Answers 4


Your comment was flagged as being rude and deleted for that reason.

Please take note of what we consider acceptable behavior:

Civility is required at all times; rudeness will not be tolerated. Treat others with the same respect you’d want them to treat you because we’re all here to learn, together. Be tolerant of others who may not know everything you know, and bring your sense of humor.

I don't know what you mean by "ad hominem comments" against you, or "detracting comments" as there is no evidence of there ever having been any such comments on your question.

  • Oh, this guy again. Yeah, dude I'm so rude to you. What irony.
    – jxqz
    Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 19:22
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    Yes, and you're doing it again. You really should quit while you're behind. Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 19:23
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    @MichaelHampton "ad hominem" is attacking someone's character instead of responding to their logical criticism. A simple example would be someone criticizing your argument, and respond with "well, you're ugly". Unfortunately jxqz is using the term incorrectly. He could have tried a "no true scotsman" argument, that you were dismissing his problem on account of impurity - which would be vaguely accurate, though "don't do that" is a valid response to some questions here.
    – Chris S
    Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 19:39
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    A few years back, OpenOffice was in much the same state as this guy's project. Yet it was successfully disentangled from its bundled dependencies. I doubt he's got anything bigger than an office suite to package... Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 19:49

The comment in question is this one:

Perhaps from your theoretical distance, you can smugly confirm yourself in believing that refactoring this huge, ugly codebase is going to be easier than haxoring rpm to make an ugly frankenrpm. And you're right, it is certainly a far better thing to do, but it is not easier to do. The right thing is usually harder to do than what gets done.

Posted because I can't remember who can and can't see deleted comments, and it's germane to the question here.

To answer your question about appealing moderator decisions, you're doing it. Meta is the place for just that.

A comment like that is a red flag for me as well, and I would keep a real close eye on the Question to make sure the comments didn't decent into a cesspit. Several of our regulars would have met the escalation in tone in that comment with escalation of their own, and that's a cascade I try to stop before it gets too far.

  • 4
    Only moderators can see deleted comments. Deleted posts can be seen by their OP, Mods, and users over 10k.
    – Chris S
    Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 19:45
  • Yes, this was a terrible reply. I was annoyed by his, "I already told your boss" comment when clearly he knows neither my boss nor the reasons for my asking. I escalated here to meta is because I was frustrated that this moderator who appeared to disapprove of my question also had the power to remove my comments and frame the discussion according to what he wanted. I can understand that RTFM and strict topical scrutiny are commonplace for experienced users in places such as serverfault, so next time perhaps I'll ask in some other forum where people tend to be more chill.
    – jxqz
    Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 19:11

A comment such as the one Michael Hampton left doesn't need an impassioned reply. You can simply wait until someone else comes by and answers your question, if they are so inclined. Remember that it takes 5 non-moderators to actually close a question.

We're a community of people who are passionate about doing things the right way, and for many of us that means the long-term right way. We don't like giving advice for dirty solutions, and if we see a mess, a lot of the time our first priority (professionally too) is to clean it up. A lot of us are also consultants who do things like architecture and things like cleaning up messes, and our regulars have very little compunction about telling a boss they're wrong. For many of us, telling the boss he's wrong is actually an important job function.

We don't, as a rule, specialize in doing wrong things because "it has been decided" by someone. While it's hard to put a finger on exactly what the Tao might be, I firmly believe it involves finding ways that combine or at least balance easy (for now) and correct (for later). There is a lot of experience in this community, and certainly part of that experience has taught us something about stop-gap solutions.

We're also a community of volunteers. We do this for fun. If someone is answering your question or giving advice, whether you like the advice or not, implying negative things like calling them smug and disconnected is a little rude. If nobody will enjoy answering your question in the way you want it answered, it might just not happen, but cajoling people into answering it and getting in fights won't improve the odds any.

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    I'll sometimes answer the odd, "I know this is a terrible approach, but management says I have to do it this way, and I lost that fight. How do I do it?" out of sympathy. I remember losing similar battles with PHBs past. Part of the Tao for me is tone; I'm most likely to respond to "resigned." That said, I'm no help to the OP, because I'm not really an expert on hammering rpmbuild into doing ugly, terrible things. And honestly, if this is a common thing, I think they need to find other employment where they're not asked to do hideous things on a regular basis. Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 14:38

Dude. It sounds like you're stressed out--I would be, too, if I were given that task--but this is not how you get people to help you. Especially since, well. Michael Hampton has always struck me as a particularly even-tempered guy, and I suspect I've seen him in action more than you have.

Take a deep breath. Check out Nathan C's link to Stack Overflow that he posted as a comment to your question. Stop digging. You're just going to upset everyone, including yourself.

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