If you came to the channel to tell us how awful Microsoft or Windows is and the latest "BAD THING" you have been offended by, we ask that you use a different venue, such as your own Twitter account, blog or Facebook page. We're on Freenode and most of us are well aware of other operating systems and many of us are multi-platform.

If you decide to continue, we ask that you be factual, constructive, and polite. Here are a few specific examples and points which help:

  • Please be prepared to support your points. We welcome polite, fact-based discussions when they're on-topic. We do not enjoy being ranted at. So if you don't care enough about your argument to get your evidence in order and present it politely, we feel no obligation to provide you with an audience.

    • Start by introducing your point and sharing the link supporting the facts your point rests on. If you are linking a large body of information, specify the part you are talking about and note, opinion pieces are not facts. A good debate depends on the same evidence being visible to all participants.

    • Don't say "google it". Search engines give different results to different people. If you want us to look at the evidence you find compelling, link it. Then we'll all be sure we are discussing the same evidence.

  • People often state their personal preferences as if these were somehow authoritative. Example: "Don't use {foo}, it sucks." But statements like that only start silly pissing matches, or cause a lot of shrugs. Really, such a statement tells us something about you, but nothing about {foo}! Consider instead saying something like: "{Foo} is bad because it does {this} and breaks {that} in {specified} way."

    • In other words, use factual arguments, not argument-by-slur.

    • Or, identify your opinions with phrases like "I think...". Don't just state them as if they were universal facts.

  • Personal attacks such as "Are you a Microsoft shill?" or "I'll bet you work for Microsoft" are neither polite nor reasonable.

  • Repeating the same points over and over again is not reasonable.

  • "I'm not fond of all those dialog boxes" or "the commandline is clearly not up to the *nix standard" - these are reasonable opinions. But there are plenty of opinions on this planet. What makes yours useful enough for us to discuss?

  • Using terms such as M$, Microshaft, Windblows and Windoze do not make you automatically cool, and were never funny.

  • Dropping random links in channel isn't a debate or discussion.

  • This article shows how to detect BS. We have no tolerance for such in ##windows.

    • However, let us point out that good debate or argument (which we enjoy!) does not mean flamewar. By the way, this flamewar link is a great read, as it contains many tips on how to make your point without the flame.

  • And finally. Don't tell us your negative comments were "just a joke". We've heard that so many times that you'll just have to pardon us for not accepting it as an excuse anymore.

Given these examples, it's probably clear that we get a lot of pro-linux, anti-windows trolls & troublemakers. One last plea: Unix-alike users, you're more than welcome in ##windows. Please try to be a credit to the mature, well-spoken, and polite FOSS community we all know and love! Consider carefully the fact that immature speech and actions do not reflect well you or the FOSS community, and such behavior isn't likely to gain converts or make friends.