[oi-dev] OpenIndiana Code of Conduct

Michael Kruger makruger2000 at gmail.com
Thu Jul 21 00:31:37 UTC 2016

On 07/20/2016 06:13 PM, Adam Števko wrote:

>> What is the desired outcome of a code of conduct? Should it be a set of rules? Or a set of expectations from each other? Is it assumed to be the same for all codes of conducts? If so should we link to that definition? or do we need to define that?
> The whole idea behind the code of conduct is to show the community and the outside world that we are a community of people, who don’t tolerate toxic people. There are multiple problems with such people, most present in OI:
> - community members are unsubscribing from the list - there has been too much drama in the past few months and it needs to be stopped. Nobody wants to deal with toxic people. You could see one example right in this email thread.
> - public debates - many things are debated in the private because people want to work on the project and have something done. If you send out an email to oi-dev mailing list, the email is quickly going to hijacked or made off-topic. Who has the energy to deal with it every time?
> With CoC in place, we can simply show the potential new users and also those, who unsubscribed that situation changed and that we mean it seriously. After all, everybody wants to have a peaceful and enjoyable time while using/developing OI.
> However, that can’t be reached while toxic people are present.

I think Adam bring up a very valid point here, which is how OpenSource 
projects in general, and the OpenIndiana community in particular, are 
not immune from the problems posed by difficult people.

Earlier in this thread Alan Coopersmith provided several links which 
help illustrate the problem.

Here is a quote from one of those links:

"The term poisonous person is a nasty label and automatically creates a 
dividing line between “us” (the good guys) and “them” (those nasty 
jerks). There’s a better way to think about the problem. Instead of 
running your team as an elite fraternity with a mission to repel mean 
people, it’s healthier to create a culture that simply refuses to 
tolerate certain negative behaviors. It’s the behaviors you want to 
filter out, not particular individuals. It’s naïve to think of 
individuals as purely good or bad; it’s more constructive and practical 
to identify and reprimand the intolerable behaviors."

I think this statement lends some credibility to the idea of composing a 
list of behaviors which will not (or at least should not) be tolerated 
by the community.

We all know what kinds of behaviors are problematic and sap the life and 
energy out of the community and its members. So composing a list of 
them, shouldn't become an insurmountable task, endlessly debated until 
the cows come home. If that's what it ends up becoming, then the project 
itself is dysfunctional and has much bigger problems than just the 
inability to agree upon a Code of Conduct.

While I don't think anyone wants to see the project suffer an 
existential crisis over this exercise, I do think adopting a CoC is 
taking a rational step in the right direction.

Just as the formulation of a mission statement, road map, and a core 
governance team help to show the community and world we aren't just 
aimlessly trudging on in some unknown direction, the CoC is simply 
another tool to provide structure and governance to the project. It's 
goal is to help unite the community under common goals, aspirations, and 
in this particular case, 'working conditions'.


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