Re: Code of Conduct final draft?

Long message even when agreeing that "making a conversation larger makes
it difficult to follow". The issue is not simple and the answers
sometimes are not simple either.

El dj 03 de 08 del 2006 a les 05:44 +1000, en/na Jeff Waugh va escriure:

> I'd like to find out why people think it's a bad idea, when I think the idea
> has been pretty soundly proven as good by the Ubuntu community

The Ubuntu community decided to have a CoC since their early stages and
there was not much fuzz about it. This shows that probably a CoC is good
for that community. 

The GNOME community has growth for years without a CoC and now that it
is being proposed to have one there is no consensus. This shows that
probably a CoC is not good for this community. 

The Ubuntu community has many aspects different to the GNOME community
(i.e. a benevolent dictator for life). Since the Ubuntu community is
doing well we can conclude that this is good for them. It doesn't mean
that these aspects would work in the GNOME community though.

Still, external references are useful. There are many communities doing
well out there without a CoC. Can you provide examples of mature
communities being benefited by the late adoption of a CoC? 

More points.

- If some GNOME contributors want to keep a wiki page with
recommendations to promote positive collaboration and respect, great. I
have participated in similar efforts previously, I think it's worth to
do it and I have some additional points to suggest. This page could be
pointed when someone considers that poor or bad behavior is taking over
a discussion, yes. 

- But I don't think this list of recommendations should be named a Code
of Conduct. It is not just a wording thing. If it is a code of conduct
you need to decide what to do with those breaking it (and before that
you need to decide when someone has broken it). Since Ubuntu's Code of
Conduct has been mentioned as a reference, it is good to remember that
they have a way to deal with violations of the code: "The Ubuntu
Community Council will arbitrate in any dispute over the conduct of a
member of the community" -   See for more details about
arbitration in the Ubuntu community.

- Who would arbitrate in our case? If the answer is 'well, nobody' then
"Code of Conduct" are in fact empty words not giving any new instrument
to those being offended. If the answer is 'well, all of us' then it is
just the peer-control system the GNOME project has been using until now
(quite effectively, for what I have seen). We don't need a Code of
Conduct for doing what we are already doing without one. If the answer
is 'the board', 'the membership' or anything relating to the GNOME
Foundation, I disagree as GNOME Foundation member (and board member, for
what is worth). See below why.

- Murray's first concern when proposing a CoC
( ) was: Make it easier to stop aggressive or rude behavior. The GNOME Foundation already manifests in its charter that must be open, not exclusionary, not elitist, welcoming, public, democratic, friendly... ("Open and Public" at ). At least the GNOME Foundation members and anyone willing to contribute to the GNOME project should excel in these principles. I don't see the need of an official Code of Conduct having such a cool official charter. If someone is forgetting it or behaving against its principles it should be enough reminding to that person what is this project all about. Since "members of the board of directors shall act on behalf of all GNOME contributors in the best interest of the GNOME project" ("Board of directors" in the charter), I guess the board could be called *as a last resort* for action if a disruption or violation of the GNOME Foundation principles is not being solved properly at a community level. My vote is for using and improve the tools we already have, instead of overlap them with new tools without clear usage.

- Murray's second concern was: "Advertise to the world that we are
already a pleasant welcoming community". Ok, let's advertise that GNOME
is officially compromised with being a pleasant and welcoming community
at least since 2000, let's advertise the principles of the GNOME
Foundation, let's advertise that we have democratically approved and
supported texts, tools and bodies to make sure we keep being a pleasant
and welcoming community, let's advertise what can we do for people
feeling not pleased, not welcomed, offended, excluded in any corner of
the GNOME community. The charter of the GNOME Foundation is approved by
all the members, and there are tools to update it if we want to improve
it. The proposed Code of Conduct is a new, alien document with no clear
use and no clear support, I don't see why and how it could serve as a
better advertisement platform of how great we are. 

From an "external user point of view" my first impression might very
well be that if we come up now with this CoC is because in fact we are
not pleasant nor welcoming, and we are trying to amend the problem with
this declaration of intentions. Very different than showing a charter
written years ago and still fresh, alive, pertinent, put in practice

I will add some more thoughts not not about the CoC but about the CoC's
debate, for those still reading this long email:

- Yes, *some* messages of *some* people radically in favor of the
official adoption of this CoC make other people with different opinion
feel like just shut up and stay aside. Note that you can only know this
feeling by yourself if you have a different opinion, this is the great
thing about understanding differences and respect them. I reported weeks
ago feeling uncomfortable reading some comments, and others have
mentioned getting this feeling as well. "Remember that a community where
people feel uncomfortable is not a productive one."

- Doing a joke saying that people against the adoption of a GNOME Code
of Conduct might have a bad day and could wait until being able to
behave civilized is a good example of what the CoC is trying to avoid,
isn't it. "Disagreement is no excuse for poor behaviour or personal
attacks." I find somehow paradoxal that, in general, I've seen more
aggressive behavior in the messages in favor of the official adoption of
the CoC. Specially when questioning the politeness and respect of the
ones not in favor. Also when keeping pushing without much chance to
negotiation the official approval of the CoC when it is clear that has
no consensus, saying that the majority is probably majority enough. Even
if we were a minority (which I doubt), isn't a core purpose of this CoC
to excel in the respect of the minorities?

I don't want to put names here, you have read the same messages than I.
But I want to say clearly that Murray's answers and behavior have been
always consistent and coherent with the CoC he is pushing. No question
about that, and no question about all the effort he is putting to
improve GNOME's current situation. I modestly also want to help on the
very same effort, even if disagreeing with the method he is proposing.
And I do think *everybody* taking part in this debate has the same
motivation, even if I don't agree with the transient behavior of some.

For all these reasons I think a CoC as it is being proposed is a bad
idea. I think we shouldn't adopt officially a GNOME Code of Conduct, and
I don't think the board of directors or the GNOME Foundation should have
anything to do with this CoC, unless we decide to change the current
status of the Foundation.

I also want everybody to make sure and advertise that GNOME is and will
be a welcoming and pleasant community. This is why I think we should
wave the GNOME Foundation, its charter and its mission statement as the
best tools to assure our productive collaboration, mutual respect and
multifaceted happiness.

Quim Gil /// |

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