Re: Code of Conduct final draft?

[I will dip my oar in the water *once* with the intention of saying no
more about it, since this is already a very long thread.  Thanks. -

[Executive Summary: I agree that this 'community' can and should be 
nicer, myself included.]

(Tristan: my mistake for citing Wordnet along with you, as an
authority.  I'm sure there are more nuanced sources we could go to.)

I stand by my statement that 'Principles' are not the same as rules, at
least in English usage.  Both have several definitions of course, but
'principles' usually lack the following attributes of some, though not
all, 'rules':

* enforceability (not as implicit with 'principles' as with 'rules')
* ethical implication (though you are free to choose a more neutral
interpretation of 'principle')

BUT this is a silly argument anyway.  It's absurd to say Gnome doesn't
have rules, or for Gnome contributors to object to rules "on
principle"[1].  There are plenty of rules (or principles, if you prefer)
regarding code licensing, cvs commits, when and how to make releases,
and even what source code changes you are allowed to make to your
project once it is accepted into Gnome!  

These rules may have weak enforceability but it is important that they
be written down somewhere so that new contributors know what is expected
of them, and would-be contributors can decide if they want to join in or
not.  While they clearly exclude some forms of participation, and may
discourage others, these rules are vital to what our community is and

I have to agree with Telsa ("welcome back" Telsa[2]) and others that
this community can feel very aggressive, rude, impolite, and generally
give out more negative strokes than positive ones.  I find myself
falling into this trap myself from time to time, and can't help feeling
that a bit more "gnome love" on the dev lists would improve my manners
as well.  Would a CoC/"Communication Advice" document really help this? 
Maybe not, but it might.

This community attracts a disproportionate number of people with 
"libertarian/anarchist" philosophies (for lack of a better description),
IMO this is mostly a strength. 

But "Freedom of expression" is mostly about content.  It can't be a
moral justification for aggressive, condescending behavior if the same
point can be effectively made without it[3].  

This will seem obvious/self-evident to many, but the fact that it has
generated so much heated discussion could be taken as evidence of its
importance, instead of evidence that the community "isn't ready for it".

Philip said:
"But I wouldn't agree on a code that tells people how to behave in order
to be accepted as a GNOME member or GNOME contributor."

I think the intention is a code that "tells people how they are expected
to behave when communicating on Gnome channels or when contributing to
GNOME".  The word "expected" being the operative one - it's of mutual
benefit for people to understand what kind of behavior is considered
inappropriate in a particular forum.  That doesn't mean that other
behaviors cannot occur, or simply won't be tolerated, it simply states
(optimistically) that they are not the norm.  While this may imply some
degree of social censure, like societies, Gnome can have 'norms' or
'standards' without ejecting individuals who cannot or will not abide by
them.  Points 1, 2, and 3 of the draft CoC indirectly address this
'tolerance' principle.


[1] Was that a pun?
[2] Hope this discussion doesn't just reinforce all those impressions...
[3]  I may have the "right" to be obnoxious, but surely those around me
have the right to tell me to go away until I can be more civil.

On Thu, 2006-08-03 at 01:45, Tristan Van Berkom wrote:
> Andreas J. Guelzow wrote:
> >On Thu, 2006-03-08 at 00:22 +0100, Bill Haneman wrote:
> >  
> >
> >>I think the second term in your Princeton Wordnet citation is the one we
> >>are aiming for: e.g. "principles".
> >>
> >>One can have principles without rules.
> >>    
> >>
> >
> >Principles are rules. Check Worldnet for "principle" if you like.
> >
> >  
> >
> I did suggest this one the last time this came up so...
> why not "gnome ethics" ?
> -Tristan
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-list mailing list
> foundation-list gnome org

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