A matter of intent [Was: Re: Code of Conduct final draft?]

On 8/4/06, Jeff Waugh <jdub perkypants org> wrote:
<quote who="Quim Gil">

> Doing the process of updating the charter would be a failure? I don't see
> why, this process could be healthy for the community, and the result would
> be stronger and more sounded. In the meantime the list of recommendations
> could be discussed, tested, improved, applied (it was being applied before
> being written in a wiki page anyway).

That's precisely the point. Whether it's the charter or a new document, it
is vastly more interesting to talk about the content and making it relevant
to the GNOME community than argue about what it should be called and where
it should go. This is just a diversion.

Jeff, these things matter. What you've heard isn't "whining" about its
name, it's genuine interest and concern about the document's *intent
and purpose*, not its content. Absent a consistent, written message of
intent, people will infer intent from its name. And I find it hard to
comment on what should or should not be the CoC's *content* if we
aren't in agreement on why it exists in the first place, or what role
it will serve in our community. Putting content before purpose is to
put the cart before the horse.

You have said that the CoC "isn't and wasn't 'rules'" and claimed to
have added this point to the Wiki page on June 2nd.[1] I don't think
that your June 2nd change [2] actually says that "this isn't and
wasn't rules", and what you wrote does not appear in the latest
version, nor does your intent sentiment [3].

Quim's question "In a worst case scenario, do we expect the GNOME
Foundation board to arbitrate if someone violates the <list of
behavior principles>" [4] is an important one, and the one I think
people are getting tripped up on. Alan Cox replied "That one is easy
to answer - the answer is yes" [5] and Quim replied "I agree the board
should arbitrate in a worst case scenario, with or without a <list of
behavior principles>". [6] Murray has also said "I'd like to avoid
lengthy and tedious (to me) discussions about how Murray has forced
everyone to be nice... If this gets a stamp of approval then those
discussions might still happen".[7] To me, it sounds like at least
some important people would like the CoC to be a set of enforcable
rules, or at least would be open to discussing whether they should be.
This would violate earlier claims to the contrary [1] and clearly
expresses the sentiment that some folks would like to give this
document some teeth, at least in limited circumstances.

These amount to mixed messages. I and others have seen the word "code"
and thought "enforcable rules". I've then heard "it's not enforcable
rules, and I've added that to the wiki", and then seen it not added to
the wiki. I've then heard some people say that they want it to be
enforcable rules. My question is simple - which one is it? The answer
is that there doesn't seem to be consensus around what the document's
scope should be. And that's a problem.

The CoC should have its intent written up front and center. It should
be clear, so that we don't have these stumblings about its name. If it
is meant to be enforcable rules, illustrate the circumstances why one
would do so, and what one might do to enforce them. If it is meant to
be fluffy, well-intentioned, toothless language, then put that in
instead. Its intent may be derivable from the Foundation's charter, as
Quim suggests. [6] If so, please re-iterate that intent in the CoC
document. If its intent is up for discussion, that's great too.

Then we can focus on its content.

Please don't call people whiners and flamers for expressing their
concerns. You merely haven't understood our concerns, and that's
probably my fault for not stating them better. I hope that I've
articulated them better here, and it's never been my intent to flame.

Truly best regards,

[1] http://article.gmane.org/gmane.comp.gnome.foundation.general/3067
[2] http://live.gnome.org/CodeOfConduct?action=diff&rev1=6&rev2=5
[3] http://live.gnome.org/CodeOfConduct?action=recall&rev=28
[4] http://article.gmane.org/gmane.comp.gnome.foundation.general/3255
[5] http://article.gmane.org/gmane.comp.gnome.foundation.general/3257
[6] http://article.gmane.org/gmane.comp.gnome.foundation.general/3265
[7] http://article.gmane.org/gmane.comp.gnome.foundation.general/3261
Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums.

[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Thread Index] [Date Index] [Author Index]