Re: What do you think of the foundation?

On Thu, 2009-05-28 at 18:25 +0200, Dave Neary wrote:

> I think that the foundation should be more involved in conflict 
> resolution and policing the tone of the community.

> I have talked to too many people who don't read pgo, or have turned off
> individual blogs, don't use IRC any more, or avoid certain mailing lists,
> because they are  unhappy with the tone & content of discussions & posts.

If it'is possible for one to create the perception that his behaviour is
representative for the GNOME community, then the problem isn't that the
board should have stepped in.

The problem would be that this was possible. However, let me quote you
the bottom of

 - Planet GNOME is a window into the world, work and lives of GNOME
 - hackers and contributors.
 - Blog entries aggregated on this page are owned by, and represent the
 - opinion of the author.

I'd agree that the last paragraph should probably go to the top of the
page, to make it more clear. And perhaps we should make it bold too.

A person who, with this disclaimer kept in mind, insists on blaming the
entire GNOME community for the behaviour of a single individual on the
planet, is simply being intellectually dishonest. 

I refuse to allow people to minimize human culture to a situation where
*they* try to enforce their "ideology of P.C. purism" simply by being
intellectually dishonest. They'll have to try much much harder, for me.

P.C.P.O.S. :

- Politically Correct Piece Of Shit. You kill fun in music, just get out
- of the pit. 

> If someone is behaving in a way which is negatively affecting a 
> significant portion of the GNOME community,

Then that significant portion of the GNOME community should be grown up
enough to understand that the behaviour of an individual doesn't mean
that you need to change your culture into a P.C.P.O.S.

> the board should be the place to go where you can complain, and have 
> your complaint publicly recorded (in the minutes of a  board meeting,
> for example) with anonymity,

Your concept of how you see our community has a conflict:

You want the board to have respect for anonymity with such complaints,
but at the same time you write a bit later:

  > The GNOME project is small enough & intimate enough that we can talk
  > freely, no?

The project being intimate also means that there's almost zero
anonymity. At least no guaranteed anonymity. 

It means that your proposal will create friction and could eventually
disintegrate our already fragile community.

I think these proposals will only widen the existing gaps, and could be
dangerous for that matter.

> investigated and evaluated, and if necessary, have the guilty party 
> censured and/or punished. 

We had to listen to euphemisms for a decade in world politics. 

You're going to kick people out, right?

You didn't even say "talk with them about their behaviour first". No,
you want to "censure them", and "punish them".

What do you think punishment like censoring means in practice? That
everything will be fine afterward? 

It's identical to kicking them out.

Which for example opens the doors for political agendas. And no I'm not
a conspiracy theorists, but it's a crazy proposal.

> Currently, this social policing role has been completely ignored by
> the foundation and its leaders.


> I think that the foundation should be more frugal, and I expect the 
> board to transmit the frugal values to the membership. 


About the rest of your proposals I have no particular strong feelings.

But hey, it's not the first time that your and mine ideology on how to
act on people's behaviour clash. It's no surprise to me, and you have
done similar proposals frequently. And I frequently disagreed with you.

I want to voice my opinion that it's certainly not the case that every-
body in this community thinks like you that we should start having
more control over people's behaviours, if they want to be part of the
group, by punishing them.

I'd certainly like to see a more friendly community too. I believe you
do that by having more team activities. 

Like the hackfests, the conferences:  giving people infrastructure to
communicate better, more often and faster.

And on top of all, learn our members to "Assume people mean well"

Because "that" item is the most violated one of all the items on our
Code Of Conduct.

Thanks, and I hope you understand my concerns. For me, they are as real
as your concerns about bad behaviour of individuals.

Philip Van Hoof, freelance software developer
home: me at pvanhoof dot be 
gnome: pvanhoof at gnome dot org

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