Re: What do you think of the foundation?

Philip Van Hoof wrote:

<snip aggressive rant>

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.

This is the kind of reaction I have a problem with - and the kind of reaction which makes me feel we need some kind of higher authority that can evaluate behaviour. You are the classical archetype of the person who says "if you have a problem with me, it's your problem, not mine". While this might be true when you're in your own home, when you're in a public park it's not.

When a person behaves in a way which is negatively affecting a significant portion of the GNOME community in a GNOME community forum (be it d-d-l, foundation-list, pgo or IRC) then normal people, once they're told that their behaviour is bothering others, stop. A small number of people consider being told they're bothering as provocation, and take it to a whole new level.

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:

It's usual for people complaining about something to benefit from anonymity to begin with, to avoid any backlash against their complaint. Of course an accusee gets to defend himself & see the exidence of ill behaviour, but I see no point in saying "bolsh complained that pvanhoof was being an asshole in IRC last week, the board is investigating" in the first instance. Much better IMHO to say "the board has received a complaint about unacceptable behaviour on IRC on Thursday May 28th. We are investigating."

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.

"censure" and "punish" are not euphemisms.

You're going to kick people out, right?

Since you ask, here are the list of measures which I would expect the board to have at their disposal for this kind of conflict resolution, from the least severe to most severe:

0. Decide that the accusee didn't do anything wrong, and talk to the accuser & accusee to resolve the issue
1. Talk to the person in question and ask them to stop
2. Ask the person in question to apologise privately, and if it's not forthcoming, move up the severity scale 3. Publicly name the person, point to their behaviour, and say "this is unacceptable behaviour to the board" 4. Request a public apology for behaviour, and if it's not forthcoming, move up the severity scale 5. Temporary removal from forum where behaviour occurred (a posting ban for a mailing list, a ban from IRC, temporary removal from pgo)
6. Temporary suspension from the GNOME Foundation and all that goes with it
7. Temporary removal of account
8. Permanent removal from where behaviour occurred
9. Permanent suspension from the GNOME Foundation and all that goes with it
10. Permanent removal of account (synonymous with expulsion from the project).

I imagine that someone would need to be both an aggravated and repeat offender to get anywhere past 4 or 5. And if they are, then the project needs to ask itself the question whether the person's presence is doing more harm than good.

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

Talking to someone about their behaviour in an official capacity is a censure.

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

Censure not censor.

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.

In fact, to my knowledge, this is the first time I've publicly come out & proposed a means for the community to self-regulate the norms we expect from people. We've had informal "discussions" on IRC, and to be honest it's discussions like those which have led me to think a lot about this issue.


Dave Neary
GNOME Foundation member
dneary gnome org

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