Re: Code of Conduct and Foundation membership

Hi Lucas,

On Wed 25 Nov 2009 13:48, Lucas Rocha <lucasr gnome org> writes:

> In the context of GNOME Foundation, it's really hard to argue about
> how we expect our members to behave if there is no official guidelines
> that members are supposed to comply with. The GNOME Code of Conduct[1]
> has been serving very well

It's a very nice document, a lovely "credo".

> we'd like to make it an official document

Sounds like a good idea, to give it more moral authority.

> that new Foundation
> members are expected to explicitly agree[2] with before being
> accepted. This way we'll have a common ground for dealing with certain
> conflict situations and avoid trying to base our discussions on
> guidelines that certain members haven't explicitly agreed on.

I realize you haven't really touched on "punishment", but since it's
come up in other parts of this thread:

The board already has the power to expell or suspend a member who fails
to "observe the rules of conduct promulgated from time to time by the
Board" (Bylaws VI 7(c)). But that's a bit extreme of course.

It's good that we are concerned about maintaining our high level of
discourse, but I am surprised at the clamoring by some for "teeth"
behind the code of conduct. There are teeth enough already. And in the
case of any particular venue, there is typically a responsible party --
p.g.o. with its maintainers (as you know :), mailing lists with their
respective maintainers, etc. Maintainers should communicate their
expectations to their contributors and users. People who don't like that
can find another project/venue.

It's only IRC and DDL that are really the outliers, it seems, and there
there is enough social pressure, combined with ignore/kill lists, that I
don't really see all the fuss.

Finally, a quote from the foundation charter:

  [T]he foundation can have no real powers of enforcement; compliance
  with foundation decision should be an act of good-faith. If we've lost
  consensus to the point where we're regularly forcibly ejecting people
  from the foundation and co-opting their projects, we're sunk anyway.

Happy hacking,


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