Re: Code of Conduct: Is it time?

From: Bruce Momjian <bruce(at)momjian(dot)us>
To: "Joshua D(dot) Drake" <jd(at)commandprompt(dot)com>
Cc: "Psql_General (E-mail)" <pgsql-general(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: Code of Conduct: Is it time?
Date: 2016-01-13 23:42:03
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On Tue, Jan 5, 2016 at 08:47:16AM -0800, Joshua Drake wrote:
> Hello,
> I had a hard time writing this email. I think Code of Conducts are
> non-essential, a waste of respectful people's time and frankly if
> you are going to be a jerk, our community will call you out on it.
> Unfortunately a lot of people don't agree with that. I have over the
> course of the last year seen more and more potential users very
> explicitly say, "I will not contribute to a project or attend a
> conference that does not have a CoC".
> Some of us may be saying, "Well we don't want those people". I can't
> argue with some facts though. Ubuntu has had a CoC[1] since the
> beginning of the project and they grew exceedingly quick. Having
> walls in the hallway of interaction isn't always a bad thing.
> In reflection, the only thing a CoC does is put in writing what
> behaviour we as a project already require, so why not document it
> and use it as a tool to encourage more contribution to our project?

Just to give some context, the core team has quietly handled discipline
issues for years. In fact, it was so quiet that no one really knew it
was happening, unless you were one of those people that core had to
discipline. This secrecy caused people who felt they needed help with
unfair treatment to try to deal with discipline themselves, rather than
come to core. The recognition of this behavior caused the creation of a
core responsibilities web page:

I see a CoC as a way of codifying expected behavior in the same way the
"core responsibilities" document does.

It is also true that any document you create to try to fix bad behavior
can be abused, e.g. laws to compensate victims of carelessly unsafe
environments have yielded many unethical personal injury lawyers in the
USA. Therefore, we need to be careful of negative CoC effects.

Bruce Momjian <bruce(at)momjian(dot)us>

+ As you are, so once was I. As I am, so you will be. +
+ Roman grave inscription +

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