On 12/06/2010 09:59 AM, Kevin Fenzi wrote:
On Sun, 05 Dec 2010 15:22:54 -0500
Brian Pepple <bpepple@fedoraproject.org> wrote:

Hey all,

Didn't see anyone start this discussion yet, so I'll get the ball

Up to this point, we've pretty much only had a motto of 'Be excellent
to each other' as an expectation for a community members behavior.
This has worked pretty well since most of the community has worked
together for many years (a lot from the fedora.us days), but as we've
grown and gotten new blood, I think we've been hurt by not having
some more concrete than a motto for a code of conduct.  For my 2¢,
I'd like to see us use KDE's Code of Conduct (1) as a basis for
creating our own.

1. http://www.kde.org/code-of-conduct/
I'm still not convinced having a code of conduct will help us. ;) 
Me either. ;)

* It's more clear and detailed than "Be excellent to each other", so
  perhaps some people will read it and realize that they need to be

* It helps us as a project say "hey, we want our community to be nice
  and welcoming, if you join and have a poor interaction with someone
  thats not what we want"

* Allows us to point to something more concrete when removing or
  moderating someone from the community. "You were not excellent" to
  "You didn't follow the second section of the 'be respectfull"
+1 to all those things.

* People will language lawyer. "The Code doesn't _say_ I shouldn't call
  your mother a llama". 

* Some people will ignore or note that they didn't sign it or agree to
  it, so don't think they should be bound by it. 

* Is it really that much different/better than "Be excellent" Or "Don't
  be a jerk"? 

That said, I could be talked into it... should we try and bring more
people into the discussion? I know some people have stong feelings on
this topic. 
I think that is a reasonable thing to do.

My #1 con (I suppose it is a grouping of cons, in a way): I honestly don't know how well we can enforce it, if *at all*.

Most of the cited "need" for a code of conduct revolves around mailing list conduct, and IRC conduct (mostly the former).  We cannot prevent anyone from joining a mailing list, or IRC, over and over and over, using different addresses, coming from different IP addresses, etc.  If someone is bound and determined to be a thorn in our sides, well, they're going to be.

If we are setting up community behavioral expectations and standards, that people need to sign their names to, they expect them to be executed upon.  If it's something that is, in the end, unenforceable, it reflects poorly upon everyone - particularly the Board, who would likely wind up losing credibility in anything else they say in the near term.  ("Well, you told us you could get rid of poisonous people, why should we believe you now?")

My other main gripe with Codes of Conduct is that they, in my opinion, tend to stifle discussion, because people tend to want to not be confrontational, because they don't want to get the ban-hammer.  I think this tends to just dull rapid innovation, and that's not something we should be doing (again, IMO).

I *really* think that before we go crafting things, or talking to people in various groups, we should do the following:

1) Determine if any policy we create around a "worst-case scenario" could actually be enforced. What types of punishment are we dealing with?  If it can't be enforced, 100% of the time, we are just digging ourselves a deeper hole of problems - are people being favored? Are people not doing their jobs? Etc.

2) If we determine that a "worst-case scenario" could actually be dealt with and enforced - who is going to do it, and ARE THEY ACTUALLY GOING TO.  We've had a long-standing policy of "be excellent" - with the Board more or less responsible for "dealing" with situations - and I am not sure that any of the situations that could have been dealt with *actually* had action taken. 

Frankly, I'm not sure that we've really *had* any situations that were so dire that they required any sort of serious intervention.  And that makes me wonder if we really need one at all.

Bottom line: if it can't be enforced, we shouldn't do it. IMO :)


As such things go, the kde one seems reasonable. 


_______________________________________________ cwg mailing list cwg@lists.fedoraproject.org https://admin.fedoraproject.org/mailman/listinfo/cwg