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Re: Code of conduct, question to all candidates

On Sun, Mar 05, 2006 at 05:39:08PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> On Fri, Mar 03, 2006 at 10:08:15PM +0100, Frank K?ster wrote:
> > And, do you think this code of conduct should be enforced?  How?
> We already have a code of conduct for the lists that's not enforced;
> it says you can't swear, and that you shouldn't flame. And it's widely
> ignored, both because people don't think those expectations are either
> realistic or important, and because people who violate it not only don't
> get any rebuke over it, but get support for the violation.
> Others [0] have already said that the mere existance of a code of conduct
> is excessively unpleasant, and, if I understand correctly, that they
> find /any/ sort of active enforcement as vile as I find having people
> be told they have "personality problems" just for participating in the
> project.

Since you're referring to me here (both directly and indirectly), allow
me to clarify.

First, I don't think the mere existance of a code of conduct is
excessively unpleasant. I just happen to think that you can't have two
people come up with a "random"[0] CoC and expect everyone to abide by
it; and, to top it all off, have important discussions be held under
that CoC when it's still in an experimental stage.

I was pretty weary of the DPL team idea last year as well, but
afterwards I have started to see things in a different light. Likewise,
I'm not against a CoC per se, but I do think that such a code should be
a guideline more than an explicit rule; there should be room for people
to occasionally lose their temper when they get angry with something --
especially on IRC, which, to me, often is a pressure vault of sorts; a
way to avoid me losing my temper on mailinglists.

Also, the claim that the current CoC on the Debian mailinglists is not
enforced is false. The number of times people have told other people
that they shouldn't Cc them on mails sent to lists "because they read
the list" and "because it's in the CoC" is pretty high. Unfortunately,
so is the number of times that such mails have sparked flames; in other
words, a) the CoC is not enforced consistently, b) having a CoC is no
guarantee to better cooperation, and c) a CoC should be written very
carefully, so as to create a document that talks about social things
only, and does not try to enforce stuff which people of different
cultures and backgrounds may have different ideas about.

Secondly, I believe the "personality problems" thing is about a quote of
mine on -private[1] where I said something about the correlation between
DD-ship and personality; I think you have misunderstood me there,
however. The claim was not that you need to have certain personality
problems to be a good Debian Developer; rather, that it takes a certain
personality type to be at all _interested_ in being a Debian
Developer---one that is not what most people think of when they think of
"normal" people.

[0] I'm sure you and Steve put in a lot of effort to create a fair CoC,
    but it's just the two of you "against" the entire project -- i.e.,
    you'll need to involve a lot more people 
[1] I don't have the time to go dig in the -private archives at this
    point, but I'll hereby allow you to quote my mails to -private on
    the subject if that helps your argument.

> I don't see a resolution to that -- you either have enforcement
> without any up front rules which doesn't seem terribly fair, or you have
> a code of conduct that offends people, or you let people be as vicious
> as they please, and discourage people who don't want to put up with that
> from being actively involved.

Or you have a CoC which is fair, which does not have any noise in it,
and which is enforced by the list as a whole, with no Niceness Police.

IME, once you have a Niceness Police, people either walk away from the
police or from discussing altogether; that way, you throw away the kid
with the bathwater.

Fun will now commence
  -- Seven Of Nine, "Ashes to Ashes", stardate 53679.4

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