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Re: Code of conduct, question to all candidates

On Fri, Mar 03, 2006 at 10:20:59PM +0200, Lars Wirzenius wrote:
>What do you think of a code of conduct? What in your opinion would be a
>lower limit on acceptable behavior? Do you think that strict rules would
>be better than general guidelines? Who should be the judge if a
>particular case follows the code of conduct or not? Would the code be a
>good thing, or would it necessarily be a threat to freedom of speech,
>and stifle innovation? Should any kind of behavior be allowed on Debian
>mailing lists?

As I state in my platform, I believe a code of conduct to be a good
idea; too much of our effort is being wasted in unproductive flamewars
scattered across our mailing lists at the moment.

At the moment, I just have some rough ideas of how I'd like to see
such a code of conduct operate. I'd hope that general guidelines would
be enough in most cases, but maybe some strict rules will be needed as
a fall-back in case of major disagreement. To be honest, at this point
I'm really more interested in starting debate on a code than pushing
my own ideas. We have had some useful startup work done by Enrico (see
http://people.debian.org/~enrico/dcg/) that I'd like more comments on.

I don't think that a code of conduct should be seen as a measure to
limit freedom of speech. We're not proposing silencing people
altogether, but instead encouraging them to be more reasonable when
communicating with each other. I'm a great fan of hard technical
debate, and I know I'm not alone in that. What we need to lose is some
of the personal attacks into which our discussions devolve on an
increasingly frequent basis. Those attacks are not helping us to work
together, and neither do they help us to innovate and improve the
world's best operating system.

I don't believe that our mailing lists should be seen as a forum where
_any_ kind of behaviour is acceptable - that way madness lies.

Steve McIntyre, Cambridge, UK.                                steve@einval.com
"You can't barbecue lettuce!" -- Ellie Crane

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