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Re: The Code of Conduct needs specifics

On Mon, Mar 24, 2014 at 08:47:43AM +0100, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
> Hi Solveig,
> On Mon, 24 Mar 2014, Solveig wrote:
> > I can write specific amendments, if somebody is willing to sponsor them :)
> Please do. I tend to agree with what Steve said. It doesn't hurt to have a
> list of "don't" 

Actually it does.

The danger of having a list of "do not"s is that people will do
something which is not on the list, and then point to it and say "see,
it's allowed by the code of conduct" when pointed out that they're being
a dick.

The proposed code of conduct is not meant to be a law text; it is not
meant to be all-encompassing. It is meant to show people what the right
way to move forward is, and it tries to do so in a positive sense. This
is after some discussion at debconf; my initial draft was phrased much
more negatively. The point is that we're aiming this towards the
contributors that we want to keep (to prevent them from straying from
the path, or from unknowingly misbehaving), not towards those that we
don't want on our mailinglists.

Debian's listmasters already kick people off our mailinglists if they
misbehave, with or without this code of conduct. I think that's a good
thing, and we should keep that; in fact, the proposed text explicitly
empowers them to continue doing so. It is not very detailed on the
specifics, but that's a feature, not a bug.

In addition, a list of "do not"s will make people assume that the
project is in a worse state than it actually is. To paraphrase one
participant of the CoC BoF during debconf, when the draft CoC was still
somewhat negative: "I get the feeling, if I read this code of conduct,
that Debian is a very problematic community with lots of problems."

I don't want our code of conduct to produce that feeling.

Instead, the goal of my proposed CoC is that medium administrators
(listmasters, IRC ops, ...) will interprete and enforce it within their
own interpretation, and that people who misbehave will simply be removed
from our lists (after due warnings, and with full review from the rest
of the project, but without a big and complicated procedure and/or many
avenues for trolls to use up the project's limited resources through
appeal procedures).

This end should point toward the ground if you want to go to space.

If it starts pointing toward space you are having a bad problem and you
will not go to space today.

  -- http://xkcd.com/1133/

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