Re: [Ksummit-discuss] Call to Action Re: [PATCH 0/7] Code of Conduct: Fix some wording, and add an interpretation document

From: NeilBrown
Date: Tue Oct 23 2018 - 17:14:49 EST

On Tue, Oct 23 2018, Theodore Y. Ts'o wrote:

> On Tue, Oct 23, 2018 at 03:25:08PM +1100, NeilBrown wrote:
>> Yes, you could, and you can. But if it was Linus who was behaving
>> inappropriately, where did you go then? This is why I think whatever
>> "code" we have should be overtly a statement Linus makes about his
>> behaviour, in the first instance.
> You're still missing the point, and the problem. The concern was not
> *that* a patch was rejected, it was in *how* the patch was rejected.

That is not a point I am missing. Of course it is about *how*.
One form of rejection shows you a path forward, which might be revising
the patch, and it might be solving your problem in a completely
different way.
The other form or rejection leaves you hurting and confused and not
knowing which way to turn - so you leave.
One way gives you power to move forward, the other denies it to you.

> The "problem" has never been about how Linus was treating anyone other
> than core maintainers; i.e., most of the rants that I can think of (a)
> happened years of ago, and (b) were directed at the sort of people who
> were in the room at the Maintainer's Summit yesterday. Who which, by
> the way, didn't have a complaint about Linus's recent behavior; in
> fact, there was general agreement that Linus's behavior has been
> getting *better* over the last few years.

The fact that Linus' behaviour has improved (with which I agree) is only
part of the story. There is also Linus' reputation which is, I think,
worse than his behaviour has ever been - partly because he has never
(until recently) done anything to correct that reputation.

Also, it is *not* just about how Linus treats core maintainers, as you
seem to agree with below (despite your statements above). To take the
liberty of quoting from an email on a non-public list that you will have

The unresolved bug was that Linus' conduct, and more importantly the
conduct of people that less artfully and less productively emulated
his blow ups, were getting further and further away from Linus' own
stated ideals on how to treat people.

Linus' example is (apparently) being copied. That makes it important, I
think, for him to set an explicit counter-example.

> One of the more important effects of the CoC is that newcomers have a
> fear about Linux's reputation of having extremely toxic community.
> There is a narrative that has been constructed that because Linus
> behaves badly to everyone; and this gives everyone "permission" to
> behave badly. Regardless of how true it may have been in the past, I
> believe that it is largely obsolete today. And so, the mere existence
> of a CoC has caused some newcomers to say that they have "already
> noticed a difference" --- which is IMO mostly the effect of CoC easing
> fears, as opposed to any real change in Linux community in the past
> four weeks.

If the CoC has really eased fears, then that is clearly good news. I
must admit to being a little surprised.

> I think how it will work out in practice is that the CoC will be more
> a commitment about what we are holding up as community norms.
> Unfortunately, for some poeple the term "CoC" apparently acts as
> trigger language and it brings to mind legal proceedings,
> unaccountable court-like entities, and hammering people with
> punishments for petty issues with no appeal or recourse.
> Perhaps this is why other communities have elected to use terms such
> as "How to do Samba: Nicely" and "GNU Kind Communication Guidelines".

And doesn't our "code", with an "interpretation" two and a half times as
long, look clumsy beside these documents??

> All of these are trying to solve the same issue, and so my suggestion
> is let's just wait and see how things go. If people continue to see
> that the community has "changed" for the better, and other people see
> that we're not hammering people with sanctions, but rather reminding
> each other about the kind of community we aspire to be, it'll all be
> good.

Thanks for your time,

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