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Re: [alpine-devel] Code of Conduct

From: William Pitcock <>
Date: Mon, 15 May 2017 01:16:14 -0500


On Sat, May 13, 2017 at 12:18 PM, 7heo <> wrote:
> Breno Leitao makes a good point about the language barrier; and I will be
> thinking of a way to re-add the "good faith" point without giving too much
> space for it to be a loophole.

Some sort of "do not assume you are being attacked personally because
your work is being criticized" is important for me to support the CoC.
People who are behaving defensively can become very toxic.

>> On 5/12/2017 1:50 PM, Laurent Bercot wrote:
>>> It is exactly because we are not exposed to challenges that we may fail
>>> to perceive them. I have experienced this first-hand. Pretending to be
>>> able to foresee everything is just hubris; if we are going to have a CoC
>>> ready for when the community has grown and needs one, I'd rather have it
>>> done right.

A CoC is not enough to improve the diversity situation, but is a good start.
We should consider a diversity statement, and perhaps a diversity
subproject to encourage minorities to make Alpine their home base
instead of other distributions.

It is also important to me, personally, that the CoC does not try to
make special nods to minorities: when CoCs do this, it comes off as
"white men" paying lip service -- it's not authentic.

>>>> We are all Humans, and the paragraph two is meant as a catch-all for
>>>> abuses towards Humans (if I remember correctly, awilfox was supporting
>>>> it, saying something along the lines of "no personal attacks, and
>>>> you're good"), no matter their individual characteristics.
>>> Sure, and that's fine with me, too. But is there any harm in running
>>> it by
>>> people who may have a different perspective, just to be sure?

I have a different perspective being that I'm not "white" (what is
really meant by "white" is Caucasian). My family has some immigrants
(and really I do cherish that heritage too) in it, but is largely
From my perspective: there are *perceived* biases that may or may not
actually be present.
A lot of us are taught to just pretend we're white, as it's "easier that way."
In fact, in America, a lot of tribal citizenship rolls are having to
be reconstructed because their ancestors gave up tribal citizenship in
order to appear more "white."

A Code of Conduct alone cannot solve that, if the goal is to encourage
minorities to be comfortable participating in Alpine, they need to
feel like they will not be "found out."
I do not pretend to know the solution, I just know that we need more
than a Code of Conduct, nor should we attempt to fool ourselves into
believing that a CoC would be an effective vehicle for that kind of
Imposter syndrome is quite real and can cause *extra* attrition in
contributions from minorities, and some sort of other solution would
be needed to help resolve that.

In fact, writing the above was very difficult for me because I was
worried about being "found out" and how those facts would be
Thankfully, until now, it has not really come up, as FOSS is really
about code first and discourse second.

>>>> Making it more explicit, and detailing each case is a role a refuse to
>>>> take, as it will exponentially increase the pain of discussing and
>>>> redacting the CoC;
>>> That's not what I suggested.
>>> I know you thought people would make that suggestion and so you felt
>>> compelled to address it, but as it turns out, I didn't. Please react to
>>> what I wrote, not to what you think I would write. And for the record,
>>> I agree with you on that point.

As I said above: I don't think it needs to be *explicit*. The point
that should be communicated is that it is the intent of the Alpine
project to provide a safe collaborative space for *everyone*
(including "white" males).

With that said, I think a secondary document alongside the CoC which
lists some common hypothetical situations (swatting / doxing,
harassment inside and outside of the space originating from some
statement / action in Alpine) is necessary to help interpret the
spirit of the CoC.

For example: if I say I want to switch Alpine to GLIBC and systemd and
somebody else swats me or harasses my boss trying to get me fired,
this should not be allowed behaviour. Swatting and harrassing my boss
are both technically activities which occur outside of the Alpine
collaborative space, but the actions stem from something that did
occur in that space. If the CoC has no guidance to address this, then
it is a worthless CoC. Oh, and this (swatting) has actually happened
to me before working in other spaces, so please do not tell me this is

>>>> In short I'm not against asking around, but please be careful who you
>>>> ask: if this becomes the kind of long and complicated debate
>>>> attracting mobs of lobbyists from any side
>>> That is *also* not what I wrote. As a matter of fact, since it's
>>> something
>>> that really does endanger open source projects and often flies under the
>>> radar, I am in favor of adding a mention to paragraph 4 that would say
>>> something like: excessive lobbying or engaging the Alpine community on
>>> non-technical matters *is* a disruption of the collaborative space and a
>>> violation of the CoC. (In other words: make it clear that
>>> politics, drama or any other kind of noise => out.)

I agree with this.

>>>> Let's make our CoC as we like our software. Simple, reliable, and small.
>>> Yes. And to me, reliability includes checks from people with more
>>> experience than we have in these matters.

I also agree with this. Hopefully my perspective is insightful.


Received on Mon May 15 2017 - 01:16:14 UTC