[llvm-dev] RFC: Introducing an LLVM Community Code of Conduct

Renato Golin via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Tue Oct 13 03:52:41 PDT 2015

On 13 October 2015 at 02:42, Chandler Carruth via llvm-dev
<llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
> On behalf of the board of the LLVM Foundation, I’d like to start the process
> of introducing a formal code of conduct for the community.

Hi Chandler,

I agree we need such guidelines, and I truly believe you're not trying
to promote which hunts, so maybe some of the text needs to be toned
down a bit.

Following some of the comments, it would be good to see the
annonymised result of your research, if at all possible. I understand
some descriptions might uniquely identify people. :)

I also agree that some descriptions are too verbose, and trying to be
exhaustive, whereas any list will be incomplete, we might just as well
be short and meaningful. I don't think we need to be legal here, since
LLVM spans across so many countries, you won't be able to be free from
all of their idiosyncrasies.

> - *Be careful in the words that you choose.* We are a community of
> professionals, and we conduct ourselves professionally. Be kind to others.
> Do not insult or put down other participants. Harassment and other
> exclusionary behavior aren't acceptable.

This sums up well. The rest is just outlining behaviours that occur
with extremely low frequencies on this community, some of which I have
never seen.

Another important thing to mention is the use of the English language
as an international communication protocol.

I haven't done the maths, but I believe most of the LLVM developers
don't speak English as their native tongue. Moreover, even between
English speaking countries, what's normal for some, is offensive for
others. This is at the core of any open source community and cannot be

Therefore, we need a special mention for people that do get offended
to first, check with the offender to make sure there is intentional
harm, then chose between trying to solve on your own *privately*, or
reporting the case, as outlined by this document. Even the most
"obvious" offences may end up as just using the wrong English word.

Cultural differences are important, and if we start kicking people out
you may end up with contributors from a single "social style", say,
only "politically correct" people. Of course, this is a balance, and
the threshold is arbitrary. That's why I propose to encourage people
to resolve matters personally first, and try to identify malice before

> If you believe anyone is in physical danger, please notify appropriate law
> enforcement first. If you are unsure what law enforcement agency is
> appropriate, please include this in your report and we will attempt to
> notify them.

Isn't this a bit too much? I mean, was there *ever* a case that people
were in any physical danger?

I think mentioning it once is ok, but you already have a bullet below
on this topic, I don't think we need a whole paragraph for that, too.

> If the violation occurs at an event such as a Developer Meeting, you can
> also reach out to any of the event organizers or staff to report it. If you
> cannot find one of the organizers, the hotel staff can locate one for you.


> Once the working group has a complete account of the events they will make a
> decision as to how to respond.

How is this decision made? Will the accused be involved in all cases?
Can the accused defend him/herself before being judged?

I'd normally assume so, but the following paragraph worries me:

> Only permanent resolutions (such as bans) may be appealed. To appeal a
> decision of the working group, contact the LLVM Foundation Board at
> board at llvm.org with your appeal and the board will review the case.

Here, you're separating what you can do with and without the right of
defence, as an executor.

It may be a way to avoid bureaucracy and get to the point, but it also
gives a lot of power to a foundation whose members were not voted, nor
chosen by the community in the first place.

I don't believe this is in the best interest of the community, since
the community has no say in it, nor control over it.

If at least the reporting committee's members were interested
volunteers, or voted representatives, then it'd be a matter of
replacing them if they abuse of power. Currently, we have no such
mechanism, nor guarantees that due diligence will be equivalent for
members of the public versus members of the Foundation.

I'm not saying it will, I'm just saying that if if does happen, we'll
have no control over it. I'd like to avoid getting there in the first


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