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

Chandler Carruth via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Tue Oct 13 11:17:45 PDT 2015

While I'm replying to Renato here, that is mostly because there are too
many replies on this subject, and too many of them have wandered off into
other topics.

I want to specifically address the concerns with verbosity. For example:

On Tue, Oct 13, 2015 at 3:52 AM Renato Golin <renato.golin at linaro.org>

> 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.

And very relatedly:

> > - *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.

This is a *specific* thing that is called out time and again as important
to having an effective code of conduct in all of the research I have done
on the subject. Here is a really good, and fairly canonical source:


This article gives a lot of the core reason why details are often extremely
important here.

Now, I understand that for many of you (in fact, I suspect for the
overwhelming majority of you!) these details aren't necessary. As I have
said before, the LLVM community has been very effectively keeping its
forums civil and polite for a long time. But I think we should consider
that having a code of conduct and having it be detailed might be important
for *others*.

People who have serious concerns about participating safely in a community
should have some way to be reassured about what is expected within our
community. A detailed and documented code of conduct is the best way I know
of to advertise that this is a safe and welcoming space. This isn't just a
hypothetical either. I personally struggled to feel safe within the LLVM
community many years ago, and I have had many people specifically call out
how excited they are to see even a *chance* that the LLVM community will
explicitly take a stance here.

Another (smaller) benefit that a detailed code of conduct can provide is a
reminder. While I try to behave to the best of my abilities, sometimes I
have needed a reminder to cool down a bit. I suspect others have had
similar experiences. Having some details can help us consider things that
we might not usually consider on a day-to-day basis.

So I am very strongly in favor of a reasonable amount of clear and detailed
wording. We could try to word smith a slightly more compact version, but I
think that we would have very minimal improvements without sacrificing the
goals above, especially those linked in the article.

Instead, what I strongly suggest is that we stick with wording such as what
is proposed, that is *very* close to the Django code of conduct, which has
been explicitly called out as effective and useful by many people including
the Ada Initiative. We don't need to invent good words here.

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