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

Robinson, Paul via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Tue Oct 13 17:07:28 PDT 2015

I was in the "it's too long" camp and continue to think so even after looking at the web rendering, but I see the value of consistency.  I might like to see the "includes but is not limited to" lists factored out so that the bullet points are crisper, but maybe that's just me.

I'm thinking of the CoC as more like the Coding Standard. Even if we already had a consistent style, it can be worthwhile actually writing it down. I'm not super fussed about exactly what it says.

And I do think it's worthwhile writing it down. The easiest sub-groups to identify in a typical gathering of humans are male/female. How many women were at my first LLVM dev meeting in 2011?  I remember being struck by how few; I remember trying to count, and while I don't remember the total I am certain it was under 10%. (CPPCon 2014 was much worse, as if that could be any consolation.) That's really not an improvement over how things were when I started in this business 30+ years ago, and that's pretty depressing as I contemplate the industry that my college-student daughter is probably headed for. I don't know that an explicit CoC would help, but it surely can't hurt.

From: llvm-dev [mailto:llvm-dev-bounces at lists.llvm.org] On Behalf Of James Y Knight via llvm-dev
Sent: Tuesday, October 13, 2015 4:08 PM
To: Chandler Carruth
Cc: llvm-dev
Subject: Re: [llvm-dev] RFC: Introducing an LLVM Community Code of Conduct

+1 to using basically verbatim the existing Django Code of Conduct. The Django CoC expresses the desired sentiment well, and does a Good Enough job on the details. It also seems well respected in general.

I'd suggest that we all resist the urge to disuss basically irrelevant minutae (such as the exact list of things that are written in the "includes, but is not limited to" list), adopt it, and move on to more fun activities. I'd like to repost what someone said on a thread about adopting a Code of Conduct in Twisted, because it does a better job of saying this than I can. Clayton Daley wrote:
Not that I'm a heavy contributor, but:
   - A CoC is like a ToS in many ways.  They rarely get read until there's a problem.
   - A CoC is like a License in many ways.  They should be pretty standard infrastructure.

I think both of these facts argue for joining Twisted to an existing CoC. No one goes around reading the CoC for every group they participate in. We increase the odds that someone reads our CoC if they get leverage (one read, lots of groups) and we get spill-over (they read the CoC for another group and thus know ours).

To those saying it's too long: I think it looks a lot longer as a wall of ReStructured Text in email, than when read formatted. Reading it here https://www.djangoproject.com/conduct/ it seems a reasonable length, with a nicely bolded TL;DR list for those who don't want to sweat the details.

One other thing: I don't think it'll be terribly useful to debate about whether this is the MOST IMPORTANT thing for the community to do. There certainly are other issues facing the community e.g. around making it easy for newcomers to get patches reviewed/submitted. Maybe lack of CoC isn't the largest problem facing to contributors, but IMO it's definitely a positive step. And, one that isn't terribly difficult to accomplish: it's mostly just writing down expectations for professional behavior that basically everyone follows already.

The only bit that seems to me really needs fleshing out is what the process for appointing the CoC committee is. I'd sort of assume based on what other organizations do that the LLVM Foundation Board would be responsible for appointing the Committee, but that the Board and the Committe would not be one and the same.

Of course, the LLVM Foundation Board *really* must be a transparent, trusted, and respected group in the community in order to be able to properly take on that role. Based on the board members (at least, from the 2014 announcement), it seems to me that there should be no intrinsic problem there...but getting the "trivial" things done like posting the bylaws and meeting notes on the website is really quite important to engender such trust.
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