[llvm-dev] Resuming the discussion of establishing an LLVM code of conduct

Joachim Durchholz via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Thu May 5 02:41:22 PDT 2016

Am 05.05.2016 um 10:58 schrieb C Bergström via llvm-dev:
> Sincerely and pragmatically - what do you think will be different
> after this is in place.. Bureaucracy is great, but what's broken or
> pandemic that you're trying to fix?

 From the last discussion, I gather that it's an attempt to prevent 
damage before it can happen.
I'm quite sceptical about that. It's hard to do in general because you 
can't really foresee what people will do, and it will give trolls just 
another tool to work with; last time it was badly done because it tried 
to cover all bases and ended up being overspecific (judging from the 
comments, it's still happening; I can't see the text because the website 
requires Javascript and I cannot activate that on non-preapproved websites).

However, some people in the committee insist.
I suspect some want to protect the current cooperative tone, and some 
want to avoid another accusation of being unfair as certainly happened 
the last time a troll was evicted from the list.
I do not think the former can be achieved without inviting other kinds 
of damage, and to the latter I'd say that you can't evade responsibility 
for misdecisions is the same, whether you misdecide a specific case or 
misdecide the rules. Except that the latter has far more far-reaching 
consequences but people tend to feel the impact less...

> From my side I can be a sarcastic smartass from time to time, but
> overall I don't see that being a heavy burden.. (maybe I'm mistaken?)

It's all a question of perceived aggression.
Some people will perceive you to be a burden, some won't even notice, 
most will be somewhere in-between. It's more dependent on the reader's 
cultural and personal background than anything else.

> Other than myself - very rarely you get some disagreements on the ML,
> but has it ever been serious?

I think the last time this discussed, something like that came up once 
in the lifetime of the ML, and it was dealt with.

> If one very good engineer is unintentionally/inadvertently causing
> friction - how would you deal with that at a policy level which is
> different from what happens today?

I have seen that happen in another community.
In the end, he was evicted. The reasoning was that even an excellent 
engineer does more damage than good if he's deterring a dozen people, 
some of which might be as good as him or grow into being as good as him. 
Also, letting him stay would mean that his behaviour would get copied.

So I'm generally in favor of having a code of conduct, but it should be 
short, vague enough to allow flexible reactions to unforeseen 
behavioural patterns, and concentrate more on intent and effect than on 
specific behaviours, so we don't end in a court system with lawyers and 
appeals and procedure in a community that simply has neither resources 
nor expertise to properly execute that.

That's just my 2 cents from the sideline; I had expected LLVM to become 
a significant part of my life so I did take sides last time this was 
discussed, but none of my expectations have materialized (due to reasons 
outside of the LLVM project) so I'm not going to vote this time, I'm 
just offering my observations and background knowledge.


More information about the llvm-dev mailing list