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

David Chisnall via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Thu May 5 04:59:35 PDT 2016

> On 5 May 2016, at 12:42, Renato Golin <renato.golin at linaro.org> wrote:
> On 5 May 2016 at 12:32, David Chisnall via llvm-dev
> <llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
>> Something like this is required, based on real problems that have existed in some other communities.  If one LLVM contributor is attacking another on Facebook / Twitter / whatever, then it’s not acceptable for the LLVM community to simply say ‘it’s not on our mailing lists, it’s not our problem’.
>> Similarly, it’s hard to claim that a project is inclusive of group X if committer Y is attacking group X elsewhere in a way that associates the project with their statements (for example, soliciting LLVM-related consulting work from the same account) and the project is happy to permit this.
> Let me get this straight... An example, if you allow me:
> I'm against the ownership of firearms, and go at great lengths and
> poorly choosing words in a discussion, which some could consider rude,
> with person X about it. I know person X for decades and have earned
> the right to offend him/her personally as they know I don't mean it
> (could be a joke, and internal one even). This is a very strong
> cultural point in many countries, including Brazil. The stronger two
> people can offend each other and shrug, the stronger their bond is.
> Completely unrelated, person Y subscribes to my posts on G+, and he is
> pro-guns decide he's threatened by my strong opinions, and poor choice
> of words on a completely separate forum. He then decides to ask the
> committee to block me from the LLVM list on those merits.
> This sounds utterly ridiculous to me, but the phrase, as it is, would
> allow person Y to do that, and the committee to block me.

You’re conflating opinions about things with opinions about people (so is the current CoC, which is why the wording needs to be improved - a point that I think that we both strongly agree on).  In the case of your example, if a person is going to be offended by opinions unrelated to either themselves or the subject at hand, then I’d agree that they are no great loss to the community.

Now let’s restructure your example a bit:

Developer X thinks that Brazilians are idiots and only ever get technical jobs because of nepotism.  He’s perfectly civil to you on the LLVM lists, but then in the evenings posts on G+ with these opinions.  These posts talk about how hard it is for him to have to work with Brazilians, because they’re just not up to his mental level.

Now, you’ve got a pretty thick skin and I’d imagine that you’d decide that he’s an idiot that whose negative opinion of you is worth as much as a positive opinion from some other people.  But if some other Brazilians come to LLVM, see his name on the mailing lists, and from this find his G+ account, do you think that they’re going to perceive LLVM as a community that will welcome them?

Replace Brazilians with women or some other minority group in the above example.  Would you want to be a member of a community that was happy to silently endorse these opinions?

>> These are not hypothetical problems, they are ones that I have first-hand experience with (though, thankfully, not in this community).  The code of conduct does need to provide a mechanism for addressing these, though the sanctions that can be employed (removal of commit rights, removal of mailing list access) are fairly mild.
> In its current form, that phrase allows the exact same sanctions as
> all the other issues.

Which are pretty minor.  The LLVM project doesn’t give access to much useful infrastructure to community members.

>> We don’t want to be in a situation where people can say ‘don’t get involved with LLVM, they hate people like you’
> Judging the group by the behaviour of one person outside of the group
> is not just generalisation, but prejudice, and the very thing the code
> of conduct is trying to curb. Wouldn't this person be better off our
> community in the first place?

Do you stop being a member of the LLVM community as soon as you stop posting on the mailing lists?  Judging a community by the actions of its members is what humans do.  


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