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

Renato Golin via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Thu May 5 12:06:30 PDT 2016

On 5 May 2016 at 19:48, Chandler Carruth via llvm-dev
<llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
> In my opinion, the community is growing and growing up. We need to take some
> steps to ensure that our long standing tradition of professional and polite
> behavior continues.

I'd like to emphasise the "growing up" point, and how it is not
directly related to *having* a code of conduct.

People grow up all over the world and they get to be very different in
their beliefs, behaviours and style. Communities are no different.

Say what you want about the Linux kernel community, but you can't call
it immature. You can call the behaviour of some of its people
immature, but the community itself is not by a long shot.

Codes of conduct, as they come, are an expression of some people,
mostly from the US, in response to an extreme prejudicial behaviour,
and is related to the recent political climate in that country, more
than anything else.

Communities grow up every year in many places, they get to be decent
and caring (like ours, like Fosdem) without a code of conduct. That
very reason is a fact against the idea that we *need* a CoC.

But I'm not arguing that we don't, either. I'm supportive of a code
that is not overly US-centric and that doesn't curb real enthusiasm
when it's accompanied by a different culture. The current wording is
still too much on that side.

Trying to protect your culture is fine, but encoding your culture as
the "right culture" to be followed is not nice when there are people
from all over the world here. By enforcing a strongly biased CoC
(which the current version still is, US-centric), may give the idea
for people to abuse of their new-found power.

So, whatever list of people's choices and birth marks you want to put
in the "protected list of people", there will always be others.
Whatever "accepted behaviour" is described, there will always be
others. Whatever "unaccepted behaviour", there will always be a grey
area where that's not exactly what happened. Encoding the grey areas
will make it much worse, not better.

But it's when you mix that, with the banning power of an yet-undefined
group of people without any mention on how they'll be formed or
operate, that you're opening the code ripe for abuse from all angles.
Most of the abuse, however, will come unintentionally, when the people
in the committee will form a biased consensus and not allow a chance
of defence. When people in the community will unintentionally gang-up
on someone they don't like to force the code on them.

If you think this wouldn't happen normally, then know that on our
previous exchange I have been personally emailed by half a dozen
people telling me how much the code would shut me down, even though
publicly, people said they didn't think I was being harsh /

I fear the new code will bring that. A simpler, less power enabling
and less biased code would not give anyone that power, and would be
far more inclusive than the current one.


More information about the llvm-dev mailing list