[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 14:10:52 PDT 2016

On 5 May 2016 at 21:03, Hal Finkel <hfinkel at anl.gov> wrote:
> But there are reasonable people who will not interact with that community because they find that community's acceptance of offensive behavior unacceptable. I certainly don't want to see that happen here.

Precisely. That's why it's nothing to do with "growing up", but to do
with "keeping open to new people", as we've always been, and I hope
will always be.

> My experience, working in the US at research-oriented organizations, is that a lot of our sensitivity around these issues has nothing to do with US politics, as such, but that we have a diverse workforce, with wide representation from different cultures and traditions. Layered on top of that are variances in English comprehension, social skills, personal history, and other factors. We try really hard to make sure that everyone feels welcome and comfortable, and that means maintaining a level of professionalism and respect that translates well across cultural boundaries. We work with various vendors, university research groups, etc. and many of these groups are just as, if not more, diverse (and in many different countries).

This is true wherever there's multiculturalism. In England, many
analysis (ex. Ipsos MORI) have shown consistently that it's the areas
that have less immigrants that hate the most. So, naturally, Cambridge
and London are places with very little prejudice overall, while some
distant places (including in between) and really bad. From what I
hear, this is the same in the US, but with much larger ranges and

If the news that gets here is any indication of what goes on in there,
racism, sexism, homophobia and epistemophobia is at an all time high,
at least apparently, and there are a lot of of state and federal laws
competing to see who has the most power. It's only natural that
enlightened individuals feel strongly about this and want to make sure
that none of that will destroy their environments. But that heavily
polarised behaviour is *much* more apparent in the US than in most
other places. Every behaviour can be seen as bad or good by different
people, but all of them have some degree of both, and it depends on
how a certain group views the thresholds, to know what really is bad
or not.

If you allow me to generalise (not prejudice), if such a group is
composed mostly of US folks, there will be a focus on wording,
posture, attitude and apparent politeness. Europeans tend to be less
PC, to varying degrees in varying subjects on different countries, bot
overall, more tolerant to odd behaviour. This is clearly because the
cultural boundaries here are *much* closer and more pronounced than in
the US, so people tend to see different as just different, not good or

Consequently, a CoC that emphasises on the multiple ways someone can
be harassed can be seen as mostly pointless by more Europeans than
Americans (and I mean here, US folks). Also, choosing a
mostly-Americans committee will bring some uneasiness for those not
able to be politically correct due to unavoidable brain chemistry. I
work around people from all over the world, and I'm involved in
multiple communities. Keeping tabs on the accepted behaviour for all
of them with the fear of breaking and being banned will most certainly
keep me out of them, then in.

> Right now, whether it is our own employees doing the work, or a vendor's employees, we can set an expectation that those employees interact with the LLVM community when doing LLVM-related development. Should the level of discourse in the LLVM community degrade from its current high standards, an employee might object that interaction with the community would make them uncomfortable. That's game-over for us.

I'd be very surprised if your (or any) employer would take the actions
of one idiot or one incident in a community as the motto of that
community. We're talking about long term abuse, and that would be
curbed, with or without a CoC, much earlier than any employer would
need to drop using an important tool.

In a nutshell, the CoC is trying to tackle a spike in behaviour, but
we don't have proof that any CoC would have prevented any such event,
or the lack of it would have allowed it.

So far, *all* of it is *just* speculation, with different people
having different opinions.


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