[llvm-dev] I am leaving llvm

Renato Golin via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Fri May 4 01:35:27 PDT 2018

On 2 May 2018 at 17:37, Rafael Avila de Espindola via llvm-dev
<llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
> Summary:
> I am leaving llvm effectively immediately. I am sorry for any
> inconvenience this may cause.

Hi Rafael,

Against better judgement, and for what it's worth, here's my view.

We have had heated technical discussions in the past and now that you
leave, I realised how much I cherished them.

I have also distanced myself from the project for similar reasons, but
I have been convinced by other parties that LLVM is bigger than its
individual contributions (both in code and behaviour), so I will
continue here, trying to make it a better place, for I have good
friends here and I also cherish them.

> Unfortunately the last few years haven't been the same. On the
> technical side llvm now feels far bigger and slower to change. There
> are many incomplete transitions. That, by itself, would not be
> sufficient reason to leave. llvm still seems better than the
> competition and lld itself is still awesome.

True to all big projects and we both knew this would happen. :)

> The community change I cannot take is how the social injustice
> movement has permeated it. When I joined llvm no one asked or cared
> about my religion or political view. We all seemed committed to just
> writing a good compiler framework.

You'll see that this is not an LLVM trend, but a world wide trend and
that's not a bad thing.

It is, and I wholeheartedly agree, an exaggerated and poisonous trend,
but it's a response to an even more poisonous history and one that
needed a change.

History is not stable, nor it's a steady progression. History happens
in hiccups, step-function-like sudden increases in pressure, which are
then followed by attenuated periodic function. This is one of them.

More importantly, history tramples on people *every* time. Just
different events trample on different people. There's no way to avoid

> Somewhat recently a code of conduct was adopted. It says that the
> community tries to welcome people of all "political belief". Except
> those whose political belief mean that they don't agree with the code
> of conduct. Since agreement is required to take part in the
> conferences, I am no longer able to attend.

I defended your point of view in the code of conduct, but I have come
to accept what it is, not what it says. The code is just a statement
and have not changed how we behave (I don't think you would ever be
kicked out of a conference).

What I could not change and still fear is the report policy, which
leaves no room for the accused to defend itself, or even know it's
been accused. But that's not a discussion for this thread.

However, the main point here is why we have it and who is doing it. I
know Chandler and Tanya for a while and, while I do not speak for
them, I trust them to *want* to do the right thing (tm).

If they miss the mark, or make mistakes, I'd first point out to them,
not assume ill intent. This has been my personal experience and I have
no reason to change behaviour.

But the code of conduct is a defence against two evils: the rare bigot
and the rare SJW. By having the code, we can more easily curb bigots
but also appease SJW to not poison our community.

For what it's worth, so far, I have found the LLVM community fair and
just on how it treats its citizens, as I have myself fell foul from
ill behaviour of other members and that has been solved decently and

> The last drop was llvm associating itself with an organization that
> openly discriminates based on sex and ancestry (1,2). This goes
> directly against my ethical views and I think I must leave the project
> to not be associated with this.

I agree with you that Outreachy is discriminatory and LLVM does not
need it, but again, this is a different discussion for a different

I believe efforts like GSOC are better fit for our project, for AFAIK
they are inclusive to all, and technically sound, but I also know they
are scarce.

In the past, John Maddog Hall tried to create a similar effort for
hacking Arm boards, sponsored by big companies, especially tailored to
developing countries. It did not work.

It's really hard to find places that will fund developers, especially
young ones and the ones that have no other opportunity. But we have to
be careful with whom sponsors our devs and why.

However, again, the point here is: As far as I know Tanya, she had
only have good intentions towards the LLVM community.

I truly believe the "fix" for this problem is: let's talk. Not here,
this is the dev list, but let's create a place where we can discuss
these things.

On a personal note...

It really saddens me that you would leave a technical project because
of social reasons. I have been battling social injustice my whole life
(towards myself and others) because of my utter incompetence in
understanding the social code (Autism), and this is one of the days
that we all lose. I know this hasn't been an easy decision, and this
is what makes it so unjust. Social pressure is real, and has real side

Let's discuss this off-list, I really think we can fix this.


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