[FOSDEM] It's time for a Code of Conduct

Jurgen Gaeremyn jurgen at gaeremyn.be
Mon Nov 2 23:08:20 CET 2015

Wow... This has become a very interesting topic in the mailing list.
Listening to the staff and volunteers here (both the personal
testimonial of Koert as the staff communication as the discussions on
different levels), ware very enrichening.

I agree, I forgot to notice one specific group - those that think the
existing policy is just fine. After reading the last few days of
communication, I'm actually slightly trending a bit towards that
direction too... but with one caveat: what I did learn here, is that the
great pack of things that are already worked out... really aren't

Apart from women, gays and ethnic groups, I think we should also mention
PHP-developers... now if you're a PHP-dev and you feel insulted... or if
you're a Perl (or other language) developer, and actually snickered
reading this thought... it aligns well with that thought that having
"focus groups" actually sets those groups aside just by placing the
focus on them. Possibly some women, gay people or negro's might feel the
same way too.

A few members on the list refered to a code of conduct being
contradictory to the open-source-spirit (where freedom of speech should
be paramount). Actually, I think the core of open-source software, is
that it's a do'ocracy: those who do, should talk. One of the most
harmful things an open-source project can suffer from, is a flood of
ideas that "someone" should do. Same goes here: don't over regulate
policy - here I'm actually completely aligning with the staff. It would
be nice if people feeling victim of unrespectful behaviour could find a
place where they could vent their problems...

... muhahaha... and if all those poor PHP-devs now go complaining about
how the Perl-crew hurt their boohoohoo-feelings, next year those
Perl-devs could be banned from FOSDEM, and PHP could take over the
world... ;)


P.S. I guess there's a little troll somewhere down inside me too...
please accept the irony. Oh, and I have tons of respect for both PHP and
Perl developers.

On 30-10-15 16:19, Mario Torre wrote:
> 2015-10-30 0:59 GMT+01:00 Ludovic Brenta <ludovic at ludovic-brenta.org>:
>> FWIW, I oppose the notion of a code of conduct specific to FOSDEM or any
>> conference.  There already exists a code of conduct that applies
>> everywhere, every day and at any time and not just during conferences:
>> it's called "the law".  A code of conduct at FOSDEM implies that it's
>> okay to harass & stalk outside of the conference.  It's not.  Period.
> Well, saying "we need more cheeks" is not exactly breaking the law,
> it's just very unrespectful.
> The line is subtle, but it's not always crossed, however it causes a
> situation of stress that has been raised to our attention and never
> been addressed.
> I have contrasting feelings here, btw, I do agree that it's either a
> legal problem or not, and I don't think we need more Laws.
> There are some Countries that have special Laws like aggravating a
> murder if it's against a woman, I don't think this make sense, a
> murder is a murder, it is already the most ferocious of crimes, how
> can that be aggravated by analysing the social extraction, sex or
> sexual orientation of the victim?
> The line is again similarly subtle, one thing is is to make "jokes"
> about gay or women in general (rude and unrespectful again, and
> unwanted), and another target a specific person (harassment).
> On the other end, what's the point of FOSDEM? Yes, we are educators,
> and it's not about hardware and software, we claim we are building
> Communities, so why shouldn't we build better ones in the first place?
> Btw, this is not about women and gay, this is a very general problem,
> see for example what happened with Lennart Poettering [1].
> Respecting the Law is not optional, but teaching a Community the
> values that the Law tries to follow, is a social task.
> So I give a +1 to the idea of a Code of Conduct, even if I know it is
> only a minority of people who are the trouble makers, I want to be
> sure they understand they are not welcomed.
> Cheers,
> Mario
> [1] https://plus.google.com/app/basic/stream/z13rdjryqyn1xlt3522sxpugoz3gujbhh04

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