The Hugging Will Continue Until Morale Improves

I saw in today's news that Apple open sourced their Swift language. One of the most influential companies in the world explicitly adopting an open source model – that's great! I'm a believer. One of the big reasons we founded Discourse was so that we too could build an open source solution that anyone could use and build upon.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at
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I think you’re confused. Code of conduct is meant to make me feel safe you say. Well you are solving a problem that i don’t have and didn’t ask you to solve. Problem of not feeling safe. It is patronizing.

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I guess the issue with an explicit code of conduct in an open-source project is that it makes it feel like the project now has pointy-haired bosses and an HR department. In other words, “real work” and no longer a hobby.


tl;dr You’re sorry

Dude the pope didn’t use so many words to apologise for the RCC’s involvement in the African Slave trade.
Storm in a tea cup much?

I think it’s relatively simple. You’re a professional in all your activities. Programming unlike many professions doesn’t have a “board of ethics” or any sense of discipline level enforcement like a “bar”. These codes of conducts help to fill that void.

I don’t see how that’s at all controversial. And frankly i don’t want to be in a community where people aren’t expressly interested in professional behavior. It’s not about stodgy HR depts, it’s about leaving your dick jokes in middle school kids, because I came here to code.


My main issue with this particular CoC is that they have the power to watch your behavior even in public spaces.

This Code of Conduct applies both within project spaces and in public spaces when an individual is representing the project or its community.

I can see this going terrible wrong. The Opal case comes to mind.


[quote=“codinghorror, post:1, topic:3830, full:true”]
It surprises me that anyone could ever object to the mere presence of a code of conduct.[/quote]

Why could anyone denouce the good? Simple, he does not consider it as the good.

When were discussing codes of conduct, were discussing prohibitions. And, as such, very vage formulated Prohibitions.

For example, what exactly is harassment?
The legal definition, of course cant be that were talking about, because that is already illegal.
Is it if someone feels harassed?
Ok, what is this persons definition?
How do i know? There are people who listen to so someone elses private conversations and make a big scene. Should that scene be considered harassment? Etc.

It boils down to: what is the algorithm? And that is not shown.

Its not neccessarily that dissenters to a Policy consider the stated goal of Prohibition bad, but the effect they expect.

Were not against a good government, we just dont believe in the benevolent dictator.

And when in your text the importance of not solving problems, catering to grown up children, and in generaly acting like one participates in a bullshit corporate trustbuilding exercise is emphasized, at least to me is clear that the effect will just be even more whining that someone feels (in oposition to is) usafe and more drama.

That doesnt mean that anyone should be prohibited to adapt whatever “Code” they may seem fit. Everyone should be free to destroy their stuff their way :wink:

But i would be glad if the kindergarten-policy-people would believe enough in their “non-exclusivity” and “safe feeling” stuff to at least accept and acknowledge: were not “unenlightened”. We just disagree.

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I don’t see how your argument has a leg to stand on. its already a dictatorship. These aren’t legal proceedings. It’s the legal equivelant of forum moderation. Even without a code of conduct, the project maintainers can exclude you from contributing to the project for “harrasment” however they define it. They might be jerks and exclude you for a bad pull request! Even with a code of conduct, they can’t forbid you from lurking outside the project’s conference hotel.

Given that legally it doesn’t particularly hold weight, what matters more is the intention behind the statement. It says “we don’t stand for this kind of behavior” as a community. We view it as unprofessional and actively work against it.

I want to be in a community that has that intention explicit, rather than implicit or not at all.

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Miguel’s code of conduct looks like lawyer speak and the rules are quite vague. Seems like they could be used to bash someone over the head with it(figuratively) just because they don’t like them, and the rules can be used to exclude as much as include.

Frankly I find the idea that we must somehow sanitize the internet absurd.

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I think that there is quite a reasonable concern that some people want to create a code of conduct so that they can then engage in rule lawyering against parties that they dislike.


The code of conduct on Github(for Swift) was added by Steve Klabnik(well, copied from the official site).
Steven Klabnik works on Mozilla’s Rust, mostly does documentation and community stuff.
He praises in talks the Rust community and attributes some of that to Rust’s code of conduct.


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The TSA fondles genitals and makes 3 month olds and 93 year olds remove their diapers, but 95% of the guns still get through. A Code of Conduct is TSA - it might make you feel good but it is at best useless trivia or a way - by carefully constructing what is or is not “harassment” (you call it common sense what I call tyranny) becomes a tool to harass outspoken members of the community. Not persuade, not discuss, HARASS!

we vow to treat you with the same respect we’d want you to treat us

No you won’t. I believe in due process, free speech, and that people need to have thick skins and we can’t base things on the lowest common denominator of who gets offended or has “bad feelz”.

I’ve had several workplace events which I’ve been seriously offended (Male Christians don’t like rape jokes any more than women, but also don’t like insults and blasphemy). I might even have a claim against it. But I just suck it up and ignore the stupid lefty bigots because they can code.

You don’t care. If it doesn’t personally offend you, or one of your SJW code of conduct writing friends, it isn’t harassment.

This is stupid and I won’t go to any conference run by tyrannical SJW dictators like you. Meredith Patterson’s valiant effort is probably doomed Why Hackers Must Eject the SJWs

This is the crap your code of conduct wants to impose - it isn’t about decency or feelings, it is about attacking those who are aren’t one of your privileged, blessed, victim classes and attacking, oppressing, and driving out people who have developed the projects:

Our open source community prioritizes marginalized people’s safety over privileged people’s comfort. We will NOT act on complaints regarding:

‘Reverse’ -isms, including ‘reverse racism,’ ‘reverse sexism,’ and ‘cisphobia’.
Reasonable communication of boundaries, such as “leave me alone,” “go away,” or “I’m not discussing this with you”
Refusal to explain or debate social justice concepts.
Communicating in a ‘tone’ you don’t find congenial.
Criticizing racist, sexist, cissexist, or otherwise oppressive behavior or assumptions

The purpose is so everyone will walk on eggshells so as to be careful they don’t offend someone, get labeled a harasser by the SJW tyrants and eject them. Note if someone calls me a cracker, honkey, misogynists, bigot or anything else, it isn’t going to be considered harassment.

To quote ESR:

It is clear that djangoconcardiff and the author of the Covenant
(self-described transgender feminist Coraline Ada Ehmke) want to replace
the “cult of meritocracy” with something else. And equally clear that
what they want to replace it with is racial and sexual identity

Rosario tagged his Twitter report “Social Justice in action!” He
knows who these people are: SJWs, “Social Justice Warriors”. And,
unless you have been living under a rock, so do you. These are the
people – the political and doctrinal tendency, united if in no other way
by an elaborate shared jargon and a seething hatred of
djangoconcardiff’s “white straight male”, who recently hounded Nobel
laureate Tim Hunt out of his job with a fraudulent accusation of sexist remarks.

I’m not going to analyze SJW ideology here except to point out,
again, why the hacker culture must consider anyone who holds it an
enemy. This is because we must be a cult of meritocracy. We
must constantly demand merit – performance, intelligence, dedication,
and technical excellence – of ourselves and each other.

This isn’t about women in tech, or minorities in tech, or gays in
tech. The hacker culture’s norm about inclusion is clear: anybody who
can pull the freight is welcome, and twitching about things like skin
color or shape of genitalia or what thing you like to stick into what
thing is beyond wrong into silly. This is about whether we will allow
“diversity” issues to be used as wedges to fracture our community,
degrade the quality of our work, and draw us away from our duty.

When hackers fail our own standards of meritocracy, as we sometimes do, it’s up to us
to fix it from within our own tradition: judge by the work alone, you
are what you do, shut up and show us the code. A movement whose favored tools include the rage mob, the dox, and faked incidents of bigotry is not morally competent to judge us or instruct us.

I’m sure you will impose the code of conduct and then run a purge - sweep Twitter and Facebook for anything that might be taken as offensive and demand a weepy apology or exile. Look everywhere since hate is everywhere. Do you recognize the term McCarthyism? Political correctness? Block bots? Yes, get Randi Harper’s block bot and ban everyone here who it fingers!

Purge the bigots, Purge them all!

So fine. You don’t want men, you don’t want whites, you don’t want cis-, and you don’t even care about code, but only kow-towing to a politically correct SJW “code of conduct”.

Opensource is dying because of this - the code of the project is irrelevant, the code of conduct is supreme!


Don’t know much about conferences and codes, but bringing Deborah Tannen into the discussion of how engineers relate to…everybody…is brilliant. BTW, check her other wonderful book, The Argument Culture, which describes our times to a T.

If engineers listened, they would save THEMSELVES a tremendous amount of heartache in the form of lost trust, isolation, and business failure. The iconic image of the engineer as a know-it-all and fix-it-all is growing. Politics, religion, society’s problems? Hey, I can solve problems - let me apply my rational mind to that? Software? Hey, I have a rational mind - I know what’s good for you. Meanwhile, we turn our backs and go looking for an engineer who WILL listen.

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I’ll be honest - speaking as a professional engineer, who started life outside software with an actual professional code of conduct, I look across the pond at this sort of thing and think ‘what are they smoking?’.

Lets’ ignore this American-centric obsession with SJW, which seems to cause massive politically-motivated rants on both sides of the imagined conflict.

My major reaction on reading the quoted code of conduct is ‘where’s the conduct bit?’. It has entirely the wrong focus on harassment, banhammers over harassment, and diversity and was clearly tailored to solve a specific problem rather than being an effective document covering how people should work professionally, and work together. Of course a good code of conduct includes treating people with respect, but that’s one line of many, all the others missing from this supposed ‘code of conduct’.

Perhaps what you mean is ‘posting guidelines’?

The particular irony of a bunch of engineers creating a very obviously specific ‘code of conduct’ that literally starts with the aim of addressing a social problem of diversity via a written document (the classic ‘hey, solved that for you!’) is not lost on me.

Social problems are not solved by written statements. They are not solved by dramatic headline-grabbing demonstrations with rare exceptions. They are solved by grassroots change over long periods, by convincing groups of people (that’s convince, not hit over the head) that something is not appropriate.

Please go read some actual professional codes of conduct before sullying the concept with these politically motivated speeches. By all means embrace diversity, but forgive my annoyance when those of us who follow real codes of conduct have them undermined by actions like this.


Lets have “Opensource +”?

The Skeptics and Atheists managed to throw this crap where it belongs. I think the Opensource movement has enough who believe in merit and “show us the code” that we can do the same.

“Safety is an illusion. It’s a temporary bubble of psychological security provided by loving parents to protect children until they slowly become adult enough to face the reality of a dangerous world.” - Bill Whittle

“Safety” for emotional, psychological, cultural, sexual, racial, and tonal issues is little different than safety from physical harm. The world will always be unsafe, in all of its facets. Adopting these practices will only limit freedom in exchange for an illusion, and I’m not certain that the creators of that illusion have the software community’s very best interests at heart.

But it bothered me that people, any people, would think I actually asked new hires to put the company above their family.* Or that I didn’t believe in a code of conduct. I guess some of that comes from having ~200k followers; once your audience gets big enough, Poe’s Law becomes inevitable?

It’s not whether or not the joke was obvious.

I know it was a joke. However, I begin to doubt the undertone. It felt like, there’s some subconscious or possibly hidden issue that’s driving this joke.

It’s the fact that my observations consistently see hive mind cult thinking, that the Poe’s law comes from not being able to tell when your entirely joking, or specifically, that’s there’s some reason you pick these particular jokes.

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Some things like “derogatory comments” are probably a little too broad and “unprofessional conduct” is a bit loaded. But honestly, you could simplify this all down to:

# Realistic Contributor Code of Conduct:

Don’t be a dick and we won’t ban you.


some people want to create a code of conduct so that they can then engage in rule lawyering against parties that they dislike.

I see that as exactly backwards. From my experience as a community mod on SE, it is typically the people who need the hammer who are the worst rule-lawyers. This gives the mods some kind of cover for the charge of being arbitrary in disciplinary actions.

Its still the mods making decisions, and yes they are still human beings. Nobody’s going to get kicked out against all the mods’ will because they technically violated rule15.a-4. Rather this is something to point to when someone is becoming a problem for the community and has to be dealt with, rather than having to say something squishy like “you’re being a jerk”.

That being said, one of the best gaming guilds I’ve ever been in had only one conduct rule, which was in fact “Don’t be a jerk”. Sounds too simple, but it had the desired effect. A couple of anti-gay members had to leave over it, and we ended up with a super-diverse membership. (By which I mean more than 2/3rds female, and vastly over-representative of both ethnic and sexual identity minorities). Yes, you could still cuss like a sailor, but there was a specific chatroom for that. Gals and guys who were uncomfortable with raunchy talk didn’t have to go there and hear it.


To add to this, the very nature of these code of conducts go against the very nature of a meritocracy at it’s core.

The people making the product do not matter. All that matters is the software. It does not matter if the software is made by a bigot or made by the most tolerant person in the world. What matters is

  • Does the solution work
  • Is it readable
  • Is this solution the best one so far, given the project

The Opal situation is certainly the first, but it’s almost certainly not the last. WebM for Retards and the debacle behind that is certainly one that is more recent.

I think a great article about this can be found here.

Ultimately, I think the Code of Conduct is a way to feel good about not really doing anything, and everyone who is going on about their Codes of Conduct are really just patting themselves on the back.

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