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    I use git all day every day and appreciate it. The only thing that really stood out to me in these notes was the --end-of-options option. That seems like a really inelegant solution to this problem. I hope it doesn’t catch on. Obviously they have backwards compatibility to worry about. Seems like restricting branch names on future branches would be a better solution, but I’m no expert.

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      The only thing that really stood out to me in these notes was the –end-of-options option.

      The UNIX Way[tm] is to use --, but git already used that to separate branches from filenames.

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      Adopting the Contributor Covenant

      I am not too happy about this. I believe that all users should be treated equally, but something about these recent CoC changes just destroys communities:

      https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/334248/an-update-to-our-community

      Off topic, I see that you are the author of the linked post. I also see that you have more posts than comments:

      https://lobste.rs/u/ttaylorr

      Is it your intention to just use this platform to advertise for GitHub?

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        I think codes of conduct are good. They’re important for making community norms explicit, and as tools to change community norms that are inappropriate. Both of these are important for marginalized members of the community.

        Something important to remember is the paradox of tolerance. If you’re willing to tolerate the intolerant, the intolerant will eventually turn the community into an intolerant community.

        The code of conduct that git has adopted is a pretty relaxed one. As long as you’re not a jerk you won’t even have to think about it.

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          I’m not a CoC-fan either (though primarily because it implicates corporate professionalism (ala anti hacker culture) than freedom of speech issues), but I still wonder. What examples are there the “Contributor Covenant” in practice. When has it helped in ways that a simple “be kind and respectful” wouldn’t have?

          Also don’t forget that it’s this specific document that’s far more controversial than any self-written community guidelines or mailing list rules. I for example still don’t understand what’s so great about it specifically. You say it makes community norms explicit, but most of the time, it’s just a copy-pasted document from outside said community.

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            While I think that code of conducts are probably a good thing, I don’t share your optimism about the Contributor Covenant.

            I admit I haven’t read the CC closely since a very early version[0], but what I remember of it was quite vague (perhaps this is what you mean by “relaxed”?). Moreover, its focus on “professionalism” thoroughly undermines its goals of inclusion, and (for people whom that isn’t reason enough) is counter to the hacker ethos.

            If you’re looking for a code of conduct similar to the CC, better (not perfect IMO, but much better!) examples include the Slack, Rust, and Django CoCs.

            [0]: which I really wanted to like, up until I suggested a minor clarification to the text and then was … promptly blocked by the author.

            [1]: Note: a one- or two- page CoC isn’t nearly enough space to make community norms explicit to the point where every decision to fire or censure a moderator won’t devolve into a flamewar (worse yet, it may invite exegesis). For comparison, the IWW—which wikipedia describes as an anarchist organization—has a process document that is about about 100 pages long. A CoC is not a process document.

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              Thanks for the link regarding the use of the word “professionalism”. I’d like to note that the term is last in a list of stuff that’s example of what not to do, so it’s not front and foremost in the main text.

              I’d also like to note that the term “hacker ethos” is similarly coded, as “hacker culture” is historically coded male and privileged. If there are attempts to reclaim the term, I’d love to have some more information to read about that.

              I do agree that the CC is maybe a bit too brief, and not enough to prevent acrimonious rules-lawyering.

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                “hacker culture” is historically coded […] privileged

                Is it? Before these excessive amounts of money poured into tech in the late 90s, being part of hacker culture implied a certain danger in general society, socially but also physically.

                (no argument on it historically being a male domain)

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                  Re: the term “privileged” - up until the late 90s, just accessing a piece of computing machinery implied access to quite a bit of disposable income. I realize the word has more connotations than just material wealth, but it’s certainly a big part of it.

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                    I grew up in a western “working poor” situation and got my home computer in 1990. It was horribly outdated by that point, but computing access was one of these situations where “trickle down” actually worked because those with the money had lots of motivation to go with the latest and greatest and got to get rid of their stuff from last year. Two or three iterations later it became affordable for those who didn’t really have the money but the interest in pursuing the topic.

                    Sure, somewhere in the poorer parts of Africa or Asia widespread access to computing is still not a given today (although smartphones are making inroads), but that’s generally not what the people mean when designating others as “privileged”.

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                      Stepping back from a particular time period, “hacker culture” has a long history, and that history is mostly students at prestigious universities and colleges (MIT, Stanford). Now, not all of these students were personally affluent, but by attending these seats of learning they were privileged.

                      In the aggregate, it was easier to get involved in computing and hacking if you were part of an affluent milieu, or if you were not, was encouraged to study - and more importantly, had the opportunity to study, instead of for example, working for a living. Both contexts imply disposable “income” - either in money, or in the acceptance of opportunity cost in preparing a young person for higher education.

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                        Both contexts imply disposable “income” - either in money, or in the acceptance of opportunity cost in preparing a young person for higher education.

                        So Europeans (no matter their intersectionality in other aspects) are off the scale thanks to access to higher education being taken care of, for the most part.

                        If we collect some more of these properties that cover entire continents, everybody is privileged, rendering the term meaningless.

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                          Higher education in much of Europe may be gratis in regards to attendance fees, etc, but there are not enough places for everyone who wishes to attend them. So you still have a situation where more well-to-do are able to prepare their offspring for the competition of attending by extra study time, language study abroad, etc etc.

                          Anyway, I don’t think it’s productive to continue this discussion. We obviously have different meanings of the word “privileged”, and that’s where the rub lies. Thanks for taking the time to respond.

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                  I’d also like to note that the term “hacker ethos” is similarly coded, as “hacker culture” is historically coded male and privileged.

                  Male yes, but I think irrelevant. Privileged, no.

                  It’s pretty tough to pin down a strict definition of “hacker ethos.” To me it means tinkering with computers and soaking in the culture of bbs and meetups and reading through books like Steven Levy’s Hackers [0] and stacks of 2600.

                  But I’m fairly young and there are many different experiences.

                  Historically, and currently, the vast majority has been written by males but I think the hacker ethos is not exclusive to non-males and the difference is around curiosity and knowledge sharing over anything gender-specific.

                  Note that I think it includes many characteristics of culture that aren’t specific to hacking.

                  But I don’t think the hacker ethos is privileged at all. It’s focus on low resource environments and DIY and sharing is as close to anti-privileged as you can get.

                  My own first experiences with computers was through a public school and library and I didn’t have access to computing resources for many years. MIT hackers were great, but they aren’t everyone. Visiting hackers in many countries shows similar tinkerers and low/zero resource learning systems. It was really neat meeting hackers in Kampala who grew up programming on raspberry pis, getting electricity through creative means because their home didn’t have the electricity grid.

                  So while there were certainly hackers with lots of resources, there were (and still are) many without privilege.

                  [0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hackers:_Heroes_of_the_Computer_Revolution

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                Codes of conduct should only be needed if and when bad conduct repeatedly and systematically occurs. I have never come across any such bad conduct in my many years of working on free software so I can only assume it is not wide-spread. It would be enlightening to see some examples of the bad conduct which led the Git project into adopting this code. If there are none they’re on thin ice in adopting it as far as I’m concerned, especially since these codes themselves often lead to strife.

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                  Codes of conduct should only be needed if and when bad conduct repeatedly and systematically occurs

                  By that time it’s too late, the damage is done.

                  Much like political constitutions, it’s best to get these things in place before things get bad, and when everyone is on the same page.

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                    It’s possible that the way that you experience the world is not the way that marginalized people experience the world. And maybe we should be focusing on making it easier for them to contribute, rather than the people who are least marginalized.

                    Git is part of the larger open source community, and part of the larger computer science community, both of which have had many problems over the years. You can find many examples of this if you google “open source sexual harassment”. Linus Torvalds, who started the Git project, is famous for his abusive rants. When we’ve seen so many examples of fires breaking out in other similar projects, it seems sensible to get a fire extinguisher.

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                      Linus Torvalds, who started the Git project, is famous for his abusive rants

                      His rants were abusive in the regard of someone who he considered “dumb” at the time, or similar. To my knowledge he wasnt ranting at someone because of their race or gender identity. Do you have evidence to the contrary? Else it comes off as you slandering him, which I wont stand for.

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                        It’s possible that the way that you experience the world is not the way that marginalized people experience the world

                        I’m not sure it’s wise to tell random folks you likely never met (or in case of standardized documents: whole communities) that they’re not marginalized as if speaking from authority.

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                          Linus Torvalds, who started the Git project, is famous for his abusive rants.

                          I love Linus “rants” and they are not abusive, they just use colorful language, which is refreshing.

                          You can only interpret these texts as abusive if you are less than 12 years old.

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                            (the twitter link leads to a post in which SS calls Ted Tso a ‘rape apologist’)

                            Please note, I am not diminishing what rape is, and or any particular person’s experience. However, I am challenging the use of statistics that may be hyperbolic and misleading … – Ted Tso

                            That Ted Tso?

                            Throwing epithets does not a truth make. In this case Tso was called a ‘rape apologist’ but that does not make him one, it only means someone attached a label to him because he dared to disagree. Disagreement is not the same as bad conduct. Sometimes it can be solved by discussion, sometimes there is no solution other than acceptance of the fact that people disagree. Let it be, let them be, they have the same right to an opinion as you have.

                            (to make it clear, I realise that cup posted this link as an example of how these policies lead to strife)

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                              Remember the Halloween documents [1], Microsoft’s infamous plan to derail free software in general and Linux in particular? Just image what they would have been able to achieve by strategically calling out developers as ‘rape apologists’ and such.

                              Maybe someone did realise this after all? Identity politics is a potentially devastating way to break up communities, and many of these ‘codes of conduct’ can be traced back to this type of politics.

                              [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween_documents

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                          I am not too happy about this. I believe that all users should be treated equally, but something about these recent CoC changes just destroys communities:

                          I’m actually rather surprised that it all happened so quietly. I guess it was overshadowed by the RMS-situation.

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                            Me neither, identity politics - the basis of the contributor covenant - has no place in free software communities - or any other community for that matter. It only serves to create factions where none should be, it raises (often trivial) differences between individuals to their defining characteristics and uses those to split communities into groups, groups into hierarchies of oppressed and oppressors. To what purpose, other than to create strife? It is totally antithetical to the famous New Yorker cartoon of the dog-with-a-keyboard telling the world that “on the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog” [1].

                            Sendmail was written is and maintained by Eric Allman who was and is openly gay. He’s married to Marshal McKusick of BSD fame. Nobody cared. Nobody cares. That is how it should be and how it was, but that is not how it will be if identity politics really takes hold because Allman will find himself pushed into a certain slot (white [-10] middle-aged [-6] gay [+7] man [-10]) instead of just being known as ‘the guy who developed Sendmail’. Same for McKusick, Same for, well, everyone else.

                            The History [2] and Talk [3] section on the Contributor Covenant article [4] on Wikipedia is telling in this respect: criticism is silenced with a claims of ‘The situation is completely solved.There is no need for this outdated section’.

                            [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the_Internet,_nobody_knows_you%27re_a_dog

                            [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contributor_Covenant

                            [3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Contributor_Covenant

                            [4] https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Contributor_Covenant&action=history

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                              New contributors can be assured that the Git community is behind this adoption with the introduction of the Code of Conduct, Acked-by 16 prominent members of the Git community.

                              … out of 1316 contributors currently listed on https://github.com/git/git.

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                                Thanks. I was trying to learn what such a vague statement meant.

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                                I also see that you have more posts than comments […] Is it your intention to just use this platform to advertise for GitHub?

                                All five posts are “Git highlights” blog posts. Nothing is specific to GitHub, other than their being hosted on GitHub’s blog.