It’s sad how vitriolic the discussion around the code of conduct has been (in many places illustrating nicely the need for a good code of conduct). It wasn’t a respectful and principled discussion of whether to include a CoC or what the terms of such a CoC should be. It was name-calling, hyperbole, bad-faith arguments, and people talking past each other. Whatever stance you take on the issue of codes of conduct, I hope we can all agree that this is not a good example of how to have a quality discussion in an open source project.
I’ve long joked that if I ever propose one anywhere, my entire proposal will be a link to the wording, and the sentence “I think we should have a code of conduct; the replies on this thread will illustrate why.”
Unfortunately, it’s really not very funny, it’s been true in every example I’ve seen.
If anyone would like to belly-up to the banquet of bullshit that was the discussion thread around this change:
Matz is behind the times.
One thing to keep in mind is that I think Matz has a different cultural perspective than many people in the community. I do think he took the suggestion/idea of a CoC seriously, but damn that conversation got out of control really quickly – I don’t want to reignite that here by any means.
As a non-discriminated-against person (you may now preemptively discount my opinion…), I’ve always considered the Ruby community to be diverse and welcoming - take a look at pictures from ANY Ruby conference and all sorts of people are represented by appearances alone. Young, old, male, female, trans, punks, suits, asians, central americans, martians (they are among us!), I’ve seen all these people (mostly) getting along together at the 5 different ruby conferences I’ve been to.
My hope is that people can see this as progress rather than a slap in the face, since this is such a sensitive topic. I really don’t think there existed a winning move to make everybody happy, and the whole debacle put Matz in a really tough spot. He’s a pretty good steward of the ruby community, and I hate for something like this to galvanize people because of what was decided upon. I don’t think this should paint Matz in a negative light.
Any large community will have some bad actors, but I genuinely do not believe that they are stemming from the actions of the Ruby core team. At least this CoC makes it clear that they intend for all people to be treated with respect, and harassers are not welcome.
It’s really not this complicated. The people speaking up for a CoC with teeth were the people really involved in the community and contributors to the ecosystem. Those against a real CoC were Rubyists less engaged with the community or plain trolls. It would have been just fine for Matz to alienate the latter group.
I am being downvoted “incorrect”; this is a really straightforward (though rather tedious) point to substantiate so here goes:
In favor of either a strong CoC or strongly in favor of any CoC (in order of appearance in the bug thread):
In the end these important people were either against any CoC or explicitly against a strong CoC:
Sorry if I missed someone important in the community. Note my lists contain only the people who I could verify are engaged in the Ruby community on GitHub.
When you ignore the anonymous, pseudonymous, newly registered, troll, and “nobody” accounts, it’s clear that the people most involved in Ruby are in favor of a real CoC. I am disappointed that Matz and commenters here don’t see that.
Ignoring that most of the names you posted are Ruby community members as opposed to Ruby core contributors, and ignoring that the two buckets you divided people into are not mutually exclusive (e.g., one can be for a CoC, but against the Contributor Covenant)…
The real debate – buried under hundreds of trash comments, to be sure – was about CoC “strength”. Namely:
The CoC that Coraline Ehmke initially proposed, her Contributor Covenant, is “stronger” in these ways than Matz felt was appropriate. Matz chose to use a CoC based on the Postgres CoC, which does not burden project leadership with the responsibility of responding to harassment outside of the Ruby project’s collaboration infrastructure, and which does not pin project leadership to a predetermined procedure for dealing with community members in violation of the CoC.
These features don’t make the CoC less “real”, but they do give the project leadership a great deal more freedom in choosing how to handle bad apples. Don’t paint it as Matz being against a CoC; that’s disingenuous and -1, Incorrect.
I was with you up until the last sentence; gkop didn’t say that. No blame - it’s easy to react to what we hear rather than what was said, especially on emotional, controversial topics.
The scope and prescriptive strength of a CoC are important topics and often get buried in the noise, which I can well imagine happened here; it’s useful to have this explanation that draws the signal out. This clarifies Matz’s position substantially, and thank you for it.
I appreciate your explaining the finer points, but there’s really no need to call me disingenuous.
My words were “In the end these important people were either against any CoC or explicitly against a strong CoC”. The choice Matz made was against a strong CoC.
It is rather convenient that you picked your sets to lump him in with the “against any CoC” folks.
Do the other four people really fit “against any CoC”? Soulcutter labeled Evans and Borenszweig as “MVP” and Kosaki and Naruse as “Other”.
I really like Matz and don’t wish to denigrate him. However I think he was wrong here and his decision reflects his being out of touch with the community. He does belong on the list reflecting the minority viewpoint among bona fide members of the Ruby community.
Please stop using “the community” instead of “some parts of the community”.
Clearly some folks (myself included) in the Ruby community are quite in agreement with Matz.
My premise is that among the community that matters Matz substantiated the minority opinion. That’s why I went through the trouble of making the lists that I made.
I would think the “any” crowd would be happy with this CoC, if only as a start. Nothing says it’s written in stone. I don’t necessarily believe that pro-Contributor Covenant people will be upset by this CoC. So I went through your list to try to classify which people were pro-CC vs ‘any’ and here’s the breakdown I got reading the comments of the people in your list:
(4) MVP (not strong)
(7) Any CoC
(8) Contributor Covenant
CoC with Enforcement (not Contributor Covenant)
edit: classifying people into broad categories is hard, many of the people listed expressed nuanced opinions that are not shown here. If I misrepresented anybody, please correct me!
Thanks for this. The MVP category is not really helpful though, particularly since Matz' initial proposal was stronger than what he wound up instituting.
I thought “MVP” sounded better than “weak” or “not strong”. Goes to show you that people can categorize things differently based on their perspectives :) You said:
it’s clear that the people most involved in Ruby are in favor of a real CoC. I am disappointed that Matz and commenters here don’t see that.
I think my list illustrates that it’s not clear, actually. I genuinely think you can see it both ways here, and I appreciate your detailed response.
I do agree about Matz' initial proposal - but the one settled upon is more in the vein of MVP which is why I put him in that category.
Agreed. I appreciate your and @gamache’s digging into the substantial differences of opinion.
Several of those people called for Matz to be deposed, merely because he wanted to come up with a reasonable solution that wasn’t theirs. One might cynically argue that it is easier to get status by deposing the dictator than it is to come up with a language and maintain it for two decades.
There was plenty of bad-faith to go around.
I don’t disagree with you on these points.
Is the part where the CoC encourages respecting others' viewpoints that seems outdated to you, or the part where personal attacks are discouraged?
I honestly am puzzled (yet sadly not surprised) that somebody could take offense to a simple, brief, and human code of conduct.