1. 2

    whole lot of assertions without really anything to back them up. like calling google play services a rootkit, and claiming it’s easy to run a f-droid repository (i don’t know if it is or isn’t, but at least prove it is without continually saying “fact”).

    1. 8

      I agree about the “lot of assertions” point, but how would you go a prove it is easy to run your own F-Droid repository? Would a link to F-Droid’s Installing the Server and Repo Tools be enough?

      1. 2

        Yes.

        1. 2

          that sounds like something someone could look up on their own if they were curious

          1. 2

            Yes, but if you’re going to make an assertion like that you should still back it up, even if it’s just a simple documentation link.

            1. 1

              factual claims are good to back up with sources, but a fuzzy claim like “it’s not a lot of work” doesn’t really lend itself to that IMO

    1. 2

      basically the entirety of this post is not “i don’t believe in full-stack”, it’s “i don’t know what the definition of full-stack is, and assume it includes design in addition to development, not just the ability to move between frontend languages and backend languages to build an application”.

      1. 4

        I feel like I read far too much about how C interacts with processors just to get to the main point,

        It’s more accurate to say that parallel programming in a language with a C-like abstract machine is difficult, and given the prevalence of parallel hardware, from multicore CPUs to many-core GPUs, that’s just another way of saying that C doesn’t map to modern hardware very well.

        1. 4

          Yeah, it doesn’t match what the machine is actually doing. Therefore, it’s more a high-level language than a low-level one even if it’s low-level in some ways. That’s true for high-performance CPU’s but it might still fit for MCU’s or simple CPU’s. For the former, Cilk is probably closer than C to what the combos of compilers and CPU’s are doing.

          1. 2

            It does seem like a decent fit for MCUs. In that world, you’re typically without an OS and threads, so you’re dealing with memory directly (so it’s a giant array) and the operations the CPU probably doesn’t have much in the way of pipelining or caching. The only gotcha is interrupts since they’re the main source of input. Oddly enough, an MCU is mostly an event driven device so parallelism is still a huge concern.

            The low-level connection can fool you too. If you’re working with an 8-bit MCU, things you’re used to in C can be really slow, such as anything related to floating point or using a short int.

            1. 1

              Compared to what?

          1. 2

            I don’t get it. Why on earth is every article about DNS recommending Google’s DNS server? I mean, it’s not like the world hasn’t operated a DNS server before 8.8.8.8…

            1. 1

              Presumably because (like 1.1.1.1 & 9.9.9.9) it is very easy to remember.

              1. 1

                Why does anyone need to remember the address of some 3rd party DNS server?

                1. 3

                  Because frequently ISPs have really terrible or slow DNS.

                  RCN had a DNS outage that lasted days, which made my internet at home look like it had no connection to anything even though network traffic was flowing as expected. I switched to Google’s DNS servers because I never want to deal with ISP DNS again.

                  I also updated some DNS once, which AT&T’s mobile DNS cached as nothing for far too long (making me suspect their negative TTL is like 2h+ long), and changing my phone’s DNS server allowed me to get at what I needed.

                  1. 2

                    Using some DNS server, your own, or 3rd party, in no shape of form requires the operator to mentally memorize the address of said DNS server.

                    I run my own DNS servers. I can’t tell you offhand what their IPs are. I only cared about that when I configured my DHCP server, and then I copy-pasted the IPs without having to commit them to memory.

                    1. 2

                      8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 are really easy to remember. They’re also known high-uptime IPs, so they’re really useful for troubleshooting a server to determine where in a network stack issues may be arising (if any).

                      I’m not recommending that everyone remember them, but if you use them enough times they start to stick around just because thats how brains work.

                      1. 1

                        How do you copy-paste them onto a device that doesn’t yet have a working DNS server, exactly…?

                        1. 1

                          Copy the IP from the file containing the DNS server IP into the file containing the DHCP configuration?

                          Sorry, I don’t understand the question.

                          1. 1

                            How does the file with the DNS server IP get onto the device in the first place?

                            1. 1

                              I write it?

                              1. 1

                                How do you know what to write?

                                You seem to be belabouring the point here but I’ll humour you.

                                1. 1

                                  I know what to write in my config files because I know basic system and network administration so that I can plan a network.

                                  1. 2

                                    Good for you. For everybody else, there’s 8.8.8.8 ;-p

                    2. 1

                      Presumably for configuring a router or overriding the shitty DNS server provided by one’s ISP.

                      1. 1

                        I didn’t say you should not use some other DNS server, I asked why do you need to mentally remember the address of some DNS server.

                        1. 1

                          Because it’s faster than looking it up.

                          1. 1

                            Do you remember the IPv6 address too? I sure don’t. If you don’t remember the IPv6 address, what’s the point of remembering the IPv4 one?

                            Personally I always want to use my own DNS server, for many reasons including privacy, security, and local zones, and then yes, I do have to look it up. Never considered that to be a problem.

                            1. 1

                              You still don’t really need IPv6 for typical Internet usage.

                              Look, you can run your own DNS server if you want to. Nobody’s stopping you. But the overwhelming majority of people neither care to nor know how. For them it’s good enough to just remember 8.8.8.8

                    3. 1

                      Indeed, they are easy to remember. However, that’s not the point I want to made. Your upstream DNS can see/log/sell every (!) DNS resolution you will ever do. So if you’re are resolving helpmewithmymedicalissue.com or ilikethisp0rndomain.com they’ll know it. And since Facebook and Cambridge Analytica we know that they will sell it.

                      So please keep a list of trusted DNS resolvers or operate your own and add them to your systems.

                      1. 1

                        Google’s 8.8.8.8 does not store your IP address for more than 48 hours or sell it.

                        See https://developers.google.com/speed/public-dns/faq#privacy

                  1. 6

                    Deleting facebook isn’t a particularly useful exercise because i’m pretty sure they don’t delete the data they already have, and they create shadow profiles for people who aren’t facebook users, even without directly collecting data from you. Blocking their domains is a mild hinderance, not an actual measure to stop them.

                    If you’re deleting your facebook account because it’s not useful to you, or as a political protest action, fine, but at least acknowledge that you’re not meaningfully preventing them from collecting data.

                    1. 7

                      If enough people delete their profiles, then it affects the stats Facebook presents to advertisers, making it a less attractive advertising platform with a smaller audience. That hits Facebook in the pocket, which is the only thing they care about.

                      1. 3

                        I think it is very useful because they lost one of their primary sources of data. Installing ublock-origin, privacy badger, and other extensions should also help block trackers from most websites. There’s nothing I can do to hide against facebook buying credit data and other 3rd party data except lobby my local politicians. But if everyone deleted facebook and stopped browsing instagram models for.. ahem.. personal entertainment purposes.. facebook would lose their primary source of income :)

                        1. 2

                          It may be a functional no-op, but it very definitely sends a message to Facebook corporate. I doubt this will change anything in the long haul - their bottom line depends upon exploitative behavior, but I expect a lot of smoke and little to no fire coming out of all of this.

                        1. 1

                          I work at a company with seven people doing technical work, which is broken down into three doing data, two doing application development, and two doing devops. The two of us working on devops are responsible for making sure our deployment and provisioning tools work.

                          We use terraform to manage all our infrastructure, and have a semi-immutable infrastructure. All our EC2 instances are deployed using custom AMIs, and whenever we need to make a change to a box or class of boxes we build a new AMI. I’ve used ansible to provision a couple of our AMIs, because I prefer it to writing bash commands in json in packer definitions, but that hasn’t taken hold everywhere.

                          All of our in-house applications, and most the rest of the ones we use, are deployed using the elastic container service, running on EC2 instances. A couple applications that aren’t ours or the AWS service are just run on the box (elasticsearch for an application we didn’t write that can’t use the AWS hosted one, our DNS boxes, our outbound internet proxies, consul). For those that need some level of dynamic configuration, we use a tool called confd and put the config values in dynamodb tables.

                          For ensuring dependencies are installed, we run everything in docker containers through ECS. We use Concourse for CI and automated job scheduling. Most of the automations I’ve written are run through concourse, which also runs everything in containers, so dependency management for my scripts is done through a “runner” container.

                          1. 42

                            Although I think the author does point out some very valid weaknesses in CoCs, both theoretically and in how they are currently implemented, I think the author overlooks, or chooses not to address, a few important points in favor of CoCs.

                            The largest factor to me is that, regardless of any particular problems with CoCs, the choice to not have a CoC has, in many cases, become a sort of dogwhistle for events that are explicitly inclusive of harassers, and have no intention of running a broadly welcoming event. In essence, the choice to not have a CoC these days is tantamount to an open invitation to the worst of the people in our industry. That’s not to say that good people don’t also attend these events, or even that the organizers are knowingly trying to create that sort of environment, but ignorance of the message you’re sending doesn’t necessarily change the message itself.

                            I also think the author is getting rather bogged down in the nitty gritty specifics of the language of the CoC. As a community organizer and moderator, I do find having specific CoC terms useful from time-to-time, but by and large the goal I think a CoC is less about rules and more about values. A CoC as a statement of community values can serve two important purposes:

                            First, a CoC can help a community manage and be intentional about it’s growth. Small communities may not see any need for a CoC, because in small groups there is often enough social pressure to prevent toxic jerks from dominating the community, but as a community grows and the social graph becomes less fully connected, the opportunities for toxic and abusive corners of the community to appear, and without intentionally managing these, an entire community can devolve. The CoC in this case can provide a shared vision for the values of the community and help to slow the festering of some of these more toxic community elements.

                            Second, a CoC lets members outside of the community know what the shared value of a community are, and helps people to make an informed decision about whether their values align with the community, and if the community is worth engaging with.

                            1. 28

                              Thanks for a thoughtful response to the submission. :)

                              A few thoughts:

                              In essence, the choice to not have a CoC these days is tantamount to an open invitation to the worst of the people in our industry.

                              I would suggest that that status, and the dogwhistle effect you mentioned earlier, is perhaps due just as much to repeated memes about coded messaging and hostility as any of the actual behavior in those communities. At some point, repeated public shaming starts to create pathological behavior on its own.

                              I also think the author is getting rather bogged down in the nitty gritty specifics of the language of the CoC.

                              The issue is that, if you expect fair enforcement of rules, you need to use language as clearly as possible. I understand your viewpoint (of CoC as values and not as rules documents) doesn’t take that approach, but for a great many folks a Code of Conduct is taken at face value to be a “Hey, if you do , then happens, so please consider instead.”

                              a CoC lets members outside of the community know what the shared value of a community are

                              The problem with treating CoC as signalling documents is that it undermines their efficiency as behavior guidelines (because you have to include language and statements whose purpose is aligned more with value expression than on expressing permissible behavior). Separating the “rules” documents (“hey folks, if you harass somebody, you will be ejected”) from the “values” documents (“we believe that everybody should be secure all the time”) lets a community be more explicit in both areas.

                              Secondarily, I’d argue that the great benefit of technology is that it works regardless of the value and belief systems of the folks using it. Both a Marxist and a libertarian can sit down at, say, a numerical methods conference on optimization and expect to find something useful for planning out resource expenditure. Neonazis and Antifa both benefit from a good lightning talk on OPSEC. Both Republican and Democrat workers benefit from sharing knowledge about how to use AWS properly.

                              Using a CoC to try and shoo away folks who have ideological differences runs directly counter to the free exchange of ideas, and serves to limit the utility of those communities by ostracizing others. If we lived in a world where, say, you could point to somebody and say that “This person is a Nazi” with 99.999% accuracy, maybe I’d feel differently–but abuse of terms and the public square by overzealous if well-meaning people (some of whom are even users on this site!) has caused me to severely doubt the reliability of our mechanisms.

                              1. 20

                                Thanks for your thoughts as well. A few follow-on thoughts to your notes:

                                I would suggest that that status, and the dogwhistle effect you mentioned earlier, is perhaps due just as much to repeated memes about coded messaging and hostility as any of the actual behavior in those communities. At some point, repeated public shaming starts to create pathological behavior on its own.

                                I think there’s probably some truth to this, especially the problems with public shaming. There is an unfortunate tendency to shame people in a way that I think makes them double-down on problematic behaviors. That aside, I don’t think we can ignore the effects of something, dog whistling in this case, regardless of it’s original cause.

                                The issue is that, if you expect fair enforcement of rules, you need to use language as clearly as possible. I understand your viewpoint (of CoC as values and not as rules documents) doesn’t take that approach, but for a great many folks a Code of Conduct is taken at face value to be a “Hey, if you do , then happens, so please consider instead.”

                                Writing clear rules intended to be taken literally that cover all forms of potentially allowed and disallowed behavior is essentially a fools errand. Ultimately there must be some human arbiters of behavior that will have to interpret the intention of the rules, look at the behavior, and decide if a violation occurred. You’re basically talking about a miniature domains-specific legal problem here, and if you look at the complexity of most modern legal systems it’s clear that you can’t really have a clearly written exact set of rules that will apply without human interpretation.

                                I do agree with your suggestion that having a separate rules and values document can help. In the communities that I help moderate we do exactly that- we have a set of rules that are more specific, and have specific consequences, along with a broader values document that outlines the types of behavior we want to see, and how people should behave. The rules document still requires some level of human judgement.

                                Secondarily, I’d argue that the great benefit of technology is that it works regardless of the value and belief systems of the folks using it. Both a Marxist and a libertarian can sit down at, say, a numerical methods conference on optimization and expect to find something useful for planning out resource expenditure. Neonazis and Antifa both benefit from a good lightning talk on OPSEC. Both Republican and Democrat workers benefit from sharing knowledge about how to use AWS properly. Using a CoC to try and shoo away folks who have ideological differences runs directly counter to the free exchange of ideas, and serves to limit the utility of those communities by ostracizing others. If we lived in a world where, say, you could point to somebody and say that “This person is a Nazi” with 99.999% accuracy, maybe I’d feel differently–but abuse of terms and the public square by overzealous if well-meaning people (some of whom are even users on this site!) has caused me to severely doubt the reliability of our mechanisms.

                                This is one set of values, but I think it’s not the only one. There’s a place for venues that are focused on allowing all people regardless of ideology or background, but it’s perfectly reasonable to want to run or participate in other types of communities.

                                In communities that I moderate, I am unapologetically uninterested in excluding some ideologies. Ultimately, there are some ideologies that simply cannot coexist, and focusing on equalizing them just favors the more aggressive of the ideologies. I’m okay with excluding Nazis, because the alternative is to exclude people who are targeted by Nazis. This is one of the ways a CoC can help signal values- by being explicit about the values of the community it is quite quickly clear on which side of this particular chasm an organizations values fall.

                                1. 13

                                  In communities that I moderate, I am unapologetically uninterested in excluding some ideologies. Ultimately, there are some ideologies that simply cannot coexist, and focusing on equalizing them just favors the more aggressive of the ideologies. I’m okay with excluding Nazis, because the alternative is to exclude people who are targeted by Nazis. This is one of the ways a CoC can help signal values- by being explicit about the values of the community it is quite quickly clear on which side of this particular chasm an organizations values fall.

                                  Exactly. There’s always the “why can’t you be tolerant of my (intolerant) views???” mock innocence, or the “don’t be so easily offended, it was just a joke” mock confusion.

                                  1. 12

                                    There’s a place for venues that are focused on allowing all people regardless of ideology or background, but it’s perfectly reasonable to want to run or participate in other types of communities.

                                    Yet, regrettably, the attempt to run those venues gets a great of slander and libel about dogwhistling–as you yourself point out earlier. So, clearly, there isn’t a place for them, if they don’t wish to be tarred by folks who feel they aren’t sufficiently repressing some outgroup.

                                    I’m okay with excluding Nazis, because the alternative is to exclude people who are targeted by Nazis.

                                    You could exclude neither, and let them sort it out themselves elsewhere. Indeed, seeing each other in a context that doesn’t constantly reinforce their ideology might serve to build bridges and mellow both sides–and while your example is a bit stacked, one could apply the same argument to fundamentalists and secular folks, to Israelis and Palestinians, to feminists and men’s rights activists, and so forth.

                                    Assuming that people from different backgrounds will never get along is a very pessimistic view of humanity.

                                    EDIT: Anyways, I’m happy to continue this via PM or email if you’d like to go back and forth more…I don’t mean to clutter up the main thread too much. :)

                                    1. 23

                                      You could exclude neither, and let them sort it out themselves elsewhere.

                                      One important lesson of the (waving my hands here) social media information age is that this strategy is not viable, because it always results in a “win” for the trolls. Communities are both empowered and obliged to stamp out this form of sociopathy with prejudice, because failing to do so means ceding the public square to the extremists.

                                      Free speech and free expression are wonderful goals in the absence of context, but they aren’t trump cards that outweigh all other factors, they’re variables in a complex equation that, when solved, should (among other things) minimize human suffering.

                                      1. 9

                                        Exactly. If our Code of Conduct bans violence, but doesn’t exclude, say, explicit white supremacist clothing, the end result is that black people aren’t going to feel comfortable showing up to the con if there’s a bunch of skinheads with swastikas all over the place.

                                        “But if the skinheads do something to the black patrons, they’ll get kicked out!”

                                        Sure, but there’s a concept of making people feel comfortable at an event open to the public. The white supremacists are welcome (in theory) to come to the con, but they need to keep it to themselves.

                                        1. 2

                                          The CoC is almost a courtesy to the skinheads in that example. The owner of the venue (or the lessee) is almost always allowed to make people leave. At least in New York, if you’re told to leave and then don’t, it becomes criminal trespass. Codes of Conduct don’t matter in any practical sense when you get to that point.

                                          I think instead what they’re useful for is what you say elsewhere in this thread, which is setting a tone: is your con t-shirt and jeans, or jacket and tie? Is it for some political goal or for advancing professional development?

                                        2. 2

                                          That complex equation comes down to value judgments. You’re not likely to know the ultimate effects of your actions. For instance: affirmative action is not colorblind, but it might lead to genuinely colorblind outcomes some generations from now.

                                          If you’re using deontic ethics instead and your sense of duty requires you to defend freedom of speech, that doesn’t necessarily yield a result worse in terms of human suffering. Utilitarianism’s core problem is that although you can look at the immediate outcome, you don’t know the ultimate yield.

                                          I think these ideas are somewhat compatible. At some point, the question becomes “freedom for whom” – if you can’t get people to show up to your con because of extremism, how much speech did you facilitate? I think there’s something more to championing freedom of speech than not prohibiting things.

                                        3. 2

                                          You could exclude neither, and let them sort it out themselves elsewhere. Indeed, seeing each other in a context that doesn’t constantly reinforce their ideology might serve to build bridges and mellow both sides–and while your example is a bit stacked, one could apply the same argument to fundamentalists and secular folks, to Israelis and Palestinians, to feminists and men’s rights activists, and so forth.

                                          I know this is a little late to the conversation, but your examples are full of grossly false equivalences. I’m pointing this out not to attack you, because I think you just haven’t really thought it through or are unaware of the context for the statements you’re making, but because spreading them is bad for society.

                                          Start with “fundamentalists and secular folks”. Fundamentalists are radical theocrats, and in the United States, are identified by believing things like homosexuality is sinful, women must submit to their husbands, etc., and in general being radically intolerant of other peoples’ private business. “Secular folks” are “everyone else”, in terms of values.

                                          Feminists believe that women are as human and as entitled to agency and dignity as men are; MRAs believe that women are inferior to men and should be enslaved.

                                          There is no meeting halfway with them. Their values are bad, and any social currency they might gain by publicly participating in high-prestige, “neutral” contexts, like tech conferences, will be used to further their heinous agendas. Ignoring this is how Nazis take over; it creates safe spaces for them, and once they’re in, the space is unsafe for everyone else.

                                          1. 2

                                            Feminists believe that women are as human and as entitled to agency and dignity as men are; MRAs believe that women are inferior to men and should be enslaved.

                                            There are some folks that identify with MRAs that believe that, and they’re scum. There are also some feminists that cannot share a room or conversation with a man because they view men as needing to be eliminated (for example, Solanas). Ignoring the shades of belief and judging groups by the most offensive members is in fact what puts all discourse in peril.

                                            This is all quite off-topic for Lobsters. If you want to argue, hit me up on DM. :)

                                            1. 2

                                              It’s slightly off-topic for lobste.rs, but not for this thread, and I don’t want to minimize the point that you cannot meet Nazis halfway.

                                              So, again, your equivalence between MRAs, any MRAs at all, even the most milquetoast “I think society needs to nicer to men” whiner, and even the most extreme misandrist feminist activist is false, because there is no large-scale issue with cultural and institutional misandry, but there is cultural and institutional misogyny. One viewpoint is laughably absurd and harmless (“men should be eliminated”; it’s not a credible threat to men), the other is simply, “Keep things as they are or make them even shittier to women,” which is extremely credible as a threat to the well-being of women. See also below, re: the President brags about sexually assaulting women.

                                              Going back to, and again I need to emphasize that we’re talking about literal Nazis, given that the most powerful single official of the most powerful nation on the planet is an unapologetic white supremacist and rapist, it’s insane to say, “Let’s just set politics aside and welcome anyone.” The presence of Nazis is a threat to public safety and well-being, whether or not they’re in uniform or are being “polite”. Failure to deal with them as the manifest threat they are, given the friendly political environment for them, is spineless abdication of moral duty. There is no “both sides” argument to be made.

                                              I’m telling you this not to accuse you of cowardice, but to help you understand what you’re actually arguing and who would benefit from it, so that you may stop being part of the problem, and start being part of the solution.

                                              1. 4

                                                One viewpoint is laughably absurd and harmless (“men should be eliminated”; it’s not a credible threat to men)

                                                Well, except for the fact that the author shot two men and attempted to shoot a third, and was on record for being “dead serious” about her manifesto.

                                                the other is simply, “Keep things as they are or make them even shittier to women,” which is extremely credible as a threat to the well-being of women.

                                                There are certainly some folks claiming membership that push for misogyny, but the actual stuff asked about is things like genital mutilation, how domestic abuse of men is handled (when it is recognized at all) and what support networks they have, how divorce and custody is handled, and so forth. You grossly misstate reality here. That’s forgivable, because people tend to be fuzzy with terms these days, but still.

                                                we’re talking about literal Nazis

                                                Somebody hide the Sudetenland! Quick, warn Poland! Buy stock in Volkswagen (and IBM )! That’s what a literal Nazi is about. If you want to talk about neo-Nazis, white supremacists, or even the (poorly-grouped) alt-right, I’m happy to criticize positions they have (most of which range from garbage to odious). Using incorrect terminology makes it hard to talk about a thing productively.

                                                Why does this matter? We can’t defend or even relate to literal Nazis following orders liquidating a ghetto. Some poor white trash who had his job outsourced to Shenzhen though? Somebody who has strong opinions about how blacks are attacking police (despite growing up in a rural town with no African-Americans at all, and a police force which consists of like a county sheriff and a couple of deputies)? Those folks we can reach and educate, if we stop lumping them in with perpetrators of one of history’s biggest genocides.

                                                given that the most powerful single official of the most powerful nation on the planet is an unapologetic white supremacist and rapist

                                                That power is why he’s able to maintain such a solid Department of State, why Congress is doing whatever he wants, why he has met such acclaim and success in his dealings, and why he has been able to dismiss all of the court cases and suits brought against him. Alternately, he’s a boogeyman inflated into vast proportions by people looking to be scared about something.

                                                There is no “both sides” argument to be made.

                                                There is, I’ve made it, you don’t buy it because you’re invested in demonizing and dehumanizing the side you don’t like, life goes on, history will be on the side of tolerance and the dialing back of polarization–or we’ll be shooting at each other and fighting over cans of food in a generation.

                                                This line of discussion is not on-topic for lobsters, and is quite divorced from even the original question of codes-of-conduct.

                                                1. 3

                                                  Welp, you have clearly stated your desire to do nothing in the face of evil and refuse to even name it, so, you’re correct, we will never meet on this.

                                                2. 2

                                                  When you say, “All are welcome,” what you are really saying, and what is heard loud and clear by both aggressors and victims, is, “This is a safe space for Nazis.” Or rapists. Or slavers. Or killers. You get the picture. So do they.

                                          2. 1

                                            Writing clear rules intended to be taken literally that cover all forms of potentially allowed and disallowed behavior is essentially a fools errand. Ultimately there must be some human arbiters of behavior that will have to interpret the intention of the rules, look at the behavior, and decide if a violation occurred. You’re basically talking about a miniature domains-specific legal problem here, and if you look at the complexity of most modern legal systems it’s clear that you can’t really have a clearly written exact set of rules that will apply without human interpretation.

                                            I completely agree, and this is my biggest problem with the whole “code of conduct” paradigm: it creates a promise of clear, formal rules that can’t possibly be delivered on. Talking in terms of values and moderation policies is a more useful framing that puts the human subjectivity front-and-centre and guides us towards thinking about questions (Who’s going to moderate? What process will they follow? Who are they accountable to?) that are really quite central to dealing with conduct issues in communities, but are swept under the carpet by thinking in terms of a “code” that a project can simply adopt.

                                          3. 3

                                            Im ok with a higher false positive rate for ‘Is this person a Nazi’ test if it means fewer false negatives. The beauty of technology is not that it’s value less, but that it’s an expression of human value. Technology is anything people make and which things people make is a huge signal of what they value. While some technology are useful tools regardless of value (i can use the butt of a gun to hammer a nail) we can make a pretty good statement about what that society values based on their technology.

                                          4. 7

                                            While I don’t inherently disagree, I find that a lot of CoC’s that get pushed out are rather restricting. I find it’s better to interpret them as guidelines, not rules, rules lead to toxic individuals getting wiggle room through loopholes.

                                            I’ve also been to events in Germany that don’t have any CoC at all and I don’t hear many complaints from other events around here either. If you’re being a jerk you get thrown out, end of story.

                                            1. 4

                                              The CoC provisions on offensive speech are usually interpreted broadly benefiting certain groups over others. In other words, it works the opposite of the general rule where these give enforcers lots of leverage over large groups of people. The wiggle room is theirs.

                                              1. 6

                                                Personally I think any ruleset is only good if it’s applied equally to everyone, same for guidelines.

                                                If a CoC is provisioned and enforced it must be done with the same rigour and accuracy as one would apply law in a proper court.

                                                1. 6

                                                  Personally I think any ruleset is only good if it’s applied equally to everyone, same for guidelines.

                                                  That runs into the whole “why can’t you tolerate my intolerance?” problem though. If they say that “hate speech is not allowed” and you interpret a gay married couple discussing their honeymoon is hateful towards Christians (note that not everyone feels this way, just using an example), then who wins? The decision is up to the organizers of the con, but in general most these days are going to side with the married couple (as they should, IMNSHO).

                                                  If a CoC is provisioned and enforced it must be done with the same rigour and accuracy as one would apply law in a proper court.

                                                  Absolutely not. They’re not laws. They’re rules that a private entity made up for participation in a private function. The correct interpretation of the CoC is exactly whatever the organizers of the con want it to be and nothing else. Generally, they’re going to interpret it in whatever way furthers the goal of the con (e.g. more attendees, higher quality talks) or the values of the organizers (more diversity in gender or ethnicity or whatever).

                                                  1. 6

                                                    I would interpret “no hate speech” as strict as Section 1 §130 StGB of german law;

                                                    “1. […] against any national, race, religious or ethnic group, against parts of the population or a single person based on predetermined groups or incite parts of the population to violence or despotism or 2. the dignity of another human being, based on a predetermined group, parts of the population or membership in a predetermined group or a specific part of the population insults, maliciously attacks or frames […]” (excuse my crude translation)

                                                    Section 2 covers any transmission of anything mentioned in Section 1.

                                                    I think that about covers it in terms of “hate speech”. In the specified case, the couple wins since they’re part of a predetermined group of the population.

                                                    They’re not laws. They’re rules that a private entity made up for participation in a private function

                                                    I think they should be handled like laws. Rigour, precision, efficiency and accuracy are important. The organizers of a con should therefore word their rules such that any violation will be absolutely clear in either word or spirit of the rules without a doubt. If anyone breaks these rules and spreads hate speech then there will be no doubt by anyone involved they crossed the line. There will be no need to extensively discuss it or any wasting of time on people who want to wiggle around the rules.

                                                    I would love if some organizer did precisely this.

                                                    1. 1

                                                      I cannot see how anybody could interpret that as hate speech. In an attempt to overcome by own biases, can you flip that example on its head somehow so I can relate to it?

                                                      1. 6

                                                        Trust me, people can and do. The whole “I’m fine with gay people but do they have to throw it in my face??” because they have a picture of their significant other on their desk or something, whereas the person in question wouldn’t bat an eye at a heterosexual person having a picture of their spouse on their desk.

                                                        I’m having trouble coming up with an opposite example, which is my fault.

                                                        1. 3

                                                          Oh, I know that there are people who would find that offensive. But the bar for hate speech is higher than merely being offensive.

                                                          1. 1

                                                            Opposite? How about being annoyed that something says husband and wife. Or taking offense at something like a father and daughter event because nobody in your family is technically a father.

                                                            1. 1

                                                              Fair enough. I was trying to come up with an example from a right-wing perspective (“opposite” in that regard), but the thought process is alien to me so it’s hard.

                                                          2. 3

                                                            (This is just for the sake of the argument, we’re already off the track so I’ll roll with it) One might interpret Christian couples taking PR actions against abortion as hateful against its supporters.

                                                            1. 3

                                                              Nope, I can’t see that being considered hate speech either.

                                                              1. 6

                                                                http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/summer-jobs-abortion-images-ccbr-1.4523255

                                                                [Justin Trudeau] called flyers depicting bloodied, aborted fetuses used by the Calgary-based Canadian Centre for Bio-ethical Reform (CCBR) “hateful.”

                                                                Joyce Arthur, executive director of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, said she believes those images … should be outlawed as hate propaganda.

                                                                [emphasis mine]

                                                                1. 2

                                                                  wow. I stand corrected.

                                                          3. 1

                                                            They’re not laws. They’re rules that a private entity made up for participation in a private function. The correct interpretation of the CoC is exactly whatever the organizers of the con want it to be and nothing else. Generally, they’re going to interpret it in whatever way furthers the goal of the con (e.g. more attendees, higher quality talks) or the values of the organizers (more diversity in gender or ethnicity or whatever).

                                                            A CoC is legalistic by its very nature. I’m fine with an organisation adopting formal rules that are interpreted as rigorously as actual law; I’m fine with an organisation using the subjective judgement of its human moderators. But adopting an ambiguously-worded “code” that is in practice subject to interpretation is the worst of both worlds: it reduces moderators’ flexibility, but doesn’t offer participants enough clarity to be useful.

                                                          4. 1

                                                            Agreed.

                                                      2. 4

                                                        In essence, the choice to not have a CoC these days is tantamount to an open invitation to the worst of the people in our industry. That’s not to say that good people don’t also attend these events, or even that the organizers are knowingly trying to create that sort of environment, but ignorance of the message you’re sending doesn’t necessarily change the message itself.

                                                        Equally, the message I get from the choice to have a CoC, as someone generally perceived as white and male, is that I’ll be held to a double standard and if the wrong person takes a dislike to me then I’ll be thrown out, regardless of my actions. That’s probably not a fair reflection of the organisers’ intentions, but it is the message.

                                                        1. 0

                                                          Apart from that concern, which I totally agree with, I also try to stay clear of projects that boast a CoC because it shows me that their priorities lie in politics, rather than in technical matters. It’s a waste of my time to spend any effort on endeavors like that.

                                                          1. 2

                                                            It frequently doesn’t though.

                                                            Almost any large project with a code of conduct has it precisely because they want to focus on the technology more than the politics, and without a code of conduct, or with too loose a code of conduct, they end up being controlled by the loudest jerk.

                                                            1. 1

                                                              See the replies to my comment up thread for people who are advocating for CoCs for nakedly political reasons that have nothing to do with technology.

                                                          2. 1

                                                            It’s my experience that the only people who whine about this are better left excluded, because somehow, white dudes are still abundantly present and everyone has a nice time.

                                                            1. 2

                                                              White dudes? Yes. Working-class people, or even just any kind of conservatives? Often not. People have a nice time yes, but people tend to have a nice time in homogeneous spaces - everyone having a nice time is, if anything, even more common at events attended solely by white dudes. So equally I could say the only people who whine (your term) about diversity/inclusivity/… are better left excluded.

                                                          3. 4

                                                            Some thoughts, from someone running a con that has chosen each year to not have a CoC, but is in the process of developing an alternative model:

                                                            The largest factor to me is that, regardless of any particular problems with CoCs, the choice to not have a CoC has, in many cases, become a sort of dogwhistle for events that are explicitly inclusive of harassers, and have no intention of running a broadly welcoming event.

                                                            It’s not a dogwhistle for events that are explicitly inclusive of harassers. A lack of something is not the same as explicitly including the opposite. The author explicitly covers the lack of effectiveness in many conference CoCs under gray zones and enforcements.

                                                            As someone who organises a conference, attends lots of events around the world and spends a bit of time sharing stories with organisers, I have yet to see a conference with the resources to properly ensure that all participants know and understand the CoC, how to use and enforce it. Such an event may exist, I haven’t seen it. I’ve experienced harassment and stalking at events myself, and watched it fumble wherever I’ve reported it.

                                                            That’s not to say that CoCs are useless, some events may find them useful, but for the majority of events I’ve attended they have caused more problems than they solve in themselves.

                                                            Second, a CoC lets members outside of the community know what the shared value of a community are, and helps people to make an informed decision about whether their values align with the community, and if the community is worth engaging with.

                                                            Nearly every CoC I encounter is a variant of or asserts to be inspired by the same geek feminism-based CoC. I have argued against it repeatedly on the grounds that anyone using it has not properly considered the purpose, scope and enforcement of such a document, nor the complications it presents. I have had event organisers flat out admit that they’re using it because people who don’t come to their event will choose not to come to their event if they don’t.

                                                            Frankly, if someone feels that the presence of a CoC is the determining factor in whether they attend an event. Maybe an event without a CoC isn’t the event for them. A copy-paste geek feminism sample CoC is a dog whistle to say, “We’re virtue signalling our CoC but don’t really care enough to do it properly”.

                                                            Organisers should focus on their existing community and welcoming new arrivals at the event rather than people who won’t turn up if there isn’t a universally ignored and unenforced document put up everywhere to make existing people feel that little bit shittier.

                                                            1. 0

                                                              Nearly every CoC I encounter is a variant of or asserts to be inspired by the same geek feminism-based CoC

                                                              If you are a geek and not a feminist, what are you? I’m a male, geek, and a feminist.

                                                              I’m surprised anyone working in high technology would choose to not be a feminist and prefer to live in the last century. Fortunately I don’t meet many of those people. They seem to only exist on the internet.

                                                              1. 6

                                                                I reject the label feminist for many of the reasons outlined here: https://necpluribusimpar.net/the-trouble-with-feminism/ (and frankly I wouldn’t call myself a geek either, especially not if people are going to use it as an excuse to say that I am obliged to hold one or another political opinion. It’s never been a label I particularly cared for in any case).

                                                                I don’t have a problem with reasonable Codes of Conduct in principle, but in practice, as stevelord states, they are specifically feminist advocacy, and I think that many vocal strains of modern feminism are hostile to values I think are important and want to see reflected in the culture around technological work. A succinct way of putting it is, I would be fine with any Code of Conduct that mentioned James Damore by name as someone whose speech would be unambiguously permissable in a project or convention - and if a Code of Conduct was designed by people who want James Damore’s words to be grounds for expulsion (as they were for him in the technological community of Google engineering employees), I don’t want that Code of Conduct in force in any space I care about.

                                                                1. 4

                                                                  I would argue that this is an example of doing exactly what CoCs are intended to do. If you think a project should have people like Damore driving away people who don’t want to be made out to be novelties or second-class class contributors, then frankly I don’t want you in my community.

                                                                  1. 3

                                                                    You’re free to give your “diverse utopia” a shot on your own turf, but the moment you try to co-opt or subvert an existing community or project imagined, initiated, and implemented by (as your side frequently points out) utterly un-“diverse” (i.e. white male) contributors you are throwing the first punch.

                                                                    This kind of subversion has already occurred - repeatedly - so the bed has been made and all you can do now is lie in it. I, and I’d bet most people in tech, did not expect our field of work to be made into a political battlefield, but hey, solving problems is what we do. We’ll solve this one too.

                                                                    1. 3

                                                                      It’s interesting that you yourself point out how many existing projects and communities have adopted more inclusive policies. The fact is that culture is shifting toward inclusion, and even non-idealistic communities are realizing that broad and inclusive policies attract more and better contributions, and the benefits more than outweigh the technical contributions that would have been made by hateful and toxic community members. It’s not like those of us who value and appreciate CoCs and otherwise inclusive policies have any particular power to dictate the rules and structure of existing projects. Communities are broadly recognizing the value of CoCs and adopting them because the people there want to make their communities better.

                                                                      1. 3

                                                                        If I can just point you at an example of CoCs causing significant damage to communities, I’d point you at FreeBSD’s huggate scandal.

                                                                        That’s what everyone needs to avoid. CoCs mustn’t be entered into lightly. They have to be properly considered, debated and set up to enhance rather than detract from a community.

                                                                    2. -2

                                                                      Love it! EttiCosmocrepe really did prove your point.

                                                                    3. 2

                                                                      You really believe James Damore’s anti-intellectualism is a benefit to technological work? His contributions had nothing to do with technological work and seemed to create a huge distraction away from technological work. I would love to see an argument from you detailing how James Damore’s speech was constructive to technological work.

                                                                      If you are confused about why I called James Damore’s speech anti-intellectual, I would hint here that empiricism is no substitute for thinking.

                                                                      1. 0

                                                                        Thanks for your comment. Just one thing. I didn’t state they’re specifically feminist advocacy, it’s the blanket adoption of the geek feminism wiki CoC template I was rallying against.

                                                                        To be clear:

                                                                        • Yes the template is problematic on many levels for various events
                                                                        • The template is a form of feminist advocacy, but that’s not an issue and may be an advantage for some events
                                                                        • IME An event that posts it verbatim is usually more interested in telling you they have a CoC than enforcing the content

                                                                        Part of running a decent conference is accepting that there will be people there with different views to you. Your job as an organizer is to create a fun and friendly event, not arbitrarily provoke people (I do enough of that in my spare time :)).

                                                                      2. 3

                                                                        Sorry, perhaps I wasn’t clear. By geek feminism-based CoC I specifically mean this template and it’s wholesale adoption verbatim or almost verbatim.

                                                                        1. 4

                                                                          That one has exactly the kind of politically-motivated and dominating stuff I aim to block in CoC proposals:

                                                                          “‘Reverse’ -isms, including ‘reverse racism,’ ‘reverse sexism,’ and ‘cisphobia’ (because these things don’t exist)”

                                                                          My emphasis added. The start is denial victims exist in white, male, or straight groups operating in environments where minority members dominate the power structure. This is dictated by proponemts’ political beliefs that are controversial even among minority members they claim to he about protecting. The next move the ideology brings is not allowing them a say in things or allowing statements/actions toward them that would be offensive/banned if done to other groups. The next is ridicule or ejection as a response to dissent.

                                                                          All starts with accepting the sophist definitions and rules of a tiny few intended to dominate their opponents in larger groups that they enshrine into a CoC they’ll tell groups is just about civility and stopping bad behavior. No it isn’t: it’s ideological subversion of groups’ norms to enforce the pushers’ beliefs. They’ll put down minorities resisting those beliefs as quickly as anyone else, too.

                                                                          1. 1

                                                                            Every single statement you’ve made is baseless and false.

                                                                            1. 2

                                                                              Your counter has no evidence. So nobody should believe it. That simple.

                                                                              Unfortunately, I still have to go into a workplace where many groups are dominated by politics benefiting one type of minority (blacks) at everyone else’ expense. That’s in social groups, work assigned, and promotions. Sounds like the definition of structural racism to me. If ever applied to non-whites, the two sentences above would be all the proof they needed that they’re victims of structural racism. You’d agree with them. Logically, there the same function or algorithm for determining structural bias that just have different inputs or outputs. As the sophistry goes, those on the linked article and now you if backing them redefine their own term for just these conversations so it can’t apply to a white person.

                                                                              With the magic of political bias and agendas, the same definition can be two, contradicting things so that one group is villainized whether delivering or receiving damage interacting with other groups. Such sophistry is not just illogical: it’s inhumane given the damage it supports to decent people in the target group. So, I’d fight a CoC or agenda that starts with a declaration that non-whites in positions of power would never abuse their power against whites. Likewise, women never abusing men. Both are insane statements in light of both recorded history and minority members’ own incessant claims about how other minorities mistreat them at work, school, etc.

                                                                              The logical response is banning and addressing every instance of group X uses their power to discriminate against group Y with who X and Y are varying case by case, place by place, issue by issue. That protects the most people with the most fairness. It also takes hardly any additional effort in event white or male discrimination is as rare (“nonexistent”) as my opponents believe. Most work would probably still benefit their preferred groups as well given that’s where most of the discrimination is right now.

                                                                              Note: I should also point out to anyone reading along that even a sub-Reddit on feminism had a list showing they recognized male-specific biases and discrimination. It’s done from their viewpoint but has points that corroborate my claims. Clearly, it’s only some feminists I’m battling with these claims rather than all feminists.

                                                                              1. 3

                                                                                Unfortunately, I still have to go into a workplace where many groups are dominated by politics benefiting one type of minority (blacks) at everyone else’ expense. That’s in social groups, work assigned, and promotions. Sounds like the definition of structural racism to me. If ever applied to non-whites, the two sentences above would be all the proof they needed that they’re victims of structural racism. You’d agree with them. Logically, there the same function or algorithm for determining structural bias that just have different inputs or outputs. As the sophistry goes, those on the linked article and now you if backing them redefine their own term for just these conversations so it can’t apply to a white person.

                                                                                Sorry for the late reply.

                                                                                So, we don’t really know each other. I have some ideas about you: male, 20s, information security professional. Probably not in California. From what you’ve previously posted, it sounds like you had it not so easy growing up.

                                                                                Here’s where I go out on a limb a little bit: you believe that the most important thing about doing your job is professional competence, like ability to debug an issue or design a feature to be safe and easy to use. You also hate that there are exploitable systems in place in society; exploitable systems are bad.

                                                                                Now, it sounds to me like your boss thought other things were important, like smelling nice or getting along with other teams, were also important, and when some of your friends, who you thought were very good at their jobs, were fired or laid off, they were replaced by people your boss, who is not white, knew or approved of.

                                                                                Am I way off base?

                                                                                Anyway, I’m saying all this to demonstrate that I have some idea of how things are, based on my decades of professional interaction with infosec teams, and working in IT, and being online.

                                                                                So, you say above, “My black boss favors other black people over white people, sounds like the definition of structural racism to me.” But your error is so fundamental that explaining how wrong you are is such a huge task. It requires you to understand:

                                                                                1. there is no separation of concerns or contexts for human beings in society; there is no such thing as “professional identity” and “personal identity”, for example, because actions in one context have effect in all the other ones;

                                                                                To this point, consider how you feel about the decision to exclude the fascist Urbit dude (Moldbug) from a conference, where presumably, he was going to talk about his idea for a feudal internet and recruit people to support him and its development. You’re mad because you think the details of his software, developed as a reification of his values, is not a political issue, merely a technical one, and you don’t think any status given to him for speaking at that conference will carry over to his Moldbug persona, and no one who he thinks should be subjugated will stay away as a result of his presence. I leave the absurdity of that belief to stand on its face.

                                                                                1. there is a difference between small, local, private social spaces, like an office or a conference, and THE ENTIRE REST OF THE WORLD, where those larger contexts’ effects dominate.

                                                                                To the second point, for example, and to bring up something you said previously in a different thread, there is no study of the unfair discrimination done by female bosses against men because there are so few female bosses.

                                                                                And so, that brings us to the final thing you need to understand before you could understand why I said your statements were baseless and false:

                                                                                1. the presence of an exploitable social system is not the same as its mass exploitation by one identifiable group.

                                                                                You have a black boss who favors people who are like her, and this offends you. To say, “this is structural racism in action,” though, is to ignore the fact that 90% of the bosses are white men who also favor people like them, and that the current real cultural and political landscape favors people like them in terms of access to education, and jobs, and wealth opportunities, and protection by police, and ability to relocate to some other place where the people there will probably be friendly to them. And most of them are hostile to the idea of changing that to make it more equitable.

                                                                                And I don’t think you’ll ever understand that, or at least, not here and now. So when you say something unfounded and ignorant like, “reverse racism is just as bad as real racism”, which is false and baseless because it ignores nearly every relevant factor in favor of “any exploitation of an exploitable system is offensive and bad”, the most legitimate response is a one-liner like the one I gave.

                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                  “So, we don’t really know each other. I have some ideas about you: male, 20s, information security professional. Probably not in California. From what you’ve previously posted, it sounds like you had it not so easy growing up. Here’s where I go out on a limb a little bit: you believe that the most important thing about doing your job is professional competence”

                                                                                  I appreciate you attempting to understand where I’m coming from. Unfortunately, it gave a great example of the kind of projection I’m talking about that certain types of politics depend on to prop up myths or suppress alternative views. The profile doesn’t even match some of my comments on Lobsters about my job, how people get promotions, or what to expect in businesses. It is common among people that push a specific type of politics or CoC’s. Almost every one of them that profiles me says same thing you did. So, let’s get a better picture.

                                                                                  I grew up in areas where dominant groups were very different from me: black school with pervasive racism against whites; rural areas with rednecks that look down on “nerds” and tech; mixed, suburban school that was great in comparison, all groups anti-nerd in nicer way, and a nerd/outcast crowd that was cool (yay!); businesses and other organizations with different makeups. I’m in 30-40 range. I’m not currently in tech or information security as main job: I went into operational side of a company that does mix of high-volume sales and service activities. My job mixes both: sometimes moving product, othertimes handing customers. Our customer base is as diverse as they get with me interacting with, serving, taking abuse from, or being praised by at least 22,000 people face-to-face on record with high, satisfaction rate from those surveyed. With many, especially in groups, I’m required to listen to or make conversation with them to make a pleasant experience. I also observe and listen to what they say to each other just being curious of how they act and what they think. On Facebook, I also created a diverse crowd to see all the things people could teach me about popular topics that I’d otherwise miss due to a filter bubble.

                                                                                  My long time effectively being a white person in both minority-dominated environments and effective slave to mix of people showed me they act effectively the same over sample size of twenty to thirty thousand people in many circumstances with tens to hundreds of thousands of interactions with them among my coworkers and I. Most exploit our company’s level of service to get what they can out of us. Most sound polite, some neutral, and a few ugly with almost all apathetic to burdens or damage they cause. Last subset will use their power in ways that seriously disrupt the company or cause employees harm. Some have used race/gender cards against white males but root cause of exploiting power with misinformation or threats is something all groups do to us. The cards are rarely necessary given our vulnerability. The bosses, which come and go a lot, are mostly either folks wanting a safe bet at blue-chip company with upward mobility or opportunists wanting a ticket punching opportunity move laterally into better pay at another company. At upper levels, it’s almost always politics over performance with team supervisor level being a mix of performance and politics leaning toward performance if it’s about at least keeping the job.

                                                                                  As part of my work, I constantly ask my customers of all groups questions about their jobs, lives, and even politics with no judgment or argument: I just tell them I’m curious, I like hearing others opinions, and thank them for whatever they tell me. Depending on how I assess them, I’ll either politely decline further engagement or carefully ask questions making sure I don’t step past their boundaries. Down-to-earth, non-judgmental or just fun-loving customers I’m more open with or do my comedic approach I do with coworkers for their enjoyment. Those few being non-threatening to my career means I can self-censor less and be myself more. Work style is goofball/satirist/wiseguy who has everyone’s back or gives headaches to those team decides needs it.

                                                                                  That leads me to the next thing. I’d be willing to bet that neither you nor most people advocating some of these views, CoC’s, etc have been under the power of large numbers of minorities or interviewed hundreds to thousands in diverse area for their views without leading questions that reinforce your own beliefs. The comments you see me make on here are often compatible with many of them I’ve talked to. That’s despite some’s attempts to censor them saying that’s about “protecting” minorities or blocking what offends “them.” There’s a huge gap between what piles of black people tell me and what some liberals (including whites) tell me that pretty much all black people think. For instance, most black people I interview in the Mid-South think racism is something every group can do, that it can happen at many levels, and black people can be racist, too. There are plenty that think the other way but they aren’t majority I’ve encountered. When the latter are in control, the views that disagreeing blacks espouse about definition or nature of racism being a general thing are not allowed despite coming from minority members. The standards/rule promoting groups claim to advance or protect minorities while systematically excluding all of them with dissenting views from participation. And then they have a problem with whites making similar claims, too.

                                                                                  Your longer comment might make more sense if you were responding to what a white male with minimal social interaction would believe after a few brushes with run-of-the-mill discrimination. Thing is, my posts are a summary of position of whites, blacks, men, and women who believe these things based on their lifetimes of interaction with their groups and others with many of us under power of other groups in organizations they control. So, we’ve gotten to see it both ways. We’re a very diverse crowd. We shouldn’t be pigeonholed into these projections that pretend it’s one or two subsets of demographics, we have limited experience with other groups in control, we must be social idiots who don’t know The Game at work that gets promotions, and so on. We’re a mix of minority members and white males who understand people, have tons of experience with them, and disagree with your position based on those experiences. Seeing how minority members disagreed among themselves on topics of race, gender and so on reinforced my fight against any group dictating one set of beliefs/practices being acceptable or not. My own group saying it could just be bias but many of them concluding similar things from different backgrounds hinted it might be greater truth.

                                                                                  “there is a difference between small, local, private social spaces,”

                                                                                  It turns out this is true but circumstantially rather than fundamental. The experience I’ve had with thousands of people (esp minorities), observing many more groups controlled by them, listening to minority members in structures controlled by majority or minority types, and so on indicates minority members act just like whites or males. They reward those like them, discriminate against those substantially different, and mostly don’t care about other groups in day-to-day speech or actions. This trend is supported by data from most groups going back most of human history. Any country that has a certain majority with power will have its members come to dominance mostly rewarding their group or a privileged few penalizing others. There’s usually common enemies, too, to unify them. African countries under black control had same traits. Over here, it was mostly white males in power reinforcing their preferences which perpetuated that cycle. So, that’s the majority of the problem at the national level. Switch to cities, organizations, etc that blacks control, you see a reversal of the effect where they boost their own group more and battle/minimize politics of others.

                                                                                  From there, how do we react? Well, if it’s a universal phenomenon, then we need to define it as a universal phenomenon rather than definitions or practices that only villify specific groups for others’ gain. The honest definition costs us nothing: we just note bias, expect each group to combat theirs, and assess it in al group activities by default. Minority members that agreed with me and I are all already doing it to varying degrees. So, it’s not hypothethical. From there, we’d expend most of our effort on whatever is most prevalant in our locale and the national level. I’d expect most of that to be combating white racism or male sexism at national level. At local one, it will usually depend on the group with white dominated areas having mostly white racism we gotta fight, non-white dominated areas having non-white racism we have to fight, and occasional weird ones you’d not expect if just using checklist-like approach to who is oppressors or victims. It will vary as the demographics and beliefs vary among the various power and social structures.

                                                                                  For instance, our [huge] company has different types of -ism’s in different groups depending on their makeup. The executive and senior levels are definitely biased for whites and mostly males with promotions all politics. Middle started from there to get much more mixed with mosty same politics plus some new. On lower levels of management, there’s been a shift in my area toward blacks benefiting only certain types of blacks in two to three groups, white women in three, white men in two others (one biased for women), and one was mixed before ejecting a scapegoated, white dude recenty to get a black guy. Last one in flux. The black-controlled groups even wanted to poach me to boost their numbers but my bosses and I prevented it. I’m still forced to help them once a day or so but that’s driven by cost-cutting and politics, not racial issues.

                                                                                  Blocking transfer was good since turnover is at record high now in their groups, even among black men and women, since leadership’s favoratism discriminates across three attributes (race/gender/age) instead of one or two we’re used to dealing with in the South. High-performing workers with great, social skills who were mostly white, Asian, and one Pacific Islander were given unpopular grunt work with older, black women given better work or promoted. They talk to them differently, too. The advantaged blacks ranged from low performers that transferred to that group (the older women) to a few high performers so good I’d personally invest time in if they asked. Two, a younger male and woman, were exceptions to get advantaged with older women. Women to male ratio in general for advantaged positions is around 8-10 to 1 with ratio among high-performers 1 to 1 to around 3 to 1 depending on what skills you want and whose coming/going. Their personnel decisions don’t make sense unless structural discrimination and/or politics is at play.

                                                                                  Which is what I expect by default and combat for all types. And we end with:

                                                                                  “And I don’t think you’ll ever understand that, or at least, not here. So when you say something unfounded and ignorant like, “reverse racism is just as bad as real racism”

                                                                                  You’re really saying you think all the minority members I’ve listened to or worked with who agree with my position couldn’t possibly understand because of (white male stuff here). It makes no sense because they’re not white males but share my position. Majority are women, too, with many sharing positions on women topics some labeled sexist or something on various forums. You’re right that I can’t understand why only one set of views about minority matters is allowed or often reported, a good chunk preaching them being white, when minorities themselves have an interesting, diverse range of views. I’ve learned a lot from listening to them. They helped shape what I think on tolerance, true inclusiveness, and so on where rejecting certain views on false pretenses (eg only ignorant or hateful white dudes say that) would lead me to systematically discriminate against or suppress minority members with those views in large numbers.

                                                                                  That would be racist and sexist like my white, male executives who only tolerate their type of people, views, and practices. I’m not like that. So, I avoid it and fight it when people who do it want to make any form of it a standard practice to force everyone to think, talk and act like them. Usually have minority members backing me up in most places, too, except on these tech forums. Since they’re not present and invisible to my opponents, I have to speak up on their behalf to let people know they and their beliefs exist. They wouldn’t want to be dismissed with labeling and/or censored.

                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                    Welp, at least I’m way off-base in my projection, though your childhood was what I meant by rough time (you brought it up in a different comment) :)

                                                                                    So, that’s a lot to reply to, and I don’t want you to think I’m ghosting or don’t appreciate the long and thoughtful reply. I do, and I thank you. But I’m about to walk out the door and won’t be able to reply in kind until tomorrow. Or, if you don’t want to continue publicly, I am happy to DM. Or if you’re sick of me and my shit, I respect that.

                                                                                    But I mean, I’m surprised you’re not in the industry, when you’re so passionate about what it’s like for people who are in it.

                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                      These discussions take a lot of energy as I aim for strong accuracy minimizing effects of my biases. They don’t piss me off or anything except for few times I’m straight up attacked in a clear way. I might not reply just to get back on other stuff like tech or better job, but I’ll definitely read and think on whatever your reply is. :)

                                                                                      Far as IT or INFOSEC, I assumed you’d assume I was in it because it’s a reasonable assumption. I didn’t hold that against you so much as use it to illustrate we come here and to our beliefs from many backgrounds that might surprise you. Most people online can’t believe I’m not in INFOSEC. Some have accused me of lying about that to protect my identity at some defense contractor. Yeah, I’m living in movie True Lies lol…

                                                                            2. 1

                                                                              minority members dominate the power structure.

                                                                              If only there was a movement that wanted to eliminated dominating power structures…. I just can’t put my finger on it. Or that’s it! Welcome comrade, have you googled The Bread Book?

                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                Lol. I do try to keep them in check. I stay away from communism, though. Utilitatianism via incentives, regulation, and individual action are my preferred methods.

                                                                            3. 2

                                                                              It seems like a reasonable CoC. Your argument that organizers copy and paste it is strange. 50% of software is GPL, and the remaining are copy-paste licenses like MIT, Apache, and BSD. Likely less than 1% have licenses that are custom. Would you say the same thing about software people choosing a license and copy-pasting it? It seems to me most projects do make a big deal about which license they choose.

                                                                              A well designed CoC like the one you linked seems reasonable to re-use.

                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                Software licences are not the same as CoCs. Software licences police the use of software. CoCs police peoples public behaviour. Using a boilerplate template is a clear indicator that people are posting it to say they’re good people rather than properly looking at how they use or enforce them.

                                                                                You may think the Geek feminism CoC template is fine. I find it deeply problematic for most events in my size, location and cultural bracket for events I’m involved in. That’s not to say it doesn’t make interesting points, but it’s better that event organisers consider them (along with everything the wiki has to say about CoCs) when preparing their own.

                                                                                1. 0

                                                                                  I think enforcement is less important than setting expectations. CoC is priming people on what kind of behavior is expected. This priming will have a positive consequence where people will likely act better. There is good psychological research behind priming that you should read. Enforcement is not the primary purpose of a CoC.

                                                                                  1. 3

                                                                                    I think enforcement is less important than setting expectations.

                                                                                    If you’re setting expectations withough an ability to enforce them then this will be your outcome.

                                                                                    I’m discontinuing this thread with you as you’re no longer adding anything to the discussion.

                                                                            4. 6

                                                                              I’m neither a geek, nor a feminist. I strongly resent any association between people who claim they are geeks and myself. I am also an anti-feminist. Unlike modern feminists I believe in equality; men and women should have the same rights, just like blacks and catholics and whatever other people from any group you can think of. Modern feminists don’t think that (EttiCosmocrepe provided a link below) and that’s why the are my enemy.

                                                                              1. 0

                                                                                Last I checked feminists want the sexes to be equal. Sounds like you are a “traditional feminist”.

                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                  I’m neither a geek, nor a feminist.

                                                                                  I am also an anti-feminist

                                                                                  hence

                                                                                  Sounds like you are a “traditional feminist”.

                                                                                  I believe your reasoning really speaks for itself, hence no further comment is necessary.

                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                    I think your pet definition of feminism has clouded your reasoning. Example: You said you want men and women to be equal. That’s what feminism is! In the same breath you call yourself an anti-feminist because you have this strange idea of what feminism is.

                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                      Technically someone who wants men and women to be equal is an egalitarian. Feminism and Masculism are mostly concerned with equality for the respective side.

                                                                              2. 1

                                                                                Until you decide to explain which version of feminism (or even generation of feminism, grossly speqking) I don’t think it’s easy to have a productive conversation.

                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                  The feminism that wants equality for all sexes in all spheres of life.

                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                    equal opportunity, or equal outcome?

                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                      Equal opportunity and equitable outcome.

                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                        You can’t have both. They’re mutually exclusive. Even given 100% equal opportunity there will always be differing outcomes. You can optimize for either, but you reach a point where optimizing for one will always displace the other.

                                                                                        This isn’t to say we don’t live in a deeply unequal world in either sense, just that what you want isn’t possible.

                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                          Notice I didn’t say equal outcomes, I said equitable

                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                            Notice I didn’t say equal outcomes, I said that your two options were mutually exclusive and implied a trade-off between them.

                                                                                            1. 3

                                                                                              You can’t have both. They’re mutually exclusive. Even given 100% equal opportunity there will always be differing outcomes.

                                                                                              When I said the outcomes need to be equitable, I obviously recognize equal opportunity will result in differing outcomes. This is not a contradiction. This is simply your failure to recognize dynamic systems. Imagine a system using dead reckoning . We have our simple model of system behaviour (equal opportunity leads to equal outcome). Efforts for equitable outcomes is a course correction after applying a Kalman filter from our expected simplified model. What really happened is equal opportunity resulted in different outcomes because people are different. So we apply equitable distribution to course correct. This is a self correcting system.

                                                                                              The truth is “equal opportunity brings more equal than no equal opportunity outcomes, but obviously not equal outcomes” is a complex model. We can simplify with “equal opportunity brings more equality” and then course correct with equitable distribution.

                                                                                              It’s absolutely strange that computer people fall back on “logic” instead of dynamic systems to deal with an obviously dynamic system (society).

                                                                                            2. 1

                                                                                              What would an equitable outcome look like, I’m genuinely interested in what you exactly mean with it.

                                                                                              1. 3

                                                                                                Society should decide what people need at a minimum (housing, food, healthcare, access to internet, etc) to live a decent life and provide it to them. Some people will need to be provided more than others depending on their differences (people with disabilities may need more help, etc).

                                                                                                In other words, from each according to their ability, to each according to their need.

                                                                                                I like the term David Graeber defined here called “everyday communism”

                                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                                  That indeed sounds like something that can and should be achieved.

                                                                                2. 1

                                                                                  If it’s public, I’m curious to hear more words or links about your alternative model for a CoC. What do you see as key differences do you see in problems to be addressed, approach to solving them, enforcement, administration, education, etc.?

                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                    CoCs assert to set expectations for behaviour, but in reality they tend to focus on harassment. We have had harassment at our event (and I have no doubt that plenty goes unreported), but our most common problems are theft, fighting and damage caused by drunkenness. I’ve never seen a CoC address this.

                                                                                    Another common (at least to us) area CoC’s tend to fall completely short is disruption of talks. BSidesScotland’s Code of Conduct is very good in this respect.

                                                                                    Now some people might think that all we need to do is make a multi-page document outlining what we can and can’t do with a 4 page section on harassment and we’ll be fine. We won’t. In the interim we’ve settled on Wheaton’s Law as the equivalent of a CoC, along with some light rules about enforcement. However, we still have theft, damage, violence etc. on occasion.

                                                                                    The current (non-public) iteration is something we’re calling house rules - a one-pager that goes up on the site, at our event that everyone’s supposed to abide by focusing on actions, not opinions. People who think that a person’s value is defined in some aspect of identity can attend. Act on that, and they’re getting thrown out. People who believe that it’s right to punch people dumb enough to think worth is related to skin colour are also getting thrown out. People who steal or try to steal are getting thrown out.

                                                                                    To make this work we’re going to hold training sessions with ops leads and all the crew, and we’re going to make sure attendees know the house rules through a mix of mailshots, entry in the brochure and possibly (although we’re not sure yet) having the house rules printed up and put up probably around the registration area. On top of this we’re looking into first aid training for ops leads and a bunch of safeguarding education so we can improve our responses.

                                                                                    This assumes that we get this ready in time for this year’s event. Previous iterations have failed due to opposition to identity-based CoCs, mostly from female members of the crew and female attendees. The feedback that I’ve had is that anything that singles people out on the basis of gender or identity is unfair and uncomfortable for them, and introduces an ugly element to our culture that previously wasn’t part of it.

                                                                                    More than anything else, we’re trying to specifically avoid a re-run of donglegate, the FreeBSD debacle(s), and make sure we’re ready to properly support a very severe incident. Ultimately we just want our event to be the same great event it’s always been, to make sure people have a good time and to be welcoming to everyone.

                                                                              1. 60

                                                                                I’m pretty uncomfortable with calling software “sexy”.

                                                                                1. 27

                                                                                  Agreed. And going to a website promoting ostensibly professional software only to see “sexy” in large type multiple times just doesn’t feel work appropriate.

                                                                                  “the little sweet and sexy” is just not a phrase you should be using to describe software. It’s off-putting to people, and it’s generally (at least in pop culture) used by leachers old men.This feels like yet another example of how tone deaf men in tech can be.

                                                                                  1. -5

                                                                                    Glad to you took the time to insult and signal how much better you are than those leacher, tone deaf old men who wrote some free software for you. It’s really a great way to earn friends and show them the errors of their ways by shaming people publicly. /s

                                                                                    p.s. I agree with the sentiment, and hwayne’s comment is far more appropriate than some of the others I have seen. He expresses his own opinion, not theoretical opinions of others, and doesn’t shame anyone.

                                                                                    p.p.s The funny thing Is rereading my own comment, I see I am not even following my own advice! A better comment would be something like:

                                                                                    I do not agree with calling potentially well meaning people “tone deaf”.

                                                                                  2. 5

                                                                                    Same for me, but that’s probably the sign of times. I have also the same feeling when people say that they love this company or that software.

                                                                                    Of course when old established projects use such a lingo it may sound like when old people say something in teenage slang. It will feel off for teenagers and alien to other old people. Sort of uncanny valley?

                                                                                    1. 3

                                                                                      At some point you are reading way too far into things… It just means ‘stronger than like’ in that context.

                                                                                      I love my pet dogs. I love good food. I love good software.

                                                                                      1. 5

                                                                                        It may be because I’m not a native English speaker. In my language love is mostly reserved to the top emotion. Then if you love something (your work or music genere) it means that it can literally compete with the feeling you have to e.g. your spouse. I guess it’s something that I can’t get over. Especially regarding purely profit motivated endeavours.

                                                                                        1. 4

                                                                                          Almost certainly a native/non-native speaker thing. In American English at least, ‘love’ is a pretty tame word that gets thrown around for everything. There really isn’t a specific word distinct for, e.g., the feeling one feels about their spouse; about their kids; etc. Usually ‘love’ is used there too, and context determines the level of effect.

                                                                                          Occasionally you might see modifiers like, “brotherly love”, “fatherly love”, “familial love”, etc. That’s not super common though, mostly just context to delineate the quality of the usage.

                                                                                          What is your native language? I know Greek has a few different words for different classes of ‘love’, and I imagine it’s not super uncommon, but I’m always curious about language related topics and the different quirks various languages have.

                                                                                          1. 3

                                                                                            I’m Polish. We say something like “brotherly love” or “fatherly love”. One can love their work, hobby and certainly their pet. But when someone says that he loves food or a thing it sound strange. “Like” is “lubić”. “Love” is “kochać”. “Love” in context of things would be more commonly translated to “uwielbiać”. It literally means “worship”, but in this context it is really more like “love” used as “stronger than like”. So maybe it is more crazy then in English.

                                                                                            Love as a verb is “kochać”. But love as a noun is “miłość”. So “kochać” means that you feel “miłość” to somebody.

                                                                                            I heard people from more pop part of younger generation saying such things, but it sounds for me like a literal translation from English. I heard it in movies and especially children movies. It almost always sounded off to me, but next generation is learning this foreign use. So I guess I’m doomed thanks to globalization ;).

                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                              I’m also Polish and to be honest I find nothing strange in usage of “love” in context of “food or a thing” (both in Polish and in English). Considering that it seems from your linkedin profile that I’m older (32) than you I think your generalizations about younger generation is wrong :)

                                                                                    2. 3

                                                                                      Yes. Also: laptops, companies, fields of study, consumer electronics, genres of literature, fonts, cooking techniques…

                                                                                      Unless you are literally indicating sexual attractiveness, please use a word such as “exciting”, “sleek”, or “fashionable”.

                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                        I don’t think I have a problem with the sexy part, I have a problem with the screenshots make it not even look all that great. Those fonts are terrible. There’s nothing in the feature list that really even makes me want to try it out over the editors/IDEs I currently use.

                                                                                        1. 3

                                                                                          I filed an issue. Please consider +1

                                                                                          https://github.com/geany/geany/issues/1672

                                                                                          1. 10

                                                                                            Is not “sexy” a gender neutral word, that can be used about both genders?

                                                                                            1. 14

                                                                                              It’s not about whether it’s gender neutral. It’s just kinda weird.

                                                                                              1. 6

                                                                                                Agree, but linked issue mentions women as if word “sexy” offends women more than men.

                                                                                                1. 9

                                                                                                  Yes, sexy is gender neutral. What makes it potentially offensive to women is the association with exploitation and objectification.

                                                                                                  The word itself isn’t offensive. I can say that I find my wife to be drop dead sexy, but that’s because in that context it’s entirely appropriate.

                                                                                                  1. 4

                                                                                                    I completely agree that sexy in context of software sounds strange at best. I just don’t think that mentioning one particular gender in that issue was needed.

                                                                                                    1. -2

                                                                                                      Stop taking offense on behalf of others.

                                                                                                      1. 10

                                                                                                        Fascinating that you see it that way. When there is a gigantic groundswell of people saying “your behavior makes me uncomfortable” I try to change that behavior.

                                                                                                        I for one value women in tech. I find their presence in my day to day working life improves my productivity and the productivity of the teams I work on, as does a diversity of backgrounds, opinions and characteristics.

                                                                                                        So, for me this isn’t about offense, it’s about trying to make the industry I care deeply about a more welcoming place for a group of people I also care deeply about.

                                                                                                        1. 10

                                                                                                          Folks can play dumb about “sexy” alone, but when you address the complete phrase, “little, sweet, and sexy,” someone’s gotta be pretending to be reeeal oblivious to show up and say oh that’s neutral we’re not talking about software like we wanna talk about women.

                                                                                                          Anyway keep speaking up, because yeah it’s not “taking offense on behalf of others” its paying attention to them and having consideration without them having to speak every time. And I sure as heck don’t like to wade directly into this kind of talk on lobsters very often, it’s rarely worth it.

                                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                                            Thanks. I think that’s why it’s important for people in privileged situations like myself to at least try and raise awareness. I don’t let the negative comments get to me - I was donning my asbestos underwear and wading into email/USENET threads before most of these people were born :)

                                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                                              I can’t imagine people talking about women that way. Would be super creepy to use a phrase like “sweet and sexy” about a person instead of a thing…

                                                                                                              1. -1

                                                                                                                Maybe you are (or someone reading this is) not aware of the counter argument so I thought I’d share: the implication in your comment is that sex necessarily exploits women, which is false. The idea that sex necessarily exploits women reinforces the belief that we must protect women from sex as we do children. This is a defining aspect of anti-sex, Third Wave feminism, which I believe runs counter to the feminist goals of dismantaling fascist and patriarchal structures in society.

                                                                                                              2. 6

                                                                                                                I am very rarely seeing a groundswell of people saying “Your behavior makes me uncomfortable”.

                                                                                                                What I actually see is people saying “I assume your behavior is making somebody else uncomfortable, and I am taking the credit for ‘fixing’ you”. I far prefer the original comment from hwayne where he was talking about his own opinions, rather than imagining those of other people.

                                                                                                                1. 6

                                                                                                                  My upvotes usually mean “you speak for me also”. It’s quite a time saver. :) So, to clarify, I myself personally was made uncomfortable by someone describing software as “sweet and sexy”. So much so that I only skimmed the first page or so and closed the tab.

                                                                                                                  I assume they had good intentions. If I were the author, I’d work a bit more to come up with some way to express my excitement at having written something cool, without sounding creepy.

                                                                                                                  1. 4

                                                                                                                    And I’d like to be very clear, I don’t disagree with the argument, I disagree with some of the methods used to enforce them.

                                                                                                                  2. 3

                                                                                                                    I for one value women in tech. I find their presence in my day to day working life improves my productivity and the productivity of the teams I work on, as does a diversity of backgrounds, opinions and characteristics.

                                                                                                                    Non-native English speaker here. How does the term sexy offend only women and make them unwelcome to OSS? I mean, I understand the top comment (by hwayne) here saying how it would make someone uncomfortable, but why I don’t understand why it is only limited to women.

                                                                                                                    1. 5
                                                                                                                      Quoting a woman who’s a friend of mine from another context, unattributed at her request:

                                                                                                                      The word “sexy” when used to mean that something is sexually attractive, is what it is. You may or may not be expressing something offensive when you use it. The word “sexy” when used to describe something that is not sexual - a car, an algorithm, a user interface - still evokes the idea of sex. It implies that you should feel sexually “turned on” by it, even if it is not literally a thing with which you would have sex. Given the cultural and historical context of our times, a professional environment where people are expected to feel sexually “turned on” by things, or where the idea of sex is constantly referred to when it is not technically relevant, is not an environment where many women will assume they are respected or even safe. You personally might go ahead and assume you are safe and respected. Many women won’t. This reduces the pool of women who are interested in applying for jobs at your company, or interested in staying once they have experienced it for awhile. The people who create the culture of a company either care about that, or they don’t.

                                                                                                                2. -1

                                                                                                                  But you are the one drawing associating between “sex” and “exploitation” and “women”.

                                                                                                          2. 7

                                                                                                            For those who are about to read: note that geany.sexy is not managed by the maintainers of the Geany IDE, so the issue didn’t end up going anywhere.

                                                                                                            1. 7

                                                                                                              This seems like a silly thing to even care about. It’s like the whole master/slave IDE cable debate. Seriously, it doesn’t need to be a big deal. It’s not even the editors official site. There are more important things to spend time on.

                                                                                                            2. -2

                                                                                                              Are you uncomfortable with sexuality in general?

                                                                                                            1. 12

                                                                                                              I disagree with this post. I’m also a professional and my time is valuable too. However, two of the three suggestions they made are taking significant time away from me and my team for evaluating a candidate that potentially can’t even write code to solve a simple task. Part of an interview process is to filter out people before it gets to that point, so we’re not wasting employees time.

                                                                                                              1. 10

                                                                                                                I think coding challenges are optimised for candidates who are looking for a job. I’ve been in that boat once, and when you’re actually looking for a job your “valuable time” is of course bet spent trying to get said job (by doing coding challenge or whatever else).

                                                                                                                Most of the time, though, I’m being recruited. I’m not going to do a coding challenge for a recruiter.

                                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                                  Taking an entire day to work with them (unpaid) still strikes me as really weird.

                                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                                    Think of it as a great way to find out if these are people you would want to work with every day before you actually have to do that.

                                                                                                                2. 8

                                                                                                                  I disagree with this post. I’m also a professional and my time is valuable too.

                                                                                                                  I have the same problem with it as a hiring manager– how do I screen out socially capable but inept developers– and I share the author’s opinion when I’m the candidate– this tells me nothing about why I want to work for you. Each side wants the other to make an unequal commitment so it amounts to a single round game with that candidate. As a candidate with a choice of games, I don’t want to play this one and it signals disregard for/trivialization of the candidate’s investment and work history. For the hiring side, this plays out multiple times and there is investment in posting, screening, reviewing, etc. so regardless of this round my total investment is higher but not visible.

                                                                                                                  So what have I personally done? When I’m the candidate, I refuse to do the coding challenge and say, like the author, check my repos and talk to my references (unless the problem catches my interest, then I might). I have that luxury. When I’m the employer? Up front I explain how it works and what timeline they can expect as part of a 15-minute phone screen for basic info with someone technical. Then I arrange a round of 45-60 minute calls: a technical call with someone on the team and a social/technical call where I try to get them to talk with me about their work in detail and many of the non-code aspects of their job, habits, tools, designs, etc. They’ll probably have a call with my manager or another peer. Then, if I’m satisfied but not sure, I bring them in or have a video chat and they do a quick coding test. This wastes less of their time, makes my commitment visible, and seems to work but it is not a scalable process.

                                                                                                                  1. 7

                                                                                                                    I have a portfolio and some github projects. This is where most of my hiring emails come from. So when a company doesn’t spend the time to check that out, and they want me to implement some trivial thing that doesn’t generate value for them, I don’t have time for them either.

                                                                                                                    I’ve had companies pay me to be a consultant for a week before giving me an offer, which was a nice way to learn about who they are. On the other hand, sometimes companies give me job offers now before I know anything about them, and I have to pump the brakes and talk to more of them before I feel comfortable going into something long-term.

                                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                                      …evaluating a candidate that potentially can’t even write code to solve a simple task.

                                                                                                                      In the post, they talk about how they have a blog, numerous GitHub repositories, etc. At that point it should be obvious they can code. The interview then should be more about “fit” or whatever, IMHO.

                                                                                                                      1. 5

                                                                                                                        They aren’t the only candidate we would interview and in my opinion, it is better to have a consistent process. If every candidate had a similar level of public presence to evaluate then maybe that would be different.

                                                                                                                        1. 7

                                                                                                                          So, again IMHO, at that point you’re basically throwing out someone with passion and talent due to bureaucracy. If I come to you with decades of experience/conference talks/published papers/lots of open source software to review/whatever…and you ask me to spend 30 minutes doing trivial work, you’re basically implying that I’m lying to you and/or that your company cares more about process than people.

                                                                                                                          Again, this is IMHO.

                                                                                                                          1. 7

                                                                                                                            I’m saying that you’re not the only person applying for the job and I need to treat everyone the same, so we’re not giving preferential treatment.

                                                                                                                            1. 3

                                                                                                                              I know, but…maybe you should give preferential treatment to people who are obviously better candidates. :)

                                                                                                                              1. 9

                                                                                                                                Some of the best engineers I know have zero public presence. Some of them are extremely humble and don’t like public flashiness. Some of them have families and maintain a strong work-life balance with non-tech stuff. Never assume those with a strong public presence are giving the world the whole picture. You still want to drill into the parts of their personality that they don’t highlight.

                                                                                                                                1. 4

                                                                                                                                  Why does having a public portfolio make someone an obviously better candidate? What makes a candidate obviously better? Arbitrary social metrics? Ability to speak quickly about technical topics? Ability to talk bullshit without it sounding like bullshit?

                                                                                                                                  How do you know a candidate is obviously better without having them go through the same process and pipeline?

                                                                                                                                  1. 3

                                                                                                                                    How do you know a candidate is obviously better without having them go through the same process and pipeline?

                                                                                                                                    If the code in their GitHub account is as good or better than what would be tested by my coding test, why subject them to that? Ask harder questions, ask questions about the things that the coding test wouldn’t cover (including “soft” things that would judge a good fit), etc.

                                                                                                                                    Why does having a public portfolio make someone an obviously better candidate?

                                                                                                                                    Which surgeon would you rather have? The one nobody’s ever heard of, or the one who has published articles on the relevant surgical procedures, who goes to conferences to learn more about surgery, who obviously is passionate enough about medicine that they would study it even if they weren’t getting paid?

                                                                                                                              2. 8

                                                                                                                                There are, unfortunately, a lot of liars out there. I won’t say that industry hiring practices are anywhere near ideal, but as an interviewer it was astonishing how many people with great optics were incapable of coding. Someone would speak with great passion about all their projects and yada yada, and id be fairly convinced they could do the job, then I’d ask the most basic question imaginable. Splat.

                                                                                                                                I guess it helps if you choose to believe the test isn’t meant for you, but for all the other pretenders.

                                                                                                                                1. 7

                                                                                                                                  Even more surprising to me is that people who can’t actually code are somehow able to sustain careers as developers. It started making a lot of sense to me why good developers are in such high demand after I had the opportunity to do some interviewing and found that a frustratingly large amount of applicants can’t actually code, even if they look great on paper and are currently employed as developers.

                                                                                                                                  I think it’s incredibly risky to hire a developer without seeing code that they have written, be it from open source contributions or a coding test if necessary.

                                                                                                                                  1. 3

                                                                                                                                    Onsite nerves can kick in. It sure as hell did for me. I hate white boarding and I lockup. Totally brain freeze. That said, if it’s a basic one like writing a loop…well, they somehow lied their way into the onsite. Thing is, a take home coding challenge can weed out those people pretty fast. If they do that and come in and fall flat on their face before the whiteboard I don’t totally discount them. Anyway, there’s no perfect solution. There is always the potential to hire someone that is great at coding interviews and then sucks at real world problems.

                                                                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                                                                      This is exactly my company’s experience. Half of the candidates would just bomb out on the C++ test even though they have studied it at high school/college/university and worked with it at their job for 5-10 years. How?!? Because they were either doing Java, not C++, or they were actually managing a team that did C++ and never had to touch it themselves (Well since leaving school at least).

                                                                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                                                                        What I don’t understand is why this is so hyper-specific to developers. You never hear UI designers talking about processes like this.

                                                                                                                                        1. 6

                                                                                                                                          Really? I’ve heard UI designers talk about it a lot.

                                                                                                                              1. 14

                                                                                                                                Another issue about typing git is that sometimes I type gti, so I have installed this beautiful application http://r-wos.org/hacks/gti

                                                                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                                                                  I just type g, because alias g=git. Since it’s one of the most common commands, it deserves to be just one letter.

                                                                                                                                  1. 5

                                                                                                                                    I do that as well. Also, l=ls, m=make. Then there are shortcuts like gl for git log, gd for git diff, st for git status, gup for git pull --rebase, etc.

                                                                                                                                    1. 3

                                                                                                                                      Ohh… my git aliases are actually “vim-like”: https://github.com/myfreeweb/dotfiles/blob/master/dev-base/gitconfig

                                                                                                                                    2. 1

                                                                                                                                      Seriously. Why bother with ls when you have git? Counting command frequency, my alias gs has over 20 times the usage of ls.

                                                                                                                                      alias gs='g status -sb'
                                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                      1. 3
                                                                                                                                        alias l="tree --dirsfirst -ChFL 1"
                                                                                                                                        alias l2="tree --dirsfirst -ChFL 2"
                                                                                                                                        

                                                                                                                                        etc.

                                                                                                                                        1. 2

                                                                                                                                          That would blow up my terminal. I have a very… flat… organization strategy. Really even using ls in my home dir is useless without a glob. ?

                                                                                                                                          And my home dir is a git repo anyway.

                                                                                                                                    3. 2

                                                                                                                                      ROFL, that’s hilarious. I wish there was an equivalent thing I could install so whenever I press “Esc” on my keyboard I get an annoying animation (I’m trying to teach myself to use Caps-Lock as an Esc key, seeing as I’ll probably be doomed to buy one of the new Macbook Pros with the stupid touchbar soon.)

                                                                                                                                      1. 4

                                                                                                                                        Why bother with an animation? If you really want to stop hitting Escape, buy that Macbook :-P

                                                                                                                                        More seriously, and in case Escape is important because you use Vim: I have grown very fond of :inoremap jk <Esc>. Perhaps that’s of use to you, too?

                                                                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                                                                          As someone who uses jk repeatedly to find where they are on screen when i get lost, that might just kill me. But ctrl+c will exit you from insert mode in vim. As will ctrl+[. Both of which have been really nice when using a touchbar mac.

                                                                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                                                                            In truth, jk doesn’t work for me, either, because I type a lot of Dutch. I use nj, instead. It rolls nicely off the fingertips. I have also heard people recommend jj.

                                                                                                                                        2. 3

                                                                                                                                          it doesn’t have to be a burden, I swap esc and caps lock for better ergonomics.

                                                                                                                                        3. 1

                                                                                                                                          There’s also sl: https://github.com/mtoyoda/sl

                                                                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                                                                            Of which I’m a huge fan. Also contains criticism of gti, debian and systemd.

                                                                                                                                            Sorry for linking to a comment on a different platform, but in this instance, I don’t want to waste vertical space here.

                                                                                                                                        1. 3

                                                                                                                                          Here are some concerns: The syntax can be obscure.

                                                                                                                                          Nonissue.

                                                                                                                                          It’s slow. While the speed of a shell script rarely matters, trying to use the shell like a programming language will waste system resources.

                                                                                                                                          When speed matters, python is not going to be helpful.

                                                                                                                                          We can often omit crucial features of a script. Checking the status of programs using $? can be accidentally left off, leading to inconsistent behavior.

                                                                                                                                          Just like all other languages.

                                                                                                                                          The shell language’s only data structure is the string. There are ways of decomposing strings into words. The expr program can convert strings to numbers to do arithmetic. The date program allows some date manipulations, but the rules can be obscure.

                                                                                                                                          Not even wrong.

                                                                                                                                          array=(a b c)
                                                                                                                                          ((x+=y))
                                                                                                                                          

                                                                                                                                          obscure : the second appearance of the word in the sentences I quoted here. Let’s do s/obscure/unknown to the author/.

                                                                                                                                          Unit testing isn’t easy. There are some packages like Bats that can help with unit testing. A language like Python has a much more robust unit testing capability.

                                                                                                                                          I totally agree.

                                                                                                                                          1. 6

                                                                                                                                            Just like all other languages.

                                                                                                                                            No, other languages have e.g. types.

                                                                                                                                            Nonissue.

                                                                                                                                            Of course syntax can be an issue. Shell scripts that are written by humans should be readable by humans.

                                                                                                                                            1. 3

                                                                                                                                              shell scripts are, for the most part readable by humans. Even before I could write a shell script without cribbing off an existing one, I could understand what they were doing 90+% of the time.

                                                                                                                                              But I would also say that if your job is ops-heavy, you should probably know how to read and write bash. Not because you’ll be writing all your scripts in shell, but because you’re working in a field where a large number of small utilities that you can basically just grab and use are written in shell already.

                                                                                                                                              I wholeheartedly agree with the author that for larger tools should be written in a higher level language almost all the time, but an ops-person should be mostly fluent with shell syntax, and the shell is more easily read than java, c#, and other languages people use every day.

                                                                                                                                          1. 50

                                                                                                                                            This isn’t a particularity interesting read - it doesn’t say anything that hasn’t been said a thousands times already by more informed sources, and seems to be based on some very subjective measures, and some (objectively) wrong claims.

                                                                                                                                            On formatting:

                                                                                                                                            According to my opinion, a programming language should let a developer use his or her style. A heavy influence on the programmer’s style is okay, but a fanactic, religious-like enforcement is inacceptable.

                                                                                                                                            That’s a great opinion to have if you never work with anyone else, but it doesn’t work at scale, which is one of the key design principals for Go.

                                                                                                                                            On broken package management: Go does have issues with package management - it’s very much a weak spot. Vendoring is the official workaround, and whilst it’s not perfect, it does work.

                                                                                                                                            On the lack of inheritance, the author doesn’t seem to mention type composition which is one of my favourite features of Go and frankly sounds like the solution to the very vague issue they’re describing. I’ve always found composition to be much more powerful than inheritance so I’m not sure what the author’s issue is here.

                                                                                                                                            I’m not going to bother addressing generics.

                                                                                                                                            This is also the first time I’ve ever heard anyone call Go’s built in HTTP package “lacking” because it doesn’t come with helper functions for a REST library…? Go’s standard library is excellent, and the HTTP package is one of the best parts of it.

                                                                                                                                            1. 10

                                                                                                                                              The HTTP library complaint really threw me too, because it seems to imply that other languages have more features in their standard HTTP libraries. In Python or Ruby if you wanted to write a similar web server as what you could with Go’s (basically just simple routes that do things) you’d have to grab a package like Flask or Sinatra, because the base language doesn’t support things like that.

                                                                                                                                              It just seems like a complaint because the author wanted to complain. If you’re pointing out something bad in about the core libraries, and then comparing it to a third-party library in another language, you’re not making a fair comparison.

                                                                                                                                              1. 6

                                                                                                                                                On broken package management: Go does have issues with package management - it’s very much a weak spot. Vendoring is the official workaround, and whilst it’s not perfect, it does work.

                                                                                                                                                I am using a combination of GNU make and goland/dep for every new Go project and I and my coworkers are pretty happy with it. Here is the project template I use if anyone is interested. To summarize, go dep and other tools like gopm and glide make package management pretty easy, thus it is not a real issue anymore.

                                                                                                                                                1. 5

                                                                                                                                                  I’m not saying you’re wrong, but there is real value in having one blessed package / dependency management system that everyone in an ecosystem uses. That’s one of my biggest complaints with the JavaScript community, there are 10 different tools to solve every problem and they change regularly.

                                                                                                                                                  1. 4

                                                                                                                                                    dep is, or will be, that blessed tool.

                                                                                                                                                2. 3

                                                                                                                                                  Among other things, he doesn’t mention what he’s using instead, which doubtless has tradeoffs of its own.

                                                                                                                                                  1. 5

                                                                                                                                                    I feel like the OP is a significantly better read than your reply. You assert that it’s all been said before, but then later say that the post makes surprising and novel claims. You decry subjective measures, but your entire reply has no meaningful backup for any of its arguments. You state that there’s objectively wrong claims (in an opinion post about programming!), but then don’t say what they are. You refuse to even address an argument the guy makes. Frankly, your post is awful.

                                                                                                                                                    1. 15

                                                                                                                                                      I feel like the OP is a significantly better read than your reply.

                                                                                                                                                      One is a comment, the other is a blog article. I feel like the Financial Times is a significantly better read than your reply but making that comparison would be absurd.

                                                                                                                                                      You assert that it’s all been said before, but then later say that the post makes surprising and novel claims.

                                                                                                                                                      Of the valid criticisms of Go in the post (package management, lack of generics), there are literally thousands of well written and well informed articles describing the issues and possible solutions, the vast majority of them are better reads and more informative. These are very well known issues to anyone who has ever read about Go.

                                                                                                                                                      The complaint about code formatting is made regularly and dismissed by the vast majority of people, “Go can’t do X because it lacks inheritance” is wrong and occurs frequently enough to have a section in the official Go FAQ. Perhaps I should have written “Of the things the article doesn’t get entirely wrong, it says nothing which hasn’t been said a thousands times before”?

                                                                                                                                                      You decry subjective measures, but your entire reply has no meaningful backup for any of its arguments.

                                                                                                                                                      I’m not going to re-write what has been written thousands of times before on matters that have been discussed to death and which I can add nothing original. I could tear into almost everything written in the post, but I have better things to do (unlike you, perhaps?)

                                                                                                                                                      You state that there’s objectively wrong claims

                                                                                                                                                      The post claims: “Go forces me to maintain the same code in three different places.” because it lacks inheritance. This is objectively wrong. The author doesn’t seem to know about type composition, which as I said, would likely solve the issue he was describing.

                                                                                                                                                      The post claims: “The Go compiler is repressively enforcing a mix of Google’s C++ and Python style guidelines.” and proceeded to give examples of syntax errors which occur because the compiler has rules about where you put newlines. You can style Go however you want: you can can have (brackets) around if statements, you can end lines with semicolons, but it doesn’t need either of these things. You can do whatever you want if you follow the syntax, which isn’t that strict:

                                                                                                                                                      package main
                                                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                                      func main() {
                                                                                                                                                              if(1 + 1 == 2) { println("hello");
                                                                                                                                                              } else if 1+5 == 6 {
                                                                                                                                                                      println("goodbye")
                                                                                                                                                              } else {
                                                                                                                                                                      println("string" +
                                                                                                                                                                     "concatenation") }
                                                                                                                                                      }
                                                                                                                                                      

                                                                                                                                                      That’s valid Go code. You’ll note, for example, the new line between concatenated strings, something the post claims isn’t allowed.

                                                                                                                                                      Most editors will run go fmt because it provides a consistent format for all Go code and is required by most Go projects before they will accept code. To claim that the compiler “repressively enforces” Google’s C++ and Python style guide because it uses newlines as part of the language syntax is wrong.

                                                                                                                                                      Frankly, your post is awful.

                                                                                                                                                      I’m glad you enjoyed it, but frankly I couldn’t care less what you thought of it. Perhaps you could trying adding to the discussion next time rather than simply criticising my response? There are a million ways you could have made the same points without framing it as an attack on my post, yet that’s all you did. Frankly, I find your attitude to be awful, but I wouldn’t have wasted time on it if it hadn’t been aimed at me.

                                                                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                                                                    Related to this, Braintree has a rails example repo on github, which can be used as reference for what a mostly finished integration looks like https://github.com/braintree/braintree_rails_example

                                                                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                                                                      Yeah! this Braintree example is really good!

                                                                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                                                                      I want to know why they chose that unreadable font in the editor screenshot.

                                                                                                                                                      1. 3

                                                                                                                                                        I haven’t been able to figure it out myself, but for some reason H&Co’s Operator has become pretty popular with developers. There’ve been a couple blog posts about it in the past. The only one I can remember is Kenneth Reitz’s.

                                                                                                                                                        1. 3

                                                                                                                                                          Not sure if I’d get on with Operator - or, more to the point, whether I could ever justify splurging $200 on it - but I really enjoyed the “making-of” video. It’s a lovely thing to see anyone quietly but devotedly giving as much of a shit about anything as the people working on that font clearly do about typography. An unexpected pleasure, thanks for linking.

                                                                                                                                                          1. -2

                                                                                                                                                            “Much like an Hermès Edition Apple Watch, it is an entirely unnecessary expense that may bring great subjective joy to your life.”

                                                                                                                                                            So, you’re a pretentious dolt?

                                                                                                                                                            “P.S. This blog post was written entirely with pen and ink—surprisingly fun.”

                                                                                                                                                            Yep.

                                                                                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                                                                                              I guess a typewriter wasn’t hipster-cool enough.

                                                                                                                                                          2. 1

                                                                                                                                                            If you use it for a while it becomes perfectly readable to you.

                                                                                                                                                          1. 6

                                                                                                                                                            “Init system freedom”, “only supports sysvinit style init systems”

                                                                                                                                                            1. 7

                                                                                                                                                              That’s an uncharitable way of reading this announcement. Your second “quote” doesn’t even appear on the page.

                                                                                                                                                              Devuan is about choice. We think people should be able to choose whether to use a GNU+Linux system with or without systemd.

                                                                                                                                                              Devuan decided to fork not only the base distribution, but also its governance, because Debian has made it difficult to avoid systemd as init, entangling the system with unnecessary dependencies and did so despite widespread community concern. We encourage potential Devuan users who wish to install systemd to use Debian’s installer, Debian’s packages and Debian’s mailing lists, all available directly from Debian’s mirrors.

                                                                                                                                                              They are enabling init system freedom by supporting an alternative. It would be silly to expect them to support systemd installations when that is already covered by Debian.

                                                                                                                                                              If your needs are not met by sysvinit, openrc, runit, or sinit, Devaun suggests additional systemdless distros here: https://devuan.org/os/init-freedom/

                                                                                                                                                              1. 5

                                                                                                                                                                I’m not saying what they’re doing is bad, and there are plenty of people around the internet who prefer sysvinit style init systems, but to claim “init system freedom” is pretty outlandish. Especially when their core packages explicitly conflict with systemd. You also presumably can’t install upstart without causing massive headaches or breaking everything.

                                                                                                                                                                In no way am I trying to make a value judgement about specific init systems here, but claiming you have freedom of choice in your init system with Devuan is a little like saying you can have a car painted any color so long as it’s black, extra noir, super dark gray, or #000.

                                                                                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                                                                                  Isn’t Upstart defunct since Ubuntu abandoned it?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                                                                                    that’s not really relevant – anything that supports systemd d-bus interfaces won’t work on devuan

                                                                                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                                                                                      Well what else is there?

                                                                                                                                                                      • systemd: covered by Debian
                                                                                                                                                                      • upstart: defunct
                                                                                                                                                                      • sysvinit, openrc, runit, sinit: supported by Devuan
                                                                                                                                                                      • s6, perp: supported by recommended other distros

                                                                                                                                                                      What additional init system should they be supporting?

                                                                                                                                                                2. 1

                                                                                                                                                                  Debian offers exactly this (an ability to run sysvinit) without the ideology-based purging of all systemd-related libraries from the distribution. There is literally no advantage in running devuan right now (and devuan has to rely on Debian for the security updates, they simply do not have manpower to provide proper security support).