This thread is for discussing the creation of a FreedomBox Code of Conduct.
A comment in preface: Throughout this process, we’ll be setting standards which will be foundational for our community. I therefore encourage everyone in the core team to participate in this thread.
I’m following up on our discussion from our most recent progress call. One of the items on our to-do list is creating a Code of Conduct. On the call, we agreed to base it on Debian’s, and to try to learn from Mozilla’s governance guidelines.
As discussed on the progress call, we can start the CoC drafting process by importing Debian’s CoC and modifying it. Below, you will find two sections: (1) Debian’s CoC and (2) my proposed changes to it.
1. Here is the Debian CoC:
Debian Code of Conduct
- Be respectful
In a project the size of Debian, inevitably there will be people with whom you may disagree, or find it difficult to cooperate. Accept that, but even so, remain respectful. Disagreement is no excuse for poor behaviour or personal attacks, and a community in which people feel threatened is not a healthy community.
- Assume good faith
Debian Contributors have many ways of reaching our common goal of a free operating system which may differ from your ways. Assume that other people are working towards this goal.
Note that many of our Contributors are not native English speakers or may have different cultural backgrounds.
- Be collaborative
Debian is a large and complex project; there is always more to learn within Debian. It’s good to ask for help when you need it. Similarly, offers for help should be seen in the context of our shared goal of improving Debian.
When you make something for the benefit of the project, be willing to explain to others how it works, so that they can build on your work to make it even better.
- Try to be concise
Keep in mind that what you write once will be read by hundreds of persons. Writing a short email means people can understand the conversation as efficiently as possible. When a long explanation is necessary, consider adding a summary.
Try to bring new arguments to a conversation so that each mail adds something unique to the thread, keeping in mind that the rest of the thread still contains the other messages with arguments that have already been made.
Try to stay on topic, especially in discussions that are already fairly large.
- Be open
Most ways of communication used within Debian allow for public and private communication. As per paragraph three of the social contract, you should preferably use public methods of communication for Debian-related messages, unless posting something sensitive.
This applies to messages for help or Debian-related support, too; not only is a public support request much more likely to result in an answer to your question, it also makes sure that any inadvertent mistakes made by people answering your question will be more easily detected and corrected.
- In case of problems
While this code of conduct should be adhered to by participants, we recognize that sometimes people may have a bad day, or be unaware of some of the guidelines in this code of conduct. When that happens, you may reply to them and point out this code of conduct. Such messages may be in public or in private, whatever is most appropriate. However, regardless of whether the message is public or not, it should still adhere to the relevant parts of this code of conduct; in particular, it should not be abusive or disrespectful. Assume good faith; it is more likely that participants are unaware of their bad behaviour than that they intentionally try to degrade the quality of the discussion.
Serious or persistent offenders will be temporarily or permanently banned from communicating through Debian’s systems. Complaints should be made (in private) to the administrators of the Debian communication forum in question. To find contact information for these administrators, please see the page on Debian’s organizational structure.
2. My proposed changes:
a. CHANGE all instances of “Debian” or “Debian’s” to “FreedomBox” or “FreedomBox’s”
b. ADD to item 1 in the Debian CoC the following text which is adapted from Mozilla’s checklist:
“Members of our community must treat others with equal respect, regardless of background, family status, gender, gender-identity or expression, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, language, age, ability, race/ethnicity, national origin, socioeconomic status, religion, or geographic location.
Community members may indicate their preferred gender pronouns on an opt-in basis in any way they wish, including email signatures, at the ends of forum posts, in their forum profile, or after their name in parenthesis in the notes for progress calls. Members are expected to respect the preferred gender pronouns of other members.”
c. CHANGE item 6 to the following (this is written with Mozilla’s checklist in mind):
"This code of conduct should be adhered to by participants. When violations happen, you have three avenues for enforcement. (1) You may reach out to the person who violated the code of conduct and point out it out to them. Such messages may be in public or in private, whatever you decide is most appropriate. However, regardless of whether the message is public or not, it should still adhere to the relevant parts of this code of conduct; in particular, it should not be abusive or disrespectful. (2) You may report the violation to the core team and, if desired, ask for assistance mediating a resolution. (3) You may report the violation to a staff member at the FreedomBox Foundation and, if desired, ask for assistance mediating a resolution. Ultimately, all reports will be responded to in a matter appropriate to the specific circumstances of the violation, and the reporter, reported, and all others impacted will be updated.
If you chose to report a violation to either a core team member or a FreedomBox Foundation staff member, reports should be made in private. To find contact information for these parties, please see FreedomBox’s page on its organizational structure. (NOTE: this doesn’t exist yet and will be a topic of discussion in a different forum thread)"
c. CHANGE item 5 to the following (written with Mozilla’s checklist in mind):
“Most ways of communication used within FreedomBox allow for public and private communication. When it would contribute to the community’s technical knowledge base, you should preferably use public methods of communication for FreedomBox-related discussions. This applies to messages for help or FreedomBox-related support, too; not only is a public support request much more likely to result in an answer to your question, it also makes sure that any inadvertent mistakes made by people answering your question will be more easily detected and corrected.
We strive to avoid jargon and other non-inclusive language that can alienate or make people feel excluded. Our community strives to encourage and recognize quiet voices. Though our community mostly communicates in English, we recognize that English may not be the first language of all contributors. Where possible, we provide notes of meetings and conference calls. We encourage and support localization of our documentation using the “documentation” and “localization” labels on Gitlab; we encourage and support the localization of our software user interface using the Weblate translation platform.
d. ADD to item 3:
“The FreedomBox community values the contributions made by non-coders. We provide non-technical tasks for first-time contributors to participate in our project using the “beginner” issue label in Gitlab.”
- What do people think about my proposed changes?
- What changes would you propose we make to Debian’s CoC? What do you want to see in the CoC?