[arch-dev-public] Formal Objection to Adopting the Code of Conduct

Allan McRae allan at archlinux.org
Sat Sep 4 15:17:10 UTC 2021

On 5/9/21 12:02 am, Giancarlo Razzolini wrote:
> Em setembro 4, 2021 9:36 Allan McRae via arch-dev-public escreveu:
>> We appear to be reaching the point where a formal code of conduct will
>> be officially adopted.
> Hmm, it was a long time ago. It's pointed out on all the support channels.

The CoC was adopted on the forum, because that is where it was developed
as the pet project of an admin at the time.  And then spread to the
support channels, which were all run by teams that historically had no
say in Arch development (I note this has changed recently).  So a CoC
has never been *formally* adopted to cover the whole distribution.  At
least I can find no mailing list thread either on this list, or the
private developer mailing list that formalised the adoption of these rules.

Also, the Code of Conduct has changed many times across this period
without any oversight. This includes what has been done recently on
gitlab - what proportion of the Arch staff approved changes committed
into that repository?  Has a vote of any sort been held to ensure
changes were agreed upon by Arch staff (being our current governing body)?

The argument this is in gitlab is not enough. I have commented on merge
requests and even submitted my own merge requests, and am listed as a
member of the project (Reporter), and have received no emails about
changes being made.  This is not a formal oversight of CoC changes up
until it is formally adopted.

> As far as I know both Aaron, which was the leader when the CoC was
> introduced,
> and Levente, not only knew about the CoC, but were fine with it.

When Aaron was actually active, the CoC was a thread on the forum.  Even
throughout the period Aaron was a mostly inactive leader, it was never
elevated to a distribution wide document.

The rules for the Project Leader that were established when Levente was
elected do not give him the ability to approve a CoC.  This is done by
the development team, with the Project Leader intervening with lack of
consensus.  BTW, those rules state the Project Leader is the Arch legal
representative, so I assume the lawyering of these documents went
through him, or the formal approval of representative took place on the
internal mailing lists.

> Again with the assertion that we cannot proceed without governance.
> The "why" is missing.

The creation and adoption of binding official policies needs oversight.
Without a proper governance structure to be responsible for maintaining
and enforcing such documents there is a lack of accountability.  Our
current informal governance structure involving all developers (or even
all staff) could be used for now to do this.  It is likely a smaller
elected body would be more efficient going forward.

To be clear, I do not object to there being an Arch Code of Conduct.
That is necessary.

I object to the current one being extended beyond the informal adoption
by various Arch services to being a formal distribution document without
a "governing body" approving the *final* wording.


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