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

Giancarlo Razzolini grazzolini at archlinux.org
Sun Sep 5 01:12:36 UTC 2021

Em setembro 4, 2021 12:17 Allan McRae via arch-dev-public escreveu:
> 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.

It was formally adopted, regardless of how many times you claim it wasn't.
I want to point out, specially, the CoC is of extreme relevance to the support
channels, so, even if your perception was that it was not formal, that's mostly
it, a perception.

> 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)?

Most of the changes made, were to improve ambiguous wording or to clarify where
wording was not clear enough. It goes without saying that, on an ideal world, a
CoC shouldn't even be needed. However, we live in an imperfect world, and the need
for a CoC emerges from that.

> 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.

The CoC was widely used across the distribution long before we even had gitlab. Or
even before it was on any VCS form.

> 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.

It was though. And there's even a thread from 2019 where the CoC was evoked and
Aaron was called to give his input on a dispute.

> 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.

We have plenty of informal stuff that was elevated to processes on Arch, but you
seem to have found issue with the CoC. Just because something was self governed
doesn't mean it's not part of the distro.

> 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.

At least now you gave a reasoning. I already agreed we will eventualy have
a council/governing body. However, trying to stop things from going forward
because your perception of the CoC never being "officialized", is not good.

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

I understood that your objection was not against the CoC, and I want to think
that anyone reading this understands you're not opposed to the CoC.

> 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.

I think the CoC has been around long enough for, if it was really an issue, you would
have raised this objection a long time ago. The fact this is being raised on the verge of
some service changes, tells me that, either you were not aware of the CoC before, or,
you had no objections to it being used before, as long as it was not used on the services
you think are relevant. I have already agreed with you that we will need some council/governance
in the future, but we shouldn't halt everything until we do. So, I think your objections are
noted, but I don't think we should form the council/governance body *right now*. It goes without
saying that, when (not if) we have such body, they can make any changes to the CoC they see fit,
as long as it's approved by the staff.

Giancarlo Razzolini
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