Documenting feedback from the CoC Version 2.0 revision 23

Feedback on Code of conduct


date submitted

I have a grave issue with one of the new clauses to the CoC: Decisiveness has value in itself. "Those who do the work make the decisions and we do not expect to delay, debate or discuss any decision after the fact, except through escalation to a more senior governance body." -- If you read this carefully, and in the exact terms in which it's written, this means that no one can comment (publicly or privately) that they don't agree with a decision (that would count as discussion after the fact), for fear of CoC violation. I fear that I can not abide by these terms, and would like to have it changed to a clause that helps prevent people from blocking implementation after a decision is made, rather then silencing everyone on an issue. As it's written, it's a bit over the top, and the letter of the CoC is not aligned with it's spirit.

Paul Tagliamonte


Courage and consideratenessLeadership occasionally requires bold decisions, that will not be widely understood, consensual or popular. We value the courage to take bold decisions, because they enable the project as a whole to moveforward faster than we could if we required complete consensus.Nevertheless, boldness demands considerateness; take bold decisions,but do so mindful of the challenges they present for others, and workto soften the impact of those decisions on them. [suggested added words] Suggest to add some words at the end of the existing paragraph,meaning as follows: When decisions need to be taken which will inevitably cause significant discomfort to some, then after discussion is completed, a simple sincere apologetic (non technical) statement may be made. This could be in recognition of the human, personal, level of commitment and familiarity from end users, and the development need to proceed regardless.My comment here:This is a somewhat tangential point, but I believe it is very important in the unique Canonical, Ubuntu business model. Ubuntu has a deeply personal significance to some (I hope many) users and community members, and (for example) the necessary change to introduce Unity was endlessly and patiently discussed and explained in detail very openly. However, in my own informal research and analysis of this event and its aftermath, I saw a lot of (excellent) logical, business, and technical discussion points. I saw no points which addressed with sympathy the emotional collateral damage. It is not usually on the radar of technical users or developers, engineers. There may have been some such points addressed, if so, maybe I missed them. For example, I do not think a (final) statement was ever made along the lines of 'We really do have to move the product/business in this particular direction, and we are (really) sorry if, after this discussion and explanation, it causes upset. Sorry.' The word 'sorry' is important, and in such cases costs nothing. Such an apology would I think have reduced some of the currently enduring anti Unity (and anti Ubuntu) behaviour. This adverse behaviour can not be explained by technical function alone, it is a relatively strong emotional response, I think a response from some people feeling hurt, emotionally that is. It arises from the much closer relationship that users may have with the Ubuntu product. The Ubuntu business model is innovative and new. Community behaviour is well fostered and enabled for development. However the wider community mostly of deeply committed users has an emotional dimension, as in a family, there are emotional dependencies. Strange thing in a 'business' relationship with an end user! It occurred to me that a Doctor or nurse, when about to knowingly administer a painful procedure, might feel justified in saying something like 'I'm sorry, this might hurt a bit', or, I'm sorry to say we had to amputate your leg' (whatever). Such an apology, if sincere, has a strong emotional benefit, and allows the recipient to rationalise motives and consequences. Emotional dependencies in an extended business relationship may take a bit of thinking about, if 'thinking' is the right word here. I think such awareness is important for the healthy future of Ubuntu, which I look forward to.

Alan Cocks


Just a quick comment the paragraph Decisiveness has value in itself. I don't like it. I don't know if I can agree with that given that a lot of changes made to Ubuntu by Canonical is being done behind closed door.Signing this CoC pretty much means that the answer "we've decided to do that this way, we are not interested to talk about it, working on new stuff is more important to us" is going to be prevalent more that ever. Sorry, but it feels backwards to me - Canonical should improve their discussion with community, and not make it even harder. "Those who do the work make the decisions and we do not expect to delay, debate or discuss any decision after the fact" come on, the only way to work on many of those projects (Unity, Ubuntu Orchestra in its infancy) has been to work for Canonical and/or reading through IRC logs and going to every UDS. There is very little discussion on mailing lists before projects go live and then, according to this sentence, it's too late to voice our objections. "except through escalation to a more senior governance body" this is "corporate wording", not something I want to see in a mainly volunteer-based project. It's going to make it even harder to try to discuss things because Canonical employees are just going to ask us to escalate matters to the Technical Board? But the board is not really competent to discuss most of those things - they are just going to say that the team responsible for the feature is the most competent to take the choice. So there is not going to be any discussion unless there are huge issues, but by this time it's going to be too late - issues of this scale are going to drive people away. [removed some more rant about "escalate" word] This entire paragraph feels like a safety guard for Canonical to use to cut short discussion about projects that were poorly discussed with the community before their creation. And that's not fair to us - we are pretty much doing all we can to make and promote Ubuntu and most of the comments that are rude and unproductive come from people who are not going to sign the document anyway. If we complain, it's because we've been blindsided by decisions made by Canonical (Banshee Store referral changed, unity being created over gnome-shell,Canonical not pushing local patches to the GNOME project which results in many people calling Ubuntu on that, and that's just a few examples). If we can't discuss those changes afterwards, and we don't know about them ahead of time then it feels like Canonical is sending us a message "We don't want your input and opinion, but we want your work - so shut up and go update unseeded packages like a good old drone you are". That was the reason why I've lost interest in Ubuntu development for almost a year - I was spent after months of defending Canonical decisions and not being able to get clear answers from them about stuff that mattered to me at the time.

Krzysztof Klimonda


In general the formulations seem very precise and well fomulated. However there has been a discussion on the Danish Team Forum on how to understand the concluding passage: "We expect that leaders hold the interests of the team and the Ubuntu community above those of themselves, their employer, and other projects." Is it reasonable to hold the interests of the team and the Ubuntu community above anything and everything else? And can you expect voluntary leaders to do so? If taken at face value it looks somewhat like an ethical absolute, but in that case it would be difficult to subscribe to the CoC. We think that what is meant is already well covered in the paragraph on "stepping down gracefully" and would suggest that the concluding paragraph be ommitted or reformulated.

Flemming Christensen


"We expect everyone who participates in Ubuntu, represents the project officially or informally, or claims affiliation with the project, to honour this Code of Conduct in public or private correspondence. It governs how we behave when Ubuntu will be judged by our actions."Expectation is not requirement. Should we really just expect that members will be nice? For those informally involved, this is about all we can do -- expect they will behave.

C de-Avillez


Open meritocracy. We invite anybody, from any company, to participate in any aspect of the project. Ubuntu is open, and any responsibility can be carried by any contributor who demonstrates the required capacity and competence. Comment: Are there not teams that are solidly compromised of Canonical employees that are a part of the Ubuntu Project but do not solicit nor invite participation from Community Members? We expect everyone who participates in Ubuntu, represents the project officially or informally, or claims affiliation with the project, to honour this Code of Conduct in public or private correspondence. It governs how we behave when Ubuntu will be judged by our actions. Comment: As Community Members we are also uncompensated volunteers who contribute because of our passion for Free Open Source Software and Ubuntu. So I ask is it "considerate" to ask volunteers to potentially conform to all of the Guidelines of the CoC in private even if it would force censorship and prevent a individual from engaging in communities that may have a common expectation that NSFW or other adult language and topics are the norm (ie: Sites like Reddit or any number of channels on Freenode)I know at one point there was discussion as to asking sites like OMGUbuntu to enforce CoC in comments but is that not taking things a bit far when we try to enforce our norm into other communities? Mozilla for instance has no CoC at all all because the idea is that enforcing a CoC will restrict the freedom of contributors. My concern is not so much that people be allowed to act vulgar while wearing that "Ubuntu Hat" but that when in the privacy of their homes during their own time they could be restricted from things that might not be Kosher to others. I respect and believe in the ideals behind Ubuntu and our Community but I also feel we must be considerate and respectful of our contributors individual choices to use certain content and engage in certain communities.

Benjamin Kerensa


I just read the CoC and came up with some feedback. I restricted myself to comments on the text and didn't come up with ideas of my own. Here it is: "we will challenge prejudice that could jeopardise the participation of any person in the project" What does this mean? I think the use of the word 'prejudice' here could be troublesome, and could be construed to make it difficult to move people on when they are unsuited for a role. "We expect anyone who participates in Ubuntu, […] to honour this Code of Conduct in public or private correspondence." I find this to be a disturbing extension of the scope of the code of conduct. Previously the CoC covered behaviour "as members of the Ubuntu community". I see that the next sentence tries to restrict the scope back, but I do not think it does this successfully. Who is to say when Ubuntu will be judged by my actions? Can we go back to the old wording? "[The Community Council] or its delegated representatives will arbitrate in any dispute" Is this correct? Unless the TB's authority comes from the CC (does it? That in itself would be a bit troubling as it implies that the CC can override the TB), some disputes fall under its remit instead of the CC. "We prefer to work transparently and involve interested parties as early as possible" This could be difficult for Canonical. I think it's fair to say that some announcements in the recent past have had the surprise element, and that design decisions contained in them were made without the consultation that this implies. I do actually think this is a good one, but I am not sure that everybody is ready for the responsibility that is implied here, nor am I convinced that all actors would consider the transparency imposed by this to be desirable. Also it would be very difficult to enforce this. You could use the "prefer" to get out of this but then the section might as wel lnot be there. "We test delegation with a poll of the relevant members of the community" I thought it had been reinforced time and time again that these polls were consultative only, not binding. This is quite a change from that. What's the rationale for changing this? I don't know why the CoC is mentioning the election procedure at all. Can't this be deleted? The CC can separately set down rules for appointing to leadership teams, if it wishes. Hopefully these rules won't be much different to how they are now. Why is TB nomination subject to the CC's assent? "If you care about releases, join the release team and help shape their decisions" Can this be deleted too? It implies that there is a right to join any team and I do not think that this right exists or that it should exist. That's all I have for now. I hope my questions can be discussed and the draft improved before any changes are implemented.

Iain Lane


czajkowski/CoCFeedback (last edited 2012-05-03 13:36:58 by paultag)