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Re: Patch submission should not imply agreement to policy (was Re: Promo

From: Mark H Weaver
Subject: Re: Patch submission should not imply agreement to policy (was Re: Promoting the GNU Kind Communication Guidelines?)
Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2018 23:47:22 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.1 (gnu/linux)

Mark H Weaver <address@hidden> writes:

> Christopher Lemmer Webber <address@hidden> writes:
>> The free software community has always had policies, has always asked
>> people to respect language, has always had the expectation that if you
>> participate in our community, you are expected to abide by certain
>> norms.  Having those norms even be explicit is not new; there are norms
>> posted all over the GNU website, and participants are frequently asked
>> to abide by them.  Internet forums of all kinds have expressed rules and
>> policies.  That is not new.
> I agree, it's not new.
> However, if we were to start requiring people to agree with our policy
> as a prequisite to their participation, or worse, to presume that they
> have implicitly agreed, that _would_ be new.  Let's not do that please.

My response here was not sufficient.  Let me try again.

To my mind, there's an important but subtle distinction between:

(1) Posting policies and rules that apply to project participants, and
(2) Requiring that participants "agree" to the policies and rules.

In the first case, we are making the participants aware of the rules,
and of the possible consequences for breaking those rules.  Note that
this doesn't require participants to make any promises or to hold a
particular set of political beliefs.  I have no problem with this, and
moreover I fully support it.

In the second case, we are essentially demanding that participants make
promises about their future behavior, and declare themselves to share
the beliefs and goals encoded in the CoC.

The first case is analogous to the national and local laws that we all
must live under.

The second case is analogous to being asked by my government to sign an
endorsement and pledge of allegiance to those laws.

Do you see the difference?


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