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Re: Stop it. Formerly - Re: Promoting the GNU Kind Communication Guideli

From: Thorsten Wilms
Subject: Re: Stop it. Formerly - Re: Promoting the GNU Kind Communication Guidelines?
Date: Sun, 4 Nov 2018 22:01:26 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:60.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/60.2.1

On 04/11/2018 10.15, Mark H Weaver wrote:

I've decided to withdraw my objections to the policy of requiring that
project participants agree to our CoC.

I though of Mark as the only "insider" who understood what my prime issue with the CoC is. Now it seems that wasn't the case and surely isn't now.

Here's a pledge: This shall be my last email about this specific issue, on any Guix list, unless the text does get changed either in the Covenant project or here, or if I'm asked a question.

Maybe someone here still has the patience to help me understand where my interpretation would be unreasonable:

"In the interest of fostering an open and welcoming environment, we as contributors and maintainers pledge to making participation in our project and our community a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of age, body size, disability, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, level of experience, education, socio-economic status, nationality, personal appearance, race, religion, or sexual identity and orientation."

Contains the statement that "contributors" make a "pledge", i.e. give a promise, as outlined in the rest of the sentence.

I take "contributors" to be the group of people who ever contributed anything to the project. At the very least everyone who submitted code that is part of the current tree.

Hence, I see included a claim that the very people who walked away because of the CoC still make that pledge.

One may ask: who would object to pledging to not harass people, regardless of who and how they are? Sure, but as I see it, the "pledge" claim doesn't stop there. The first sentence establishes that "we" and "our" is supposed to mean "maintainers" and "contributors". Because of this, everything in "Our Standards" is an extension of the pledge. As is "Scope", quite literally being the scope of the pledge.

I assume the core maintainers may update/edit the CoC as they see fit, which in principal might change standards and scope. The CoC would then include the claim that all past and current contributors now suddenly pledged according to those new standards, perhaps with a wider scope. It is their right to set the rules, but they should not imply that "we" chose the rules.

Aside of that, a false statement about people is still a false statement, even if it says that the people promised to be nice.

Off-list, I have been asked, more or less, to not take the word "pledge" so seriously. Well, if I don't, at the very least, the promise regarding a harassment-free environment falls out of the CoC, which surely is not what anyone meant. If one assumes, not without reason, that the "we" of the CoC doesn't actually exist", then what is left?

Anyway, I may still opt to (try to) contribute, as nobody would gain anything from my withholding a package or whatever it may be.

Thorsten Wilms

thorwil's design for free software:

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