…you used http://contributor-covenant.org , a site that has been used and pushed by insane SJWs.
Yup, I’ve seen this too often. The Node community, the Ruby community… yeah. There’s a little more to it than that, though.
Since the maintainers put the second line in the code of conduct…
You’re referring to the following, right?Part of this problem lies with the very structure of some projects: the use of insensitive language, thoughtless use of pronouns, assumptions of gender, and even sexualized or culturally insensitive names.
While I agree with the sentiment you got from that paragraph, it’s not actually in our version of the CoC - and I don’t think it’s in the “official” version explicitly. You can check here for the latest version of what we’re using.
Use welcoming and inclusive language. - that can be anyone’s opinion.
Subjective, yes, to a point. I think that may be intentional, though - not just to target the perspective of the “victim”, but also to make it easier to apply to the situation of each individual project. I think a lot of this comes down to enforcement - and yes, I have seen projects pressured into over-enforcing this clause.
That said, that’s specifically listed as an example of behavior that contributes to creating a positive environment - deliberately subjective because, in my opinion, it makes people think of the best things that they could say in the situation, rather than some idea of what we require from them.
Be respectful of differing viewpoints and experiences. - again totally subjective
I wouldn’t say this is subjective. A lot of people assume this means that you can’t challenge viewpoints or discuss them, but there are ways to do that respectfully. For example, instead of being confrontational and proclaiming that xyz viewpoint is wrong, you could ask Why do you believe xyz? - and if you don’t agree with them, just say something along the lines of I disagree with you, but I respect your right to believe that.
That said, we aren’t really about general discussion. It’s going to pop up, as it does with every community, but we prefer to focus on discussion that’s specifically related to the project, so we don’t anticipate having to moderate situations like that very often.
Show empathy towards other community members. - Totally un-needed, and also is subjective.
Empathy is a little subjective, yeah, but it’s not hard to give empathy. If someone is in a bad situation, and you are involved in the conversation, you can simply say something along the lines of Yeah, that sucks or Sorry to hear that or something similar - or if not, you don’t have to engage at all. Up to you!
This code of conduct also doesn’t take into account how speech can mean one thing in one context, and completely another in a different. The code of conduct could be used to spin the speech and kick a member off the team.
Interesting point. See the next section.
I take a lot of these points as they come - I see them raised a lot, and some of them are issues that I have also had with this exact CoC. That said, I think a lot of this comes down to enforcement.
A CoC is only half of the story - If you have a project which has people with malicious intentions, people that are ignorant of problems with a CoC like this, or just people that don’t care about the community, things can go bad quickly because the CoC is so open-ended. Sometimes, politically-motivated people may try to pressure staff to achieve the outcome that they want - a great example of all of this is the infamous eggplant controversy in the Node community.
I just want to make sure that you (and everyone else) are aware that we know about these issues. We are not interested in censoring certain types of speech, and we’re not interested in pushing our political views on others. What we are interested in is keeping things productive and friendly, which will allow everyone involved to further the project.
Some other misc stuff that has come up in discussion:It’s worth noting that the current CoC is a draft, we haven’t put it in place yet. As I mentioned earlier, we realize that there are problems with the contributor covenant, and our version is pretty heavily modified. I linked it earlier - why not take a read? Are there any specific suggestions that you have? If you could help with drafting new language that still does not allow stuff like this issue while bettering the code of conduct in your view, please feel free to suggest improved language for our community rules. You may say that it is a choice to be offended, but sometimes things are so obviously out of line, like calling a maintainer stupid or flaming new contributors. That type of language isn’t helpful to our project. It wastes our time, and it also discourages new contributors. Like all laws, there can be some abuse from those who enforce those rules. It will be important to include some balances for those who enforce laws, most likely involving the community, just to provide some oversight for maintainers with their new responsibilities when this new code of conduct takes effect. @mastercoms said the enforcement starting date was the end of this month, but since you bring up some good points, we can accept releasing it later so we can get it right.
I hope that helps, and I hope it wasn’t too long. :P