[IAEP] Improving our Code of Conduct (was: Re: Code of Conduct Motion to add Anti-harassment policy - Sugar Labs)

James Cameron quozl at laptop.org
Wed Oct 4 17:47:12 EDT 2017

On Tue, Oct 03, 2017 at 09:41:19PM -0500, Sebastian Silva wrote:
> Hi,
> I had asked that we discuss changes to our Code of Conduct in [1]a
> wiki page I have worked on, where I put the result of a lot of
> research.

Thanks for the research.  I've also tried to use the Wiki for
collaboration but it hasn't worked; because there are so many
people who won't edit the Wiki, and so few people who will.

For me, using the Wiki fails to achieve consensus.

> The time I spent, back in January, on this document, is because I
> myself felt not only harassed but threatened. It came as a
> realization then, that perhaps more people have had similar
> experiences and have abandoned Sugar Labs because they were less
> tenacious than others. Hopefully you'll find the references I put
> there (beyond geek feminism) interesting. They represent a broad
> spectrum of approaches to making a community more welcoming.

Yes, they are interesting.  Thanks for sharing that you also felt
harassed and threatened.  For me, this began around February 2016, and
in response I disengaged from Sugar Labs from 21st April 2016 for a
year, during that time keeping carefully to sending patches upstream,
and ignoring almost all other Sugar Labs related messages.  On 22nd
April 2017 I began to re-engage.

I chose to disengage because I did not feel the community was
sufficiently large or integrated to operate the code of conduct, and
the harassment was in pattern rather than specifics.

> I found our [2]current Code of Conduct was not sufficient because
> (1) it is vague and difficult to evaluate when it's been
> infringed. Cultures vary widely with regard to what is considerate,
> respectful, collaborative, and flexible. It would be much better if
> specific acceptable or not acceptable behaviors were listed. (2)
> There is no defined procedure on how to report a problem and what
> the expected outcome, timeline, or response could be. (3) There's no
> defined solution or action such as warning or temporarily moderating
> a person to signal bad behavior.

Yes, I agree, as a code of conduct what we have now is comparatively
weak, but in my opinion we aren't using it because we don't have the
practice, skills, or people to use it.  A new code of conduct would
not change that.  My preference is to first use what we have.

> James, you insist on victimizing yourself and have a confrontational
> form of writing. Perhaps I'm misreading you. Please improve your
> tone. I have only seen vague complaints on the alleged dispute
> ("rate of posting and Wiki editing", and "use of many paths to
> achieve your goals").

My opinion is that you are victimising yourself, and are perceiving a
confrontational tone where none was intended.  Your tone, and Laura's
tone, also appears to be confrontational to me.

Actions speak louder than words.  To bring now to the community the
issue of weakness in the code of conduct seems to be just another
confrontation with me.

I've no way to improve my tone without receiving feedback on my tone;
both positive and negative.  I haven't been getting that.

> If all of this is because I had the audacity to merge an icon, I
> feel your attitude is disproportionate, unfair and itself sufficient
> for a complaint.

You actions in this were especially confrontational to me, and seemed
to be intended to harm my relationships.  I carefully made no input to
the debate on your actions.  Other developers were in the debate, and
contacted me about it.

> Trying to flag my github profile seems particularly aggressive and
> harmful, considering the market use of such profiles.

Doing the right thing is all the more important when using a profile
you wish to retain for market use.  I did not want my profile marked
as a serial complainant.

I did ask GitHub Support for advice, and they made several
recommendations, among them a reinforcement of the code of conduct.

My intent was not to harm your profile further; it had already been
harmed by your actions.  I was very careful in describing the debate
with the other developers, and to be as balanced as possible.  One of
the other developers reviewed my complaint before I sent it.

> The trademarked icon has already been reinstated in master branch,
> but my valid concern (that neither Sugar Labs nor downstream
> distributors have permission to use it), has not been resolved. I
> raised the same question openly in 2016, and [3]you responded with
> sarcasm. I don't think this is acceptable.

You didn't say so at the time.  I'm not empowered to speak about
trademarks, but my comment you reference was not sarcastic.  It was my
opinion at the time that Sugar Labs had acquired the logo, in
acquiring Sugar software, and that the logo is also on the laptops for
some reason.  I make no assertion whether the logo is, or is not, a

> At the moment I don't support Laura's motion because I think it's
> necessary to write something more specific for Sugar Labs, taking
> into consideration the other references listed in the page at the
> least.
> Regards,
> Sebastian
> References:
> [1] https://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Sugar_Labs/Conduct
> [2] https://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Sugar_Labs/Legal/Code_of_Conduct
> [3] http://meeting.sugarlabs.org/sugar-meeting/meetings/2016-04-01T19:01:31#i_2864254

James Cameron

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