[Osmf-talk] Proposal - OSMF Should Adopt a Code of Conduct

Paul Norman penorman at mac.com
Mon Dec 4 09:21:33 UTC 2017

On 12/3/2017 3:36 PM, Eugene Alvin Villar wrote:
> The OSM Carto project (which maintains the base OSM tile layer style) 
> already has a Community Code of Conduct in place.[1] The pull 
> request[2] that introduced this particular CoC has none of the 
> skepticism, doubts, and fears that other people on this (OSMF) mailing 
> list have put forward regarding having a CoC. It seems to me that the 
> maintainers did not think twice that having a CoC is needed or that it 
> is unnecessary.

A lot of thought went into the PR which added the CoC, and unfortunately 
not all of it is reflected in its text. Some of the leadup to it did 
involve discussions of what was appropriate conduct on the issue 
tracker. Two problems we were having on the OpenStreetMap Carto issue 
tracker with conduct were conciseness and off-topic. When developing the 
PR, I looked at 27 existing codes of conduct and filtered out those that 
didn't address our issues, then I was left with five. Of those, I 
considered Go to have the best for our purposes, and the main 
modifications that needed to be done had to do with the difference in 
scale between our projects.

After going through this process, I am convinced two things need to be 
addressed when adopting a COC: suitability, and community buy-in.

To be suitable for OpenStreetMap Carto, we needed a CoC which covered 
off-topicness and conciseness. I mentioned this up above, but this 
required a lot of research.

Rules which are not generally accepted by the community will not be 
effective. With OpenStreetMap Carto, this involved talking to the major 
contributors/maintainers in advance about the idea, then getting 
consensus on the communication channels it would cover. It was not a 
process driven by a central authority, and I would have rejected a COC 
that had been dictated by Andy or myself.

What does this mean for OpenStreetMap? We'd need a COC which covers our 
unique methods of communication - notes, changeset discussions, and 
changeset comments. We would also need to identify the problems we have. 
This could include stuff like being inclusive to different 
socio-economic status, level of education, and languages.

This can't be dictated by the OSMF or OSMF board. If it's going to 
regulate mappers, it needs to come from the mappers to be viewed as 
legitimate.  The conversations so far seem focused on the idea of 
imposing a COC from on high, rather than building a consensus on a COC 
being a good idea and what should go in it. Unless this changes, it is 
doomed to fail.

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