[openstreetmap/openstreetmap-website] Let's adopt the Contributor Covenant code of conduct (#1299)

Frederik Ramm notifications at github.com
Tue Sep 27 08:26:19 UTC 2016

It appears to me that @ppawel's post demonstrates why @simonpoole might be right - I wasn't aware that the Contributor Covenant has a political subtext that gets people up in arms (literally, I might add, in the case of ESR). My take on adopting CoCs for software projects is "huh, do we really need that?" but I don't think doing it should be constructed as any form of "surrender". In the end it just means that you codify that you don't want people to behave like an asshole. In my work for the OSMF DWG, we sometimes had to tell people off who were contributing really good data to OSM but were at the same time so abrasive that others decided to leave. When that happens, it is easier to have a written rule you can point people to. Meritocracy is good but your merit needs to be viewed holistically - it's not just what code you contribute, but also how you do it.

The one thing I am skeptical about is how different political groups across the planet have different sensibilities. For example, in the USA whenever someone says "fuck" on TV they over-beep that, whereas in France nobody would ever do that because it's just not that offensive. That doesn't make Americans the politer people. Will a large international project with a shared code of conduct have to move towards ever more restricted communications that conform to the highest common denominator of what someone might find offensive? 

But I don't see why this should be handled in a dogmatic fashion. We're all hackers, we can try something and kick it out if it doesn't work. One could just add a code of conduct and if it doesn't work as intended, its demise is just a pull request away. 

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