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To: gentoo-dev@g.o
From: Richard Freeman <rich0@g.o>
Subject: Re: Tone in Gentoo
Date: Sun, 20 Jun 2010 20:00:51 -0400
On 06/19/2010 03:10 PM, Jorge Manuel B. S. Vicetto wrote:
> I can assure you that if someone goes to #gentoo-forums and tries to
> tell the forums team what tone should be used in that channel, we'll
> kindly ask the person to stop or to leave. This is one of the "public"
> and exposed channels and thus we have a tone with that in mind, but
> we're not going to set our tone according to the demands of a developer
> that is not even part of the team.

I was not suggesting that tone in Gentoo was up to the discretion of any 
individual developer - neither myself, nor you, nor the head of 
infra/forums/etc.  The tone in Gentoo is up to Gentoo.  Fortunately we 
have a forum for deciding what Gentoo wants - we elect them annually.

> What would grant
> any non-member of a team the right to demand how the members of the team
> should act amongst themselves in their private room?

Simple - the room belongs to Gentoo as a whole.  You're certainly free 
not to listen to me, but I and others are free to point out that this 
isn't good for Gentoo.  I certainly wouldn't take it upon myself to 
enforce the CofC, but I certainly would urge those responsible for 
governing the distro to do so.

> About the "legal right", that isn't true. There are a few misconceptions
> in your statement. Even though the Foundation is the body which holds
> the Gentoo brand, trademarks and logo, it's not the Foundation that sets
> the rules for joining and be part of the Gentoo Developers Community.
> Furthermore, being a Gentoo developer doesn't mean you can join any team
> you want or that you have a "right" to go to any #gentoo-* channel. In
> case you have any doubt, I can give you a list of quite a few channels
> most developers don't have access to.

Your statement is partially correct - obviously if I am a stockholder in 
Google I can't choose to just waltz onto the corporate campus and go 
around as I please, merely by virtue of being a shareholder.

However, a shareholder of Google certainly is able to speak out about 
actions within the company that they feel damage it, and their elected 
representatives (the board) can give power to anybody (including 
themselves) to waltz around and put things in order.  This starts with 
their authority to hire and fire the CEO at whim.

Ultimately, if anything contains the name "Gentoo" and represents itself 
as being associated with a linux distribution, then it is using a 
trademark owned by the Gentoo Foundation.  In the end, any use of Gentoo 
trademarks is completely at the discretion of the Foundation.

> If you insist, to address the question that access lists for #gentoo-*
> channels can be set by Freenode (our main IRC network), you should know
> that the only people Freenode will listen to regarding that are the
> members of the Freenode Gentoo Group Contacts. The people in that group
> were not chosen by the Foundation nor do they respond to it.

Well, this is getting a bit silly, but they'd certainly answer to a 
cease and desist, or those hosting their servers certainly would.  It 
would obviously never come to that.  Go ahead and try to register 
#microsoft-press-releases and see if being named the official contact 
gets you anywhere.

> Also, please never forget that being part of Gentoo is a "privilege" and
> not a "right".

On that we certainly agree.  It really wasn't my intention to suggest 
that somehow anybody was personally beholden to me.  I really am just 
stating my opinion, as are you.

> As an example, even though I use my gentoo cloak online, you don't have
> any right to impose a behaviour into me in my private channel.

Sure, I cannot, personally.  However, Gentoo certainly can.  At the very 
least I'd expect devs to generally conduct themselves in a manner where 
such things aren't necessary to even bring up.

> We have a loosely-knit community that is able to provide a reasonable
> product "Gentoo Linux". Let's try to avoid killing it by wanting to
> impose a certain "mentality" or "behaviour" into others and let's try to
> respect each other and learn to live in a community.

Well, the whole principle of the CofC is that it imposes behaviors on 
those who wish to use Gentoo media, or be Gentoo staff.

That said, I really don't suggest that anybody need be heavy-handed. 
Nor do I suggest that my personal opinion should be the one that rules 
Gentoo (I would say the same regarding your opinion as well).  In the 
end that's all we're doing - you say that infra decides what happens on 
#gentoo-infra, and I say that they don't (well, not ultimately - 
certainly I'd suggest that the trustees/council should of course 
delegate channel moderation to the team that uses the channel, and only 
intervene if necessary).

What I would say is that I encourage those who are in the trustees and 
council to recognize the importance of this issue, and I ask that they 
consider that tone really does matter.  We elect these bodies to speak 
for Gentoo, and I think that this is an issue where Gentoo could stand 
to be heard.  Gentoo has spoken before in issuing the Code of Conduct - 
perhaps now we just need to actually enforce it.

Rich


Replies:
Re: Tone in Gentoo
-- Arun Raghavan
References:
Tone in Gentoo
-- Sebastian Pipping
Re: Tone in Gentoo
-- Sebastian Pipping
Re: Tone in Gentoo
-- Sebastian Pipping
Re: Tone in Gentoo
-- Jorge Manuel B. S. Vicetto
Re: Tone in Gentoo
-- Richard Freeman
Re: Tone in Gentoo
-- Jorge Manuel B. S. Vicetto
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