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To: Roy Bamford <neddyseagoon@g.o>
From: Ferris McCormick <fmccor@g.o>
Subject: Re: CoC round 2 (or is it 10? ;)
Date: Fri, 19 Oct 2007 13:22:31 +0000
Please note that in what follows I speak only for myself, but from the
perspective of a Devrel member concerned with Conflicts Resolution.  I
explicitly do not speak for Devrel, nor have I reviewed what I say with
anyone in Devrel.

On Mon, 2007-10-15 at 17:22 +0100, Roy Bamford wrote:
> On 2007.10.14 13:39, Steve Long wrote:

=== Large snip ===

> Steve,
> Some interesting points ... control of any written channel can only be 
> passive, in the sense that controllers are always responding after the 
> event. The possible exception is a moderated mailing list.
> How are passive and active defined in this context then?
> Passive would have to be the controllers wait for a complaint before 
> acting and active would be the controllers work in as close to real 
> time as the medium allows, on things they notice for themselves as 
> happens in IRC and forums. They are always reactive regardless.

It was my understanding that this was one of the distinguishing points
between the Code of Conduct/Proctors and the existing Devrel structure.
It seems rather clear to me, at any rate, that the Code of Conduct is
normative:  It lays out in general terms boundaries for acceptable *real
time* behavior in the various Gentoo communications media.  The
Proctors, I believe, were established as a policing body for this
(recall my "traffic cop" analogy; I think it holds up).  I would
consider this to be "active" control.

Contrast this with how Devrel policy reads.  Devrel policy is pretty
clear; to quote from Policy, "Developer relations should only be
involved in a conflict when other attempts to solve the issue have
failed."  Thus, except in extreme situations, by current policy Devrel
is explicitly NOT a "traffic cop."  Devrel takes official notice when
someone "rings our bell" (to quote from IRC --- it's an in-joke).  I
would consider this to be "passive" control.

Now, Council might not like it that way, but in my opinion (I speak for
myself here), we must live with the policy as it reads, not as how we
might like it to read.  And, again speaking for myself again, I think
composition of Devrel reflects that:  I have always been involved with
Conflicts Resolution and prefer to work as a mediator; I have little
interest in "policing" mailing lists or IRC.

> Most of the proctors actions were carried out in private, this seemed 
> to work best since most people hate to be publicly asked to exercise 
> restraint. We don't need a new project to continue this sort of 
> activity, nor do we need to add to the scope of any existing project. 
> Anyone can do it anytime. Curbing the worst excesses of friends is one 
> of the things we can all do for one another. Continued poor behavior 
> should be referred to the appropriate body in the normal way.
Absolutely.  I'll metion that Devrel mediations are of necessity private
as well.  A mediator holds a position of trust, and implicit in that is
that the mediator will not post private conversations will not on
bulletin boards.  As for the rest of the statement, all I can do is

> The -dev mailing list seems to have calmed down since the proctors most 
> public action, when a number of users had their posting rights 
> suspended briefly. I'm unsure if the creation of -project played a big 
> part in this or not. Judging by the number of posts to -project, I 
> think its unlikely. I'm more inclined to believe that the bloodletting 
> on that particular thread was something that everyone was aware of 
> and nobody wanted to risk repeating. Thus the proctors served their 
> purpose.

I think it's calmed down, too.  I'll note that at the moment, from what
I've seen, Devrel (Conflicts) is getting very little "action" as well.

I'll use this as a vehicle to throw some oil onto the fire.  There seems
to be a consensus for folding the old Proctor function into
Devrel/Userrel.  Of course, this has some implications:  Devrel, for
example, is structured to support it's policy as it is now.  We can fold
the Proctor function into Devrel/Userrel, of course, but this has both
staffing implications and inter-group interaction implications.
Personally, I think we'd end up establishing the Proctors by another
name.  What is the argument against just reestablishing the Proctors and
be done with it?  Experience shows that however we do it, there will be
start-up problems as both the Code of Conduct comes better into focus
and people play with what does work and what does not.  And
responsibility for the function should not lie with Council:  we are
talking about a Gentoo Project (perhaps in Devrel/Userrel) meant to last
longer than any specific Council.  Like it or not, individual Councils
are short term.

As Roy points out above, we actually do not need the Proctors by any
name if the community in general polices itself effectively.  Indeed,
one of my goals as a Devrel mediator, or anyone's goals working in a
policing function, must be to establish an environment where the
function itself becomes unnecessary.  I am not sure this is achievable,
but thus the ongoing discussion of Code of Conduct.

> Regards,
> Roy Bamford
> (NeddySeagoon)
> Is/was a member of
> gentoo-forums
> gentoo-ops
> gentoo-treecleaners
> gentoo-proctors
As always, comments, questions, suggestions welcome.  Feel free to keep
pure flames to yourself. :)

Ferris McCormick (P44646, MI) <fmccor@g.o>
Developer, Gentoo Linux (Devrel, Sparc)

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RE: CoC round 2 (or is it 10? ;)
-- Chrissy Fullam
Re: CoC round 2 (or is it 10? ;)
-- Roy Bamford
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