[Linux-aus] Linux Australia Code of Conduct - revised draft

Paul Shirren shirro at shirro.com
Wed Nov 30 19:02:12 EST 2011

On 30/11/11 12:35 PM, Russell Stuart wrote:
> So to go back to your example.  If someone approaches LA to ask with
> help in promoting open source in their organisation, and they happen to
> be an organisation that takes a stance on gay marriage marriage that
> disagrees with yours, or even the bulk of LA's current membership, I
> would say if LA didn't show a bit of tolerance and respect for the
> morals of others it wasn't doing it's job as a promoter of open source.

Linux Australia's has an interest is showing strong leadership on 
reducing barriers to participation in free and open source software and 
aligned areas such as open content. It is hard to see how this can be 
compromised without offending the membership and sponsors, lowering the 
standing of the organisation and damaging the effectiveness of activities.

I am sure the motivation for the policy is largely pragmatic and based 
on addressing actual incidents. I say largely mainly because I don't 
understand wtf unjustified assumptions is about or how it gets applied. 
Conversely winding back the CoC to appease hypothetical organisations in 
hypothetical joint projects is fantasy. LA isn't telling anyone how to 
behave outside of an event which LA is endorsing. Weakening the CoC 
gives the green light for bad incidents to re-occur with LA's blessing.

If a group doesn't recognise gay marriage it doesn't concern the LA code 
of conduct. If they want to run a joint event where gay people can not 
freely participate in free and open source software then it does.

> To push the analogy further, if some hardline Muslim sect came along and
> asked for LA's help to run a conference for their all male teachers on
> using open source within their all male schools - then I would be _very_
> disappointed if LA turned the request down on the basis of their
> attitude to a women’s role in society,

If a religious group doesn't believe women can be ordained, give 
communion or show their face in public it doesn't concern LA's code of 
conduct. If they say women can not be equally involved in a free and 
open source software events I think we should steer clear.

Some largely Islamic countries like Malaysia have female participation 
rates in IT that make us look very backward. Are IT conferences in 
Malaysia gender exclusive? I strongly doubt it. Why should ours be?

> Equally of course if the Ada initiative wanted to run all female
> conference because they felt girls would be more comfortable in attended
> without the unwanted attentions of some males, then they should be
> allowed to go for it.

If the Ada initiative adopts the LA CoC for an event they have no need 
to worry about unwanted male attention as it is prohibited. If they want 
a single sex event they can't do it under an LA banner.

> And finally, if some other nationality that has different views to us on
> where the boundaries for nudity or sexuality lie, such as a German
> society or a Japanese group, us writing into our procedures and policies
> that they _must_ adopt our view on what constitutes acceptable imagery
> and speech is a mistake.  Asking that they be nice to each other, and
> that they discuss and share in the open source way isn't a mistake
> because that is what (I hope) we can all agree we are about.  But going
> much beyond that is.

LA's conferences go as far as NZ. I think German and Japanese visitors 
would appreciate respect and safety as much as anyone.

If a bunch of nudists from any nation want to embrace open source 
software, good on them. Most responsible nudist venues/events will have 
equal or stronger rules about harassment, sexual behaviour and unwanted 
photography at their events.

A quick Google finds Australian Nudist Federation Code of Conduct [1].

- will not condone sexual harassment
- Unacceptable behaviour is defined as persistent staring, stalking 
...any aggressive acts or threatening body language.
- Unauthorised photography and/or videoing (including use of camera 
phones ... unless permission is obtained in advance ...
- Unwelcome communications is defined as any unwanted advances, remarks, 
suggestions, propositions, gestures, threats, messages, ridicule or 
jokes of a crude or sexual nature....Unsolicited comments and/or 
gestures about a person’s body are also considered unacceptable.
- Inappropriate touching is defined as unwelcome touching of another 
persons' body.


Unacceptable behaviour includes *persistent staring*! Damn that is not 
in the LA CoC. Perhaps we should ask the nudists to weaken their code of 
conduct to some baseline to be more compatible with future clothing 
optional open source events?

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