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

Arjen Lentz arjen at lentz.com.au
Wed Nov 30 21:50:40 EST 2011

Hi Donna, all

> Discussion with Susanne Ruthven, Human Rights lawyer and conference
> director of LCA2010, suggested that less is more when it comes to
> these things.
> Broad brush strokes give the organisers more power to act in the grey
> areas necessary than explicit descriptions of what is and isn't
> acceptable would.

A few years ago, I was one of the people in favour of a more general guide stated in a positive manner, and Donna and I had a fairly vigorous discussion on the topic. I've since learnt a whole lot more about the issues, and while I still believe short is good and positive is the way to go, I also think that for our target audience it's beneficial to note some specifics. Things that are obvious to one are not obvious to another - that's exactly the problem, and so an example or two can clarify and thus prevent hassles.

I agree that it's helpful for organisers to be able to act in grey areas, while at the same time attendees benefit from clarity as then it's clear what's expected. Prevention is better than having to act on an incident. We don't want boundary-exploration-arguments like we see in threads like these at an event, that'd be really bad.

So I'd be for
 - concise
 - positive
 - short list of specifics (perhaps near end)
 - external references for more detail

And as I mentioned in another email in this thread, I'd be all for having a single baseline CoC for anything LA-related as well as anything OSDClub-related, and possibly other Australian organisations. Again that would help with the clarity and our desire to create the change we want to see.
It would be possible for a specific event or club to add on to that, but in this thread I have not seen examples of scenarios where that might be required. For sake of argument there are plenty of hypotheticals, but why bother - there's an abundance of real-world experience, let's just deal with that and most groups and events can just use that. Organising a conf involves plenty of work in many areas, not having to worry about a separate CoC would be great. As Donna said, none will be perfect so a general "good enough" one would be utterly awesome.
And if we can make it generic here, I'm happy to take it to OSDClub for adoption there.
thanks for all the efforts!

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