[erlang-questions] Announcing Erlang.org Code of Conduct

Benoit Chesneau <>
Tue Mar 24 15:11:17 CET 2015


On Tue, Mar 24, 2015 at 1:08 PM, Tuncer Ayaz <> wrote:

> On Tue, Mar 24, 2015 at 5:52 AM, Joe Armstrong wrote:
> > I view discussion CoC to be a light diversion from discussing
> > programming problems. A form of relaxation.
> >
> > Hearing my learned colleagues point of view on such matters is
> > enlightening.
> >
> > If I had one rule it wouldn't be "be nice" it would be "try not to
> > be boring" - but niceness and boringness are in the eye of the
> > beholder ...
>
> I hope we can refine things like that in the CoC to be more precise
> and less ambiguous. Writing the draft, we tried our best, but certain
> words may carry a different meaning given changing audiences. Also, a
> words's meanings will change over time, but that's what a timestamp is
> for. For example, we thought we made it clear that cursing/swearing is
> only acceptable if it's in a non-hateful manner directed at
> non-personal things, say, a piece of code. The idea was that one
> shouldn't go full emotional and curse at each other, while still
> allowing you to vent your frustration regarding a piece of code (or
> tech), if you *really have to*.
>
> However, text communication loses most of the nuances present in face
> to face conversations. That's why staying focused and avoiding
> formulations that are likely to be mis-interpreted given everyone's
> different backgrounds is a good idea, in terms of having a productive
> conversation. Writing "that function is ****" certainly conveys the
> point for most people, but you're highly likely to offend the author
> or somebody else, and in that process steer the conversation from
> technical facts to something based in emotions. That said, it's
> imortant to clearly state opinions, but there are many ways to do that
> which do not involve cursing/swearing.
>
> Actually, a statement like "this is ****" has to be followed by an
> explanation anyway, so formulating it as follows is more productive:
>
> "This looks wrong to me. Are you sure that....?"
>
> If explaining to someone that their code is completely wrong requires
> callig it names, as they would otherwise not understand the severity,
> there is a deeper communication problem, although it may sometimes be
> the only way. However, if somebody doesn't understand "it's completely
> wrong", I doubt they will have an easier time grasping "this is ****".
>
> Joe, returning to "be nice", I wasn't aware of the meaning this might
> have to somebody having grown up in a British household. In order to
> avoid that, maybe we should have used the long form "treat others as
> you desire to be treated" (or the "do not ..." version of it). I'm sorry
> about that, but it can be fixed.
>
> Just like writing code, it's almost always the best option to allocate
> more time to thinking about some statement you're about to make than
> trying out variations until one passes the crash test. In any
> situation, trial and error is seldom the right first action to take.
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I know a good "CoC" that most countries agreed to follow:

http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/

Maybe a CoC (which is a private things) could be just summarised in
agreeing to it. Rather than these conflicting, controversial and private
things we see around....

- benoit.
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