We've been thinking about adopting a code of conduct for our projects, pages, IRC, etc. for a while now. But, we never really got around to it, as we're all quite busy, and it never seemed like the most important thing we could be working on at that moment. We've decided to flip the switch on that now, due to a few recent instances of having to make difficult decisions about behavior, made more difficult by the problems coming from folks we like and who have been members of the community for some time.
It may simply be that not having clear guidelines for what is and isn't appropriate in our community has caused people to feel the need to escalate in language and tone in order to be heard over others. So, my hope, in having a clear code of conduct, is that it will be possible for someone to opt not to escalate an argument and just expect that moderators will step in when necessary.
We recently introduced a report button here in the forums, and a handful of folks have used it to good effect (mostly for spam, which is annoying, but less of a problem than abusive language for the health of our community); hopefully a set of guidelines will allow others to feel empowered to use it, too. We don't remove posts or ban users easily, and don't plan to start, but we sysadmins can be a cranky bunch. I'd rather we all treated each other with respect even when we disagree. So...yeah, let's try harder to do that.
After some research, we've settled on the Contributor Covenant, which is an open source, community-developed and community-overseen, code of conduct used by numerous major Open Source projects and many small ones.
In short: Please don't be an asshole, and check out the text of the Contributor Covenant below (this will begin to appear in all of our project packages going forward, among other places):Contributor Covenant Code of Conduct
In the interest of fostering an open and welcoming environment, we as contributors and maintainers pledge to making participation in our project and our community a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of age, body size, disability, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, level of experience, nationality, personal appearance, race, religion, or sexual identity and orientation.
Examples of behavior that contributes to creating a positive environment include:
Examples of unacceptable behavior by participants include:
Project maintainers are responsible for clarifying the standards of acceptable behavior and are expected to take appropriate and fair corrective action in response to any instances of unacceptable behavior.
Project maintainers have the right and responsibility to remove, edit, or reject comments, commits, code, wiki edits, issues, and other contributions that are not aligned to this Code of Conduct, or to ban temporarily or permanently any contributor for other behaviors that they deem inappropriate, threatening, offensive, or harmful.
This Code of Conduct applies both within project spaces and in public spaces when an individual is representing the project or its community. Examples of representing a project or community include using an official project e-mail address, posting via an official social media account, or acting as an appointed representative at an online or offline event. Representation of a project may be further defined and clarified by project maintainers.
Instances of abusive, harassing, or otherwise unacceptable behavior may be
reported by contacting the project team at email@example.com or in a
private ticket in the ticket tracker at
virtualmin.com/issues. All complaints will be
reviewed and investigated and will result in a response that is deemed necessary and appropriate to the circumstances. The project team is obligated to maintain confidentiality with regard to the reporter of an incident. Further details of specific enforcement policies may be posted separately.
Project maintainers who do not follow or enforce the Code of Conduct in good faith may face temporary or permanent repercussions as determined by other members of the project's leadership.