Adding a Code of Conduct to MacPorts

George Plymale II georgedp at
Fri Sep 28 01:52:44 UTC 2018


Just wanted to respond to a few points made in the last few messages, so
I'm combining my responses into a single message to avoid clutter.

David Gilman <davidgilman1 at> writes:

> What are some of these projects that capsized after adopting a code of conduct?

Linux is arguably "capsizing" right now, to some extent. The drama
that's going on, between threats of lawsuits, possible forks, and
kicking out longtime leaders in the project... well, I'd say that
"capsizing" is perhaps an appropriate term. They're certainly facing
some turmoil that they haven't seen for a long time, if ever.

There was also Opal, of whom I was a member in the community. I
developed a game development library for Opal which wrapped the Phaser
HTML5 game framework. I used it to build some games and projects with
Opal. Opal was (and still is!) a fantastic tool for web
developers. Sadly, community uptake took a very serious hit after the
brouhaha that occurred. It has slowly been recovering and I can
certainly say that whether you dislike the Opal project leaders for
their opinions or not, they are not mean people and do not treat anyone
rudely at all. Quite the opposite; they are courteous & helpful. I think
they tried to handle that situation in proportion to the vitriol being
slung at them. Such situations are hard, if not impossible, to manage

I really agree with Vincent Habchi:

> Between people of good will, there is no need for such a thing: good
> behavior is just common sense.

I think this is embodied by the Ruby CoC, as I mentioned before. If
people really feel the need to create a formal set of rules/guidelines
for how to act & treat others in this community, I really suggest Ruby's
CoC. It will likely generate much less friction and not scare people who
are afraid of this sort of drama, which fear is becoming more & more

Michael Dickens <michaelld at> writes:

> Related, sort of: <
> >
> In my experience, we in MacPorts-land don't have the obvious Linux
> issue. I hope others don't experience the MacPorts project
> (developers, users, commenters) as abusive in any medium (email lists,
> tickets / issues, PR's, in person, whatever). - MLD

Yes, I think that the drama going on in the Linux world right now is
largely due to the history of the project. Torvalds has a long history
of being abrasive and I think their situation is largely inapplicable to
many (most?) software projects. In any case, the direction that this
drama is taking (lawsuits, kicking out community leaders, etc.) is
disturbing. The CoC that Linux adopted is directly related to said

"Perry E. Metzger" <perry at> writes:

> I'm against these. They feel like loyalty pledges during the McCarthy
> era -- politically motivated, redundant, and useful as weapons
> against the innocent.
> I don't disagree that people in the community should be polite to
> each other and that we should not tolerate unpleasant behavior in
> connection with the project, even to the point of excluding people
> whose unpleasant behavior makes them a net negative for the project.
> However, I really do not want to be part of this movement towards
> creating formal codes of conduct everywhere, and especially not
> adopting some of the ones I've seen that are heavy on vague legalese.

I concur with Perry. This movement, as he puts it, seems to be doing
more harm than good. Mistreatment and meanness should be dealt with in
much less public and scandalous ways than it is being done with these
CoC's. As before, I echo his concern about this vague legalese. It paves
the way for potential lawsuits and legal complications galore. It really
seems like overkill in most projects.

Michael Dickens <michaelld at> writes:

> I definitely agree that when a document enumerates examples -- even
> with the "including but not limited to" -- it sets the stage for your
> scenario. Thus, moving away from examples is probably wise. I, too,
> like the Ruby CoC: it's short and concise, stating the basic
> principles rather than specifics. It might be overly vague and open to
> interpretation, but that's OK. Anyway, thanks for that info,
> George. It's definitely worth considering how detailed or vague we in
> MacPorts-land would like any CoC we might adopt. - MLD

Thanks a lot, Michael. I appreciate your candidness and
open-mindedness. I hope that a good decision is reached.

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