Issue #12004 has been updated by Chris Travers.


Hi everyone;

First, in scope I recognize the discussion as to whether to have a code of conduct is over.   Ruby has done well so far and I trust that Matz will act with wisdom and inclusion on this issue, and not exclude other cultural value systems.

The rest of this comment provides my view as one culturally liminal to the US on what is going on here and how to have a truly open and inclusive community (something I think both sides of this discussion want).  In particular, this is a post about why we need to be willing to work with people even when we vehemently disagree with eachother on cultural, social, and political issues.

The US is in transition towards greater gay rights, and having lost a sense of liminality there is a view that we should be liberating people from the constraints of gender.  There is a tendency in the American way of thinking to see these changes as universally applicable and therefore things to be spread to other cultures.  The primarily argument I see above is free speech (one right) vs these changes (views of other rights).  These conflict and are an argument that is going on in the US today, but I don't think this is particularly helpful in understanding what this means for a global project.

I have programmed with Ruby on and off for some time (mostly small projects).  I maintain some larger open source projects in Perl.  I have spent most of my life in my birth country of the US, but I have now lived and worked on three continents and can therefore share some cultural viewpoints that I think Americans miss in the hope of greater understanding and sympathy across global projects.

For those of you who maintain projects using the Contributor Covenant, I hope this post provides some reason why the jump to protect certain classes and not others feels exclusionary to many of us, though with the inclusion of culture as a protected category, these are so watered down as to be harmless (keep in mind, if culture is a protected category, then sides in a culture war are protected too).

Culture doesn't only include art, food, and so forth.  It also includes ways one views topics like sexuality, family structures, and the like.  If gender is understood to be in part a cultural construct as well, it also includes concepts of gender.  In fact any concept of a shared reality is necessarily in part cultural and therefore there is no guarantee that, as an open source software project, we have a shared view of these deeply cultural institutions.

For example: There are legitimate reasons why corporate economies in the US and the West are moving towards recognizing same-sex marriage, but there are equally legitimate reasons why people in SE Asia see people pushing such agendas as hostile to their way of life.  As maintainers of open source projects we have to keep the peace and maintaining an open and welcoming environment for all requires valuing the socially conservative Hindu from India neither more nor less than the gay or transgender programmer from San Francisco.  We must recognize that different places have different social and cultural realities, and we must be willing to work with people we vehemently disagree with.  If people are willing to refuse to contribute because of political disagreement over cultural issues (including family, views on sexuality or gender, etc), then the choice becomes whether to let these people dictate a political orthodoxy which the project must impose, or whether to welcome the muc
 h larger groups of people worldwide who would be excluded by such an orthodoxy.  I think all successful open source communities will end up favoring the latter.

I want to thank Coraline for being open to adding culture to the list of protected categories.  With the protection of culture comes the protection of political viewpoints relating to sexuality and gender and these are perhaps the most touchy issues today in terms of worldwide participation.  Given the rest of the discussion I am not sure she would be happy with the result, but it is a nice step regarding compromise and it does leave space for disagreement on these issues.

In her comment on Opalgate, Coraline asked whether transsexuals would feel comfortable contributing to a project where a maintainer expressed views that were understood to be transphobic.  But there is another side to this question too.  For those who live in places (like India, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and much of the rest fo the world) where procreative marriage is the foundation not only of the transmission of culture to the next generation but also of the business economy, should such people feel comfortable even using software if the community takes a political position that their way of life is not legitimate?  Issues involving gender, sexual orientation, etc don't always have the same implications in all cultures, and I think there is a need to understand that we all have to work with people we vehemently disagree with.

I have a blog post specifically addressing this, the PostgreSQL Code of Conduct issues, and cross-cultural projects at http://ledgersmbdev.blogspot.se/2016/01/on-contributor-codes-of-conduct-and.html  which mentions a lot of the dicussions going on about Opalgate and others.  I hope this is not considered spam but I think it really is relevant for different sides on this discussion to come together and work leaving room for disagreement on hot button issues.



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Misc #12004: Code of Conduct
https://bugs.ruby-lang.org/issues/12004#change-56778

* Author: Coraline Ada Ehmke
* Status: Assigned
* Priority: Normal
* Assignee: Yukihiro Matsumoto
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I am the creator of the Contributor Covenant, a code of conduct for Open Source projects. At last count there are over 13,000 projects on Github that have adopted it. This past year saw adoption of Contributor Covenant by a lot of very large, very visible projects, including Rails, Github's Atom text editor, Angular JS, bundler, curl, diaspora, discourse, Eclipse, rspec, shoes, and rvm. The bundler team made code of conduct integration an option in the gem creation workflow, putting it on par with license selection. Many open source language communities have already adopted the code of conduct, including Elixir, Mono, the .NET foundation, F#, and Apple's Swift. RubyTogether also adopted a policy to only fund Ruby projects that had a solid code of conduct in place.

Right now in the PHP community there is a healthy debate about adopting the Contributor Covenant. Since it came from and has been so widely adopted by the Ruby community at large, I think it's time that we consider adopting it for the core Ruby language as well.

Our community prides itself on niceness. What a code of conduct does is define what we mean by nice. It states clearly that we value openness, courtesy, and compassion. That we care about and want contributions from people who may be different from us. That we pledge to respect all contributors regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, or other factors. And it makes it clear that we are prepared to follow through on these values with action when and if an incident arises.

I'm asking that we join with the larger Ruby community in supporting the adoption of the Contributor Covenant for the Ruby language. I think that this will be an important step forward and will ensure the continued welcoming and supportive environment around Ruby. You can read the full text of the Contributor Covenant at http://contributor-covenant.org/version/1/3/0/ and learn more at http://contributor-covenant.org/. 

Thanks for your consideration and I look forward to hearing your thoughts.


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