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Guidelines for Respectful Communication

As members of a Haskell Foundation affiliated project, we commit ourselves to a high standard of public behaviour and we expect the same of participants on the project-related public forums. We have one over-arching rule:

We strive to treat every person with respect.

Specifically, we aspire to these qualities:

  • We treat everyone with courtesy, aware that their diverse backgrounds, experiences, goals, and perspectives may be very different to ours.
  • In our communication, we consistently honour and affirm the passion, professional expertise, and good intentions of others. Even if we occasionally doubt these qualities in someone else, we will not make public accusations of incompetence, malice or ulterior motives.
  • We strive to be scrupulously polite at all times. There should be no rudeness, name-calling, or harassment in our communication.
  • Where we disagree with someone, we avoid forms of expression that might make our dialogue partner feel attacked, humiliated, demeaned, or marginalised. Our critique should always be of specific statements and claims, never of people.
  • Disagreement itself is fine: we are enriched by robust technical debate. But we seek to make the tone of that debate to be a conversation among people who respect, or even admire, each other.
  • Where we disagree, we try to be curious about the perspective, goals, motivation, and priorities of the other person.
  • We do not tolerate any form of discriminatory language or behaviour towards any minority (for example age, body size, disability, ethnicity, sex characteristics, gender identity and expression, level of experience, education, socio-economic status, nationality, personal appearance, race, religion, or sexual identity and orientation).

We seek to apply these standards in all our public interactions in the Haskell sphere, including email, social media, discussion forums, and so on.

If one of us fails to meet these standards, the ideal course of action is to write to that person privately, gently drawing attention to their lapse. If you're not comfortable with that, please contact one of the project maintainers.

Our response should usually be to apologise and stop doing what it was that you are unhappy about. Even if we feel we have been misinterpreted or unfairly accused, the chances are good there was something we could have communicated better, and an apology is far more likely to bring healing than is a counter-accusation.


This code of conduct is adapted from the Haskell Foundation's Guidelines for Respectful Communication