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code of conduct/governance role reconciliation #325

sbenthall opened this Issue Apr 13, 2018 · 4 comments


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sbenthall commented Apr 13, 2018

The current Code of Conduct and the current Governance document have discrepancies in their description of project roles.

The Governance document describes:

  • Project Community
    • Users
    • Contributors
      • Core Developers
      • Project Steering Committee

The Governance document says that all members of the Project Community are expected to abide by the code of conduct (a passive expectation).

The Code of Conduct document describes:

  • Contributors
  • Maintainers

The Code of Conduct is articulated as a pledge (an active promise) to act accordingly, which includes the acceptance of particular responsibilities by the Maintainers.

There are a few discrepancies between the language of these documents:

  • Are Users covered by the code of conduct?
  • What are 'maintainers'?
  • Has anybody actually pledged to abide by the code of conduct, if it is a passive expectation?

I think it would be good to clarify the governance and norms here.


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npdoty commented Apr 13, 2018

Thanks for noting these terminology and role issues. As I understand it, the code of conduct applies to all members of the Project Community, when they're participating in the project. That includes, for example, users who open issues in the GitHub repo, even though they're not committing code to master.

I believe "Maintainers" in the code of conduct text maps to "Core Developers" in the Governance doc, which are those people who have the capability to reject/remove commits, issues, etc. And "Contributors" refers to those making any contribution, including questions, issues and code, which the Governance doc calls "Users" or generally "Project Community".


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sbenthall commented Apr 14, 2018

@sbenthall sbenthall referenced this issue Apr 16, 2018


Ombudsteam #326


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sbenthall commented Apr 16, 2018

I propose changing "User" to "Contributor" in the Code of Conduct.

I just realized this proposal doesn't make any sense, because the CoC doesn't bind Users.
It refers to Contributors and Maintainers, which is correct.

So my proposal is, instead, to change the language in the Governance document to:

All Contributors are expected to abide...

Not because Users shouldn't also abide by the CoC in the grand scheme of things, but because we can't really expect anything of them unless they interact with us as Contributors.


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npdoty commented Apr 16, 2018

I'm fine with that change ("All members of the Project Community" to "All Contributors"), although I'm not sure it makes a huge difference. The Governance document lists as a goal making the difference between Users and Contributors small.

@sbenthall sbenthall added this to the 0.2.1 milestone Jul 3, 2018

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