“be excellent to each other”

it’s perhaps a bug in the ubuntu code of conduct that it does not include something that we can find elsewhere — in the KDE code of conduct.

i believe that “be excellent to each other” very much includes “assume that people mean well”.

i’m personally a bit tired of seeing people repeatedly publicly flogged for an innocent action (where i define innocent as “very obviously without malice”).

ps: can we please get back to work? boston summit just ended today and i can tell you that there is certainly no lack of actual interesting things to be spending time on.

edit: thanks to murray for pointing out that the “assume people mean well” language appears also in the GNOME code of conduct. KDE just had better google juice for the term :)

10 thoughts on ““be excellent to each other””

  1. Yes indeed! I think that’s something that really needs to be kept in mind in the talks about sexism that are occurring lately. It’s a problem, but it’s certainly not out of malice.

  2. No-one is ‘being flogged’. This kind of misrepresentation is getting really tiresome. Someone pointed out a remark which had an unfortunate effect – no malice was ever presumed, no allegation of malicious intent was ever made – and asked for an apology _for the effect of the remark_, not for any malicious intent. No apology has been made. There is the story in a nutshell. The lack of apology is the most worrying thing. Everyone assumed Mark meant well. That’s why someone approached him privately to ask if he’d maybe say sorry before making it public. That’s why everyone was extremely careful to say they were complaining only about the substance of an individual remark, not suggesting anything negative about his character in general or his intentions or motivations. Despite all of this care, there’s still been no apology.

    Jamie, if you think this is extremism, you lead a really, really sheltered life.

  3. The sheer number of blog posts and comments some people (lefty, adam etc.) have left are a clear indication of extremism.

  4. Tim: that’s…uh…what? Barack Obama makes rather a lot of political speeches, does that make him a political extremist? Some people write lots of blog entries about coding, does that make them coding extremists? You’re not making any sense. I don’t really know what else to say.

  5. In agreement with Adam Williamson here. I was always taught that you should be respectful of other peoples’ feelings, so if you’ve offended someone, you should apologise for offending them and try not to do it again. I think that’s pretty reasonable. People are clearly offended, I don’t see what’s so hard about apologising (and meaning it).

    I agree that some of the blog posts about this have gone totally over the top, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t an issue.

  6. Aha, thanks for this Ryan. This is also how I feel about this trend where the online society wants to say for each and every person what they are doing wrong (even if there’s no malice at all).

    I explained my point of view on this here:

    http://pvanhoof.be/blog/index.php/2008/09/14/moral-indulgence

    “I questioned whether only intent can either be good or bad, but that question was refuted as irrelevant. For it’s the beholder who matters. Not the producer.”

    “The reason for this irrelevance being that an audience doesn’t take the responsibility of trying to understand intent. I disagree with this conclusion. I think the audience does understand intent.”

    And in comments:

    “I said audience has a responsibility to decide for themselves whether or not the ideas that appear on a website (like my blog) are either true, false, idiot, genius, acceptable, immoral, etc. …”

    “I say that audience has the capacity to understand intent and that audience, if it wants to be relevant audience, needs to utilize this capacity. “

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