The openSUSE project
board has proposed a code
for mailing lists and IRC. This would be in addition to the
, mailing list
guide and IRC
There seems to be a trend among open source projects to adopt a code of
conduct. As the number of people participating on mailing lists and IRC
channels increases, so does the level of poorly stated questions, off-topic
chatter and other annoyances. As levels of frustration increase so does
the potential for rudeness. Whether a poster intends to be rude, or is
only perceived to be rude makes little difference. The international
nature of this communication almost ensures there will be some
misunderstandings based on culture and language.
So do codes of conduct really work? They can, but often they do not. If
the code is not enforced then there is no incentive for anyone to read the
code, much less follow it. If the code is too actively enforced it will
stifle communication. Somewhere in between there must be a happy medium.
Finding it can be a challenge for even the most diplomatic of enforcers.
There are no quick fixes for the problems that come with active channels of
communication. There are many documents throughout the web that urge
people to be polite and helpful, how to ask better questions and how to
provide better answers. LWN readers may be more aware of them than the
average netizen. It is up to the aware to educate the unaware in as kind
and gentle a manner as possible.
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