A number of people have contacted the Core Team about taking action
regarding a Code of Conduct (CoC) for the project. After some
discussion, the plan we have come up with is below.
**Please do not reply-all to this email, as we do not wish to generate
additional list traffic regarding CoCs**
1. The Core Team will appoint an exploration committee which will look
at various proposals (including the one drafted on pgsql-general) for
CoCs and discuss them. This committee will include both major community
members and less central folks who have hands-on experience with CoCs
and community management issues. If you know of PostgreSQL community
members who have relevant experience, please nominate them by emailing
the core team: [hidden email].
2. We will also hire a professional consultant to advise the committee
on CoC development, adoption, training, and enforcement. Again, if
community members have a consultant to recommend, please email the core
3. This committee will post a draft CoC or possibly a selection of draft
CoCs by or before late April for community comment. Likely the
committee will be publishing drafts more frequently, but that will be up
to them to work out.
4. At the pgCon Community Unconference, and again at pgconf.EU, we will
have sessions where people can discuss and provide feedback about
proposed (or adopted) CoCs. Possibly we will have CoC-related trainings
5. Once a draft is agreed upon, it will be circulated to our various
sub-communities for comment.
6. A "final" CoC will be endorsed by the committee and the Core Team
shortly after pgConf.EU, unless there is sufficently strong consensus to
adopt one before then.
Yes, we realize this is a long timeline. The PostgreSQL Project has
never been about implementing things in a hurry; our practice has always
been to take all of the time required to develop the right feature the
right way. Adopting a CoC is no different; if anything, we need to take
*more* time in order to get input from community members who do not
speak up frequently or assertively.
In the meantime, our policy remains: if you have experienced harassment
or feel that you are being treated unfairly by other project members,
email the Core Team and we will investigate your complaint and take
Also, we want to thank Josh Drake for raising the CoC issue and getting
it off the TODO list and into process, and devising an initial "seed"
CoC. Such things are all too easy to keep postponing.
Again, Please DO NOT comment on this plan on-list; one of the pieces of
feedback we have received loud and clear is that many community members
are unhappy with the amount of list traffic devoted to the subject of
CoCs. As such, if you have comments on the plan above, please email the
core team instead of replying on-list, or wait for the committee and
address comments to them.
PostgreSQL Core Team
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Josh Berkus <[hidden email]> wrote:
> 1. The Core Team will appoint an exploration committee which will look
> at various proposals (including the one drafted on pgsql-general) for
> CoCs and discuss them.
To follow up on this ...
The Core Team are pleased to announce that Stacey Haysler has accepted
our invitation to chair the exploratory committee on a Postgres Code of
Conduct. Stacey is very well qualified to do this, since she is a well
known member of the Postgres community and has had an extended career in
human resources, including creation and implementation of
anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies.
Stacey will be reaching out to potential committee members over the next
few days or weeks. Once the committee is assembled, they will devise
some way (possibly a new mailing list, though I don't want to pre-judge
it) for the wider community to have input into the discussions.
In the meantime, we ask that people continue to refrain from flooding
pgsql-general or other existing PG lists with CoC-related threads.
There will be a time and a place for those discussions, but not yet.
If you have interest or concerns about this process, you can contact
Stacey at [hidden email] or the Core Team at
regards, tom lane
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On Tue, Jun 5, 2018 at 4:45 PM, Chris Travers <[hidden email]> wrote:
It will be. This is the PostgreSQL *global* development group and project, after all. Yes, there is definitely a slant in the project in general towards the US side, as is true in many other such projects, but in general we have decent coverage of other cultures and countries as well. We can't cover them all on the committee (that would make for a gicantic committee), but we can cover it with people who are used to communicating and working with people from other areas as well, which makes for a better understanding.
It won't be perfect in the first attempt, of course, but that one is covered.
On Fri, Sep 14, 2018 at 3:10 PM, James Keener <[hidden email]> wrote:
If you had read the policy, you would know that wouldn't happen as reports and details of reports are to be kept confidential.
The lists are just one of many different ways people in this community interact.
On Fri, Sep 14, 2018 at 3:13 PM, Adrian Klaver <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 9/14/18 6:59 AM, Robert Eckhardt wrote:
No one is tracking anything as part of the CoC. That's nothing but a straw man argument.
On Fri, Sep 14, 2018 at 3:21 PM, James Keener <[hidden email]> wrote:
Sure, but an attacker can do that now. Having the CoC doesn't change anything there, though it does give us a framework to deal with it.
If that business is publicly bringing the project into disrepute, or harassing other community members and they approach us about it, then it becomes our business.
If it's unrelated to PostgreSQL, then it's your personal business and not something the project would get involved in.
> Community is people who joined it
We're not a "community." We're people using email to get help with or discuss technical aspects of PostgreSQL. The types of discussions that would normally be held within a "community" would be entirely off-topic here. We should be professional to each other here; we don't need to be buddies. There is a clear difference between "professionalism" and "community". A document governing interactions on this list is within the right of the moderation, but leaking into the "real world" is an abomination and perversion of what this group is.
My church group is 100% within their right to kick me out of teaching Sunday School if I were to have an affair. Teaching Sunday School is an act taking place as part of a community of people with a shared belief and culture. My job would 100% not be within their right to fire me for having an affair, as it's not a community, but a professional environment and my personal life is just that: personal. (Baring an ethics clauses signed when joining, I guess?)
On Fri, Sep 14, 2018 at 10:31 AM, Ilya Kosmodemiansky <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Fri, Sep 14, 2018 at 3:37 PM, Joshua D. Drake <[hidden email]> wrote:
There are some fuzzy edges I guess (e.g. Slack), but in my mind it's always been anyone who participates in any of the projects communications channels.
I didn't realize they had replied personally to me.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: James Keener <[hidden email]>
Date: Fri, Sep 14, 2018 at 10:43 AM
Subject: Re: Code of Conduct plan
To: Dave Page <[hidden email]>
And yet, none of that is made clear or establish or even hinted at in the current CoC. Also, may I refer you to https://github.com/opal/opal/
In reply to this post by James Keener
On Fri, Sep 14, 2018 at 3:41 PM, James Keener <[hidden email]> wrote:
To many of us, we absolutely are a community. Remember, there are people here who have been around for 20+ years, of which many have become close friends, having started working on PostgreSQL as a hobby. We have always seen the project as a community of like-minded technologists, and welcome others that wish to join, whether just to ask a single question or to hang around for the next 20 years. I do see your viewpoint, but I would counter that coming here for help (for example) is quite different from calling tech support at a vendor.
I fail to see how that makes everyone here part of a community anymore than I'm part of the "community" of regulars at a bar I walk into for the first time.
As I said, the rules can and should apply within the list, but applying them outside the list is odd and wreaks of authoritarianism.
No? What's the "community at large"? To me that sounds like "all interactions" whether or not they're about postgres.
On Fri, Sep 14, 2018 at 3:55 PM, James Keener <[hidden email]> wrote:
I've had one off-list personal reply in this thread... from you :-p
I hesitate to exacerbate what is a society-wide debate that is being worked out across organizations across the spectrum, but if I may provide a thought for consideration.
The framing and language of the Code of Conduct, as written and proposed, includes a large number of checkpoints to protect those accused of violations of the code of conduct: Confidentiality, the Good Faith clause that actually puts risk on those who report behavior under the code, a scaling of consequences that is weighted *heavily* towards providing second and third chances to those who may be accused of violating the code.
In the examples that have been raised in this discussion, it would seem to me to be unreasonable for an investigation to result in a finding that the code had been violated to the extent that any kind of public consequence would be warranted. Indeed, were the examples cited to be adjudicated under this code, I am confident we as a community would discover the code to be working as designed, rather than the opposite.
If the objection is to the possibility of being reported at all for your own behavior that you believe is not in violation, that's a different matter. But if that is the concern, than the objection is not to *this* code of conduct but to ANY code of conduct, because any code of conduct is inherently going to introduce risk of being reported for everyone. And if you believe strongly that a given statement you may have made is not objectionable...you should be willing to defend it in an adjudication investigation. If you are not willing to defend it in an adjudication investigation, then you are tacitly (at least) acknowledging the statement was not in keeping withe standards represented by the code.
This code of conduct as written, in my opinion, merely holds every member of our community responsible for owning our words and behavior, and the consequences thereof. I believe that we are adult enough to be willing to take responsibility for ourselves.
Just my $0.02.
On Fri, Sep 14, 2018 at 8:50 AM, James Keener <[hidden email]> wrote:
And if you believe strongly that a given statement you may have made is not objectionable...you should be willing to defend it in an adjudication investigation.
So because someone doesn't like what I say in a venue 100% separate from postgres, I have to subject myself, and waste my time, defending actions in this (and potentially other groups who would also adopt overly broad CoC) group.
One of the biggest drivers of plea-bargains for innocent people in the US justice system is the expense of having to defend yourself. I find that to be a travesty; why are we duplicating that at a smaller level?
On Fri, Sep 14, 2018 at 7:19 AM, Joshua D. Drake <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Sure and that is unfortunate but isn't it up to the individual to deal with
> it through appropriate channels for whatever platform they are on? All of
> these platforms are:
> 1. Voluntary to use
> 3. If it is abuse there are laws
> I agree that within Postgresql.org we must have a professional code of
> conduct but the idea that an arbitrary committee appointed by an unelected
> board can decide the fate of a community member based on actions outside of
> the community is a bit authoritarian don't you think?
The choice of the committee members is hardly arbitrary. Having
committee members be appointed by core is more or less consistent with
how the community has always dealt with disciplinary issues. The
criteria used by core were discussed quite openly. While the risk that
the committee will yield their power in an "authoritarian" way seems
very small, it cannot be ruled out entirely. In fact, it hasn't been
ruled out by the draft CoC itself.
No CoC can possibly provide for every conceivable situation. Somebody
has to interpret the rules, and it has to be possible to impose
sanctions when the CoC is violated -- otherwise, what's the point?
There are several checks and balances in place, and I for one have
confidence in the process as outlined. It's imperfect, but quite a lot
better than either the status quo, or a platitude about inclusivity.
In reply to this post by James Keener
On Fri, Sep 14, 2018 at 5:18 PM Tom Lane <[hidden email]> wrote:
Robert Haas <[hidden email]> writes:
I must admit that I'm impressed by the huge amount of contributions to this thread and, to be honest, it is the only one I have witnessed that would have deserved a CoC. I had a quick look at the proposal and it sounds to me like the team is trying to handle excesses - as long as no one complains, I would bet that they won't even chime in.
One thing to keep in mind is this simple definition: "One person's freedom ends where another's begins" and all the work should go in this direction. We are all different, have different sensitivities, come from different cultures where we interpret words in a different way - it's a given, no way to escape. But we have in common the love of a great piece of software provided by a very active and efficient community.
Why don't we focus on what unites us, instead of what creates divisions?
Have a peaceful week-end
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