On Sun, Feb 28, 2016 at 07:10:18PM +0000, Brett Cannon wrote:
On Sat, 27 Feb 2016 at 18:33 Steven D'Aprano firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
You could have, should have, waited a few days before seemingly ramming this policy change in behind people's backs.
Steven, I didn't try to sneak this past anyone.
I can give you nothing less than full credit for not generally abusing your list admin powers. And I do believe that you think you are acting in the best interests of the group. But even the most innocent actions can *seem* suspicious, which is why I used the words I used: "seemingly ... behind people's backs".
I can believe that the timing of a Friday night was an unfortunate coincidence. But the objection isn't about that, or even about the CoC itself. I know that I'm in a minority here. If this had come down to a vote, or community consensus, you probably would have got your CoC approved. I'm a grown-up, I know I can't get my way all the time. But in a community that claims to welcome diverse opinions, I do expect that we all should be given the opportunity to express those opinions when it matters -- and not just reduced to complaining afterwards.
This exact objection has come up before, when you and Titus decided to apply the CoC on the Python-Ideas list in 2013, and announced it to the list as a done deal.
Brett, I know that you have de facto powers that the rest of us don't, by virtue of being a list admin. You're an elite among elites. Do the CoC principles of openess, respect and consideration apply to elites too? Then you should have been open to opposing viewpoints; you should have given the community the respect and consideration of asking for community feedback before imposing this change of rule.
The honest truth is, if you had said "If nobody strongly objects by Monday my time, two days from now, I'll take that as consensus in favour and apply the CoC" I probably wouldn't even have argued against it. (I only have so much energy for tilting at windmills, and I have to pick the most important ones.)
This is an international group, and I'm an Australian, and the language I use with my wife, friends and co-workers is far more forthright and strong than the language I use here. But if I slip occasionally, and call a spade a bloody shovel as they say, I don't want those with more restrictive, less enlightened or even merely different standards to be able to formally rebuke me. Why should I have to change my behaviour more than I already do? Why can't they be a bit more flexible and accepting of differences and less judgmental?
There is a massive difference between using a word that someone might consider a swear word and regularly being mean or disrespectful.
I'm afraid you misunderstand me. To call a spade a bloody shovel is not about using "swear words". It is about being frank, direct and blunt, even brusque, without sugar-coating the message, beating around the bush or using euphemisms. It's not even a uniquely Australian saying:
1964 J. Reston in N.Y. Times 14 Feb. IV 8: The time has come to call a spade a bloody shovel. This country is in an undeclared and unexplained war in Vietnam. Our masters have a lot of long and fancy names for it [...] but it is war just the same.
Sometimes people take offence at direct language. Call a piece of software "crap", or even "a jenky mess", and some people will say that you're being rude and disruptive. I do not hold with that view.
I swear that I did not mean to pull a fast one or somehow exert some influence to make this happen on the sly and I'm sorry if you thought that;
Brett I unconditionally believe you and I too am sorry that I didn't make it clear enough that I was talking about the *perception* of sneakiness rather than actual sneakiness.
I think I've made it clear that I am not a supporter of the CoC, but I am a supporter of the principles it sets forth. (And if anyone thinks this is an insane contradictory position to take, I'm happy to discuss it off-list.) I fully expect that had you asked for comments prior to making the change, they would have been overwhelmingly in favour.
Nevertheless, I believe that you should have asked first. Not because you have to (you are list admin, and you are physically capable of doing whatever you like to the list), but because failing to consult with the community goes against the principles of the CoC.