[Python-ideas] Maintaining civility - the core of the Python community

VanL van.lindberg at gmail.com
Tue Oct 2 11:01:00 EDT 2018

Hello everyone,

You all have probably noted that there have been some contentious threads
recently, ultimately ending in a few people being given a time-out from
posting on these lists.

I don't normally get into things on this list, but it has been generally
discouraging to see a bunch of generally nice and reasonable people get
sidetracked into unproductive, sarcastic, and unhelpful remarks. There are
some efforts underway to formalize what is in and out of bounds - but I
would suggest that we are losing our way when we need to get to explicit
lists of things not to do.

Unfortunately, we are getting there.

I would like to reemphasize that we are bound together by the things that
we share. We love working on Python. We love being in the community and
seeing it grow. We can make our community stronger and more pleasant by
choosing to emphasize the things that we have in common and by ignoring or
avoiding topics that are more likely to generate unproductive discussion.

We can and should also try to remember that not everyone is coming from the
same place, and so we should actively assume the best of others and
interpret what they say in the most charitable way possible. Think of it as
Postel's law [1] as applied to people.

I'd also suggest that generally, 1) use of profanity, 2) use of sexual
terms and imagery, and 3) use of specifically denigrating terms to refer to
a person [2][3][4] are completely out of bounds for the professional
environment we want to maintain. It is ok to attack arguments, and ideas,
but ad hominem arguments - those attack a person, rather than the person's
argument - are also inappropriate. Use of sarcasm should be strongly
moderated, as it is not correctly interpreted by many people.

No reply is needed to this email. Instead, I'd prefer to see a continuation
of solid technical discussion, rather than meta-discussion.


[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robustness_principle
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ethnic_slurs
[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_religious_slurs
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