Python list code of conduct

Steven D'Aprano steve+comp.lang.python at
Wed Jul 3 08:18:14 CEST 2013

On Wed, 03 Jul 2013 08:39:59 +1000, Ben Finney wrote:

> Steve Simmons <square.steve at> writes:

>> Does this list have a code of conduct or a netiqeutte (sp?)
>> statement/requirement?
> This forum (both a Usenet newsgroup and a mailing list) is part of the
> Python community. So the “Python Community Code of Conduct” applies.
>     <URL:>

It certainly does not apply. Even putting aside the practical 
impossibility of enforcing it on an unmoderated mailing list/news group, 
the Code of Conduct needs to be adopted by each community group that 
chooses to do so. The Python Software Foundation (PSF) has approved the
CoC, but it is only *suggested* that Python-related communities adopt it, 
it is not mandatory. Nor could it be mandatory -- the PSF has no power to 
tell arbitrary Python groups how to run their community. (Although in 
principle it could choose to withhold funding from those that do not.)

The PSF blog post introducing this makes it clear that the PSF 
*encourages* community groups to adopt this CoC, but that is all:

The PSF supports and advocates for the use of the CoC throughout the 
community, but without adoption by specific areas, the CoC is merely
a document that the Foundation is supportive of. The way it’s useful 
is that an area of the community can adopt the CoC and use it as a
guideline for participation. IT COULD BE adopted by mailing lists,
IRC channels, the bug tracker, user groups, sprints, and more.

For example, a mailing list COULD SAY that their membership should adhere 
to the CoC.  [emphasis added]
[end quote]

To my knowledge, only two groups have adopted this so far: the PSF itself 
have adopted it for their internal (and private) mailing lists), and the 
python-ideas mailing list, whose two moderators adopted it without 
consultation with the mailing list subscribers, not that I'm bitter or 

> That was formed by the Python community and adopted by our gracious
> hosts, the Python Software Foundation, who provide this forum for our
> use.

The Code of Conduct was not formed by the Python community. It was formed 
by a small but influential subset of the Python community, the PSF. The 
greater Python community includes large numbers of people who are not 
members of the PSF, are not on this mailing list, and indeed may not be 
on any mailing list at all.

It is absurd to think that the PSF can unilaterally decide how (say) 
StackOverflow users are allowed to behave when they ask Python
questions. Now, if we were talking about the Python Secret Underground, 
which emphatically does not exist, then


More information about the Python-list mailing list