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Node.js forks again – this time it's a war of words over anti-sex-pest codes of conduct

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"there are downsides to codes of conduct"

Not being able to harass is a downside ?

That's news to me.

I have no knowledge of the entire picture here, but it does strike me as weird that someone is advocating the ability to harass other people.

Come harass me, I'll show you my code of conduct - right in your face.

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Re: "there are downsides to codes of conduct"

The guy rejects the SJW straight-jacket some of the other board members want all contributors to wear, so that of course constitutes 'harassment.'

"If you break any of our many, many rules you will be labeled a harasser and expelled. Ditto if you complain about the rules!!"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "there are downsides to codes of conduct"

Of course the emphasis on the harassment narrative deliberately misses the point. The man expressed the opinion that COCs may have downsides, given that they are often written vaguely and have been used by the perpetually offended to police private, unrelated opinions that are in no way, shape or form harmful to anyone, but that were merely classed as "offensive" because they diverged from the narrow views held by those so offended.

To be frank, the response proves him right.

Anon for reasons that should be obvious.

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Re: "there are downsides to codes of conduct"

Dunno about the harassment thing but I make it a point not to contribute to projects with these sorts of guidelines. Adults who aren't sociopaths should be able to resolve any issue that might arise in any project of any size.

The root problem here is the corporatisation of Open Source (my skin crawls just thinking about that concept) and the associated fear of "bad PR". If your project has a cancer, cut it out, you don't need endless lists of rules to remove people who are obviously causing an infection in your org - in fact I'd argue that they slow it down.

Hence why I don't contribute to such projects. It's inevitable that they'll all kill themselves by tying themselves in knots like the BBC does or driving way contributing contributors - if you follow this stuff 80% of the people who care about this enough to make a lot of noise are what I call non-contributing contributors, which is to say they don't write code and don't have any strong links to projects as users - they patrol github trying to make life difficult for the sake of making life difficult - we used to call them trolls; how times have changed. Not to say all of them are but certainly a significant proportion are.

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Re: The guy rejects the SJW straight-jacket

Presumably he wants to dismiss people's opinions by just calling them names rather than engaging with them?

Honestly, listening to the white boys whine is getting so tedious.

See, it doesn't help the argument, it just pushes people apart.

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Re: I make it a point not to contribute to projects with these sorts of guidelines

See, that's how you respond to codes of conduct you don't like. I'm sure the people working on those projects appreciate your absence.

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Re: "there are downsides to codes of conduct"

> participation in our project and our community a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of age, body size, disability, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, level of experience, nationality, personal appearance, race, religion, or sexual identity and orientation

Shirley it should include the full harassment free experience whether one pads left or right

/I'll grab my coat

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Re: "there are downsides to codes of conduct"

We're talking about labels here. Is someone a "strong leader" or "a dictator". Is it Theresa May's "Government" or "Regime" ?

I know what it's like when one of the best people in a team is also one of the worst. It's very distressing. However some of the things they are attacking him on are biased. If he was an SJW rather than an MRA then expressing those views whilst representing the company would be OK with them. It's not so much he expresses strong views but that these are the wrong views.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The guy rejects the SJW straight-jacket

You crack me up. I voted up because I figured you were being intentionally funny seeings you were doing exactly what your were arguing against..

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Re: "there are downsides to codes of conduct"

I'd change to a much simpler code of conduct. It has exactly one line

Don't be a dick.

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Re: "there are downsides to codes of conduct"

"Come harass me, I'll show you my code of conduct - right in your face".

That challenge looks very much like harrassment.

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Pirate

Re: "there are downsides to codes of conduct"

"Anon for reasons that should be obvious."

considering how THAT GUY is being HARASSED by Node.js [to which he's apparently contributed well enough to be one of the project leaders] and by people forking it, etc. over what he TWEETED (??!!) I would say that your use of A.C. may be well justified.

As for me, I don't give a crap if someone tries to retaliate [bring it on, I love a good fight! but I'm easily bored, too, so you have to meet high standards]

This has been happening too often, from Mozilla to Google and now THIS guy.

So I understand the A/C for the post. you have my upvote for what you said.

{and a code of conduct should *NEVAR* stray into your *PERSONAL* life, especially POLITICS, RELIGION, and PERSONAL OPINIONS}

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Re: "there are downsides to codes of conduct"

As for me, I don't give a crap if someone tries to retaliate [bring it on, I love a good fight! but I'm easily bored, too, so you have to meet high standards]

Yup.

If you're annoying me I'll f**k you off, if you have a valid point I'll look at it. Otherwise go away.

The harassment of this guy for sharing an opinion (that isn't even his directly nor arguably invalid) is so wildly inappropriate beyond belief that the people who have done this must have serious learning difficulties.

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Re: "there are downsides to codes of conduct"

Well there is a first time for everything, and here is the first time I have to agree with bombastic bob.I guess the thing here is did he treat everyone on the project equally If so then his personal prejudices should be irrelevant.

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So let me get this straight. Someone said something someone else didn't like. And another someone else defended their right to say it. And now a whole load of other people are upset that that person upholding someone's right to an opinion is offensive to some other hypothetical victims. And to express their discontent at a possible uncomfortable situation they've decided to create an even more uncomfortable situation by taking their toys away and moving to a different playground.

Would someone call a grown up please?

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Anonymous Coward

"Someone said something someone else didn't like. And another someone else defended their right to say it..."

Weeelllll, not quite. The article is glossing over a few key points and getting away with it because it does link to the whole story. Unsurprising, as a good old "SJW" story is excellent clickbait.

First and foremost, there wasn't only one issue at question. Rod has something of a history of being inflammatory, and has regularly been accused of abusing his own powers to shut down debate he doesn't like. That was the crux of this issue.

Additionally there were some fairly detailed byelaw-based arguments about whether or not Rod was even entitled to be in the role he's in. The NodeJs Foundation is pay-to-play so there's some rules in place to balance paid-for access versus actually valuable access.

And *then* we come to the article, which must be put in context of extended flame wars with nodeJS community members, including image capturing and posting otherwise-private messages, inviting others to pile in with personal attacks.

All round a pretty messy, unprofessional business for everyone involved. Rod for being as abrasive as he is, and the Node project for refusing to follow their own rules (whether or not you agree with those rules).

As for this article, glossing over the actually very serious issues about how open source projects should be governed, how you balance professionalism vs inclusivity and how you widen access without diluting excellence in favour of ranting about the SJWs is poor form.

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: anonymous coward

"ranting about the SJWs is poor form"

Ah, come on. Our job is to summarize as best we can complex stuff. In between the usual in-fighting and politics that rage in some open-source projects, the thing for us that stuck out was the CoC side, and so that's the focus here. To us, it's the straw that broke the camel's back.

The ability, or inability, for Node.js to self-govern properly as a FOSS project is best left to another story, and something we can look into. In fact, it should be obvious that, after two splits now, that all is not well in the project.

It's our job as journalists to identify the information that is most interesting to readers. And in our view, a bitter argument over CoCs - which is a rather large policy issue these days in tech - is more significant than people flaming each other on mailing lists.

C.

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Hmm...

"Would someone call a grown up please?"

Quite frankly I can't help wonder if the project isn't better off without those guys. I mean... Sure, I get it that someone sometimes doesn't like someone else. It happens. But why would comments made on Twitter (or anywhere else for that matter) affect how you're working together within a project in the first place?

But the main reason why I think the project is better off is because of how this ended. People asked for a vote, got it, people voted, they lost. And instead of taking their loss and respecting the majority vote they're now bailing out.

I realize that we probably got a brief cover of the incident or maybe somewhat of a one sided story at best but... meh...

How did that song go again? "o/~ You can't, always get, what you want... o/~".

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Joke

Lightning Rod

@AC

"Rod has something of a history of being inflammatory"

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Re: anonymous coward

@diodesign - The Internet Archive record has a lot of holes in it, but the earliest available reference that stands out is a complaint from last March about Rod Vagg and another NodeSource employee both being on the board or TSC at the same time when supposedly companies are limited to having only one at a time. https://web.archive.org/web/20170821222518/https://github.com/nodejs/board/issues/58

NodeJS is a "pay to play" foundation, where companies buy board and committee seats in return for donations. Someone was apparently upset that NodeSource effectively had more seats than they were entitled to by their membership level.

Vagg suggested that one of the people involved in trying to unseat him was trying to eject him in order to open up a seat on the committee for someone from another company. He named names, but those names were removed by a moderator. Apparently the election or nomination (whatever the process was) was quite acrimonious and the other party claims it was unfair and there was some mention of it being decided by a coin toss.

Vagg seems to think the conflict is between larger companies who buy their influence through the tiered paid membership system, and smaller companies who employ the developers who actually do most of the work but don't have the money to pay for Platinum level memberships. It would appear that Vagg sees his own company as being in the latter category.

The Register did an article about NodeSource just 12 days before that complaint was made (what an interesting coincidence). https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/03/17/nodesource_nodejs_certification/

NodeSource are trying to create an "enterprise" version of Nodejs and "certifying" modules using proprietary algorithms. I wouldn't be too sure that at least some of this current noise isn't a replay of the Joyent situation all over again with CoC issues being just another stick to beat NodeSource with. Yes, Vagg may have given people ammunition to use against him, but the real issue may lay elsewhere.

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Thumb Down

"It's our job as journalists..."

"It's our job as journalists to identify the information that is most interesting to readers."

I disagree. Tabloid journalists clearly see that as their mission, but real, serious (i.e. investigative) journalism is about getting to the truth of the matter, surely...

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Re: anonymous coward

"It's our job as journalists to identify the information that is most interesting to readers. And in our view, a bitter argument over CoCs - which is a rather large policy issue these days in tech - is more significant than people flaming each other on mailing lists."

What's interesting to me is the increasingly blurry boundary between public and private life. I'm not sure it is healthy.

I think a CoC makes sense if the project is run a bit like a business, with people interacting on a daily basis and forming the working environment for each other. However, if people are only interacting through code commits and technical documentation, the CoC should only apply to those things and not extend to "I heard this guy said something in his spare time on twitter that I don't agree with and now I feel bad about working with him".

If society has granted me a right to free speech then I shouldn't have to give that up when I get a job. Equally, I should refrain from exercising it when I'm at work because my audience isn't free to walk away or give as good as they get.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: anonymous coward

"However, if people are only interacting through code commits and technical documentation..."

Which they're not. There are extended discussions and frequent in-person meetings and conferences. "Volunteering" for a major open source project is pretty much exactly like a real job, which isn't a coincidence as the overwhelming majority of open source contributors are salaried professionals employed to do the job.

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Linux

Re: anonymous coward

"more significant than people flaming each other on mailing lists"

Unless it is Linus doing the flaming of course.

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Trollface

sounds like he should be working on unix

" has something of a history of being inflammatory, and has regularly been accused of abusing his own powers to shut down debate he doesn't like."

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Meh

Re: "It's our job as journalists..."

I dunno, I read 'El Reg' for the entertaining twist on the news. If I'm concerned about truth, I can research it further, myself...

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Linux

Re: sounds like he should be working on unix

actually, Linux [thinking Linus]

and look how SUCCESSFUL Linus has been!

you have to wonder...

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Flame

Yawn

If only they put as much effort into their technical effort as they do into their political arguments.

As for what they're reacting to, you'd think the guy had done something horribly illegal and offensive rather than merely upsetting their delicate sensibilities by disagreeing with them.

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Re: Yawn

I wasn't able to track down exactly what he said that was so bad, but I infer that it has to do with the very politically correct set of conduct rules imposed on the Node contributors. It wasn't enough to have some minimal rules of decorum. No, someone felt it necessary to add references and protection to every social justice cause currently on the "approved list," and probably a few more just to be sure.

Slowly the smothering wet blanket of the Left gets wrapped around each segment of society, and when the more independently minded complain? Well, sure is handy to have a lot of strict rules to wield against such bigots, ain't it?

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Anonymous Coward

Anyone been to #NodeJS on IRC?

There used to be that lass that harassed anyone who would chime in with a "Hello guys" or show gratefulness with by saying "God bless you". Apparently on the basis that not everyone in the audience were "guys" or theists, according to her definition of either. She was almost as arrogant as she was ignorant, insensitive, tasteless, and lacking in the most basic of manners. True American middle-class spoiled child.

I do use Node, it's a good tool for the right problems, but stay well clear of the IRC channel or engaging with that core group of devs who, quite honestly and including the main subject of this article, come across as a complete bunch of idiots.

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Re: Yawn

Slowly the smothering wet blanket of the Left gets wrapped around each segment of society,

That's too simplistic. This isn't really politics as much as value signalling by people with vested interests. CoCs get traction because we all with them, right? But they are actually instruments of control self-appointed ideologues. You get much the same kind of thing on the right whether it's about commitments not to raise taxes or gun control.

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Re: Yawn

Maybe so, but around 90% of all US reporters self identify as Democrats when asked, so the left's ideology has far more punch than the right's. At least it did before the left/media became apeshite crazy over Donald Trump being elected President. Now it's generally accepted by most that the big corporate media are a bunch of vicious sore-losers in league with the sore-loser Democrat Party.

But those media clowns cannot grasp the reality of their loss of face and insist on a scorched-earth policy against Trump and his base in general (all Nazis now!).

No longer can they be called "reporters." "Partisan hacks" is the nicest term available.

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Re: Yawn

The use of word "left" is the new Godwin's Law fail tbh.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Yawn

Yet all I see are republicans on TV. What a load of crap.

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Anonymous Coward

Just the tech please

I definitely don't want American identity politics in my tech.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Just the tech please

It's not even an overall American disease. This comes almost entirely from California - the place where all these articles on the reg have also emerged in the last year. The recent recruits in that San Francisco office have turned this place into a bloody swamp of onanistic clickbait rubbish.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Just the tech please

> The recent recruits in that San Francisco office have turned this place into a bloody swamp of onanistic clickbait rubbish.

Agreed.

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Joke

Re: Just the tech please

"...in San Francisco" byline

How about changing it to

"...in San Francisco, Silicon Valley"

Then the Vultures in the London office can add

"... in Clerkenwell, Silicon Roundabout"

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Re: Just the tech please

> "This comes almost entirely from California - the place where all these articles on the reg have also emerged in the last year."

So, California's Frisco Bay area is now too far left even for England? That would explain the quixotic secession movement in Cali...

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Re: geographical misattribution

Just as Max Zorin did, you are mis-identifying San Francisco as being in Silicon Valley :)

'tis indeed nearby, but the climate for one is drastically different.

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Re: Just the tech please

> I definitely don't want American identity politics in my tech.

Neither do most of us Americans.

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Re: Just the tech please

"That would explain the quixotic secession movement in Cali..."

It's hard to know which side supports Calexit more-- those in California or the rest of the US outside of California.

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Re: Just the tech please

That remark reminds me of a (Texan) guy I heard about some years back who was raising funds to build a wall around Texas to keep the damyankees out. It was suggested that some of his contributors were damyankees who wanted it to be built to keep the Texans in.

(Disclaimer. My late wife was born in Texas.)

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Normal differences, nothing to see here.

People need to realise that we are all different and driven by different things - we don't all get along with the people we co-exist with, its called "normal life". You make your choices, I make mine. I might not agree with you, but I'll probably respect that you think differently to me (unless you try and convince me that you are right and I'm wrong)

Sometimes we will agree, other times we don't. If we get along, I might have a beer or share a meal with you. If I don't, then don't be offended if I don't send you a Christmas card - irrespective of your religion or inside leg measurement or colour of the laces on your flip flops.

I fail to see what this has to do with "can we all write code for a common outcome". Why not argue about something more constructive - do the curly brackets go on the same line, or the one below, what is the capitalisation scheme for variables and what colour should the variables be.

Seriously though - grow up, quit whining, write some code or shut up - pick any one of the four.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Normal differences, nothing to see here.

> do the curly brackets go on the same line

Let's not go there. Just don't.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Normal differences, nothing to see here.

> Let's not go there. Just don't.

All are actually acceptable as long as you stick to 37-space tab indents (ignore those idiots who advocate 41).

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Re: Normal differences, nothing to see here.

“People need to realise that we are all different and driven by different things.”

Why does this remind me of the Team America “There are Arseholes and Dicks” speech?

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Joke

Re: Normal differences, nothing to see here.

All are actually acceptable as long as you stick to 37-space tab indents (ignore those idiots who advocate 41).

But 42 is the "Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything"....

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Re: Normal differences, nothing to see here.

Seriously though - grow up, quit whining, write some code or shut up - pick any one of the four.

I wish it were that simple. If code spoke for itself, that would be fine. The problem is I've watched women who wrote very good code indeed be driven out by men who either (a) saw them as potential sex partners, or (b) were angry that chicks were getting into their boys' club. Some women actually take male aliases because their code isn't committed if they submit it under female names.

There is a hell of a lot of misogyny in tech, and it's perpetuated by guys who think that anything that questions male domination is "political correctness" or "virtue signaling." The idea that open source is a meritocracy is a convenient fiction that people who have won the game tell themselves, so they can believe they won it fair and square.

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Mushroom

Re: Normal differences, nothing to see here.

There is a hell of a lot of misogyny in tech, and it's perpetuated by guys who think that anything that questions male domination is "political correctness" or "virtue signaling."

EW, you used 3 of those terms in a single sentence! Wash your mouth out with soap, please!

'misogyny' is a myth. 'MISANDRONY', however, is reality. Ask any father going through a divorce in Cali-fornicate-you. [both of course are equally bad]

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