I gotta be honest with you, I do NOT like the topic for today. However, I feel it needs to be addressed by as many voices as possible. Linus Torvalds took a short sabbatical a few months ago in order to get some help with how to interact with people in a more professional way, and I was all for it! Considering Linus' position with the Linux Foundation, the way that Linus conducted himself in years past seemed to me to be a very bad way to represent a foundation (and by extension an OS and community).
Shortly after that announcement, the Linux Foundation implemented a code of conduct, which resulted in a LOT of controversy! Many railed against the "Code of Conflict", arguing that it was just another way social justice warriors were trying to control people. Still others felt a code of conduct would do no harm... Personally, I'm somewhere in between the two extremes: I believe code should be accepted based solely upon the quality of the code, since my computer doesn't care about the political leanings of the one doing the coding, but I also believe that being good at coding isn't a license to be a dickhead.
Then Linux.org was hacked and defaced (picture from motherboard.com)... In addition to the ridiculous words written on the site, it also reveals personal information for the person that wrote the Contributor's Covenant, upon which the LF's Code of Conflict is based. Also, a nasty picture.
This is why we can't have nice things! How hard is it to not be a dick to other people?!
The natural reaction of many to this hacker's childish behavior has been to vindicate and support a code of conduct! A podcast I listen to addressed this topic, and the host noted that this shows a code of conduct may be necessary since some people don't know how to act! (Way to go, genius!) Gotta admit, the thought crossed my mind. Maybe there are people out there that should NOT be associated with the operating system I love and use on a daily basis. Then it occurred to me that such a thought could turn ugly if what is 'unacceptable' was redefined, and I came back to my senses.
Folks, this is the internet; there are good people here, but also bad people, mean people, and childish people who hurt others just for kicks. None of this is new, and it would be silly to assume that any sort of COC would truly eliminate any of it. Moreover, I don't want to give such power to a body that could eventually decide that specific colors, genders, creeds, religions, etc were also 'bad' and suddenly remove those individuals too, regardless of how they conduct themselves. The best part about Open Source is the freedom it gives to the user, and I believe it should stay that way! That said, I believe we should all do our part to be better people, including better software users.
To that end, I personally condemn this hacker's behavior; I condemn the COC for trying to control and limit contributors, which could make Linux weaker overall (let's face it, your feelings don't change bad code into good code); I commend Linus for seeking out ways to grow in how he communicates and collaborates with people. I think we all would do well to follow Linus' example and reassess how we treat each other. If we did that, a COC wouldn't even be necessary in the first place.
Zek the Penguin