Community growth and weeding

I would like to start a discussion about conduct.

Yes this discussion happened before and got shelved. Here we are again 5 years later and the people who caused that discussion to happen are still present in the community and are still very toxic to the community growth. Discourse (the forum software) and the flagging features have done well to clean up some but it still hasn’t cleared the cancer.

I like the Ubuntu CoC Ubuntu Code of Conduct v2.0 | Ubuntu
In the other thread Pythons was mentioned as well.
There is a whole mess of examples at Widely Reused CoCs | Open Source Project Codes of Conduct

Honestly 5 years ago it was more of a novelty. In 2019 it has become a standard.

A notable change between that post and this one is the acquisition of Digium and accompanying stewardship of the Asterisk project.

Sangoma announced one of my favorite people @jsmith as the VP of Open Source Community development.

On his github bio it says

Jared Smith is an open source evangelist and developer. He focuses on improving the health and hygiene of open source contributor communities.

He may be one of the best people to lead this conversation in the current environment.

I think I have done well over the years to make my positions known on things. I would like to hear from others and see what exactly the community at large thinks.

No doubt this post will attract some of the toxic folks too so flag away as needed.

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I’ve had the crap beaten out of me here more than once. I’ve had my posts deleted for ‘violating the terms of use’ when they clearly did not, and were of the ‘inconvenient truth’ flavor instead.

So yeah, all for code of conduct, as long as it’s applied neutrally and not used to bludgeon people for bringing up on-topic truths that are not popular.

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As someone who has had little-to-no exposure to the things you are talking about, what exactly would a code of conduct hope to tackle and how (if at all) would it be enforced?

Thanks for the nudge, James.

A code of conduct is one of the things I’m mulling over… but please understand that I don’t want to do anything sudden or rash, especially while I’m just getting started in my new role. Until I have a chance to review and propose a more formal code of conduct for the community forums, my basic code of conduct is “be excellent to each other”, and I will try to call out any behavior that doesn’t meet that standard.

Open source is built on openness and transparency, but that doesn’t mean we have to tolerate attacks, abuse, or intolerant behavior. I would hope that we would all be able to kindly point out things we think are wrong (or could simply be improved) without resorting to personal attacks or being rude simple to garner additional attention.

If anyone in the community finds posts they think cross the line, feel free to flag them for the moderators to review.


No but sadly in this day and age you actually have to define, in detail, what those mean. Because these days not agreeing with someone could mean you’re attacking them. Not because you are but because they feel like you are since you hurt their feels.

Most of the attacks and trolling is pretty obvious. Unfortunately the project (I take some blame) and the old school open source ways have trained people that it is ok to be a certain way. It isn’t. Yes many things need to be spelled out. They need to be applied evenly across the board. We live in a world where people need to be told don’t touch the hot stove.

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No, we live in a world where the stove would never be hot and it if was someone would be hovering over it to make sure that you’re no where near the stove to get hurt. They won’t tell you to not touch it because it’s hot or let you touch it to figure it out yourself. They’ll just keep you from touching it so you never learn. Which then leads to you never knowing what to do when you do finally touch a hot stove and get burnt. Outside of cry to someone to fix your boo boo.

I don’t think it’s available as part of the software in use here but I would like to see an upvote/downvote system like hackernews or stackoverflow. Enough downvotes on a post and it goes away. Upvotes bring the post to a higher level of visibility. Flagging is ok but doesn’t seem to serve the same purpose of overall quality control. With a voting system you punish the trolls/jerks and also low-quality answers so that these threads with 50+ posts get reduced to just the best contributions.

I feel as though ycombinator hackernews really does this the best; stackoverflow has too many restrictions for new people and people trying to game the system.

Editing to add the tie-in point - community guidelines seem fine, but I prefer a democratic system of moderation/enforcement that also includes content quality rating.


In a perfect world, I’d love this too… but I yet to have found a solid piece of forum software that handles that super-well, at scale.

So, I can’t speak for anyone else, but I think those of you who know me know that I’m pretty level-headed, and that I’ve got a thick skin, and that I don’t mind calling it like I see it. I won’t pretend that I’ll always be perfect at it, but I will tell you that I’ll do my best to be fair in the way I moderate posts. And hopefully, I won’t have to moderate very many :slight_smile:

I don’t know what I’m talking about, but would reddit work well as a piece of software for this?

Interestingly enough the creator of Stackoverflow is the creator and founder of this forum system, Discourse (Jeff Atwood)

You’d be surprised to know he is strongly against downvotes in Discourse.

You can read more here:

His TL;DR:

  • systems of fact, data, and science can benefit from downvotes, because statements can be scientifically proven to a reasonable degree.
  • systems of opinion do not benefit from downvotes and are in fact materially and seriously harmed by them, because nobody can prove an opinion. Empathy is the order of the day in opinion systems.

I can’t tell whether your response agrees with me or disagrees with me, considering this forum is primarily about technical support (verifiably correct or incorrect solutions) and not opinions.

I acknowledge that this particular thread in which I am participating is an opinion thread. :stuck_out_tongue:

I generally agree with you but the Discourse authors don’t. I brought this up to you because I’ve looked into it before :slight_smile:

I like the NodeBB system. but I do not know if it is robust enough (plguins), without custom coding,for the needs of this community.

I’d just like to see better clean up of old threads and management of duplicate threads no matter what system is used.

There’s just too much of someone opening a 2+ year old thread with “I’m having this issue too” and that’s it. Along with too many duplicate threads. Today is a good example of almost a half dozen threads about the mirrors not working. I know some of this is user side stuff but some management/guidance is needed with those cases/users.

I went through and set most of the categories to a 7 days after the last reply close. That was about a year ago. Unfortunately it isn’t retroactive.

For reference there is over 300,000 posts

I’d like to respectfully request that the seven day lock be re-evaluated. There are topics here that get relevantly and importantly commented on weeks, months, and years later. I can think of one (UCP call history module not displaying all calls) that I started in particular where I was calling attention to a bug. I got the “it’s not us, it’s you” until about six months later when someone added that they’d gotten support to take another look and it was indeed a bug. That kind of thing is pretty important out here in the field.
Thank you.

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That is after the last reply. Active topics could in theory go forever.

In this thread there was a 15 day gap in replies. And the posts after that gap are important. With a seven-day closure they wouldn’t exist or would have been put in another thread that I would not have seen.

good points - totally agree