RFC: Community Code of Conduct

I have created a google doc at: http://goo.gl/iE7Qat

This is a draft for a community code of conduct based on what the Python project uses. Being that this document should be used to guide the community in it’s actions we thought it best to get the community’s feedback. You can enter comments on the document or here. Please be respectful and constructive.

Thank you

That’s a nice touchy feely document, but in the end everyone in the Python community is at least familiar with the development process.

We have a huge disparity in user backgrounds. I honestly don’t know what to tell to someone who is trying to setup an IP PBX and lacks basic network knowledge. Getting users to post system info is likr pulling teeth. Doesn’t the courtesy extend both ways?

I know that folks find me caustic and abrasive at times, totally opposite of my true personality. It’s hard to stay nice after you asked the 10th person the same questions about OS and versions etc.

If you are new and have not spend a solid 2-3 hours in the forums reading about other experiences and seeing how problems can be successfully resolved and have studied the module documentation in our wiki you should be able to post a cogent message that gets a thoughtful response from several member experts.

If you post a message about “call can’t be completed as dialed” message and ask for “advices” don’t expect much.

On the same note if you ask for “step by step”, “solutions” or “advices” if those processes exist they would be in the wiki. Troubleshooting is an interactive tactile process.

Don’t hijack posts and change the subject.

Please post in the correct forum.

If English is not your first language engage the help of a friend that can help you compose your questions.

If your PBX isn’t working and your business is down the paid support option is your best bet. I doubt you will be successful in getting anyone to respond you your sense of urgency.

So if you were kind enough to read my rant please believe I care deeply about this project and community. I have not desire to alienate anyone. Let the community know what we as a whole can do better and the same goes for me. If you don’t want to do it in public for this purpose please feel free to use the “private message” inbox on the forum.


We have a huge disparity in user backgrounds. I honestly don't know what to tell to someone who is trying to setup an IP PBX and lacks basic network knowledge. Getting users to post system info is likr pulling teeth. Doesn't the courtesy extend both ways?

Scott, If you don’t have something nice to say or you don’t think you can help those people then don’t reply. Really just walk away. You don’t have to help everyone and those you do help that have basic knowledge are very grateful. But the ones who have no knowledge are the ones that get annoyed. So just don’t reply, we aren’t forcing you. No one is forcing you. I do encourage you to decide what threads you want to post to. If I see a “cant get call completed” (and thats all they posted), I laugh (internally) and move on, I don’t have time to “pull teeth” and you shouldn’t either.

Your personality in person is far different from online forums. I can attest to that, but that doesn’t help all the users who come in here without even knowing what a CLI is, but again, that doesn’t mean you have to reply to them. Pick and choose your battles, the project is largely known outside of the US and for that we will keep getting people who don’t know what VoIP means. If someone wants to reply to them then let them, not replying doesn’t mean you are letting our forums die, it just means you are going to spend your energy actually helping someone out who can follow what you are saying and that creates quality threads for all.

The forums and our ecosystem needs to change and our users have expressed concern about the current ecosystem and I know where they are coming from. We all feel it. But don’t let forums stress you out to the point of attacking a new user. They don’t see it as “I, the user, should do research” they see it as “Oh this stupid elitist user thinks they know more than me and that I am stupid”. Its like the “telephone” game we all played in Elementary school. Everyone interprets replies in their own ways and generally it’s not the way YOU intend.

Little side topic/example: I actually have GameGamer43 monitoring all of my IRC and Forums posts to make sure I don’t sound like an Elitist brat and that’s because I asked him to do so because I felt like I was turning into one. So, the other day when I was talking to a user in IRC he called me up to tell me “I think you are coming off rather mean to that user”. It’s good perspective to have because we often don’t see things the same as other people do.

I think that this can be boiled down to 2 laws.
Moms law and Wheaton’s law

  1. Mom says if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
  2. Feel free to Google what Wheaton says.

There is no mecca to draw perfect users from. In fact most users who can adequately self service will likely never post to the forums because they don’t need to. The forums are a place for people who have truly unique issues or for those who simply could not do it on their own. I encourage you to skip the question that has been handled 100 times. Or you could make a cookie cutter answer that solves the issue that may be as simple as a wiki link. There is nothing productive about antagonistic responses. I would rather see “no reply’s” than a “don’t you know how to search moron” response.



too soon?

Thanks for taking the time to write well considered answers.

Indeed I realize I don’t have to respond and often I don’t on the first pass. The bumps and pleas sometimes take on a sense of desperation.

I also need to let go of the notion that we can truly affect change, most folks are not coming to join the forum, will not participate afterward. If we could somehow get users to post the info we need to help on the first post everyone would be better served.

Thanks again and have a good weekend.

It looks good to me and its general recommendations (code of conduit) are definitely reasonable, easy to understand.

I’ve experience as moderator in a (italian based) Siemens’s SMB product’s forum and the issues there are the same, users look like the same (experts/noobs), have the same (good, bad) posting/sharing habits…I thought all the (bad and good) things I saw over the years were typically due to our italian way of doing and approaching (and so, in a Forum, writing) things but those habits are common all around the world (or to paraphrase Hillary Clinton’s slogan: “the world is a village” although the I don’t know if meaning is the same - really she said that? if that’s true US are ruling the village! gosh! joke).

In my opinion it’s a matter of people day to day habits (it’s like we’re speaking about their working lifestyle): someone will act like I act, someone else will act differently than me…someone want to share and learn, someone else just want to solve an immediate issue with the minimum (time/resource) expense. Someone like to discover and study or just search (before) asking (I call it “exploring”), others don’t care at all and they don’t care to give you that minimum of information needed to try to help them back or to show them a possible way to look at their issues.

A code of conduit could be a good read to start, just to tell either returning users or never returning users: these are our basic general rules…try to respect and follow them and our overall experience will be the best one possible considering that we’re speaking about a community which uses a Forum.

Kind regards, Davide.


This looks like the solution for me.

This is actually pretty fantastic.

unless there is an over-riding legal need for this document or unless you are planning to strat banning users that “break the rules” i would ask the question of Who will read it? i was always taught that the first question to be answered before writing a document is who the intended audience is and the second question is why the document is being written.

i think the secret to a vibrant forum is activity, even if it means that some one gets wacked up side the head for a stupid post. nothing is more frustrating that posting something on a forum and to never get an answer. i would rather hear that i am idiot and that i have to provide more info than to never get an answer. but then that is me, i am sure there are others out there with a lot thinner skin.

This document is not so much for new users as we don’t expect them to read it, but instead it’s for forum regulars.

While you would rather hear you are an idiot we have had several people express concerns and outright comment on the internet about how we treat new users here.

then my suggestion is that you pass them on to the offending person. again, perhaps I am the odd man out here, but if a person feels I have mistreated them, I (generally) would like to know that. I doubt that I would go apologize to them, but you certainly will not hear me complain about a complaint.
but the basic problem with a forum like this (or email, or text messaging) is that it is hard to read the “body language”. how many times have you read an email, fired off some sort of nasty response only to re-read it again later and realize you just made an ass of yourself? I tell all of my people that when replying to customers, to write the email but don’t send it for 5 minutes. then go re-read what you wrote and if you are still happy with it, then send it. you would be amazed at how those 5 minutes change your perspective.
it is so easy to misunderstand a comment. I don’t do a lot of posting on here, but I do read a lot of what gets posted (mostly to learn) but I see a number of people seeming to take offense when someone asks some basic questions. I have not noticed that any of the regular posters on here intentionally try to piss off someone, most seem to observe reasonable restraint. but as I said earlier, nothing is worse than posting something on a forum and getting no response. even a “nasty” response tends to include some basic pointers.
if you do have someone that is constantly doing that I would suggest talking to that individual directly and if they don’t stop, then ban them. but quite honestly I think these forums have been pretty civilized compared to others that I have been on.