Adopting a code of conduct (specifically, Contributor Covenant)

Howdy all,

We’ve been thinking about adopting a code of conduct for our projects, pages, IRC, etc. for a while now. But, we never really got around to it, as we’re all quite busy, and it never seemed like the most important thing we could be working on at that moment. We’ve decided to flip the switch on that now, due to a few recent instances of having to make difficult decisions about behavior, made more difficult by the problems coming from folks we like and who have been members of the community for some time.

It may simply be that not having clear guidelines for what is and isn’t appropriate in our community has caused people to feel the need to escalate in language and tone in order to be heard over others. So, my hope, in having a clear code of conduct, is that it will be possible for someone to opt not to escalate an argument and just expect that moderators will step in when necessary.

We recently introduced a report button here in the forums, and a handful of folks have used it to good effect (mostly for spam, which is annoying, but less of a problem than abusive language for the health of our community); hopefully a set of guidelines will allow others to feel empowered to use it, too. We don’t remove posts or ban users easily, and don’t plan to start, but we sysadmins can be a cranky bunch. I’d rather we all treated each other with respect even when we disagree. So…yeah, let’s try harder to do that.

After some research, we’ve settled on the Contributor Covenant, which is an open source, community-developed and community-overseen, code of conduct used by numerous major Open Source projects and many small ones.

In short: Please don’t be an asshole, and check out the text of the Contributor Covenant below (this will begin to appear in all of our project packages going forward, among other places):

Contributor Covenant Code of Conduct

Our Pledge

In the interest of fostering an open and welcoming environment, we as
contributors and maintainers pledge to making 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

Our Standards

Examples of behavior that contributes to creating a positive environment

  • Using welcoming and inclusive language
  • Being respectful of differing viewpoints and experiences
  • Gracefully accepting constructive criticism
  • Focusing on what is best for the community
  • Showing empathy towards other community members

Examples of unacceptable behavior by participants include:

  • The use of sexualized language or imagery and unwelcome sexual attention or
  • Trolling, insulting/derogatory comments, and personal or political attacks
  • Public or private harassment
  • Publishing others’ private information, such as a physical or electronic
    address, without explicit permission
  • Other conduct which could reasonably be considered inappropriate in a
    professional setting

Our Responsibilities

Project maintainers are responsible for clarifying the standards of acceptable
behavior and are expected to take appropriate and fair corrective action in
response to any instances of unacceptable behavior.

Project maintainers have the right and responsibility to remove, edit, or
reject comments, commits, code, wiki edits, issues, and other contributions
that are not aligned to this Code of Conduct, or to ban temporarily or
permanently any contributor for other behaviors that they deem inappropriate,
threatening, offensive, or harmful.


This Code of Conduct applies both within project spaces and in public spaces
when an individual is representing the project or its community. Examples of
representing a project or community include using an official project e-mail
address, posting via an official social media account, or acting as an appointed
representative at an online or offline event. Representation of a project may be
further defined and clarified by project maintainers.


Instances of abusive, harassing, or otherwise unacceptable behavior may be
reported by contacting the project team at or in a
private ticket in the ticket tracker at All complaints will be
reviewed and investigated and will result in a response that is deemed
necessary and appropriate to the circumstances. The project team is
obligated to maintain confidentiality with regard to the reporter of an incident.
Further details of specific enforcement policies may be posted separately.

Project maintainers who do not follow or enforce the Code of Conduct in good
faith may face temporary or permanent repercussions as determined by other
members of the project’s leadership.


This Code of Conduct is adapted from the Contributor Covenant, version 1.4,
available at