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

The Node.js community has again turned against itself, this time over a failed vote to oust a controversial member of the project's technical steering committee (TSC) over alleged code-of-conduct violations. Two years ago, the community was divided over Joyent's leadership, resulting in a major fork of the project, called io. …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      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!!"

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        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.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          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..

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. Blank Reg

        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.

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        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}

        1. streaky Silver badge

          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.

        2. John G Imrie Silver badge

          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.

    3. streaky Silver badge

      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.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        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.

    4. Adam 1 Silver badge

      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

    5. Wayland Bronze badge

      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.

    6. Archtech Silver badge

      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.

  2. Adam 52 Silver badge

    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?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. diodesign (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.

        1. thames

          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.

        2. Roopee
          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...

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            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...

        3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          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.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            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.

        4. ISP
          Linux

          Re: anonymous coward

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

          Unless it is Linus doing the flaming of course.

      2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Joke

        Lightning Rod

        @AC

        "Rod has something of a history of being inflammatory"

      3. earl grey Silver badge
        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."

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          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...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      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/~".

  3. Starace Silver badge
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      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?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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.

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        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.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          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.

          1. Stretch

            Re: Yawn

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

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Yawn

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

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just the tech please

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

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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.

        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
          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"

          1. MondoMan

            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.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        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...

        1. Updraft102 Silver badge

          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.

          1. Steve the Cynic

            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.)

    2. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: Just the tech please

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

      Neither do most of us Americans.

  5. Dwarf Silver badge

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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).

        1. Korev Silver badge
          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"....

    2. SuccessCase

      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?

    3. Orv Silver badge

      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.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        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]

    4. Don MacVittie

      Re: Normal differences, nothing to see here.

      My first argument with my wife was about curly bracket placement. Seriously. We have never argued about social issues or SJWs.

      (I was project lead, I won the argument. It has been many years, and I'm still regularly reminded...)

  6. Fazal Majid

    We'll see if the Ayo fork gets any traction. The previous one Io.js was motivated by complaints that the main Node.js project then run by Joyent was too slow at incorporating technical feedback and contributions from outside the company, i.e. the technology was not progressing as quickly as it should.

    This fork is driven purely by process and personality conflicts, and is thus much less likely to provide benefits (new features or bug fixes) to the average Node.js developer. The fact it was launched before the Node.js board had the opportunity to respond to the complaints also looks like a fit of pique. After all, policy concerns around inclusiveness are not technical, and thus belong to the board, not to a technical steering committee.

    1. thames

      @Fazal Majid said: "We'll see if the Ayo fork gets any traction."

      According to Github, there are 22 people associated with the Ayo fork. Only 4 of them are listed in the top 100 contributors to Nodejs, with a total of 489 commits between them, and 2/3s of those being from one of them.

      A handful of Nodejs developers made most of the actual code contributions to Nodejs, with the top 3 being far ahead of the rest of the pack (in the range of thousands of commits each). None of them are involved with Ayo.

      A fork that actually took some major core contributors with it might have some traction. One that was just a clone of Nodejs under another name and struggling to keep up with copying security updates has no real attraction any serious users.

      As for how other people see the fork, Ayo has already itself been forked mulitple times, by Byo, Cyo, Zyo, etc., by people who are clearly taking the piss.

  7. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    I'm trying to work out who's harassing who here. I think it's everybody and everybody else.

    It certainly wouldn't happen in the Linux kernel community.

    1. Orv Silver badge

      The kernel community has a pretty clear pecking order. Linus can be as abusive as he wants, no one's gonna get far with a kernel fork.

  8. Notas Badoff

    I'll see that, and raise you!

    Remember back when Joyent sat on everything and forced a fork, and then the foundation was formed, that CoC's were much in fashion, and this one was elaborate and larded with touchy feeley inclusiveness and no-touchy no-feeley warnings to the point of exclusion. I don't think any rational group would make this same mistake to the same degree now.

    That is, the pendulum is swinging back towards mere civility and politeness. Why is it that every excess, perceived and real, is met with such extreme excess, somehow meant to make up for all possible past sins and prevent future ones.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rod and Vagg

    <<snigger>>

    As childish a response at the same level of intellectual ability as all those mock offended, politically correct thought policemen involved in this.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Rod and Vagg

      Click the link to his statement that's just been added to the article and read the first paragraph.

  10. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Well, I don't know who's done what to whoever

    All I know is that I'd skip node.js and use something else.

    1. Kristian Walsh
      Mushroom

      Re: Well, I don't know who's done what to whoever

      I didn't need a demonstration of poor interpersonal communications skills from steering committee members to make that decision; this four-word description sufficed:

      JavaScript on the server.

      1. Orv Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: Well, I don't know who's done what to whoever

        Better JavaScript than Perl, I say!

      2. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: Well, I don't know who's done what to whoever

        It's just a language. You tell it what to do. The risk is in the code written, not the language itself. I'm sure node has a rigourous build process and plenty of testing.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Well, I don't know who's done what to whoever

          No, JavaScript has rigidly designed areas of doubt and uncertainty.

          See for yourself.

          Or watch for yourself.

          But back to my point, any framework based on JavaScript (which we know has RDAODAU) which has x forks and stuff like this going on in its steering committee isn't calling out to be used. I don't even care about the detail, it just gives off an aura of "you'd be better off choosing something else".

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well, I don't know who's done what to whoever

        Java* is enough for me - be it the -script or the programming language. There is something evil about Java, some miasma that rots the minds of developers and creates abominations, possibly, with the right java code, eventually a developer will summon the Old Ones before his/her brain burns out!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rod Vagg's response

    You can read Rod Vagg's response to the accusations against him here:

    https://github.com/nodejs/CTC/issues/165#issuecomment-324798494

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anyone read the article?

    The Geoffrey Miller article makes a lot reasonable arguments, so much so that it's difficult to argue with the logic - and he's an academic, he's paid to do critical thinking regardless of the implications (which, agreed, some will not like). Vagg supporting it on twitter seems on the face of it an opinion - which he's entitled to have - based on an academic article. So far so uncontroversial.

    How do you get from there to ejecting the guy for supporting harrassment? It's a strange world we live in where the only accepted opinions are the "right" ones (and therefore not opinions at all) - which is of course the point of the article ...

    1. Kristian Walsh

      Re: Anyone read the article?

      The complaint is that he acted like a jerk with other contributors, had a history of responding overly aggressively to requests to stop doing so, and tried to dominate discussion through bad behaviour rather than demonstrating better alternatives. (Even by Node's poor standards, he's an outlier)

      CoC documents are a bit dumb and cringeworthy, and they do tend to be framed in the language of Identity Politics, rather than starting from the simple rule of treating every other person with basic respect and manners. But that doesn't remove the fact that there are a lot of people out there who do need to be told what manners and civility are.

      I will not accept "oppression of neurological minorities" as a counter-argument, as it's grossly offensive to the majority of people with Autism spectrum conditions who are not dickheads, because they have chosen to not be dickheads. (Frankly I find the idea underlying this "defence", that someone with Aspergers or similar cannot tell right from wrong, more insulting)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Anyone read the article?

        "The complaint is that he acted like a jerk with other contributors, had a history of responding overly aggressively to requests to stop doing so, and tried to dominate discussion through bad behaviour rather than demonstrating better alternatives. (Even by Node's poor standards, he's an outlier)"

        Mr. Vagg addressed all those points in his response to the complaints, which I guess you didn't read?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For a committed lefty, this current fashion for shunning, screaming and demanding he removal of anything we don't like reminds me of Stalinism.

    It really does.

  14. samzeman
    Flame

    The article he tweeted in support of isn't very good, is the thing.

    Neurodiversity in the workplace is good, sure. But having a mental illness doesn't exempt you from following the social guidelines that are there for a reason. I myself have borderline personality, so sometimes I get manipulative or distant. I recognise this and do everything I can to try and solve it, and if it hurts someone, I apologise and treat it like I was just a neurotypical guy. Dysfunctional mental flaws can be treated like a NT's mental flaws (pobody's nurrfect) but extrapolated a whole bunch. You aren't a horrible person, but you still have to face up to the horrible things that you might do. It's a part of the disorder, arguably the worst part, that you have to fit into social codes that, as I said, exist for a reason.

    In universities, the places the article talks about, it's not like you'd get taken out for having tourette's. Some things are unavoidable and understandable. In fact most of them are. The key point is understandable. Rules in any institution should be flexible and a little context should always be applied. But if you're creating a hostile environment around you, and it's due to being neurodivergent somehow, then you should at least be told, although I agree not punished. Stealing to fund an addiction is frowned upon and little help is given, so the writer should focus on that area instead. Disobeying codes of conduct because you are compelled to or don't know not to should still be noted, and the person told, because everyone wants to be able to trust that the average person will be logical and reasonable. Improve understanding of neurodivergence in the people around you and let them know that sometimes you could lash out or be an unreliable person, or otherwise be difficult, and if they're your real friends, or reasonable people, they'll accept that and give you leeway.

    1. Kristian Walsh

      Agree. Neurologically atypical people can unintentionally cause offence by saying the wrong thing, but being told "I was offended by that" usually resolves such issues. And at least in written communications, it's easier for that message to be conveyed; many or the problems around Aspergers particularly are due to an inability to pick up on tonal or facial-expression cues in face-to-face or verbal communications - the things that convey the real meaning to negative responses like "ooo-kay..." and "yeah, thanks for that".

      Knowing that a behaviour is offensive to somebody, and then choosing to continue with it in their presence cannot be excused on the basis of being neurodivergent. "Choosing" is the key word; people with Tourettes cannot choose; those with Aspergers most definitely can.

      I've worked in software a long time. Long enough to meet many people who'd be described these days as "neurologically atypical". Of those, the percentage of assholes was pretty much in line with the percentage in the "neurological normal" population... If there is really a particular cluster or clusters of neurons that makes someone a dickhead, it's not those ones.

    2. Cederic Bronze badge

      "having a mental illness doesn't exempt you from following the social guidelines that are there for a reason."

      Autism is not a mental illness. The other issue is that the social guidelines do not make sense. They may be there for a reason but they're not written down anywhere, they change depending on who they're being applied to, they are inconsistently applied and they anticipate the ability to interpret things in a certain way.

      When you have Aspergers these things are all very apparent and utterly impossible to work with.

      Code of conduct : Treat everybody equally irrespective of gender.

      Woman : "Nice skirt" - welcome compliment.

      Man : "Nice skirt" - creepy harassment.

      Man staying silent - exclusionary behaviour == harassment

      So you can't fucking win, you can't follow the social guidelines, you can't tell whether a compliment is expected or abhorrent, you can't do anything except get shit for not being neurotypical.

      I'd say the article calls out a very real problem and if you really want to go this route: Your response to it is prejudiced behaviour towards people with a legally protected disability.

      1. Orv Silver badge

        At least in the US, businesses are required to make accommodations for legally protected disabilities -- but only *reasonable* accommodations. You are not required to hire someone who has no arms as a rappelling instructor. Someone with a personality that constantly drives away other employees is probably not someone you can reasonably accommodate in a job that requires human interaction, whether they can help it or not.

        Also your example is silly, because compliments on someone's appearance are never required. In fact I'd consider it kind of unprofessional if someone said that to me in a business context, unless it was someone I'd worked with a long time.

        I've known several people with Asperger's. They all had awkward slipups sometimes but none of them were offensive and rude on a regular basis. I'm sure they had to work at that harder than I would, but they got there. None of them had much patience for online bros who used being "aspy" (often self-diagnosed) as a get-out-of-jail-free card for bullying behavior.

    3. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

      @samzeman, that might be one of the more well thought through comments I've ever read on the Reg. Sadly one upvote is all I can give.

  15. ProgrammerForHire

    WHY

    Not even in the world of programming can't I escape the f**ing femiists tyranny ?

    1. Orv Silver badge

      Re: WHY

      The "NO GIRLZ ALLOWED" sign on your tree fort isn't big enough. Try adding one that says "GIRLZ STINK" with some smell lines.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: WHY

        He didn't mention girls, he refers to feminists. Not really the same at all. Or do you believe all women are feminists? Wouldn't that make me a 'malenist?'

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A stifling environment

    This sort of thing really makes my skin crawl. Safe spaces, Twitter assassinations, SJW logic and a "fully inclusive" COC based on Bay area values so long that it is ludicrous. This seems like a great way to suck all the fun out of life and shut down anybody or anything that might be deemed 'offensive', 'inflammatory' or 'inappropriate' by one or two people without regard for context or a capacity to forgive, to turn a blind eye. A vision of grey corporate blandness remains, devoid of feeling or humanity and chases away the talented people that made Node JS what it is today. This is thought control by any other name.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Code of Conduct

    A code of conduct should only be applicable when people are together. What they do away from the others and what they post online should be left out. The person I am at church is not the same person I am at the bar.

    If I am on the clock and being paid then I follow whatever code of conduct I am being paid to follow but if I am off the clock it is not my employers business what I do.

    1. Orv Silver badge

      Re: Code of Conduct

      Personal and private life should ideally be kept separate, but you have to *actually* keep them separate. If Jeff posts regularly, under his own name, on public social media accounts about what horrible bastards the Irish are, sooner or later his relationship with his coworker Shamus is probably going to take a bad turn.

  18. Nick Z

    Negative feedback is important for learning from mistakes

    I've read the offending paper by Geoffrey Miller. And he doesn't say anything about people forming groups and cliques for excluding and discriminating against others. Which is what often happens in real life.

    People don't just act as individuals, the way Geoffrey Miller suggests. More often than not, people lead and follow each other. And when this happens with prejudice, then it definitely violates the rights of others and is wrong.

    In the past, women weren't allowed to go to colleges and universities not because some lone, eccentric men had something against them. It was because influential men organized together as a group and decided to exclude women from higher education.

    Perhaps individuals should be free to make mistakes and be wrong. But it's also important to have some negative feedback in response to their mistakes. Because that's how learning from mistakes happens.

  19. Stretch

    "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"

    Does not extend to those who indent with spaces. Burn them!

  20. Herby Silver badge

    It is called...

    Sillycon Valley for a reason.

    For all concerned, the new "Code of Conduct" (all inclusive if you ask me) should be:

    1) Be Nice.

    2) Don't be a jerk.

    Enough said.

    Of course BOFH's excluded, but that is another story.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: It is called...

      Google tried "don't be evil", didn't really work for them.

  21. Paper

    Eh???

    Why does someone's opinions have any baring on coding. Politics and coding should be kept separate. Coding is a science, the solution is either valid or invalid. People in public senior positions within coding projects should keep their political opinions private for the sake of being able to run a project without a bunch of liberal or conservative fairies having a metldown. Liberal and conservative fairies should not demand politics within coding either.

  22. Paper
    Coffee/keyboard

    Just don't be a doosh, don't take guidelines seriously

    Long ago came to the conclusion that guidelines can be pretty much ignored. They're just psychological masturbation for the bored and untalented.

    Just never be a doosh and 99% time you'll never hear about the guidelines anyway. And if that 1% time happens, just nod along mindlessly, offer a fakepology and throw out a compliment. Then promptly pretend the offended person doesn't exist.

    And it doesn't hurt to at least strive to treat others exactly as we would want and expect to be treated, including trying not to makes jokes at the expense of others in a public forum.

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