back to article 'Pure technical contributions aren’t enough'.... Intel commits to code of conduct for open-source projects

Chip maker Intel has embraced guidelines to make its open-source software projects more open-minded and inviting. Citing the company's commitment to creating inclusive communities, Imad Sousou, corporate veep and general manager of the Intel Open Source Technology Center, on Thursday said the center is adopting the Contributor …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh c'mon

    "Chipzilla joins strangely controversial movement to encourage civility, inclusion"

    It's controversial because CoC's are licenses to kill your opponents - the one's you already hate.

    I haven't looked at the "Contributor Covenant" yet, it may read just wonderful.

    I ask simply this, how many times has it been used like blasphemy accusations in Pakistan, as a lethal weapon?

    1. Phil Lord

      Re: Oh c'mon

      "I ask simply this, how many times has it been used like blasphemy accusations in Pakistan, as a lethal weapon?"

      Well, the contributor covenant has no clause requiring the use of the death penalty. Even if it did, in most of the jurisdictions in which it is used, this would be considered to be a unfair contract and therefore not enforceable.

      So, in simple answer to your question, it's never been used as a lethal weapon.

  2. Michael C.

    what.

    > Pure technical contributions aren’t enough – we need interpersonal skills as well

    rather discriminatory against those who lack interpersonal skills? if you're contributing purely technically, then you're not breaking the code of conduct, surely. not every developer who wants to contribute wants to engage interpersonally with the kinds of people who write contributor convenants, nor contravene such a convenant. you can do neither.

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: what.

      "surely. not every developer who wants to contribute wants to engage interpersonally with the kinds of people who write contributor convenants"

      I've generally found, like HR, it's best to never appear on the radar of anyone who writes such things. Avoid at nearly any cost.

    2. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: what.

      those who lack interpersonal skills

      ... are capable of learning them and deploying them when they're required. Noone is "contributing purely technically" - the world is not yet run by robots, noone has been assimilated, contributors have colleagues and the contribution is supposed in the end to result in some form of human benefit. The definition of "contribution" implies co-operation towards a larger goal. If you don't want to engage with other people, that's fine, but don't expect them to engage with you and accept your generous "contirbutions" or offer you any form of remuneration for them.

      1. LeeE Silver badge

        Re: what.

        "those who lack interpersonal skills

        ... are capable of learning them and deploying them when they're required."

        So people who lack personal skills have chosen to lack those skills?

      2. Deltics
        Pint

        Re: what.

        Either you work for HR (or People and Culture if your org has supped from that kool-aid syphon) or have a very dry sarcasm to the point of being indistinguishable from sincerity.

      3. Rattus
        Stop

        Re: what.

        Likewise those with interpersonal skills are capable of learning technical skills but fail to do so...

        Occasionally I would like a manager or a HR droid to actually understand what it is we are talking about and perhaps, just maybe, they should take some time to understand us rather than just complaining that engineers are blunt, and unthinking. NO we just don't lie to you when we tell you something that is inconvenient to your sensibilities

      4. DuncanLarge Bronze badge

        Re: what.

        @ Warm Braw

        "those who lack interpersonal skills

        ... are capable of learning them and deploying them when they're required."

        Easier said than done when you have Aspergers, or exit somewhere else on the autism spectrum. You might learn the skills that everyone else demands you learn, rather than they offering to adapt a little to meet in the middle. Perhaps someone who is wheelchair bound can be demanded to fix it somehow so that they can climb multiple flights of stairs to save your annoyance in having to provide a lift or ramps.

        Myself, I get totally drained having to fake who I am only to save neurotypicals from having to deal with the REAL ME. The real me bashes his head against a mental cage wanting to get out and simply relax.

        He isnt a horrible person, just fed up of having to constantly think 10 steps ahead to try and decode neurotypicals hidden useless languages and signs they throw at each other. Constantly reminded that he exists on what feels like an alien planet he finds great relief in being very open and verbose on the internet, trying to avoid bringing emotion into the text unless he wants to share a laugh. Yes, he likes a laugh with people.

        Watch the Imitation Game. Its message can apply to more than just A.I pretending to be human and humans pretending to not be homosexual. I play it every day.

        Take this code of conduct out of what should be an open a free internet. Just ask people to be decent and nice as much as possible and leave it at that. Those who are not decent and nice all the time can be ignored or the listener can grow a thicker skin and deal with it whatever makes more sense at the time.

    3. RunawayLoop

      Re: what.

      "rather discriminatory against those who lack interpersonal skills?"

      If you have any sort of social phobia, or you are nearly anywhere on the autistic spectrum this is highly discriminatory

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: what.

      Well, "not being a douchebag" is an "interpersonal skill". You don't need to learn anything new... unless you are a douchebag. And then you need to learn how not to be a douchebag.

      You don't need to meaningfully interact with anyone at all beyond your technical contributions. You don't need to learn the horror that is small talk. You don't need to follow sports. You don't need to learn how to "bond" with people on a "profound emotional and spirital level". Ain't nobody got time for dat.

      All that is required is that technical contributions are submitted in a civil, calm, respectful way. Winning!

      1. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: what.

        "Well, "not being a douchebag" is an "interpersonal skill". You don't need to learn anything new... unless you are a douchebag. And then you need to learn how not to be a douchebag."

        Yeah, absolutely. While you're at it, you can stop being gay as well, right? You need to learn how not to be gay, that's all.

        It's almost as if the last few decades of awareness of mental illness didn't happen.

        1. strum Silver badge

          Re: what.

          >It's almost as if the last few decades of awareness of mental illness didn't happen.

          Don't equate 'being a douchebag' with mental illness. A few douchebags may be suffering from mental illness, but most are just douchebags - while most sufferers of mental illness can be delightful.

          1. DavCrav Silver badge

            Re: what.

            "Don't equate 'being a douchebag' with mental illness. A few douchebags may be suffering from mental illness, but most are just douchebags - while most sufferers of mental illness can be delightful."

            I'm not. But unless you have a lot of experience with mental illness (and given our current understanding, probably not even then), you probably cannot tell the two apart.

  3. FrankAlphaXII Silver badge

    So, in other words, a way to eliminate competition for wrongthink and thought-police everyone else. Lovely.

    While you shouldn't act like a dick or ask others to put up with someone being a dick, these things are just a way for people fluent in HR-speak and manglementese to eliminate people they feel are a threat to their agenda using the banner of inclusion and diversity. Can't have precious feelings getting hurt now can we? Unless you happen to be white, a man, or heterosexual, then you're the unholy trinity and can go fuck yourself.

    There's something I've learned from working in the real world, rarely does a place that actually gives a shit about diversity and inclusion have to shout about it unless someone's using it as a way to get rid of threats to their position. I don't see AMD going "full SJW" (I hate the term but if the shoe fits) and they're run by a middle aged Asian woman.

    And its cute that Intel's doing this. Go to any of their Fabs and take a look at just who's working there. All the empty virtue signaling in the world doesn't change the fact that they ran a lot of women out in the past couple of years while keeping a CEO around who had been fucking one of the female techs that they laid off.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Unless you happen to be white, a man, or heterosexual, then you're the unholy trinity and can go fuck yourself.

      White males maybe able to fuck themselves, but I don't think white male heterosexuals can.

      1. Some Twat

        Depending on certain factors, not related to being gay or straight, they may be able to, it's more that they are less likely to choose to.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Spurious conflicts within open source projects.

    Chip maker Intel has embraced guidelines to make its open-source software projects more open-minded and inviting .. The move follows a series of conflicts within open source projects

    Such conflicts being concocted by interlopers from the feminazi movement, which will end up driving away top developers fed up with issues of diversity. Such accusations of misbehavior being a cynical ploy by the sisters to have representatives of the patriarchy removed from positions of influence and replace with those subscribing to similar ideological bent. What happened to Bret Weinstein and his wife* Heather Heying being a prime example. The controversy being that, in a private email he opposed a compulsory white 'day of absence' proposed by the students. This was leaked by the recipient and eventually ended up with a mini-riot and Weinstein being hunted through the grounds of Evergreen by the so-called students. The gutless head of the facility called off the police and congratulated the students for their contribution. Weinstein and his wife were eventually forced out. All this over expressing an opinion in a *private* email. You engage with the diversity crowd at your peril.

    * Wife .. sorry that should of course be partner, wife being a signifier of the historical oppression of women by the patriarchy bla bla bla ..

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Spurious conflicts within open source projects.

      "the feminazi movement"

      You kinda destroy any point you make by using this sort of language, like something straight out of a tragic 4chan manual. It makes you sound bitter and nonconstructive - basically, someone others wouldn't want to work with, anyway.

      "will end up driving away top developers"

      Yeah, nah. No it won't. CoCs lay out what is and isn't acceptable behavior in a project team. The only folks, in my view, getting really upset with them are the types of people who'll regularly break the CoC by being an arse to others.

      C.

      1. James 47

        Re: Spurious conflicts within open source projects.

        > The only folks, in my view, getting really upset with them are the types of people who'll regularly break the CoC by being an arse to others.

        No the type of people who get upset about CoC's are those who realise that the definition of 'being an arse' is entirely subjective, and someone somewhere can claim, anonymously, that I'm 'being an arse'. I would have no recourse other than to accept guilt, even if I don't believe I am guilty, or prepare to be doxxed and have my career probably ruined.

        There's an assumption in, at least the CoC adopted by Linux, that people are native English speakers (ever conversed with a Russian in English? they can be quite blunt; not because they're rude or 'being an arse' but because that's how Russian is), have spent some time in San Francisco, and are actually capable of what is considered 'normal' conversation (it's not very friendly to people with autism or other communication difficulties).

        This is a document that demands inclusivity yet its own rules will likely exclude those very people who are drawn to writing computer software.

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          Re: James 47

          "the definition of 'being an arse' is entirely subjective"

          Well, it's not too subjective - it's about not excluding someone unfairly, and treating each other with civility, etc. I dunno if you've noticed but the laws of the land are also subjective in places.

          Where or when does defamation begin? Threatening behavior? Disorderly conduct? Assault? Life isn't black and white; programmers love seeing things in black and white, and, well, there's the rub.

          C.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Spurious conflicts within open source projects.

        > CoCs lay out what is and isn't acceptable behavior in a project team.

        Used to, some still do. For instance my company's code of conduct says you conduct yourself with professionalism, courtesy, honour and respect. It says we do not take nor offer bribes, we protect our customers' secrets, data and reputation, and it says you will not be blamed for fuck-ups (save malice or gross negligence).

        What it doesn't say is what anyone should or should not think, vote, or like.

        In my line of work we have Russian orthodox people working side by side with Dutch homosexuals in Saudi Arabia and it is very simple: everyone respects everyone else. Regardless of what else they may be, they are your colleagues first.

        The subject of this article is not a code of conduct, it is a political manifesto, and as someone else said above, organisations coming up with these are usually the ones that have an inherently intolerant culture that they want to preserve. See Mozilla and Brendan Eich for instance, and show me where are Mozilla's Russian orthodoxes or Nigerian Christians¹ and how many homosexuals they have working in Saudi Arabia.

        ¹ We also have them. Pain in the arse when they start singing religious songs, but they're good at what they do.

      3. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: Spurious conflicts within open source projects.

        "Yeah, nah. No it won't. CoCs lay out what is and isn't acceptable behavior in a project team. The only folks, in my view, getting really upset with them are the types of people who'll regularly break the CoC by being an arse to others."

        I take offence at you describing people with varieties of autism and therefore unable to easily read social cues as 'being an arse'. Pursuant to the CoC that El Reg clearly doesn't have, based on the conversations that happen here, you should be fired.

        CoCs are the modern-day Cardinal Richelieu.

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          Re: DavCrav

          "you describing people with varieties of autism"

          I did no such thing. Making shit up isn't helping your argument.

          C.

  5. jake Silver badge

    Those who can, code.

    Those who can't, preach about diversity, inclusion, welcomeness, and openness.

  6. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    What's all the hoopla about ?

    I went and read the thing, and when you strip out the bla bla you're left with :

    * 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

    As far as I can tell, there's nothing there to get all in arms about. In fact, I'm already respecting this covenant at the workplace. So I see no problem, it's just about writing down how a basic human being should behave.

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: What's all the hoopla about ?

      Thae problem is as follows:

      "Using welcoming and inclusive language"

      As defined by whom? Here's a guess: whoever hates you and wants you gone.

      "Gracefully accepting constructive criticism"

      Only applies to you, not to anyone with power who wants you gone.

      And so on. Codes of conduct are nearly always put there as a method of forcing out undesirables. The definition of undesirable is whoever in power does not want to be around.

      1. Phil Lord

        Re: What's all the hoopla about ?

        "As defined by whom?"

        Normally a committee, consisting of a number of members of the community. It a similar process that would apply to censure of a developer who routinely submitted poor documentation for their work. Or, indeed, poor code. It's hard to make an objective judgement about either of these things either.

        "The definition of undesirable is whoever in power does not want to be around."

        Actually, the intention of a CoC is the opposite of this. It's to put forward an explicit definition of what an undesirable is. How successful they are at achieving this, I don't know. If you have any data beyond the anecdotal about this, it would be interesting to see.

        1. James 47

          Re: What's all the hoopla about ?

          There is no such thing as 'poor code' in the post-meritocracy world.

          1. Phil Lord

            Re: What's all the hoopla about ?

            "There is no such thing as 'poor code' in the post-meritocracy world."

            The idea behind the "post-meritocracy" is that we should get passed the point where we can use spurious or ill-defined notions of "merit" to justify what ever kind of injustice or nastiness we want.

            The way that "meritocracy" is used is pretty close to the "divine right of kings". Good code, bad code, of course, still exists. I write both, and sometimes unable to distinguish between the two. That makes me pretty normal I guess.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What's all the hoopla about ?

              No, the idea of meritocracy is very simple: it doesn't matter who you are, does your contribution do what it is meant to do with as little cruft and structural weakness as possible? If yes, it passes. If no, go back and do it again.

              Post-meritocracy is an attempt to force consideration of identity when assessing a contribution. The fact that you are a black trans otherkin means you are considered more oppressed, therefore underrepresented, and therefore your contribution should not be held to the same standard as others so you get a "fair" outcome, even if your contribution is shit.

              1. Phil Lord

                Re: What's all the hoopla about ?

                "No, the idea of meritocracy is very simple: it doesn't matter who you are, does your contribution do what it is meant to do with as little cruft and structural weakness as possible? If yes, it passes. If no, go back and do it again."

                None of which is objectively measurable -- if it were, we could write a program to measure it. If we could do that, we could replace the programmer with a random code generator. So, all of these things require using judgement.

                And, of course, you seem to have the slightly strange idea that only code function counts. What about someone who is capable of producing a clear and coherent API? With great documentation? Or someone with the vision to understand that you had the wrong idea about "what it is meant to do" all along and that really, you should do something else.

                Developing a good piece of software is not just programming, any more than programming is typing.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: What's all the hoopla about ?

                  >None of which is objectively measurable -- if it were, we could write a program to measure it.

                  They're called unit tests.

                  > If we could do that, we could replace the programmer with a random code generator. So, all of these things require using judgement.

                  ... and here we see someone who evidently doesn't understand how software development works.

                  1. Phil Lord

                    Re: What's all the hoopla about ?

                    "They're called unit tests."

                    And how do we write these? And how do we judge the quality of our unit tests?

                    "we see someone who evidently doesn't understand how software development works."

                    That's fine. Feel free to dismiss my position if you want. If you really think that "my unit tests are working" is equivalent to "good code", then I will probably not convince you otherwise.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What's all the hoopla about ?

              quote: The way that "meritocracy" is used is pretty close to the "divine right of kings".

              Utter drivel, can you read a dictionary: "meritocracy": a society governed by people selected according to merit.

              Completely the fucking opposite to "devine right of kings", a king is a king even if hes a fucking idiot (see pretty much all of them), just like a "president" is elected even if hes a fucking idiot (please see bush/trump).

              Are you sure you write both?

              1. Phil Lord

                Re: What's all the hoopla about ?

                "meritocracy": a society governed by people selected according to merit.

                Where "merit" is defined in what way?

                "divine right of kings"

                Where "merit" is defined as the person most wanted by God.

                The circularity in the argument of "meritocracy" happens because we don't have a clear definition for merit. As a result, we can look at most environments and say "well, this environment is very unrepresentative selection of the population, but that's because it's a meritocracy".

                1. Some Twat

                  Re: What's all the hoopla about ?

                  You're being a deliberately obtuse pseudo-intellectual. Merit in this case is derived from creating code that meets the requirements of the software, be it in being bug-free, speed of production, speed of execution, use of resources, quality of documentation or extensibility/maintainability (or any combination of the above).

                  1. Phil Lord

                    Re: What's all the hoopla about ?

                    "Merit in this case is derived from creating code that meets the requirements of the software"

                    Determining what the requirements actually are by interacting with users of the code. Being an advocate for any systems that are produced. Training down stream users. Interacting with other stake holders to demonstrate the value of the system. Providing calm and rapid management of the system when it has and outage. Ensuring that any UI (or API) is clean, clear and highly usable. Operating within a regulatory framework. Ensuring that all members of a team can work well with each other. Providing a support environment for incoming contributors.

                    All of these are relevant to the success of a project. This is why "meritocracy" is a low value term. Everyone can have their own ideas about what merit is. You have told me what your notion of merit is; that's okay but it seems a bit narrow to me. So, we can move beyond this: you are arguing that ability to code is the most or only important contribution to a software project; I am arguing that it is not.

            3. James 47

              Re: What's all the hoopla about ?

              > Good code, bad code, of course, still exists. I write both, and sometimes unable to distinguish between the two.

              Great, but some who does point out your bad code is pretty much putting their career on the line if you should choose to take 'offence' to having it pointed out.

        2. unimaginative

          Re: What's all the hoopla about ?

          "Normally a committee, consisting of a number of members of the community. It a similar process that would apply to censure of a developer who routinely submitted poor documentation for their work. Or, indeed, poor code. It's hard to make an objective judgement about either of these things either"

          The problem is the sort of person who wants to volunteer for that sort of committee is always the same - PC, anti-free speech, anti-differing opinions, unable to understand anything from outside their own culture so leaves no room for anyone different from themselves.

          1. Phil Lord

            Re: What's all the hoopla about ?

            "The problem is the sort of person who wants to volunteer for that sort of committee is always the same"

            Well, then, it looks like the problem is at least in part the people who do not volunteer.

            "so leaves no room for anyone different from themselves"

            Could be a problem. And if that happens, we may end up with tech being dominated by a group of people who are extremely poorly representative of the population at large. Who knows where that would lead?

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What's all the hoopla about ?

          > Normally a committee

          Hence, I refer you to "jake"'s post a few comments above yours ("Those who can, code …")

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's all the hoopla about ?

      When you strip out the bla bla you ignore the most important and nefarious part of the contributor convenant: the "our responsibilities" section

      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 behaviours that they deem inappropriate, threatening, offensive, or harmful.

      This right here gives the enforcers of this covenant the self-declared right to remove people from a project for private, personal behaviours and opinions. The subsequent "scope" section appears to limit this to public behaviour, but even that gives itself enough wiggle-room for redefinition, and the "responsibilities" section pretty much allows that to be overridden anyway.

      Given the creator of the contributor covenant has explicitly declared it to be a political document, and has gleefully exclaimed her hatred of white males whilst gloating that they're all going to be driven out of the projects that adopt her covenant, and considers contribution based on merit to be a myth, there is a great deal to dislike about both the motivation and application of this contributor covenant in any open source project.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What's all the hoopla about ?

        > 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

        Interesting sentence. It openly states they take on the power to edit comments from others. Deleting or hiding is one thing but editing what others have written because of a perceived inappropriateness lands in the middle of the land of Orwell's 1984.

        1. Phil Lord

          Re: What's all the hoopla about ?

          Indeed, I always feel the face of Big Brother, glaring down at me, ever time someone fixes my punctuation on stackexchange.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's all the hoopla about ?

      >I went and read the thing, and when you strip out the bla bla you're left with :

      And I provide translation

      >* Using welcoming and inclusive language

      ... to us

      >* Being respectful of differing viewpoints and experiences

      ... as long as the viewpoints are approved by us and us alone.

      >* Gracefully accepting constructive criticism

      ... always from us.

      >* Focusing on what is best for the community

      ... specifically our community.

      >* Showing empathy towards other community members

      ... that is, our members.

      The power lies in reality with those that has the power over the definitions.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's all the hoopla about ?

      The post says "I went and read the thing, and when you strip out the bla bla you're left with :" and then

      lists are series of innocuous requirements. the problem is this is not all the covenant says. It starts with

      This is after an introuction page stating that the goal is to increase diversity defined as more women and people of colour and that meritocracy is a problem that needs to be overcome.

      The covenant itself then says:

      "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, sex characteristics, gender identity and expression, level of experience, education, socio-economic status, nationality, personal appearance, race, religion, or sexual identity and orientation."

      It obviously depends on what constitutes harassment is but you can see how thsi is going to be used.

      the selelction of experienced well educated developers for leadership roles will be objected to on th grounds of race or sex. Contributions from allegedly oppressed groups rejected on the grounds of being badly written or poorly designed will be identified as exampes of harassment.

      Clearly this is a document designed to facilitate and encourage racist and sexist discrimination. Everybody should be treated with respect and encouraged and all decisions on who performs what roles should be on the basis of merit alone.

      It is staggering that when most interaction is via the internet and sex and race is unknown this sort of blatantly discriminatory code of conduct is considered necessary. Intel should be ashamed.

    5. DuncanLarge Bronze badge

      Re: What's all the hoopla about ?

      * Using welcoming and inclusive language - This seems to suggest that I must meet and greet them offering sweets and cups of tea, rather than getting to the point and moving on. Sure I agree swearing may be not a very good thing to do but I respectfully wont bend over backwards to welcome them into my virtual home/office and offer a virtual biscuit, chit chat about the weather, then talk about why their module needs to be updated to use the patched version of a library.

      * Being respectful of differing viewpoints and experiences - That can never be expected to work every time. I may be right, they may be wrong and are stubborn enough to act like an ostrich when you tell them. I know, I was the ostrich and its an instinct, not a choice, but I grew out of it. You may also be talking to someone who literally annoys you just because of the way they eat their lunch while talking. Does this CoC also demand you dont eat with your mouth full? My family did, so dont expect me to be very respectful after a point of you spurting chewed sandwich at me for too long a time.

      * Gracefully accepting constructive criticism - This is a nice idea but unfortunately you cant just demand it. This seems to assume that after getting constructive criticism that you are making a deliberate decision to not accept it. Many people simply cant handle it so the person giving the criticism should consider an alternative such as dropping hints that something is up in the code here and its doing this rather than that and could they have a good look and see if they can figure it out.

      * Focusing on what is best for the community - This is fine but dont oust those who try to tell the community its going in totally the wrong direction.

      * Showing empathy towards other community members - Again, nice I suppose but you cant make the mistake of thinking that empathy is a universal thing.

  7. _LC_
    WTF?

    Intel?

    This is like Al Capone giving you a lesson in morals.

  8. Hstubbe

    I'm a bloody good programmer and gay and sick and tired of macho white heterosexuals offending everyone and everything that doesn't conform to their norm. I'm sick and tired of being dismissed because of being gay. So if a coc is going to drive out those stone-age macho white heteroaexuals I say bring on the f-ing coc's. And a big thank you to those neanderthals who quit their job because of them, the world is a much better place without you!

    1. jake Silver badge

      A conundrum.

      Troll, or someone who wouldn't understand the word "irony" if it walked up and cocked a leg on his shoes?

    2. _LC_
      Coat

      Huh?

      Why would anybody even care? What kind of pissheads are you dealing with?!?

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Huh?

        Sounds like brogrammers, in which case you're better off out.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > I'm a bloody good programmer and gay and sick and tired of macho white heterosexuals offending everyone and everything that doesn't conform to their norm.

      Describe a few actual examples.

      As I said above, in my company we do have openly gay people working in that bastion of progressive social policy that is Saudi Arabia, this was already the case twenty years ago. We also have one transgender woman working with Russian submariners. The camaraderie is incredible.

      This to say, if you are not being respected, chances are it is not because of your sexual orientation.

      And you know what, none of my colleagues ever said "I'm bloody good at what I do". They just don't need to.

    4. Some Twat

      If you're contributing to an open-source project, chances are nobody has the foggiest idea whether you're gay or straight. Nor do they give the slightest of fucks. You need to learn to offer that same respect to others. I suspect the reason you're having conflicts with everyone (and it does seem that you are) is that you are yourself the source of the conflict due to your shitty attitude.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > If you're contributing to an open-source project, chances are nobody has the foggiest idea whether you're gay or straight.

        Quite often you have a very clear idea of someone's political thoughts though.

        > Nor do they give the slightest of fucks.

        Absolutely correct on that.

        Hell, I have collaborated, of all people, with Eric S. Raymond (esr) on an open source project. It was a pleasure working with him and I consider him an excellent project manager. He probably considers the current US president to be a raging leftist, but so what?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I'm a bloody good programmer and gay and sick and tired of macho white heterosexuals offending everyone and everything that doesn't conform to their norm. I'm sick and tired of being dismissed because of being gay. So if a coc is going to drive out those stone-age macho white heteroaexuals I say bring on the f-ing coc's. And a big thank you to those neanderthals who quit their job because of them, the world is a much better place without you!"

      I call troll. In more than thirty years as a developer I have never once seen anyones technical contribution dismissed on any grounds except technical. I have seen stupid arguments over style and naming conventions but even these were scrupiously neurtral from a race, sex, sexual orientation point of view. I have seen people criticise designs incorreclty but only because they have not understood them.

      Lastly why are explicitly sexist and racist statements considered acceptable:

      "....drive out those stone-age macho white heteroaexuals I say bring on the f-ing coc's. And a big thank you to those neanderthals who quit their job because of them, the world is a much better place without you!"

      If the troll makes statements like this at work he or she should be warned, if it continues disciplined and if it still continues sacked.

  9. steelpillow Silver badge

    Back in the day

    Was some time around 1982 that I was given a talking-to for swearing on the telex (a kind of antedeluvian point-to-point email link, my dear child).

    It's pretty simple really:

    1. Avoid making potetially offensive remarks to someone:

    - If you have yet to establish a personal relationship with them

    - If you are unsure who else might be reading/listening

    2. You can loosen up appropriately once you know the guy and their style, and in private conversation that will never be shared with anybody else.

    3. Overcook it and you will cause more trouble than you are worth. This is not a moral judgement, it is a practical reality. If you upset people then the community will become dysfunctional and will be better off without you.

    4. Leaving an audit trail of hate speech is a good way to overcook it to the point of the legal system taking a similar view to that of your employer.

    In summary, your enemies are not the only people who need to know when to SHUT THE FUCK UP!

  10. Trollslayer Silver badge

    If proof were needed

    Look at a lot of the posts here.

  11. Anakin

    Team Red

    Is scaring the shit out of Team Blue now

  12. Mycho Silver badge

    Honestly, if the code of conduct included a blanket ban on voicing support for political violence while at work, most of the controversy would disappear.

    Unfortunately, many of the code's strongest supporters are proud to do just that and letting them tell you what to say is always going to scare people.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We need codes of conduct to forbid problematic acronyms like NIPS and COC.

  14. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Load of CoC…

    Every time I come across one I'm reminded of Groucho Marx's quip about not wanting to be a member of any club that would let him join…

    All this value-signalling is doing fuck all to improve the glaring imbalance of levels of education in America. But, you know, that might involve raising taxes again. Far easier to do some hand-wringing, make thie right noises and some tax deductible donations to a captive non-profit.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh Barf...

    The actual content is vague, subjective, and unenforceable.

    But the preamble is downright scary.

    You better wish for a meritocracy, because while life isn't fair, a meritocracy is at hell of a lot closer to it than anything else your going find, especially after a bunch of non-contributing politicians with causes start running around.

  16. Jedipadawan

    >" "Let's make this the safest and most welcoming tech event for anyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race or religion,"

    Yeah. These PC CoCs NEVER protect or welcome the Christians.

    Never.

    Just sayin'.

    1. unimaginative

      Except the SQLite one, of course!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        SQLite

        > Except the SQLite one, of course!

        Yeah, I was looking at that one. Honestly, I am an atheist of non-Christian extraction, and the only problem I have with their code of conduct is that it is no longer their code of conduct (they grudgingly replaced it with some fluffy stuff).

        And the reasons why I like their code of conduct?

        1. The principles in section 2 (The Rule) are mostly universal moral truths that all human societies abide by.

        2. Section 1.2 (Scope of Application) is key, and worth reproducing here in full:

        « No one is required to follow The Rule, to know The Rule, or even to think that The Rule is a good idea. The Founder of SQLite believes that anyone who follows The Rule will live a happier and more productive life, but individuals are free to dispute or ignore that advice if they wish.

        The founder of SQLite and all current developers have pledged to follow spirit of The Rule to the best of their ability. They view The Rule as their promise to all SQLite users of how the developers are expected to behave in community. This is a one-way promise, or covenant. In other words, the developers are saying: "We will treat you this way regardless of how you treat us." »

  17. Matthew Taylor

    Quotation

    "If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him." Cardinal Richlieu.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Quotation

      "Would you believe ten lines?"

      --- Maxwell Smart

  18. RunawayLoop

    Lame duck

    Wow this is such a lame duck move coming from Intel after all their prior attempts at pulling the wool over consumers eyes ... specifically thinking of recent attempts such as 28-core with "forgotten" water chiller and of course their attempts to one again deceive consumers via the core i9 benchmark fiasco with Principled Technologies.

    Perhaps we need all companies to sign up to a "Consumer Code of Respect", not that it would do much to change their behaviour.

    BTW In general I support being respectful of our fellow human beings.

  19. Maelstorm Bronze badge
    Pint

    Respect is given where earned

    I am from the school of thought that respect is earned. In general, I respect people until I have a reason not too. If this offends someone, then they can go kiss my hairy white ass. The whole feminism and SJW special snowflake thought police leaves a bad taste in people's mouth. Before it was about bullying...now it's against people who hurt other people's feelings.

    Well, I say get used to it. That's life. There are always going to be assholes out there. In places like California, we are growing people who cannot function unless they are wrapped up in bubble wrap. Any slight to their fragile egos and they start crying "Whaaah. You hurt my feelings. I want my safe spot." I'm sorry, but in this world there is no safe spot, which means that these people will be facing a very harsh reality.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Respect is given where earned

      Watch it with the tarring all Californians with the same brush, Kemosabe. The vast majority of us aren't navel staring crystal polishers ... most of us work for a living and don't even know the words to Kumbaya.

  20. Timmy B Silver badge

    It is easy. Let us all follow the sage teachings of the great prophets Preston and Logan. A truth, as true now as it has always been:

    "Be excellent to each other"

  21. Some Twat

    I'm beginning to see the same disconnect here between the writers of this publication and its audience as has been seen in the gaming press, where the writers utterly despise gamers and seem hell-bent on telling them how fucking awful they are. Don't go that way El Reg.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Hey, el Reg, if you end up with an audience of bigots just go with it.

      1. Some Twat

        Disagreeing with you does not make someone a bigot. Unfortunately, there is a section of society that believes it does. Wrongthink must be punished. Ironically the most bigoted people out there are the very people pushing this stuff, judging everyone by the colour of their skin, the arrangement of their genitalia and what they like to do with that genitalia (and with whom). Still, if it makes you happy to call people bigots, have at it.

        1. DropBear Silver badge

          Sometimes I'm left wondering too whether certain El Reg authors just fail to realize or purposefully ignore that their consistently and incredibly subjective tack goes against the views of more or less every commentard who bothers posting (or worse - maybe it's kicking the hornet's nest on purpose). Not that this has ever stopped any of them before, it's just pretty hard to not notice it happening...

        2. sabroni Silver badge

          re: Still, if it makes you happy to call people bigots, have at it.

          I didn't call anyone a bigot, I merely pointed out that if the comments were full of bigotry it would be wrong of El Reg to follow suit.

          The prejudice you have towards Codes of Conduct is a different issue, but in every case here the argument isn't against the code per se it's against the way it's implemented. It's perfectly possible to have a good idea implemented badly. The solution isn't to abandon the idea, it's to fix the implementation.

          1. Some Twat

            Re: re: Still, if it makes you happy to call people bigots, have at it.

            Unfortunately the nature of humanity, and more specifically of the people pushing this particular idea, mean that a bad implementation is inevitable, however good people's intentions may be.

          2. Alan Johnson

            Re: re: Still, if it makes you happy to call people bigots, have at it.

            Its not Codes of Conduct in general its this one which is explicitly anti-meritocratic and therefore implicitly racist and sexist.

        3. dajames Silver badge
          Headmaster

          ... the arrangement of their genitalia and what they like to do with that genitalia ...

          At risk of offending anyone who has only a single genitalis, ITYM those genitalia.

    2. Timmy B Silver badge

      "I'm beginning to see the same disconnect here between the writers of this publication and its audience as has been seen in the gaming press, where the writers utterly despise gamers and seem hell-bent on telling them how fucking awful they are. Don't go that way El Reg."

      To be fair it's generally only articles that come from San Francisco...

    3. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Some twat

      "the same disconnect here between the writers of this publication and its audience"

      Well, its audience that likes to comment, perhaps. The number of people who comment on articles is a small percentage of our overall readership. That's not to say we don't appreciate comment posters - we really really do, otherwise we'd just turn comments off - however, they are a vocal subset of overall readers.

      I'm confident from earlier reader surveys, and feedback outside the comments, that there is interest among Reg visitors in fostering diversity and inclusion and civility in the tech world. In fact, I have a feeling people are put off commenting positively on the matter because of the strong feelings from a vocal minority who are against CoCs and equal opportunities in hiring. Essentially, if it seems nearly everyone posting comments is against CoCs and diversity, why bother contributing to the discussion?

      "the writers utterly despise gamers and seem hell-bent on telling them how fucking awful they are"

      I really don't think that was the case - why would you wake up in the morning to write for an audience you hate? sure there are bitter hacks out there, but an entire industry of hateful scribes? - and anyway it's not the case here. The whole point of El Reg is to share info and be useful to its readership in its own unique way. I fucking love our readers, and I think you're jumping to rather unfair conclusions.

      Let me give you two personal anecdotes. First, even I've been accused of breaking a CoC and I'm still in favor of them because, on the whole, they are a good idea. They draw a line in the sand that says if you want to participate as a team member, you have to follow the team's rules. And those rules are basically: don't be an arsehole to others. CoCs were introduced because discrimination and harassment was, in some eyes, getting out of hand - and house rules needed to be set down.

      And sure, people say it's hard to define exactly what is "being an asshole", however, I don't know if you've been keeping up with current events, but the laws of the land are similarly loosely defined. There are certain things that are fixed - such as the maximum blood-alcohol level allowed for drivers - but quite a lot isn't. Defamatory statements, threatening behavior, disorderly conduct in public, assault, etc, are all kinda up to society and judges and cops to weigh up. It's not so radical to see this in CoCs. If you're unhappy with this language in CoCs, presumably you're just as fired up when folks suffer injustice at the hands of poorly applied laws.

      In my case, a particular CoC forbids people from using sexualized language on and offline in and around an event. It's there to stop sex pests from being creepy to others, especially women. I happened to have written some of El Reg's racy headlines that had sex puns in them - we're sex positive, after all. Someone tried to claim I was breaking the CoC with my own sex-based headlines. In the end, the accusations were considered and dismissed. The event went on as normal. I still have a job. My career is not ruined.

      Secondly, I bailed out of the world of electronic engineering for journalism for a couple of reasons. One, at 25, journalism looked a lot more exciting than debugging embedded systems. Back then, I had no patience or ability to focus on long-term projects, and 10 years on, I think I could probably manage it.

      The other thing was that I didn't want to work in an industry that was 99% blokes with the same interests and same backgrounds. It's not that I wanted to meet women at work; I just wanted to work around different people every day.

      So anyway, my point is: El Reg doesn't hate its readers (that's so ridiculous), we see the problems with some CoCs but on the whole, think they're pointing in the right direction, and we appreciate diverse work forces and the mix of backgrounds and insight they bring. That includes us, too. We used to be very white British and blokey, then we started to tip the balance to 50-50 men and women - and it made us better. Some of our rudest and sarcastic headlines are written by a woman.

      If this is freaking you out, don't lash out at the things you like. Think about why you're upset. It's on you.

      C.

      1. Some Twat

        Re: Some twat

        "Think about why you're upset. It's on you."

        And there it is, after all the hand-waving, the "yeah we really aren't going to listen to anyone who disagrees with us".

  22. JavaJester

    Recommend singular "They" for Inclusive Language

    At the risk of infuriating language purists: "Using welcoming and inclusive language" could also recommend using the singular "they" over "he". This can be immediately understood by any English speaker. Although alternating "he" and "she" can achieve the same effect, it can make a complex workflow with many actors more difficult to follow as the genderfluid actors randomly change gender as the flow progresses.* Since that doesn't often happen in literary books, it can by jarring and confusing when reading such technical material. The singular "they" also avoids this mess of proposed alternative third person pronouns. You would need to take a class just to know how to use all of them. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Wiktionary:List_of_protologisms_by_topic/third_person_singular_gender_neutral_pronouns

    * Why is the CM manager editing code now? Why is the Developer reviewing the CM workflow? Oh, my fault, the CM manager has become a "he" now, and the developer is now a "she". True story when I was learning about a new CM processing by reading its documentation. It is why the alternating "he" and "she" is unloved by me.

    1. Timmy B Silver badge

      Re: Recommend singular "They" for Inclusive Language

      If you know the person and are referencing them in particular use he when they are male and she when they are female. If you are not referencing a person but a role then use they:

      What did the manager do? They did such and such. Were they any good?

      What did Jane do? She did such and such. Was she any good?

      As a native English speaker anything else seems awkward and forced:

      What did Jane do? They did such and such. Were they any good?

      The middle They is awkward and the second they is terrible and confusing.

  23. holmegm

    "Chipzilla joins strangely controversial movement to encourage civility, inclusion"

    It would be strange indeed if the desire for civility and "inclusion" were the source of the controversy.

    You know, of course, that it isn't.

  24. dbtx Bronze badge

    I like these remarks, specifically #2. Updating a list of the different ways&reasons (or just the common and 'popular' ones) in&for which people can create problems as discovered thus far is just foolish. I don't know what the book or whatever was called, but I once heard the Catholic Church tried to compile a list of all the possible sins, forever ago-- in order to explicitly disallow them all. It got real silly.

    But go ahead, sign yourselves up for Contributor Covenant 13.2 which has a clause for inclusively preserving all those pansexual hermaphroditic mer-persons' parahuman rights.

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