Community Expectations

Anyone who’s paid attention to other open sourceOpen Source Open Source denotes software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. Open Source **must be** delivered via a licensing model, see GPL. projects over the past year or two has seen the development of codes of conduct for almost every project/conference series that didn’t already have one. We’re behind here, for several reasons.

  • Our project tends to mostly be filled with respectful, kind people, so many people don’t feel we need a code of conductCode of Conduct “A code of conduct is a set of rules outlining the norms, rules, and responsibilities or proper practices of an individual party.” - Wikipedia.
  • Some people feel a code of conduct sets up the notion that we expect people to be inappropriate jerks, and that will make people not want to join us.
  • We have lots of libertarians that don’t like centralized rules and policies. 🙂

For these reasons we have tended toward generalities rather than stating behavioral rules in specific detail.

We’re outgrowing this.

WordCamps, meetupsMeetup Meetup groups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on a regular basis (commonly once a month). Learn more about Meetups in our Meetup Organizer Handbook., forums, irc, tracTrac Trac is the place where contributors create issues for bugs or feature requests much like GitHub. tickets, blog comments, and more all have the potential to be home to conduct unbecoming a WordPress community member. But how is anyone supposed to know what we expect without having been around?

And even if they have been around, the people who’ve been around longer have inside jokes and know each other well enough that they might say things tongue-in-cheek that newcomers think are being said seriously and take in a way other than intended. Without any evil intentions, people who’ve never thought about what it’s like to be a member of a minority or anything other than able-bodied/financially-stable/caucasian/American/male/heterosexual/bearded/whatever-the-majority-is might not realize how unwelcoming some language or imagery may be to those who are different.

To that end, I want us to have a page on The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. that lays out our Community Expectations. A little less harsh-sounding than Code of Conduct, the Community Expectations should lay out what kinds of behavior are welcome/encouraged/expected in the project/at events, and provide a way for people to let us know if we fail to live up to these expectations so that we can continually improve our ability to welcome new contributors.

This is part of the diversity initiative. I’d like to assemble a small team of folks to work together on creating a draft of this document that we can then share with the broader contributor community for comment. To ensure that we are sensitive to language affecting multiple groups of people, I’d like this small team to itself be diverse. If you’re interested in helping draft this document, please leave a comment on this post and I’ll be in touch next week.

If you don’t want to be on the team that works on the document but you’d like to make sure we take something or other into account while we draft it, feel free to leave suggestions in the comments as well.

#diversity, #documentation, #policy