Adoption of a distribution-wide Code of Conduct
- Date proposed: 2021-09-15
- RFC MR: https://gitlab.archlinux.org/archlinux/rfcs/-/merge_requests/6
The adoption of a distribution-wide Code of Conduct (CoC) helps to describe the social contract by which communication takes place on the various communication channels offered by Arch Linux. This document describes the current CoC, its purpose and location and how to interact with it.
A Code of Conduct is a useful document to describe the "norms, rules, and responsibilities or proper practices of an individual party or an organization" (see Wikipedia article). Arch Linux is a community of entities, that consists of direct participants such as developers, trusted users, support staff and users that communicate with one another over various channels. As with all social constructs, the Arch Linux community is not immune to disagreements on technical or personal level.
To maintain a respectful tone and cooperation a Code of Conduct is used in various organizations (e.g. see Fedora Code of Conduct or Debian Code of Conduct) to outline accepted behavior within a community.
Historically, a Code of Conduct document for Arch Linux has been written, extended and maintained by several staff members in the Arch Wiki. This document, although widely used througout the distribution on e.g. the forums, the mailing lists, the bug tracker, official IRC channels and the wiki has not been officially ratified.
The current version of this document is now part of Arch Linux's Service Agreements.
The Arch Linux Code of Conduct is part of and defined in the distribution's Service Agreements. It describes the norms and rules by which to conduct oneself when participating in the various communication channels that Arch Linux offers. Additionally it provides information on the enforcement of the rules, as well as whom to contact in case of misconduct.
As a central document to the distribution it is hereby officially adopted in its current form, so that it is recognized and valued by all direct participants and users.
The Code of Conduct is a living document that may change over time. Changes are applied by merge request towards the Service Agreements repository. Any contributions follow the repository's contribution guidelines.
The document is part of the Arch Linux Service Agreements and as such changes to it do not go into effect right away, but require the distribution to notify all service users in advance in accordance with the Terms of Service Amendments section.
Code of Conduct documents may be abused by individuals or organizations to achieve the means of becoming immune to criticism (e.g. see Straw man or Tu quoque fallacies).
Over the years conflicts among members of the Arch Linux community have been raised, evaluated and (hopefully) solved over the various communication channels. However, a shared document, such as a Code of Conduct is without alternative when attempting to apply the same rules to all members of a community, as otherwise they would vary depending on communication channel or group within the community.