[GHC DevOps Group] Guidelines

Manuel Chakravarty manuel.chakravarty at tweag.io
Thu Dec 6 16:05:16 UTC 2018

Dear DevOps Group,

The GHC Steering Committee has recently decided to adopt a set of ”Guidelines for Respectful Communication” due to ongoing concern about the standards of discourse in the Haskell community:


I’ll leave it to Simon PJ’s excellent explanation to lay out the detailed motivation:

> As many of you will know, I’ve been concerned for several years about the standards of discourse in the Haskell community.  I think things have improved since the period that drove me to write my Respect email <https://mail.haskell.org/pipermail/haskell/2016-September/024995.html>, but it’s far from secure.
> I have thought about trying to introduce a code of conduct for the Haskell community, but (a) getting agreement about such a thing would be hard, (b) we have no credible enforcement mechanism and (c) some people disagree that it would even be helpful.
> I have also considered publishing a kind of personal code of conduct, describing the standards to which I hold myself (doubtless all too fallibly).  I was concerned that this would over-personalise the issue.
> In the light of all this, following discussion at ICFP, the GHC Steering Committee has decided to adopt these "Guidelines for Respectful Communication”.
> as a middle way.  We are adopting it for ourselves, not imposing it on others.  But in doing so we hope to give a clear lead to the community about the standards that we espouse for our professional dialogue.  
> We deliberately decided to use the term “guidelines for respectful communication”, rather than “code of conduct”, for reasons that Stallman lays out in his recently-released GNU Kind Communications Guidelines: https://lwn.net/Articles/769167/

In this context, it is important to note that the intention for these guidelines is to apply to us (the DevOps group members) with the intention of setting a good example and not to police the broader community, which we do not have the mandate to do anyway.

Personally, I am strongly in favour for us to follow the example of the GHC Steering Committee and to adopt the same rules, in order to project a uniform picture from all GHC committees.


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