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The Linux Kernel Adopts A Code of Conduct


So I’ve done some digging here and connecting the dots about this. The CoC that Linux has adopted is a direct copy from:
authored by a Coraline Ada Ehmke

Coraline Previously worked at Github, but their employment was terminated with some apparent controversy regarding their conduct at the company, general toxicity etc.

Case in point.

As to the content of the CoC itself, there are a few parts that I have problems with. Primarily the passage:

This Code of Conduct applies both within project spaces and in public spaces
when an individual is representing the project or its community.

It’s left very open to abuse by the addition of:

Representation of a project may be
further defined and clarified by project maintainers.

There is weak language abound, basically allowing to vague interpretations of the rules, and extensions of rules that haven’t been clearly defined. Essentially to browbeat any dissenters.

  • Project maintainers are responsible for clarifying the standards of acceptable behavior
  • Instances of abusive, harassing, or otherwise unacceptable behavior

I’m curious what caused the apology from Linus that prompted his handing of the Reigns to Greg, albeit temporarily, which has also lead to the adoption of this CoC.

One user on reddit remarks:


I’m skeptical that linus after how many years of being a very…outspoken guy is suddenly going to be “inclusive” and full of “empathy”

It’s more that it’s just an authoritarian leftist document written by someone who doesn’t believe in meritocracy, which is all that really matters. Documents like that are designed to control behaviors and speech the individual finds wrong/bad, or badong.

Instead of ya know common sense being the thing that everyone uses as the standard, like the previous code of conflict.


The tin foil hat theory is that it has something to do with his daughter. posted earlier in the thread

“Torvalds 2.0: Patricia Torvalds on computing, college, feminism, and increasing diversity in tech”


Couldn’t have said it better myself.

That’s really it.

Have you seen the lounge?

Some of us are not super concerned. Yeah, I don’t like the politics of the creator, but the CoC is really pretty decent. It’s got a bit of politically charged language, but that’s the most egregious thing I could find, and that’s really grasping.

@SesameStreetThug Don’t link direct from 4chins please. upload the image. Also, I’m really not sure why you saw fit to include Coraline’s picture. Are you trying to illustrate something?

He doesn’t have universal final say on these sort of things anymore, and frankly, we’ve been aware that he’s very anti-PC for a long time. As soon as that shit starts moving in, you know he’s going to rant about it.


I’ve tailored my post based on your suggestions


Thanks bruv, I’m not trying to be a dick, but the 4chan link doesn’t show up for lots of people and linking her image felt a bit under the belt.


I forgot about the link thing, and I agree that posting her image is, in hindsight, disrespectful. While I may not respect her Code of Conduct, it was in poor faith. Ehmke wrote the CoC, but was not involved in its adoption by Linux; at least as far as I am aware. Attaching the face to it points blame where it should not be, and we should attack the ideas and refrain from attacking the people. Thanks for the correction.


That’s what I was trying to help prevent. Thanks!

I wouldn’t be surprised if she or one of her friends floated it to the Linux folk at least once.

Additionally, regarding that reddit post of ascii and unicode, I don’t really know what to say there. It’s probably reading too much into it though.


There’s already people making a fuss here.


Oh god, there’s so much shit flinging in there. I wish I had time to sort through it all, but I’m busy. Do you have a TL;DR?


Hahaha! This. Great post.

I think the CoC is fine. I’ve read about people being driven away from being devs due to Linus Torvalds’ hostility. In many ways I respect the guy, especially for developing and continuously working on the code, but people shouldn’t have to put with shit.

I get that people are afraid that this will drive some agenda though, but I really don’t think that’s the point of the CoC. It’s basically saying that devs shouldn’t be dicks to each other… criticism is fine, just don’t be an ass.


That’s the clear headed thinking the Linux world needs to hear.


The problem I have with it is that there are no bounds defined.

Power corrupts, absolutely and this CoC gives maintainers absolute power over defining the scope of the violations.

I would have no problem with it if it defined the terms used.


I don’t know where this is from though


Good point. I definitely agree with you on that.


I don’t have a problem with any of this. It looks like Linus has finally realized that he is quickly turning fifty and can’t act like a snot nosed kid anymore. It’s cute for awhile but when you reach his age it becomes embarrassing. David Lee Roth is a good example of this.


Someone’s code is either good, or it isn’t.

Requirements that you behave or act a certain way if you wish to contribute are unnecessary beyond ye olde golden rule of don’t be a dick.


Isn’t that what the entire code of conduct can be boiled down to?


This is really the only rule to be followed, no more, no less :slight_smile:


That was the code of conflict which was basically
“Be excellent to each other”

The new Covenant code of conduct requires contributors and maintainers to use the new rules, can’t opt out.

And requires that you do vague undefined things,

“Using welcoming and inclusive language”
" Showing empathy towards other community members"
"Other conduct which could reasonably be considered inappropriate in a

  • professional setting"

and failure to follow said vague undefined things or failure to enforce the CoC can get you banned.

“Maintainers who do not follow or enforce the Code of Conduct in good faith may
+face temporary or permanent repercussions as determined by other members of the
+project’s leadership.”

And it’s author is a radical leftist who doesn’t believe in meritocracy, though that’s not too related…does explain the ideals in the covenant though.