I've been asked a number of times recently and many, many times over the years how I can tell when a comment or action has "crossed the line". Here I'm going to discuss some simple rules of thumb that I use to make that determination.
Up until now, I've been talking about "community" in mostly abstract terms. Since all communities are collections of people, they all have a large set of challenges in common. It is important to keep in mind that, as communities grow past a certain size, they tend to organize themselves in one of three distinct ways. I wanted to take the time to define the terms I use because I will probably refer back to these terms in future articles.
This time of year, with darkness coming so early in the day, is a natural time to stop, look back at what's come to pass over the year, and take what lessons we can from it. When I sat down to write this article, there was really only one subject that I felt best fit with this theme.
Many open-source communities now have codes of conduct to formalize their ideals and goals around inclusivity. However, human behavior and interactions don't always fall into neat little boxes of "definitely acceptable" and "absolutely out-of-bounds". There are lots of gray areas and room for interpretation. So, what happens when you have someone that doesn't obviously violate your project's code of conduct but is causing a constant problem and discouraging others from participating?
In this article, I'm going to talk about the negative patterns that I've seen people fall into when first participating in open source and some more productive approaches that should help everyone involved.
This is a series of articles dedicated to taking a look at various aspects of managing a community, typically involving an open-source project. We'll cover subjects like how to best organize a community, what to do about problem users, what methods work best to communicate with users and why, and many others from the strategic to the tactical ...