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SubjectRe: Code of Conduct: Let's revamp it.
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The new Code of Conduct makes me feel threatened and uncomfortable.

No, really.  As a person with (diagnosed) Asperger's, I'm a member of,
 objectively, a marginalised minority.  Effectively (i.e. this is a massive
 oversimplification), I was born without the hard-wired circuitry for
social
 interactions that is normally a part of the human brain; consequently
I have
 to run a slow and inaccurate software simulation when interacting with
 'normal' people.

In nearly all the communities I participate in, this is a constantly
limiting
 factor for me.  But there is one world that is blessedly free of such
things:
 the world of open-source software.  It is one of the last places where my
 particular neurodiversity does _not_ mark me out as Other, does _not_
force
 me to carefully watch what I say and present a falsely constructed
façade in
 place of my real identity.  For here, we care not for 'feelings';
either the
 code is good or it is bad, and in the latter case we say so directly and
 bluntly.  Not only does this mean that I don't have to guard my tongue
when
 critiquing someone else's patch, far more importantly it means I can
 understand what's being said when _my_ patches are criticised. 
(Almost all
 of my best ideas and patches have been born out of someone telling me I'm
 wrong.)

The Linux kernel community is a place without office politics, without
subtle
 subtexts, without primate dominance dynamics.  A place where criticism
_can_
 be gracefully accepted _without_ having to worry that admitting to being
 wrong will lower one's status.  A place where I, and people like me,
can feel
 at home, and maybe even create something of value.

And the Contributor Covenant looks very much like the camel's nose of an
 attempt to take that place, that community, away from me.  To replace
it with
 an Orwellian nightmare where I must forever second-guess what is safe
to say.
 (First they came for "master/slave replication", and I did not speak up
 because I was not a DBA.)

I cannot speak for my employer (hence why I am posting this from my personal
 address), but to the extent that my rôle as a contributor to the
networking
 subsystem, and as co-maintainer of the sfc driver, gives me any
standing in a
 _personal_ capacity, I absolutely cannot sign up to this 'Pledge' nor
accept
 the 'Responsibilities' to police the speech of others that it makes a
duty of
 maintainership, and I urge the project leadership to revert its adoption.

Some elements of the Code are unobjectionable; sexual advances, for
instance,
 have no place on the lkml (though they may at, say, a conference, and not
 everyone can reliably predict whether they are unwelcome), and the
ability of
 kernel developers to accept constructive criticism is one of the strengths
 that has made Linux what it is.  But far too many of its provisions
rely on
 ill-defined terms, and thus give those charged with interpreting those
terms
 the power to destroy livelihoods.  By placing a corporate body (the LF) in
 the position of arbiter, an avenue is opened for commercial pressure to be
 applied; and the legalistic phrasing of the Code practically invites
rules-
 lawyering whereby the most abusive may twist it into a weapon to further
 their abuse.

If the Code were reduced to something more like the old Code of Conflict,
 reminding people to 'be liberal in what they accept and conservative
in what
 they emit', and clarifying that patch submissions should be judged by the
 _code_ and not by any characteristics or beliefs of the submitter (I don't
 think the enumerated list of protected classes is helpful, as a legalistic
 abuser can always slip into a crack between them), I think the sting
would be
 drawn.  Probably the CoConflict would make a better base from which to
draft
 such a document.

(A note for the irony-challenged: where I use Progressive terms-of-art, such
 as 'marginalised', 'Other' and 'identity', in the above, I am
endeavouring to
 show that this alleged push for 'inclusiveness' fails on its own
terms; I am
 _not_ accepting the theory behind those terms nor suggesting that, in
 reality, the kernel community owes me any special treatment on account
of my
 'diversity'.)

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