Ramblings of a developer

Introducing Edon

2020-05-17 Anthony HumphreysAnnouncements

What is Edon?

Edon is the name I’m giving to a little corner of the internet, over on GitHub for the JavaScript community to engage in Deno development. I’ll be keeping this repo up to date with the upstream repository, and will be regularly opening Pull Requests from this repo into Deno. Edon is founded on the idea that everyone should feel safe, supported and encouraged to contribute to open source. There is no space for any discrimination of any kind, or any behaviour which deters anyone from contributing. I believe in Learning in Public, mentoring and lifting others up, not bringing them down.

Why does this exist?

Mainting a separate repo and all that merging sounds like a nightmare, right? Well, I’ll archive the repository once Deno has a solid Code of Conduct and the core contributors are seen to be taking their role in supporting a community more seriously.

The Deno team has, so far, seemed reluctant to take the issue of not having a Code of Conduct seriously.

Very early in the project someone opened an issue regarding the lack of a CoC CLOSED

Soon after, [once again(, someone suggested adding a CoC. This time it was dismissed, preferring to focus on functionality, and code style. CLOSED

A little over a year later, an incident occurs in discussing an issue, and a CoC is once again suggested. CLOSED

Next another user suggested a CoC, this was dismissed with a link to another issue, with a comment

I certainly agree that we should all be professional. But I don’t like having all these non-necessary files in the root directory. If you want to add a section in the manual linking to a code of conduct that would be ok. Feel free to email me if there has been some problem (?) Closing without merge. This is a little bit of progress, recognising something is needed, but dismissing a CoC for cluttering the repo seems…misguided. CLOSED

As 1.0 launch approached, someone proposed a CoC once again. LOCKED OFF TOPIC

Yet another attempt was made to add a CoC CLOSED

Finally a link is added to a CoC… but wait it isn’t Deno’s CoC, but Rust’s! Close enough right? Not really. Took a further commit to add an email address for concerns. Although this is sufficient to express expectations, it still feels like the least amount of effort being put into this issue.

Unsurprisingly, issues, keep coming


Why does it matter?

I feel like I really shouldn’t need to answer that question, but I expect I’ll probably draw some flak for this post. This is an important issue, not only close to my heart, but a common issue in Open Source today.

Please see the Contributors’ Covenant FAQs for more information.

Please also check out these studies looking at the efficacy of Codes of Conduct in OSS.

Code of Conduct in Open Source Projects

Why modern open source projects fail

Open Source Software Community Inclusion Initiatives to Support Women Participation

Diversity and decorum in open source communities

Patterns for regulating behavior in innovation communities

Emotional Labor of Software Engineers

Discovering community patterns in open-source: a systematic approach and its evaluation

Why Modern Open Source Projects Fail

Adopting a Code of Conduct is not a magic bullet solution and should not be seen as such. It is instead a social contract, signalling to a community that a certain set of standards are expected, and signalling to potential contributors that they are engaging in a safe and supportive community. Building a community takes hard work, commitment, and above all, empathy.

So what next?

Deno is a promising project. But it doesn’t bode well if issues like this are flaring up and being dealt with in this manner at such an early stage.

  • © Anthony Humphreys 2020