Debian Code of Conduct
Version 1.0 ratified on April 28th, 2014.
The Debian Project, the producers of the Debian system, have adopted a code of conduct for participants to its mailinglists, IRC channels and other modes of communication within the project.
Code of Conduct
In a project the size of Debian, inevitably there will be people with whom you may disagree, or find it difficult to cooperate. Accept that, but even so, remain respectful. Disagreement is no excuse for poor behaviour or personal attacks, and a community in which people feel threatened is not a healthy community.
- Assume good faith
Debian Contributors have many ways of reaching our common goal of a free operating system which may differ from your ways. Assume that other people are working towards this goal.
Note that many of our Contributors are not native English speakers or may have different cultural backgrounds.
- Be collaborative
Debian is a large and complex project; there is always more to learn within Debian. It's good to ask for help when you need it. Similarly, offers for help should be seen in the context of our shared goal of improving Debian.
When you make something for the benefit of the project, be willing to explain to others how it works, so that they can build on your work to make it even better.
- Try to be concise
Keep in mind that what you write once will be read by hundreds of persons. Writing a short email means people can understand the conversation as efficiently as possible. When a long explanation is necessary, consider adding a summary.
Try to bring new arguments to a conversation so that each mail adds something unique to the thread, keeping in mind that the rest of the thread still contains the other messages with arguments that have already been made.
Try to stay on topic, especially in discussions that are already fairly large.
- Be open
Most ways of communication used within Debian allow for public and private communication. As per paragraph three of the social contract, you should preferably use public methods of communication for Debian-related messages, unless posting something sensitive.
This applies to messages for help or Debian-related support, too; not only is a public support request much more likely to result in an answer to your question, it also makes sure that any inadvertent mistakes made by people answering your question will be more easily detected and corrected.
- In case of problems
While this code of conduct should be adhered to by participants, we recognize that sometimes people may have a bad day, or be unaware of some of the guidelines in this code of conduct. When that happens, you may reply to them and point out this code of conduct. Such messages may be in public or in private, whatever is most appropriate. However, regardless of whether the message is public or not, it should still adhere to the relevant parts of this code of conduct; in particular, it should not be abusive or disrespectful. Assume good faith; it is more likely that participants are unaware of their bad behaviour than that they intentionally try to degrade the quality of the discussion.
Serious or persistent offenders will be temporarily or permanently banned from communicating through Debian's systems. Complaints should be made (in private) to the administrators of the Debian communication forum in question. To find contact information for these administrators, please see the page on Debian's organizational structure.
Some of the links in this section do not refer to documents that are part of this code of conduct, nor are they authoritative within Debian. However, they all do contain useful information on how to conduct oneself on our communication channels.
- Debian has a diversity statement.
- The Debian Community Guidelines by Enrico Zini contain some advice on how to communicate effectively.
- The Mailing list code of conduct is useful for advice specific to Debian mailing lists.
- The IRC channel guidelines are useful for advice specific to Debian IRC channels.
- The Community Team have written some extra guidance on how to interpret the Code of Conduct.
Updates to this code of conduct should follow the normal GR procedure. However, the DPL (or the DPL's delegates) can add or remove links to other documents in the "Further reading" section after consultation with the project and without requiring a GR.