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From Jan Lehnardt <>
Subject Re: Code of Conduct & Diversity Statement draft needs your feedback!
Date Sun, 18 May 2014 18:18:05 GMT
Heya Joan,

excellent explanation, thank you!

In addition to your points, from a German native speakers perspective, „Empathie“ means
exactly what we want, in German: — The free translation
„Einfühlsamkeit“ includes „fühlen“, which means „to feel“ and I think that’s
the foundation for Andy’s point. I’d say, ignore that particular potential translation
and go with „Empathie“ instead :)


On 18 May 2014, at 18:53 , Joan Touzet <> wrote:

> Hi Andy,
> Thanks for the feedback. If we were voting I'd treat your response as
> a -0. Indeed, part of understanding where another person is coming from
> is respect, but respect does not go far enough.
> The word empathetic (or empathic, a spelling variation) appears in many
> of the other upstream codes of conduct. I had a feeling there might be
> some confusion around the word in different languages, which is why I
> placed a reference definition at the bottom of the document.
> As an Apache project, we "value community over code." Translating this
> into our code of conduct means that, all other things being equal, we
> should prioritize good interpersonal relationships over good code. Let
> me explain how I see this choice being a net positive to CouchDB.
> Empathy differs from sympathy and compassion. It describes a human
> ability to comprehend others through identification with their logical
> and emotional viewpoints.  This is especially important to call out in
> an environment like ours, where we are a fully distributed team who
> communicate almost exclusively via the printed word.
> We all have a shared goal - improving CouchDB - but we will all have
> different hopes, dreams and expectations about what that means and where
> the project will go. It is critical to recognize another person's
> feelings and argument position when it comes to any sort of discussion
> about the project, whether there is agreement or not.
> It is also a community, like most of software development today, where
> there is a statistical abundance of atypical human behaviour. This
> includes but is not limited to individuals who behave along the autistic
> spectrum, those who are are extremely antisocial or narcissistic, or
> have difficulty in the regulation of their own emotional state. For
> these individuals in particular (but not just for them!) empathy is
> challenging. Calling out that it is valued here is a gentle reminder to
> these populations to reinforce acceptable interaction patterns.
> This is an inherently subjective matter and cannot be sidelined or
> ignored simply to focus on more cut-and-dry topics like technical code
> reviews.  Further, it tends to be a less lawful area, one that is harder
> to systemize, so it requires special consideration and focus, especially
> for those to whom such thought does not come easily. We are also 
> acknowledging that people will not act without emotion, especially when
> they are working on a volunteer project they join because of their own
> wants, needs and desires. As developers in this community, it behooves
> us to empathize with users, developers, committers and PMC members prior
> to reacting to them. It explicitly acknowledges our own emotional
> reactions as well as those around us.
> I hope this analysis is clear. Empathy, not just respct, is crucial to
> the long-term success of our project.
> -Joan
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Andy Wenk" <>
> To:
> Sent: Sunday, May 18, 2014 10:27:25 AM
> Subject: Re: Code of Conduct & Diversity Statement draft needs your feedback!
> Hi Joan,
> thanks a lot. I have read the post the first time and it is really awesome.
> It is very clear and I think also non-native English speaking folks can
> understand everything.
> The only thing I stumbled a bit upon was "Be empathetic, welcoming,
> friendly and patient:" - here empathetic. The German translation is
> "einfühlsam". I personally would not use this word for a behaviour I expect
> in a technical project. I would use it in a community where I discuss very
> personal things like how I can have a better life or how to be a better
> partner. Maybe others have this feeling also. It's a bit too much "power
> flower" for me.
> Regarding the endnotes and explanation why this word is used, I would
> change it to
> "Be respectful, welcoming, friendly and patient:"
> But finally it is NOT a blocker for me also.
> I will read everything again later.
> Thanks again :)
> Cheers
> Andy
> On 18 May 2014 01:19, Joan Touzet <> wrote:
>> Hello everyone,
>> The draft CoC and diversity statement have been published at:
>> The wiki is a bit slow today so if it doesn't load the first time, hit
>> reload and be patient.
>> Please take the time to review this and post comments here on the dev
>> ML.
>> Outstanding items (2 and 3 are specifically for the PMC):
>>  1. Create expanded CoC for conferences/events
>>  2. Determine appropriate venue and scope for diversity ML
>>  3. Determine appropriate private reporting compliance mechanism
>> -Joan
> -- 
> Andy Wenk
> Hamburg - Germany
> RockIt!
> GPG fingerprint: C044 8322 9E12 1483 4FEC 9452 B65D 6BE3 9ED3 9588

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