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Subject [CONF] Apache OpenOffice Community > (Draft)List Conduct Policy
Date Thu, 21 Jun 2012 00:33:00 GMT
Space: Apache OpenOffice Community (
Page: (Draft)List Conduct Policy (

Added by Rob Weir:
h2. 1 Respect one another

Discussion is the cornerstone of a project like this and the sharing of viewpoints is crucial,
as is understanding and accepting that many views will differ from your own. By all means
debate rigorously and defend your view point stoutly, but avoid abrasive dialogue and personal
attacks. Give leeway to people who do not have English as a first language. Pause before taking
insult, and pause before responding. There is a difference between robust discussion and steamrollering.
Civility is paramount. Manners cost nothing; we are all capable of self-moderation, and of
being aware of our conduct.

h2. 2 Remember the Apache OpenOffice Mission

“To create, as a community, the leading international office suite that will run on all
major platforms and provide access to all functionality and data through open-component based
APIs and an XML-based file format.”

The AOO project is a place for finding open-source solutions to document  creation
and consumption. We believe in making AOO freely available because we are the sort of people
who welcome diversity on others, creativity of all sorts and who enjoy finding the best in
all situations.

h2. 3 Be Nice

Not only are there lots of people on this list whose first language is  not English,
there are busy readers, who by necessity have to read things  quickly. If other list
members are telling you they do not understand what you wrote, or take your innocent phrasing
in a poor light, take it as a   signal that your writing style is too idiomatic or
too technical (unlikely but possible) for others to follow easily.  This does not
necessarily mean you are mean, wrong and bad, so just be nice and reword the passage. 
Assume people are not in "attack mode." We are all on the same team here.

h2. 4 Don't Respond When You are Angry

Assuming people are not in attack mode means, if you think they are, just now, then probably
you are just misunderstanding their point. Ad hominem attacks, e.g., "You are too dumb to
get this," are a sign that you yourself may not have a good-enough handle on the issue to
explain your point clearly.

h2. 5 Relax

Always remember, that unless there is a \*darn\* good reason, nothing gets decided at the
ASF in less than 72 elapsed hours, so your reply can wait until morning.  You might
even get lucky, and when you check back somebody else will have posted either what you wanted
to say, or something close enough that you can work with it. Remember that the members of
a community mailing list will get to the list when they can. Most of us do this in our spare
time, and in different time zones. Perhaps the rule of thumb could be to respond no more than
once per hour, or once per day, to any given thread. The highest frequency of responses does
not necessarily “Win” in a community of equals. The most concise and useful post tends
to win, because furthering the dialog and advancing the community's goals is what we desire.

h2. 6 Get to the point

Write as tersely as possible, and edit down as much possible, so other people who are just
as busy as you may quickly get your point without ending up defensive, but balance is needed.
Do not let brevity get in the
way of providing enough information. Remember that people must understand your post in order
to understand your point.

h2. 7 Consider trimming the post to which you are responding

People who read emails on small screens are not the only ones who are frustrated by picking
important new information out of tons of stuff they have already read.  To trim a
post, one simply remove any parts of the post
to which one is replying that are not important to understand ones reply. If the response
to one of these posts is, “What? I do not understand,” then it may be that too much of
the context may have been removed.

h2. 8 What happens on a private list, stays on that list

There are only a few private lists on the project. The PPMC list and the Security Team list
come to mind. Anything you read in a private list is by default a private affair and not to
be spoken of, or copied to, other
people who are not members of that private list.

h2. 9 There are going to be exceptions to the rule

All of these guidelines are subject to sanity-testing. A person posting child porn on any or Apache OpenOffice list will be reported to the appropriate authorities and will
not be able to complain that their list privacy has been violated. Ramping up to a release,
there are a lot of postings at high frequency. Sometimes it takes a long post to say what
needs to be said.

h2. More Useful Stuff

Apache Tips for Email Contributors --

Apache OpenOffice Mailing Lists --

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