Brothers in Arms

But it’s written in the starlight
And every line on your palm
We’re fools to make war
On our brothers in arms

– Dire Straits, Brothers in Arms

As the LibreOffice project grows, the distance between teams and subprojects also grows. This makes it increasingly important to keep our efforts united and not tolerate behaviour that makes members feel attacked,
even if the originators believe they are simply being direct or mischievous. We’re a diverse, multi-cultural and multi-lingual community, and it’s easy to unintentionally offend through choices of expression that differ from what’s anticipated.

We’re a single community, and creating the concept of others – and the  promotion of a “them vs. us” mentality — in our team is dangerous and will hurt us in the long run. Some basic guidelines to this regard are set out in the statutes of the Document Foundation. If something more explicit is needed the Ubuntu code of conduct gives a good overview of what to take care of in the project.

Unfortunately, there recently have been repeated incidents on bugzilla which violate this principle. Joel has thus been given permissions to suspend users on bugzilla temporarily if it proves necessary. We hope that friendly corrections to tone and messaging, then warnings and finally the threat of such suspension will be enough, and there will be no need for action to be taken.

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About bmichaelsen

productivity liberator

4 responses to “Brothers in Arms”

  1. bmichaelsen says :

    Just one additional note: The board, the ESC and the membership committee are aware of the developments, of course.

  2. joelmadero says :

    Great write up Bjoern. I hope this reminds us all that we’re all here to help each other

  3. Michael Meeks (@michael_meeks) says :

    There is of course no right to freedom from offence – people can take offence at the most ridiculous things :-) But following simple norms of polite and inclusive interaction is clearly something important.

  4. Wayne says :

    My experience is that this is the nature of the beast in any large organization where one persons work overlaps anothers. Given talented individuals and the fact that all of us are naturally competitive (although we seem to want to deny that fact), it is inevitable that some ‘snarkly’ behavior will occur. So, how should this be handled — exactly the way you did along with “some individual counseling”. Good missive.

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