Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Listening to Our Better Angels

I've been most distressed tonight, to hear of my friend Noirin being assaulted at an ApacheCon party, here: Worse, there are people calling her out for naming the attacker! Seriously, people? (I hear the comments are even worse over at Hacker News. I refuse to get even more disturbed and upset, so I'm not going to be reading them.)

In two separate discussions about this, with people who know and love Noirin, women said that the story makes them reluctant to attend cons and other FLOSS events, since assaults seem to be common. Yes, if you haven't been keeping up with the news, this happens OFTEN.

This doesn't make me fearful, it makes me ANGRY. Of course I'm angry at the perpetrators, but I'm also angry at those who protect them, and those who say 'we want more women to participate,' while not setting the standards of NO ASSAULT, and enforcing those standards. That seems like a very low expectation, don't you think? No ASSAULT!?

I can't help but contrast this assault with my experiences at last week's UDS in Orlando Florida. Ubuntu has a Code of Conduct, and not only enforces it, but has an even higher standard for community leaders. And there is discussion about having the Leadership CoC be formally signed also. I applaud this initiative, and hope that more communities create enforceable standards, and that conventions and other large gatherings will do likewise. There is no reason for any person to fear for their safety at these gatherings! I felt completely safe in Orlando, and I credit the high standards for that feeling of safety. Of course my favorite Kubuntu is covered by the same codes of conduct.

I call on the LinuxFest Northwest to set up and announce No Assault or Harrassment standards, and enforce them. I guarantee that a reputation as a safe space *will* result in more women attending. See the Con Anti-Harassment Project for specifics.

However, I think we need to go beyond a negative, and move toward positive expectations. I love the LinuxChix famous two rules: 1. Be polite, and 2. Be helpful. Indeed! And many projects have a standards. Among them, KDE Community Code of Conduct, GNOME Code Of Conduct, Gentoo Linux's Code of Conduct, the Mandriva Linux Code of Conduct, to name those I could easily find.

In addition, Freenode has an inspiring description of the "catalyst" role and how important it is to the continued use and usefulness of Freenode IRC: And today, Jono Bacon, the Ubuntu Community Leader for Canonical, has posted The OpenRespect Declaration: I think we all owe it to one another as free humans, to respect one another.

PS: In case another reminded is needed: Thanks for posting this link just when I needed it, Hypatia.

PPS: Also see The Open Source Women Back Each Other Up Project

Friday, November 5, 2010

Help the Graner Family

As many of may of heard, Amber Graner, Ubuntu community member extraordinaire, and Peter Graner received horrible news this week while at UDS: their house caught on fire.

Thankfully their children and dog are fine!

Rikki Kite has started a fund to help out the Graner family.

In the spirit of community, please donate whatever you can.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

LoCo Teams in the Natty Cycle

Still trying to organize my thoughts after the UDS in Orlando. While the election results are distracting, I think it's important to analyze what lies ahead, and get moving before the holidays hit.

Washington Team
1. We need to hold leadership elections, and transfer power over the Launchpad team to the leadership.

2. We need to begin scheduling and hold regular meetings, even if they are only in IRC.

3. We need to get the official logbot in our #ubuntu-us-wa channel on Freenode. Linda is requesting that, so I hope it will happen soon.

4. We need to look at the calendar and plan some Team events, so advance planning can take place.

5. We need to figure out how to get monthly reports done monthly, so that we can get approval!

In the discussion about increasing diversity in the Ubuntu Community, Pici posted a great link, which might be helpful in how we conduct our LoCo team:

Ubuntu Community Local Teams
There are some exciting plans ahead. Some of them (from Ubuntu LoCo Council Items for the Natty Cycle):

* Community leaders to sign the Leadership Code of Conduct in Launchpad

* Team Re-approvals from the LoCo Directory instead of wiki pages

* Move content from the wiki to the LoCo Directory

* Standard Team Re-approval form


* Standards for teams, a set of guidelines:

* Update the standard Application to include Team reports and give more details

* Enforce the team naming standards [this can't happen soon enough, IMO]

PS: May 9-13 UDS-O, Budapest! Lay your plans now. :-)