Lots of issues pop up in the monastery and are generally sorted out by all of you in discussions. This makes for a lot of implicit rules and mores to govern behavior in the monastery.

These implicit rules however are stored through out node history and sometimes only in the minds of monks if the issue was discussed in the Chatterbox.

What I would like to see is all of you helping me to distinguish areas where behavior and a code of conduct needs to be established. Then you can all hash out what you think about the issues.

Once a group consensus on these issues exists we can author a single document which explicitly lists expectations of people when in the monastery. Then if the rules are broken we can point the violator to a single document which has been approved by the community as a whole.

Thoughts or opinions on the matter? That's exactly what the space below is for.

vroom | Tim Vroom |

  • Comment on Development of the Perl Monks Code of Conduct

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
(Ovid) Re: Development of the Perl Monks Code of Conduct
by Ovid (Cardinal) on Nov 22, 2000 at 22:02 UTC
    Just some rough thoughts:
    • No distribution of chatterbox logs.

      I would say "no logging", but how would we enforce it?

    • No "Do my homework" questions.

      Asking for how to approach a homework problem would be okay.

    • No profanity directed at anyone.

      I don't mind a little $#it every now and then, but if that's directed at someone, then it's out of bounds.

    • Removal of nodes posted solely as an assault?

      This one could be tricky and I know that many monks might disagree as to what characterizes an assault. Examples of this would be this post and this one, both assaults on merlyn.

    • Don't use published code without citing it.

      Again, tough to enforce. Many of us can smell the Cookbook a mile away, but what about someone "borrowing" a coworkers code? This would be an honor system issue.

    • No downvoting of Ovid's posts.

      Okay, I don't think that will fly, but I had to try :)

    I realize that not everyone would agree with the above sentiments, but I thought they could be a nice first shot.

    Notice that I didn't include anything about discriminatory speech based on gender, race, religion, ethinicity, yada, yada, yada. While I like the thought of including that, how do we word it? I don't think censorship is necessarily an issue as vroom can do with the site as he sees fit, but some of the poetry out there clearly passes the line. When is it art and when is it discrimination?

    Frankly, from what I've seen in the monastery, I don't feel that this is much of a problem, but the issue should at least be discussed.


    Update: I forgot one very important point: What do we do if we have a repeat offender? Ban them? Well, we can't. Dock their XP? Some might not care. Ban their nick? Some might be attached to their nick, some might not. Ignore it?

    Join the Perlmonks Setiathome Group or just click on the the link and check out our stats.

      I would say "no logging", but how would we enforce it?

      It's not practical to enforce it, so I say why bother? You can't control what people do with publicly available data on their PC, but you do have some say/rights in how they share that data with others. I think that's what we should focus on. Providing statistics from logged data is (in my opinion) perfectly OK.

      No profanity directed at anyone

      I think this could be summed up by saying "Be mature, no personal attacks against other people". Profanity directed at somebody is just an extension of name-calling. Severity of infraction is dependent upon severity of the attack. Profanity starts to move towards one extreme of that spectrum.

      Don't use published code without citing it. -- Again, tough to enforce.

      "Do not post copyrighted material without appropriate citation and/or permission from the author". You're right; this is largely an honor system thing, and you're also right in that many of us can spot Cookbook material pretty easily. It should be easy for us to then inform vroom or get the author to modify the node to include appropriate attribution. Aside from that, typical copyright stuff applies.

      Aside from that, I agree complete with everything (well, almost everything ;) else!


(kudra: multiple characters) Re: Development of the Perl Monks Code of Conduct
by kudra (Vicar) on Nov 23, 2000 at 02:15 UTC
    I'd like to have a discussion about 'multiple characters'. The topic has come up a few times, mostly in relation to downvoting, but I can't remember a discussion devoted to it.

    Personally, I would rather not see multiple characters because I see this as a discussion where you shouldn't need multiple logins to express your different sides. I want to feel that I'm communicating with a person not a MUD character--although with a single login a person can, of course, present a facade. As has been mentioned other times, multiple logins come with the potential of abusing the voting system. With talk of priviledges such as document editing coming with rank, that translates into a real ability to affect the site.

    Of course there would be no real way to enforce a ban on multiple logins, but as there's no way to enforce any of the other things being discussed that's hardly a reason not to bring it up. It's just a thought on how I'd like things to be, mostly from the social aspect.

      Most of what I'm saying has already been said better by others.

      Multi-login: I agree with kudra that multi-logins is wrong, but it's difficult at best to enforce. Multiple people from one location and people with multiple IPs are both fairly common.

      Chatbox: Prohibiting logging of chatbox is hard to do. As long as the guideline says that the contents of the chatbox can not be used, that should offer as much protection as can be had.

      Profanity: Depends on the context, but I would say any directed at people shouldn't be done. That goes with the anti-assault clause as well, but can be subjective. Except for certain posts as ovid pointed out.

      Voting and experience: I said this a different node, but I think a karma system would be good. If you -- more than you ++ in a day, you may lose experience.

      Published source: Tough one. Easily identified code should be sited, but I'm pretty sure a lot of people have snippits of code in their head that other people have used or even been published. Before File::Find, I had a directory walker that probably looks similar to what other people would throw together.

      Enforcement: Since none of this is really enforceable, we can have the guidelines (Off the FAQ?) published and when someone trangresses send them there as vroom suggests. Otherwise, it seems self correcting.

      I've learned a lot from the short time I've been at perlmonks and the sense of community is something I hadn't seen since I was involved on a forum in the early 80's. Thank you vroom and everyone else.

Re: (jptxs) Development of the Perl Monks Code of Conduct
by jptxs (Curate) on Nov 22, 2000 at 23:11 UTC

    First let me say I think this is a great idea. In the discussion about my recent transgression more than one person cited a tacit agreement to demonstrate that what I had done was improper. Conceding that I should have known to ask permission, how could I have know that there had been some agreement to not do what what I was doing? It is not mentioned in any doc or faq, and can we expect someone to search the monastery thoroughly before each and every post to be sure that what they are about to post is in no way frowned on by some past discussion?

    Getting what the majority agrees on out into the open is a good thing. Not so that there can be punishments levied or police squads formed but rather so there can be guidelines cited when someone says "Well how should I have known that?" or "What right do you have to be pissed about that?" "This is why." should be all one has to write (link to nowhere of course). That way we have a quick and easy way to settle any silly disputes. And what can be more fair than majority rule?

    All that said, there are two specific point's of Ovid's from above that I would like to respond to. First, I don't see any reason that, after having gathered the consent of all parties quoted, we could not republish dialogues from the CB. I know I am in a minority saying this, but I feel that a good deal of valuable info goes through that little node and it's a shame that it has to stay on the outskirts never for general consumption. Should we log and post every word all the time? Hell no. Should we have any sort of logging mechanism built into the site? No again. Should someone, seeing a really good discussion happening capture it, get permission from the speaking parties and post it where it is appropriate? Sure, why not? And that is the question, why not?

    The second point is from the update about repeat offenders, and it's not so much a counterpoint as an opinion. As any idiot or shmoe can tell you, registering a user around here isn't brain science. There is no real way to punish a repeat offender - for that matter, there's not even a way to be sure there is one. They could be a thousand users and one person. The only way to protect ourselves and from this is to do exactly what we have been doing. Keeping an open-minded, adult dialogue going about a topic we all have things to say about. So long as we do that, and do it as politely as can be done, no one will have a reason to be malicious. And, lacking reason and having time, should someone decide to do something bad, I say we ignore it. Do what this place has proven to be so good at - simply downvote it instead of feeding a fire begging for more flames with wasted strokes from angry fingers on some keyboard that probably doesn't need the extra stress.

    I have never been a part of a web community as well oiled and organized as this one, and this is not my first. The experience system is an awesome way to keep things in perspective. Many times, I have gotten a response from someone I've never heard of and wondered if I should heed it. One click and I can see if they're a crackpot or a king. That's awesome. Not that having a lot of experience means you're fool-proof, but, hey, it's gotta mean something, right? The other day seeing a particularly inane post I tried to think of a properly measured response. I couldn't. So I downvoted it (which I try to do as seldom as possible - I'd rather upvote the good), which was a way for me to say "no" without having to be nasty. Which is one of the strengths and advantages the system has over other communities. One can express their opinion without having to litter the DB and possibly be drawn into some sort of war.

    Short version: I love this place. Let's just agree on a few guidelines and leave it up to the voting system to enforce them. : )

    <myExperience> $mostLanguages = 'Designed for engineers by engineers.'; $perl = 'Designed for people who speak by a linguist.'; </myExperience>
Re (tilly) 1: Development of the Perl Monks Code of Conduct
by tilly (Archbishop) on Nov 22, 2000 at 22:02 UTC
    These rules are going to change over time.

    I have mentioned before that I think we should borrow from the various wikis the idea of communally edited documents with change history (so that if someone messes up we can go back to the old version). Perhaps limit editing control on them to people above a certain level.

    If you provide that then I am sure that needs like this particular document, better site documentation, better tutorials, etc would naturally be filled.

      I like this, tho' complicated a a bit:

      Perhaps a Perlmonks wiki server? The pages could be periodically fetched and the relevant data formatted a la PM and displayed on

      Or a standard CVS server?

      Philosophy can be made out of anything. Or less -- Jerry A. Fodor

(tye)Re: Development of the Perl Monks Code of Conduct
by tye (Sage) on Nov 22, 2000 at 23:21 UTC

    I don't think you'll get good agreement on guidelines unless they include a very big middle ground. Of course, I already tried to do that and still got several strong objections (in private).

    I think the emphasis should be on communicating how monks are likely to feel about certain things and very much not about building up a set of rules.

            - tye (but my friends call me "Tye")
Re: Development of the Perl Monks Code of Conduct (punishment)
by extremely (Priest) on Nov 23, 2000 at 16:06 UTC

    And violators of the rules are to be smacked repeatedly, publicly with a large fish until they stumbit an apology.

    $you = new YOU;
    honk() if $you->love(perl)

      /me slaps you with a large trout!

      Just Another Perl Backpacker