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LCA's, as edited:


[edit] Code of Conduct

DebConf, as part of the greater Debian Community, assumes good faith on all those who wish to improve Debian. However, other experiences at other conferences have shown us the need to adopt a Code of Conduct in which we state our expectations of all attendees and organizers during the Debian Conference.

[edit] Debian Diversity Statement

The Debian Project welcomes and encourages participation by everyone.

No matter how you identify yourself or how others perceive you: we welcome you. We welcome contributions from everyone as long as they interact constructively with our community.

While much of the work for our project is technical in nature, we value and encourage contributions from those with expertise in other areas, and welcome them into our community.

[edit] Be excellent to each other

DebConf is committed to providing a safe environment for all participants. All attendees are expected to treat all people and facilities with respect and help create a welcoming environment. If you notice behavior that fails to meet this standard, please speak up and help to keep DebConf as respectful as we expect it to be.

DebConf is committed to the ideals expressed in our Diversity Statement (above) and the recently adopted Debian Code of Conduct. We ask all our members, speakers, volunteers, attendees and guests to adopt these principles. We are a diverse community. Sometimes this means we need to work harder to ensure we're creating an environment of trust and respect where all who come to participate feel comfortable and included.

We value your participation and appreciate your help in realizing this goal.

[edit] Be respectful

Respect yourself, and respect others. Be courteous to those around you. If someone indicates they don't wish to be photographed, respect that wish. If someone indicates they would like to be left alone, let them be. Our event venues and online spaces may be shared with members of the public; please be considerate to all patrons of these locations, even if they are not involved in the conference.

[edit] Be inclusive

All presentation material should be suitable for people aged 12 and above.

Any public presentation which is part of any event, including but not limited to keynotes, presentations, lightning talks, addresses, mailing list posts and forums, is subject to this code of conduct and thus may not contain:

  • Sexual or violent imagery;
  • Adult or expletive language;
  • Language which is not appropriate for an all-ages audience.

If presenters are unsure whether their material is suitable, they are encouraged to show it to the DebConf Talks Team before their session.

[edit] Be aware.

We ask everyone to be aware that we will not tolerate intimidation, harassment, or any abusive, discriminatory or derogatory behavior by anyone at any Debian event or in related online media.

Complaints can be made to the organizers by contacting the registration desk or emailing All complaints made to event organizers will remain confidential and be taken seriously. The complaint will be treated appropriately and with discretion. Should event organizers or moderators consider it appropriate, measures they may take can include:

  • the individuals may be told to apologize
  • the individuals may be told to stop/modify their behavior appropriately
  • the individuals may be warned that enforcement action may be taken if the behavior continues
  • the individuals may be asked to immediately leave the venue and/or will be prohibited from continuing to attend any part of the event
  • the incident may be reported to the appropriate authorities

[edit] What does that mean for me?

All participants, including event attendees and speakers must not engage in any intimidation, harassment, or abusive or discriminatory behavior.

The following is a list of examples of behavior that is deemed highly inappropriate and will not be tolerated at DebConf:

  • offensive verbal or written remarks related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion;
  • sexual or violent images in public spaces (including presentation slides);
  • deliberate intimidation;
  • stalking or following;
  • unwanted photography or recording;
  • sustained disruption of talks or other events;
  • unwelcome physical contact or other forms of assault;
  • unwelcome sexual attention;
  • sexist, racist, or other exclusionary jokes;
  • unwarranted exclusion from conference or related events based on age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion;

We want everyone to have a good time at our events.

[edit] Questions?

If you’re not sure about anything in this conference Code of Conduct, please contact the DebConf organizers at

If you wish to report a violation of this Code of Conduct, please contact

[edit] Our Promise to You.

  • We will read every complaint and have several people on that alias that can help investigate and resolve the complaint.
  • We will reply, in writing, as soon as possible to acknowledge the concern and assure that the matter is being investigated.
  • Depending on the situation, we will talk to the reporter, the reported, or both to determine what mediation and/or action is necessary.
  • Depending on the outcome of the investigation and mediation, we reserve the right to expel people not in compliance with our Code of Conduct from the venue. Debian, the DebConf Organizing Committee and the venue in which DebConf is being held will not be held responsible for further costs incurred by the dismissal from the conference.

[edit] Debian Code of Conduct

  • Be respectful

In a project the size of Debian, inevitably there will be people with whom you may disagree, or find it difficult to cooperate. Accept that, but even so, remain respectful. Disagreement is no excuse for poor behaviour or personal attacks, and a community in which people feel threatened is not a healthy community.

  • Assume good faith

Debian Contributors have many ways of reaching our common goal of a free operating system which may differ from your ways. Assume that other people are working towards this goal.

Note that many of our Contributors are not native English speakers or may have different cultural backgrounds

  • Be collaborative

Debian is a large and complex project; there is always more to learn within Debian. It's good to ask for help when you need it. Similarly, offers for help should be seen in the context of our shared goal of improving Debian.

When you make something for the benefit of the project, be willing to explain to others how it works, so that they can build on your work to make it even better.

  • Try to be concise

Keep in mind that what you write once will be read by hundreds of persons. Writing a short email means people can understand the conversation as efficiently as possible. When a long explanation is necessary, consider adding a summary.

Try to bring new arguments to a conversation so that each mail adds something unique to the thread, keeping in mind that the rest of the thread still contains the other messages with arguments that have already been made.

Try to stay on topic, especially in discussions that are already fairly large.

  • Be open

Most ways of communication used within Debian allow for public and private communication. As per paragraph three of the social contract, you should preferably use public methods of communication for Debian-related messages, unless posting something sensitive.

This applies to messages for help or Debian-related support, too; not only is a public support request much more likely to result in an answer to your question, it also makes sure that any inadvertent mistakes made by people answering your question will be more easily detected and corrected.

  • In case of problems

While this code of conduct should be adhered to by participants, we recognize that sometimes people may have a bad day, or be unaware of some of the guidelines in this code of conduct. When that happens, you may reply to them and point out this code of conduct. Such messages may be in public or in private, whatever is most appropriate. However, regardless of whether the message is public or not, it should still adhere to the relevant parts of this code of conduct; in particular, it should not be abusive or disrespectful. Assume good faith; it is more likely that participants are unaware of their bad behaviour than that they intentionally try to degrade the quality of the discussion.

Serious or persistent offenders will be temporarily or permanently banned from communicating through Debian's systems. Complaints should be made (in private) to the administrators of the Debian communication forum in question. To find contact information for these administrators, please see the page on Debian's organizational structure.

  • Further reading

Some of the links in this section do not refer to documents that are part of this code of conduct, nor are they authoritative within Debian. However, they all do contain useful information on how to conduct oneself on our communication channels.

- Debian has a diversity statement - The Debian Community Guidelines by Enrico Zini contain some advice on how to communicate effectively. - The list code of conduct is useful for advice specific to Debian mailing lists

[edit] Credits, licence

The above text is based on Linux Australia's Code of Conduct, which we used with permission. Just like the original text, this document is available under the terms of the Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0 licences. The text also includes the officially adopted Debian Project Code of Conduct and the Debian Project Diversity Statement.

[edit] Suggestions

[edit] madduck

Maybe the DC13 anti-harrassment is just enough. Despite what you might think, I do very much agree with enrico and I wasn't aware of the anti-harrassment statement. If all the objections are from "feminst groups", then maybe we don't actually need to act? It is my impression that some of these groups, especially those quoting the geek feminism wiki, will never get enough and just keep demanding more.

[edit] RichiH

As per IRC:

We need to relay that we will take concerns seriously, but that we will also not just blindly retribute because someone's feelings got hurt. It's always a balance between different interests, intentions, cultural backgrounds, and feelings.

As a baseline, we should make clear that:

  • we will read every complaint and have several people on that alias
  • we will reply, in writing, asap
  • depeding on what happenend, we will talk to the reporter, the reported, or both
  • depending on that outcome, we reserve the right to expell people from the venue at their cost

[edit] Patty/harmoney

I appreciate enrico's concerns, and in extension, madduck's concerns, and I would encourage them both to understand that the Code of Conduct is not meant to alienate regular, respectful attendees. It's unfortunate that we are in a situation, globally, where a code of conduct must become commonplace, but if we wish to promote diversity and promise a safe environment, we should feel no shame to make our expectations and the consequences of meeting those expectations publicly known. Which is all that anyone is asking.

I view the situation as two-fold:

1. We affirm our commitment to safety in diversity and welcoming of everyone.
2. We celebrate those who already hold this code of conduct WITHOUT being told in advance.

I'm sincerely proud of the Debian community for not having required this statement in its history of conferences. This community has always been warm and welcoming to me, which is why I am now a Debian Developer. If I can help others appreciate and feel welcome in Debian with a simple statement of how we already behave, I'm happy to do so.

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