XSF Discussion - 2021-03-25

  1. arc

    Ralphm are you going to send an email to the board list?

  2. ralphm


  3. jonas’

    moparisthebest, what did you dooooooooooo

  4. ralphm

    That RFC on TLS 1.0/1.1 depreciation weirdly references 3920 and not 6120. I guess I need to put in an erratum.

  5. jonas’

    21:10:12 flow> L29Ah, right, but it's not rocket science i'd say :) it is not... it is SOCKET SCIENCE!!

  6. jonas’

    (also, good morning, have some coffee everyone)

  7. ralphm


  8. ralphm

    FWIW, I recently had to debug TCP keepalives in combination with unexpectedly dropped connections (not XMPP), and it is weird and hard.

  9. Kev

    Well, at least jonas’ has ensured today isn’t a total loss.

  10. ralphm

    For sure

  11. Zash

    Did someone say coffee?

  12. Kev


  13. edhelas


  14. edhelas


  15. edhelas

    i'll do some official communications soon™

  16. Neustradamus

    About RFCs, some people think that it is not needed to list all linked RFCs, only one... I have done several remarks about current I-Ds.

  17. Neustradamus

    Sam ^

  18. Daniel

    edhelas: congrats. Pretty cool that we now have at least 5 projects supported by nlnet/ngi.zero

  19. emus

    edhelas: N e w s l e t t e r 😀

  20. dwd

    It'd be good to do some Twitter [etc] announcements here, too.

  21. emus

    Daniel: yeah I thought so too

  22. eric

    edhelas: Which OMEMO version do you aim for? Older one for compat or like Kaidan the latest version?

  23. edhelas

    eric the old one yes :)

  24. edhelas

    i'm starting with the basics

  25. arc

    Who do we have for the board meeting?

  26. MattJ


  27. arc

    Two of us!

  28. Zash

    That's quorum?

  29. arc

    Is it 50% or 51%?

  30. arc

    I mean I'm sure we're going to get a third person. At least Ralph. Though I would really hope we get everyone today since we have not had a meeting in a month

  31. ralphm bangs gavel

  32. ralphm

    0. Welcome + Agenda

  33. ralphm


  34. ralphm

    Who do we have and do you have any agenda items?

  35. arc


  36. ralphm

    MattJ should be around still. dwd?

  37. MattJ

    I'm here, and I have an agenda item... muc.xmpp.org moderation stuff

  38. ralphm


  39. ralphm

    Ok, it seems no dwd today.

  40. ralphm

    1. Minute taker

  41. ralphm

    I think MattJ is up

  42. MattJ


  43. ralphm

    2. muc.xmpp.org moderation

  44. ralphm

    Take it away

  45. MattJ

    Ok, the background is that operators@muc.xmpp.org, the venue we provide and promote as a place for XMPP service operators to gather and communicate, has become something of a centre point for a section of the broader XMPP community

  46. MattJ

    By broader I mean, beyond people typically involved in standards development within the XSF

  47. ralphm nods

  48. MattJ

    It's well over 100 occupants these days, and a recent event/drama involving a few individuals blew up into a moderation nightmare

  49. MattJ

    Currently it's just you and me as owners there (probably because we're admins of the MUC service), and I don't really have time to dedicate to properly keeping the channel civil when things like that occur (which as the community continues to grow, probably will increase in frequency)

  50. MattJ

    I got criticised by both sides of the fall-out for the moderation actions I did take (banning a few people, and revoking voice for non-members for a period of time)

  51. MattJ

    What's missing:

  52. MattJ

    1) More admins to help out

  53. MattJ

    2) Clear guidelines as to what is and isn't accepted behaviour

  54. dwd

    Hiya, sorry I'm late.

  55. ralphm


  56. MattJ

    I have at least one person who is willing to volunteer as a moderator, but only if we have (2) in place

  57. ralphm

    (hi dwd)

  58. Kev

    You’re referring essentially to a CoC aren’t you?

  59. MattJ

    Kev, you said it, not me... :)

  60. dwd

    I think setting up AUPs for xmpp.org is sensible.

  61. MattJ

    In this particular instance, I specifically want to solve the operators@ issue, because that's been the biggest difficulty recently

  62. Sam

    From the peanut gallery: I am also willing to help moderate (but only if we actually write a CoC or similar regulations that I can follow. I am also willing to help write those. I suspect others would be willing to volunteer for both as well.)

  63. ralphm

    First off: the operators@xmpp.org mailinglist and operators@muc.xmpp.org are hosted by us as a gift to the community. With MattJ as ED, you can basically moderate how you see fit.

  64. MattJ

    But I don't know how much sense it makes to have guidelines for one channel but not for others on muc.xmpp.org

  65. arc

    I agree

  66. Kev

    About >< this much sense, I think.

  67. Sam

    sense: 1px;

  68. MattJ

    Which then follows to the question of whether we want guidelines for all XSF discussion venues in general, because we notably have none right now

  69. Kev

    (although the guidelines could potentially be different for XSF vs non-XSF rooms I guess)

  70. ralphm

    I'd summarize guidelines as: a) Be civil, b) stay on topic, particularly when asked.

  71. arc

    We still have the code of conduct, don't we? It was seem fairly straightforward to use that for everything in person and online

  72. ralphm

    I don't recall the XSF ever drafting or accepting an explicit CoC.

  73. Kev

    Nor me.

  74. MattJ

    I'm not aware of any CoC, if there is such a thing then the whole issue is hopefully solved

  75. arc

    Ugh. Well let's switch the topic to that then because we really do need one

  76. Sam

    Might I recommend starting from: https://www.contributor-covenant.org/

  77. MattJ

    Yeah, that pretty much is the topic I think

  78. arc

    We just had a big discussion about that on FOSS foundations. StPeter I think was involved in that discussion

  79. arc

    2020-2021 has been the time for all the foundations to get a coc worked out

  80. MattJ

    My main problem is that I'm uneasy with the drama that has followed CoC adoption at many of the other FOSS orgs

  81. Kev

    I don’t think that’s unreasonable. Equally though, without a CoC (and enforcement), you’re open to all sorts of other drama.

  82. arc


  83. MattJ

    I'm not saying that's a reason not to have a CoC, but (at least from my perspective, which may well not be universal), we've not had problems in the community that a CoC would be needed to address

  84. ralphm

    I am not sure how to coherently put this in a few sentences, but let me try this. I admire the concept of CoCs in general, but I've seen the downsides of them in practice, too. Particularly the enforcement part. Either it is not (consistently) done, or the people doing it find it draining and don't want to do it (anymore). I think that was also partially what the FOSS Foundations thread was about.

  85. ralphm

    And what MattJ said

  86. Kev

    MattJ: That’s fair. I don’t think we’re immune so much as lucky, though.

  87. MattJ

    And yes, the issue of enforcement is very much tangled up in this - it's very well to say something, but handling actual violations correctly is extremely hard

  88. MattJ

    Kev, I agree

  89. Kev

    If we had a CoC, we would have to enforce it. If we enforce it it will be very expensive (in effort/attention) if it’s ever needed.

  90. MattJ

    (but operators@ recently crossed the line, I think the luck ends here)

  91. Kev

    And given that it would presumably cover some moderate traffic MUCs...

  92. Kev

    I’m intruiged by the operators@ stuff now, but I guess that’s a story for another time.

  93. Kev

    I’m intriged by the operators@ stuff now, but I guess that’s a story for another time.

  94. Kev

    I’m intrigued by the operators@ stuff now, but I guess that’s a story for another time.

  95. ralphm

    I haven't followed the operators@ issue, and cannot comment on how that crossed a line and whether drastic measures are required as a result, though.

  96. dwd

    As I say, I think bringing in a written policy of some form would be sensible. A CoC is clearly part of that. I will commit to writing more in detail on the board@ list this week.

  97. MattJ

    As far as I'm concerned that issue is dealt with, but I don't want it to happen again

  98. ralphm

    dwd: thanks

  99. MattJ

    Thanks dwd

  100. MattJ

    The document Sam linked seems pretty decent

  101. jonas’

    as someone who was somewhat caught up in the turmoil in operators@: yes, some rules for that MUC are definitely a good idea.

  102. ralphm

    MattJ in the mean time, I'm happy for you to appoint deputies as moderators. But note that my happiness is not a requirement, you have executive power on this.

  103. jonas’

    as someone who was somewhat caught in the turmoil in operators@: yes, some rules for that MUC are definitely a good idea.

  104. MattJ

    Sure. But so far all volunteers want some rules/guidelines in place before helping out

  105. MattJ

    Which is understandable

  106. ralphm

    Can we start with the very short ones I listed above?

  107. dwd

    I am willing to actively work on the rules, guidelines, policies, and so on.

  108. Sam

    If you need help before then, I suppose I'd be willing as long as I knew we were moving towards having a CoC. I am also willing to actively work on them too.

  109. arc

    I have always said that the best coat of conduct are about the playfield and not the fence. Instead of focusing on behavior we don't want to see, it should focus on the behavior that we want to exemplify

  110. ralphm

    arc: right, that's why I tried to phrase my very short two guidelines accordingly.

  111. ralphm

    (As an example, I had to look for it for a bit, I came across this: https://jan-krueger.net/mincoc/)

  112. arc

    No that's really not good. Way to subjective. Some of the worst CoC are like "Be Excellent To Each Other"

  113. Zash

    I'm a fan of the code of "what would MattJ say", it's worked very well in the Prosody channel. :)

  114. MattJ

    So it looks like we're in agreement about an organization-wide document, and dwd has offered to write some initial stuff up on-list

  115. arc

    As an organization made almost entirely of white men, the CoC really needs to set up a foundation for expanding that. Including addressing behavior that we are otherwise blind to.

  116. ralphm

    arc: I understand that point, but I've also witnessed a lot of drama over explicit CoCs like the PSF's in 2019.

  117. moparisthebest

    ugh wild assumptions, or I missed the "race and gender" column when filling out my XSF application

  118. arc

    Yeah I was a back-end contributor on that and most of the people who were creating drama were the people the code of conduct were created to address

  119. arc

    Moparisbest I said most.

  120. Sam

    I have data about this somewhere if I can dig it up, as far as participating members go that's not an assumption.

  121. moparisthebest

    I don't even know how you could possibly know "most"

  122. Sam

    It was 95.something% of active members, IIRC

  123. MattJ

    I've no idea how or why you have such data...

  124. Sam

    (based on self identification, I can't remember the sample size compared to the entire XSF)

  125. moparisthebest

    https://wiki.xmpp.org/web/index.php?search=race&title=Special%3ASearch&go=Go https://wiki.xmpp.org/web/index.php?search=gender&title=Special%3ASearch&go=Go only some "race conditions" stuff

  126. Sam

    I tried to do a survey a few years ago that I thought would be helpful in understanding the state of the XSF. I wanted to keep doing it every year, but the results weren't very useful the first year because of the lack of diversity. I should have kept doing it so that I could track if that changed

  127. moparisthebest

    let's not make up problems where they don't exist

  128. Daniel

    Not to derail this discussion but I would really like to see a more diverse group of people. But I'm not sure if employing a CoC will do a lot to help in this regard

  129. ralphm

    I think a lot of good points were raised here, and I think it is good for the discussion to continue. For this board meeting, though, I suggest we let dwd indeed start drafting, and end the meeting in light of time.

  130. Daniel

    It obviously won't hurt either

  131. MattJ

    As far as I'm concerned the CoC and diversity (or lack thereof) are two different issues

  132. moparisthebest


  133. arc

    I would say it absolutely would help, as someone who mentored a female who did join the XSF and did not renew, and found that the organization was rather off-putting.

  134. moparisthebest

    in that case I find the XSF's blatant anti-GPL stance very offputting, I want an entire chapter in the CoC dedicated to being inclusive to GPL advocates

  135. moparisthebest

    or... you know, just make it about behavior alone and not

  136. Sam

    They're not the same issue, but there is some overlap. A visible CoC that's enforced can make some people feel comfortable applying when they otherwise wouldn't, or deter the people who would harras them from applying. Both are at least somewhat beneficial.

  137. dwd

    moparisthebest, What anti-GPL stance?

  138. MattJ

    Seconded ralphm's motion to end the meeting :)

  139. arc


  140. MattJ

    I have a headache and need to move on with my evening

  141. ralphm

    3. Date of Next +1 W 4. Close Thanks all! /me bangs gavel

  142. arc

    I am sitting in a parking lot in my car waiting to pick up a prescription 😂

  143. MattJ

    Thanks ralphm, I'll aim to get minutes out tomorrow

  144. dwd

    I am rebooting random databases while trying to fix software.

  145. ralphm

    Please continue discussing, of course.

  146. Sam

    dwd: if you need help on any of this, feel free to ping me. I am happy to just be a researcher, to help draft, to help come up with a policy for enforcement, etc. whatever you need.

  147. dwd

    Sam, I'll certainly ask your advice.

  148. moparisthebest

    to be clear I was being sarcastic to make a point, I don't want a section in the CoC about GPL any more than "we promise to be extra nice to X people"

  149. arc

    moparisthebest: I have found that to be true as well, and I am also very much pro AGPL myself. But thats not really what a code of conduct is for.

  150. arc

    Ah ok.

  151. Sam

    I am no expert, this isn't something I've been directly involved in at other organizations, but I do have hands and an internet connection and can make a few spare cycles :)

  152. moparisthebest

    right, I don't know why the CoC needs to group people at all

  153. Daniel

    AGPL? That's the worst GPL

  154. Sam

    Not sure if sarcastic ⤴️, but I agree

  155. arc

    Exactly. And I am perfectly fine with you sharing your opinion on that. But it also don't feel all that comfortable sharing personal details here either, including my preferred pronouns

  156. arc

    And we know that there are female members who use male names and don't feel comfortable with their gender being known

  157. moparisthebest

    see I think the AGPL is the only license worth using period, I'm feeling very outnumbered and unwelcomed (last part again is sarcasm, I don't feel unwelcome :P)

  158. Sam

    Right; jokes aside, the difference is that GPL users aren't a historically marginalized group that are frequently targeted because of something that's a part of their identity.

  159. Sam

    Using the GPL is a choice that anyone may or may not make.

  160. arc

    I know for a fact that we have one transgender member who has been very clear that they don't want this known.

  161. arc

    +1 Sam

  162. dwd

    arc, FWIW, I assume people's preferred pronouns are "they/them" until I'm corrected. It solves a lot of embarrassment.

  163. arc

    That's good because those are my preferred pronouns 😅

  164. moparisthebest

    I prefer to address people by whatever they chose by pressing "tab" :)

  165. arc

    And of course we have not even breached the topic of race

  166. arc

    I'm not saying that the community is toxic by any stretch, or that CoC is 100% vital, or any of that. In fact I mis-remembered that I worked on the CoC a few years ago. It must have been a different organization

  167. arc

    But as much as forming a CoC can create drama, it can also invite broader, more diverse participation. There has been a ton of drama in many large FOSS organizations but each of them that went through this came out more diverse and more inclusive

  168. Sam

    Entirely anecdotal, but at the like 2 places I've been where creating a CoC caused drama, the people getting all mad about a CoC were the same people that had previously been moderated and used the excuse "But it's not written down anywhere, how am I supposed to know that what I did was against the rules?". I try to assume good faith most of the time, but I have a hard time with at least those examples.

  169. Kev

    Sam: I’m not going to disagree with that, but I think it’s also worth not discounting that there may be drama because of such a thing, and that it might be draining for those involved.

  170. Sam

    Oh yes, absolutely. There was still drama, never-the-less.

  171. Kev

    I don’t think we have many active members within the XSF itself who are likely to cause large amounts of drama over this, but a) I could be wrong and b) I wouldn’t like to swear it’d be 0.

  172. Kev

    (I’m assuming that disagreement != drama. I have no doubt whatever’s proposed will see lots of Discussion :) )

  173. arc

    I think it's less about problems, than lack of participation. When a lot of new people get involved with an organization, and they go through the phase of figuring out what the group is all about, they are also evaluating whether it's a group they want to be part of

  174. arc

    My student didn't have anyone say or do anything to her. It was more about what they didn't say or do. Which goes back to what I was saying about a good code of conduct should be about what we want to see, not rules for what's not allowed

  175. Zash

    The September phase, yes.

  176. Kev

    September phase?

  177. Daniel

    I believe part of the problem is that we don't know who we are

  178. arc

    She also found it incredibly difficult to get involved with Prosody. I don't think anyone ever followed up with her, even though she came in with a lot of energy and excitement.

  179. Kev

    I am Kev, the Dragonborn.

  180. Daniel

    and what we do and stand for

  181. Zash

    From the chaos phase at the start of school years. Especially https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_September

  182. Daniel

    (not we as individuals obviously but we as an organization)

  183. Kev

    I do as little as possible, and I stand for less firm people on the bus.

  184. Kev

    I don’t actually disagree, despite the flippancy.

  185. Daniel

    and if we say "we" are we talking about the community or of the organization

  186. Kev

    Zash: Ah.

  187. moparisthebest

    I think we stand for something to do with xmpp standards ?

  188. moparisthebest

    it's either that or bike shed construction for sure

  189. arc

    I have the paint samples ready whenever you want to look over the options

  190. Zash

    Let's build a snowman^W bike shed!

  191. emus

    I haven't been part of the situation. May someone shortly recap what happened?

  192. Zash

    🎵️ we can paint it $color let's build a bikeshed 🎶️

  193. moparisthebest

    tl;dr someone found a MUC they didn't like on a popular server, came to operators to demand it be banned, popular-server-operator didn't want to ban it, accusations of various political affiliations flew, along with threats to blacklist S2S with certain servers, and file legal actions all around and at search.jabber.network

  194. L29Ah


  195. Zash

    If the pandemic ever ends, building an actual bike shed does seem like an interesting team-building exercise.

  196. MattJ

    arc, sorry to hear that they had difficulty with contributing to Prosody. I can confidently say this is not due to anyone's race, gender or identity... and is not an issue that a CoC would solve. More that we are an open-source project with just a couple of volunteer devs and basically no resources for community management and outreach.

  197. L29Ah

    i identify myself as community mismanager

  198. arc

    MattJ: it was one of my students in one of her first attempts to contribute to FOSS. I don't know exactly what she did or tried, but she felt ignored.

  199. arc

    This is feedback not a complaint. The same has been said about me and the projects I manage in the past

  200. MattJ

    We struggle to keep on top of incoming feature requests and patches, it's a known issue and we're always trying to improve

  201. arc

    The same could be said for all of us, absolutely

  202. Zash

    While also trying to not get burnt out

  203. MattJ

    But we have high priority issues that need attention in what time we do have, and it's hard to strike a balance

  204. Zash

    But it could just as well have been poor timeing, since both MattJ and I live in euro-time. It does happen that people show up in the middle of the night and ask about things, and nobody is awake to answer.

  205. Zash

    But it could just as well have been poor timing, since both MattJ and I live in euro-time. It does happen that people show up in the middle of the night and ask about things, and nobody is awake to answer.

  206. Zash

    PSA: Gonna roll out that new OpenSSL, there may be a short service disruption.

  207. arc

    I think she's trying to reach out through GitHub or something

  208. arc

    She was. This is many years ago while she was a freshman in college

  209. Zash


  210. MattJ

    We're not even on Github)

  211. MattJ

    Well, we are, but 99% of the project isn't

  212. Zash

    I feared this was going to be one of those "why aren't you on github yet"

  213. MattJ

    There is however a clone of our repo on Github made by someone that is always having PRs filed against it

  214. arc

    I am also not generally a GitHub user for exactly that reason

  215. arc

    I do not allow forks on GitHub for any of my projects unless they are explicitly renamed to avoid confusion. Every few months I have to search for any confusingly named forks to check for that

  216. Zash

    Is that a thing you can do?

  217. Zash

    I thought forks and pull requests were the only things that couldn't be disabled

  218. MattJ

    Presumably with the co-operation of the owner

  219. emus

    moparisthebest: thanks for tldr

  220. arc

    Of course you can, it's called trademark enforcement.

  221. arc

    In fact if you want to hold on to your trademark you must enforce it

  222. arc

    I have written GitHub several times and had personal forks of my projects renamed to indicate that they were personal forks

  223. MattJ

    We don't talk about trademarks

  224. Zash


  225. arc

    Well you should. Because the night missionario of having hundreds of competing xmpp servers called Prosody, some of it your forks with many of the same features, is a very real possibility if you don't

  226. Daniel

    Probably a good point to check your priveleges wrt to having the financial resources to register a trademark

  227. Daniel

    And paying the lawyers to enforce it

  228. moparisthebest

    how often does that nightmare scenario happen? I'd wager never

  229. arc

    Well it's happened to me twice

  230. arc

    Well I guess more than twice if you include both directions. Usually any true community forks end up pretty contentious