May 18 2015
May 18

As mentioned during Dries's DrupalCon LA keynote, the Drupal Community Working Group is now accepting nominations for the Aaron Winborn Award, to honour Drupal community members who demonstrate personal integrity, kindness, and above-and-beyond commitment to the Drupal community.

Nominations are open until Monday 15 June 2015, and the selected recipient will receive a scholarship and stipend to attend DrupalCon with recognition during a plenary session at the event.

Submit your nominations here: https://www.drupal.org/aaron-winborn-award

Feb 23 2015
Feb 23

In previous posts, we’ve talked about who the Community Working Group (CWG) is and why we’re here, as well some of the work we’ve done around establishing a process for conflict resolution in the Drupal community.

In this post, I’d like to go into more detail about what happens when folks file incident reports with the Community Working Group, and open up the conversation on how we can more effectively address issues that have a larger impact on the Drupal community as a whole.

Currently, the CWG meets once a week over Google Hangout to go through any issues that might have been filed since our last meeting, as well as to discuss ongoing questions and concerns that have been brought to our attention through various channels (reports, individual conversations, etc.) and the overall health of the Drupal community.

As often as possible, we post the minutes of our regular meetings. By necessity, these are somewhat redacted due to the fact that we are often discussing matters of a sensitive nature that have been shared with us in confidence. We also maintain an email list where we discuss ongoing issues and other things that come up in the time between our regular meetings.

When an issue is filed, whether though the Incident Report Form, via e-mail, or in our public issue queue, it goes on the agenda for the next weekly meeting (if the matter is of a serious and immediate nature, CWG members may choose to take immediate action and/or meet outside our normal meeting time). We discuss each item as a group and come to agreement on next steps, then assign someone to follow-up with the individuals in question. If the issue is about something that doesn’t fall within the charter of the CWG, we may refer the matter to another group (e.g., the Technical Working Group or the Licensing Working Group), or reply back to the reporting individual with an explanation.

In cases where there is a dispute between two or more individuals, our general approach is to first gather as much information as possible from all involved parties. In order to ensure that people are able to share their stories with us in an open and honest manner, we do not share any names or other sensitive details outside the group without permission.

Once we have a sufficient level of detail, we meet again as a group to decide how to proceed. Depending on the situation, this may involve one or more CWG members providing mediation between the parties in conflict or suggesting ways that they can resolve the issue themselves. In cases where there is a clear Code of Conduct violation, we will talk directly to the person or persons who engaged in the violation to help them understand the impact of their words and/or actions and to take responsibility for them.

In some cases, we may receive an after-the-fact report about a situation that has already been resolved. In those cases, we review the incident, decide whether further action is necessary, and keep it on file for reference in case something similar happens in the future.

If this sounds long and drawn out, that’s intentional. Unless an issue requires immediate action, our process is designed to enable resolutions that are as thoughtful and permanent as possible. The Community Working Group is not the “Drupal police” and our role is not about deciding “who’s right” and “who’s wrong” in a given situation so much as it is about helping people in our community work together in a mutually respectful way. While many of the items that we tackle are initiated by issues that are reported to us, our process is not exclusively complaint-driven.

The people who volunteer their time serving on the Community Working Group are people with backgrounds in community leadership and conflict resolution who all have been working in the Drupal community for years. We believe that a culture that encourages healthy debate and disagreement is a big part of what gives the Drupal project and community its strength. What we are primarily concerned about are destructive conflicts that violate our shared community values and make the Drupal community a less welcoming place for everyone.

To that end, we’re looking for the community to help us shape our process for addressing systematic patterns of disruptive behaviours that have an impact that goes beyond just those individuals who are directly involved. Please read our proposal and give us your thoughts in the comments section. You can also share your thoughts privately by e-mailing us at drupal-cwg [at] drupal.org.

Thanks!

Mar 27 2014
Mar 27

UPDATE: The policy has now been adopted by the community working group. It lives here: https://drupal.org/conflict-resolution (now with pretty URL!)

For some time we've had a bit of unfinished business around the Drupal Code of Conduct around how we manage and respond to conflict.

The Community Working Group has drafted a policy and is now looking for community feedback over the next 2 weeks. Please check out the draft in the drupal-cwg issue queue.

https://drupal.org/node/2227717

Mar 14 2014
Mar 14

In early 2013 our fearless and benevolent leader, Dries Buytaert, formalised a governance structure and started a number of working groups for the Drupal project as a whole, and for our home on the Web, Drupal.org.

Governance Structure Diagram

The Community Working Group's job is to "Guarantee a friendly and welcoming community for the Drupal project by upholding the Drupal Code of Conduct."

In 2012 Randy Fay, a longtime and significant contributor to the Drupal project, wrote a series of blog posts articulating some of the challenges of informal governance structures like ours. If you really want to know the full story behind the creation of the community working group, you should start with Randy’s blog, as well as this proposal that came out of a governance sprint held in July that year.

The aim of putting this governance structure in place is to help the Drupal community deal with the challenges of scale. Formalising roles and teams that already exist in the project supports the work of contributors "doing" in the do-ocracy, and provides more support to those people already actively engaged in community issues.

Dries asked Angela Byron, Roel de Meester, George DeMet and myself to form the first Community Working Group.

Angela Byron Angela is a long-time "cat herder" in the Drupal community who frequently gets drawn into a conflict resolver role and has helped the community through some "meaty" topics such as the CVS to Git migration, and five major Drupal core releases.

Roel De Meester Once upon a time, Dries asked him to look after Drupal.be, The Belgium community website. Nowadays, he's interested in connecting people and ensuring that new members find their way in the community. He's known for his no-nonsense approach and collaborative nature.

George DeMet George is a Drupal Association Advisory Board Member, chair of the Drupal.org Content Working Group, co-chair of DrupalCon Chicago, and one of the folks who helped develop the DrupalCon Code of Conduct.

Donna Benjamin and Me? I was one of the first people elected to the board of the rebooted Drupal Association and I'm really passionate about the non-code aspects of maintaining an open source community.

DrupalCon Prague was a milestone for the group. Lisa Welchman gave a keynote address on the importance of governance for communities like ours. Some people came away from her talk scratching their heads and asking questions.

Why is this relevant to a software project like ours?

In essence Lisa Welchman reminded us that there is no code without people. It is the people, and not the code that define the Drupal community. We have good processes for managing the development and quality of our code. We still don’t have great processes for how we support and acknowledge people and their contributions.

Lisa spoke about a giant fungus as a good analogy for web governance, but also for an open source community like ours. She asked "How do you grow something to be big, that maintains its integrity and maintains its identity?" Lisa suggests that standards and a stable environment are key.

For our code we have coding standards. For our community, we have a code of conduct. That code of conduct represents the foundation of our social standards.

[Photo: Amazee Labs]

In Prague we also held the first Drupal Community Summit. A group gathered to focus on how we might tackle building a conflict resolution policies and processes for the Drupal community. Could we create something flexible enough to apply to all the kinds of conflict we see in our community? How can we acknowledge that conflict itself can be a good thing? We explored questions like these and listed the sorts of conflicts we might need to handle. https://drupal.org/node/2116441

The community summit was a great success, so we'll be doing it again at DrupalCon Austin. https://austin2014.drupal.org/community-summit

[Photo: Amazee Labs]

I'll write a series of follow up articles about our ongoing efforts to define, refine and field-test policies and processes on how the community can deal with conflict and complaints.

We can't do this work alone. We need a team of people willing to help. Many people are already doing this kind of "work" in our community, if you are, please let us know! Or maybe you're doing it and don't realise you are.

If you are someone people look to to smooth things over when things get heated, or someone with experience in conflict resolution outside open source communities, then please get in touch with the Community Working Group. Tell us

  • What are you doing?
  • How can we support you?
  • How can we amplify your effort and successes?
  • How can we improve?

This is Drupal, so of course we have an issue queue!
https://drupal.org/project/drupal-cwg

We also have a discrete incident report form only seen by members of the community working group.
https://drupal.org/governance/community-working-group/incident-report

Please look through our issue backlog. We’re looking for people willing to help us mediate disputes, formulate and refine community policies, and look for ways to build a community culture we can all be proud of.

About Drupal Sun

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