Almost like that Monty Pyton Sketch. No it isnt! yes it is!

In the fourth part of my discussion on the Ubuntu Code of Conduct we reach an issue that I feel goes to the heart both the benefits and drawbacks in open source development and community invovlement.

When you disagree,consult others.
Disagreements, both political and technical, happen all the time and the Ubuntu community is no exception. The important goal is not to avoid disagreements or differing views but to resolve them constructively. You should turn to the community and to the community process to seek advice and to resolve disagreements. We have the Technical Board and the Community Council, both of which will help to decide the right course for Ubuntu. There are also several Project Teams and Team Leaders, who may be able to help you figure out which direction will be most acceptable. If you really want to go a different way, then we encourage you to make a derivative distribution or alternative set of packages available using the Ubuntu Package Management framework, so that the community can try out your changes and ideas for itself and contribute to the discussion.

The inspired concept within this section of the Code of Conduct is the defining principal of open source development. To create, contribute and to demonstrate an idea. Allowing the community to decide if the idea is worthy or not. To be able to step back and gracefully concede a point to enable an idea to progress would be the better path and the more Ubuntu path to follow.

I can think of one situation recently which occured within one online community that very clearly divided into technical rightness versus effective communication. This dispute would only be resolved by acceptance or rejection of the change request. It was Steve Dobson who once very sagely put it that “If an idea or contribution can be added to the code without breaking the functionality of the code or detracting from its performance then it should be implemented.” Likewise in all our activities, from Email to Irc we need to consider if we should be dictating and admonishing people for small infractions of what we consider to be “Netequitte” if their actions are not harming or damaging the overall contributions of the group.

There will always be ideas and concepts that will aggravate and annoy us, sometimes we will need to seek the advice of a community leader and other times the advice of the community.

The third way though will be to consider if there is really an issue to be disputed in the first place.

Thanks for reading.

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