Implementing a Code of Conduct for the Forum

Hello friends,

A long-overdue item on our SustainOSS priority list is to generalize our Code of Conduct (Code of Conduct | A Space for Open Source Sustainers , “CoC”) from its current event-specific wording and scope to more comprehensively address expectations across all Sustain-governed spaces, and in particular, these forums.

To that end, we are in the process of talking to a range of folks, both within and beyond the Sustain community:

  1. Within the Sustain community, we are reaching out to frequent posters and active participants, as well as those we think might have unique input on how we could and should update our CoC

  2. Beyond our community, we are talking to other projects about how they created and/or maintain their CoC’s, and are drawing inspiration from a range of CoC’s already in place, e.g. the very collaboration-friendly Tails CoC: Tails - Code of conduct

We are posting to this forum now not only to share the above, but also to make a couple of asks/invitations:

  • If you want to have a short discussion to provide input on our process, just reach out to us directly and we’ll happily find a time to hear your thoughts.

  • If you are aware of good CoC’s, especially any that directly address online dynamics, we would love those links along with what you think is noteworthy.

And of course you are welcome to share other thoughts and inputs on this thread.

We hope it goes without saying, but we explicitly request that all replies to this thread be constructive, friendly and respectful.

Virtual discussions around CoC can sometimes be polarizing, and we want to model the healthiest and most constructive of Sustain ideals as we discuss this essential topic.

thanks, Richard and Gunner for the Sustain Organizers.


Great to see!

The most important lesson I ever learned about Codes of Conduct is that they are only words until there is a process to follow and the commitment to make it happen.

Having helped run CoCs before, I’m happy to help out with that. I’m sure others will be, too!



That would be amazing @rachel_norfolk. The more experienced eyes on this the better.

I totally agree with Rachel here. Without a clear process for addressing bad behavior, a CoC becomes empty words.


And since enforcement can be challenging and sometimes painful for the moderators, having clear processes is both super helpful and shows respect for their contribution to the community.

I’ve been working with a group on refining the OpenStreetMap Etiquette Guidelines over the last 9 months, including redefining a process for moderation and enforcement guidelines. Happy to share that experience if it would be helpful!

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If you are aware of good CoC’s, especially any that directly address online dynamics, we would love those links along with what you think is noteworthy

Here’s where my org started our search! GitHub - kgryte/awesome-code-of-conduct: A list of Code of Conduct resources.

Of these, my favorite (and the one we chose to lift from) is the Django CoC.

This awesome list could use a major update too. I was going to do this awhile ago, but now with the buzz surrounding the Kubecon CoC talk I’m inspired to devote some time this evening.

I’m all for improving our CoC. Thanks for moving it forward.

I facilitated the CoC adoption process in the CHAOSS Community. We used the Contributor Covenant as a starting point and then discussed what we wanted to “improve” (make our own).

Several posters already mentioned above that a process needs to be in place. We decided to have a team of 3 people who would receive reports and then address them.

While I never participated, I think it would be a good idea to train the Code of Conduct enforcement team. In CHAOSS, we are about to elect a new Code of Conduct enforcement team. If we can pool participants and register together, we can get a discount on the training.

Mozilla has a self-paced CoC enforcement training:


@esperluette , thanks for sharing Mozilla’s self-paced training. I didn’t know about this and am happy to add it to our list of resources! This is fantastic :tada: