The spirit of community is crucial to free/open-source development. In the large majority of cases, interactions are naturally constructive, but in rare cases conflict can arise. This document explains the mechanisms for conflict reporting and resolution within the Julia community, to handle violations of the Julia Community Standards.

(Our procedures were informed in part by the Complaint Resolution Policies and Procedures at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but are necessarily more informal given the loose nature of the Julia community.)

Stewards of the Community Standards

All members of the Julia community are expected to abide by the community standards and encourage others to do so. To ensure that some group has the obligation and authority to cope with conflicts, a group known as the “Julia Stewards” has been created. The current membership of this group is:

  • Milan Bouchet-Valat
  • Simon Byrne
  • Tim Holy
  • Katharine Hyatt
  • Steven G. Johnson
  • Stefan Karpinski
  • Viral Shah

As needed, this group can be contacted at stewards@julialang.org. Other than the committee listed above, there are no other recipients of emails sent to this address, and all communications shall be treated confidentially.

Complaint Resolution

No one shall be retaliated against for good-faith participation in a complaint. In general, violations of the community standards will generate one or more of the following responses from the Stewards:

  1. Informal feedback, privately and/or (for public violations) in the forum where a violation appeared, with the goal of encouraging good-faith contributions and mutual understanding while making offenders aware of the problem and preventing future incidents. Where possible, good intentions of the participants should be assumed.
  2. Gross online violations of community standards may result in immediate deletion of the offending comments, coupled with informal feedback.
  3. For severe cases, especially persistent, disruptive violations despite repeated warnings and other feedback, a formal investigation may be convened by the stewards.
    • A consensus committee of 3+ disinterested stewards (possibly including non-steward members) shall investigate the complaint, communicating this with both the complainant (if any) and the respondent (alleged violator).
    • The investigation shall be as confidential as possible, and this expectation shall be communicated to all participants. Identities and testimonies of participants shall, where possible, be known only to the committee.
    • The committee shall provide a private written report detailing its findings and recommendations to the stewards, complainant, and respondent. If a violation has been found, recommendations may include bans and other alterations of online privileges, or in less severe cases may request apologies and other informal resolutions.
    • The conclusions of the investigative committee are final and cannot be appealed except in cases of gross misconduct or major factual errors.

Bans

The public Julia forums (e.g. Discourse) and GitHub pages (e.g. issues and pull requests) are normally open forums for all good-faith contributors. In extreme cases, repeated violations of the Community Standards may lead to the banning of a contributor from one or more of these public forums. Such total bans are expected to be rare and are not to be undertaken lightly.

Note that:

  • Long-term bans shall only be undertaken in response to the recommendations of a formal investigation by the Julia stewards as described above. (A temporary ban may be imposed by Julia admins in response to an urgent situation, but shall be followed by a formal investigation if the ban is to continue.)
  • After a predetermined period, not to exceed six months, the banned individual may request that the ban be lifted, by acknowledging his/her past violations and providing a written plan to avoid such violations in the future. This request will typically be considered by the same committee that recommended the initial ban.