Since you suggested this should probably be another topic, I made one.
So, my position on this is it would have been simpler to adopt an existing code of conduct document. No endless arguing about the content, this way. It didn’t happen, so I went with a compromise (as usual) of adding what I thought was missing in our existing pages related to this.
In any case, the important part is how do we take action when we need to. And I can tell that we didn’t go with the “quietly settle the matter in private” option in previous times. People were banned from the project with much drama and burnt bridges (it happened only 3 times over 20 years, that I know of, 2 of which were active project members/contributors).
The stability of the Haiku project is maintained, I think, by our active measures to ensure no one is in a position of power. There is no benevolent dictator, no hierarchy, etc. And as one of the most trusted devs, I try to make efforts to erase myself and stress the importance of the team organisation. It is good both for my own mental health, and for the project as a whole.
So, should we include a (non-exhaustive) list of unacceptable behaviors in the code of conduct? I don’t know. I’d say it can’t hurt to have it. Currently what we have is:
Be nice to other people. Avoid insults and personal attacks.
So people can get banned for being “not nice”, insulting or attacking others personally. Probably wide enough to cover all cases where we need to use that rule, but also not very specific. But on the other hand, I would be annoyed to have a restrictive code of conduct, where we end up having to tell someone “sorry, that behavior is indeed totally unacceptable, but it isn’t covered in our code of conduct so there’s nothing we can do about it”.
Additionally there’s this:
Users are to refrain from delving into discussions about religion, politics, gender, ethnicity, etc.
I don’t like the wording of it much. Initially it was only for religion and politics (which I think are indeed out of place here) but then gender and ethnicity were added there, because a code of conduct should mention them in some way, right? But it isn’t great because now we are in principle not really allowed to even talk about them (which is more a “hiding the problem” approach than anything else).
In general I think the flexibility is ok. You would need to drive away so many members from the project before you could get enough power/meritocracy points to do anything, due to the flat organization. This gives us the time to react and address the problem, I think?