Drupal Association

This is a joint statement from project lead Dries Buytaert and Megan Sanicki, Drupal Association Executive Director.

Over the last week, the Drupal community has been in a debate over the various decisions made by us in relation to long-time Drupal developer Larry Garfield. As with any such decisions, and especially due to the circumstances of this one, there has been controversy, misinformation and rumors, as well as healthy conversation and debate. Many people feel hurt, worried, and confused. The fact that this matter became very public and divisive greatly saddens all of us involved, especially as we can see the pain it has caused many.

First off, we want to apologize for not responding sooner. We had to take a pause to process the community’s reaction.  We also wanted to take the time to talk to community members to make sure all of the concerns were heard and understood. This was further complicated by the fact that we don't have a playbook for how to respond in unusual situations like this. We also want to acknowledge that our communication has not been as clear as it should be on this matter, and we are sorry for the added confusion.

We want to thank all of the community members who stepped in to help. Many spent days helping other community members by listening, hosting discussions to foster healthy, respectful conversations, and more. You have helped many people and your caring acts reminded us once again why we love to serve the community and why it is so special.

Over the last week, we talked to many people and read hundreds of posts in various channels. These are some of the things that we heard:

  • People are afraid that they will be asked to leave the community because of their beliefs or sexual lifestyles.

  • There are concerns about Drupal leadership playing "thought police" on what are and are not acceptable viewpoints to hold.

  • People want to hear more about the timeline, information gathered, and how decisions were made.

  • People don't understand why there weren’t any ramifications for those who participated in gathering information about Larry's private life.

  • People believe Dries has too much authority.

  • People believe that a decision this complex should not be made by a single individual.

And we heard much more.

We know this has been difficult for all involved. There is no quick solution to the current situation; it will take time to heal, but we want to make a start today by providing better insight into our decision-making process, answering questions with the FAQ found below, and by placing a call for improvements in our governance, conflict-resolution processes, and communication.  

Addressing community questions and concerns

One of the main concerns that has been voiced is that a long-standing member of the Drupal community was removed, based solely on his beliefs being outside the "norm". We feel this is not representative of the situation.

We want to strongly emphasize that Drupal is an open-minded and inclusive community, and we welcome people of all backgrounds. Our community’s diversity is something to cherish and celebrate as well as protect.  We apologize for any anxiety we caused you and reiterate that our decision was not based on anyone’s sexual practices.

Dries and Megan based their decisions on information from a variety of sources, including the Community Working Group and Larry himself. This information included:

(a) reports, both formal and informal
(b) some of Larry's online interactions, both on and off Drupal.org
(c) information provided by Larry during subsequent discussions to get clarity
(d) information from one or more members-only sites.
It should be strongly noted that we do not condone the manner in which this last source of information was gathered by members of our community.  

Insights from this collection of information caused us to take action, particularly given Larry's prominent leadership role in the community, which leads to a much greater impact of his words and actions.

We heard that many would like to better understand the timeline, information gathered, and how decisions were made. While the news of last week was a complete surprise to most, it is important to note that this has been a careful, and deliberate process that has been going on since October 2016. Following the Drupal community's governance, the Community Working Group attempted to provide conflict resolution. When it became clear that some of the issues raised went beyond the scope of their charter, they determined that it was appropriate for the matter to be escalated to Dries, as project lead. This was consistent with their existing policy and process.

Dries discussed the information from the Community Working Group with Megan and some board members. Dries, as project lead, made the decision about Larry’s role in the project during this discussion.  

Some have asked why Larry was removed from the community and not just from his leadership roles. The answer is that Larry had indicated on several occasions that he was drawing down his involvement in the Drupal project, and that context helped inform Dries’ decision.

Dries, with the support of the Community Working Group, had the first of what was intended to be a number of conversations to resolve any remaining concerns.

Megan was informed about Dries’ decision, and also reviewed the information provided by the Community Working Group. Based on that information, Megan made the operational decision to remove Larry’s DrupalCon session and concluded his track chair role.

Larry appealed Megan’s decision to the board, which only has oversight of the Drupal Association. They reviewed the Community Working Group information and Larry’s personal statements, met in a special Executive Session attended by all board members, and upheld Megan’s decision. Dries recused himself from this vote, so the board could make its decision independently.

After the appeal process, Larry chose to publish his own account of what happened, effectively ending the process in the middle of what we expected to be a series of constructive discussions. This resulted in several loose ends.

After Larry’s second blog post, on Tuesday, March 28th, he reached out privately to Dries to discuss how to resolve matters and find the best way forward.

We remain committed to working on closure for this situation with care and respect for everyone involved.  Dries and the Community Working Group hope to have a private discussion with Larry in the coming weeks.

Many have also expressed anger over how the information about Larry came to light, and whether there will be consequences for those who participated in gathering information about his private life. The Community Working Group is currently handling this situation through their standard process.

What needs to change

We are fortunate that we do have governance in place. We have never encountered a situation like this before, where a decision this complex had to be escalated and made. This extraordinary situation highlighted areas that we need to improve. From our own observations and what we heard from the community, we identified some specific areas of improvement (but by no means all):

  • Diversity, equality, and inclusivity issues are complex and require new perspectives and approaches, especially as we assess and improve our Code of Conduct.

  • It is not healthy or wise to escalate difficult decisions about code of conduct or community membership solely to the project lead.

  • We need to clearly define our values so that everyone knows and agrees to the context in which the community works together.

  • We need to figure out how to balance transparency with the need to maintain a safe space and provide confidentiality for individuals in order to resolve conflicts in a way that causes minimal disruption to our community.

There is a lot to address. We will launch several initiatives to find solutions to the problems above.  We want to collaborate with the community, the Drupal Association, and outside experts on these efforts. It is important that we take these steps. We value our special community and we want to make sure that it has the right structure and sound governance to remain healthy and vibrant.

We want to begin healing to start right away and that starts with us talking more with the community. We will host online meetings and a meeting at DrupalCon Baltimore on these topics where we can have a healthy dialogue. This will provide community members the opportunity to talk directly with the Community Working Group, Megan, and Dries to propose solutions to some of the governance challenges that brought us here.

Finally, we want to acknowledge this has been a very difficult and unprecedented situation. We realize not everyone will agree with our decisions, but we hope all can understand the care we took in deliberating and the intention behind our actions. We appreciate the community’s patience on this matter, and we look forward to taking these steps in collaboration with you.

----

FAQ

When did the conflict resolution process start?

  • October of 2016.

Who is responsible for what decision?

  • Dries, as project lead, made the decision about Larry’s role in the project after the Community Working Group escalated to him when they felt they could not resolve the issues surrounding this matter.

  • Executive Director of the Drupal Association Megan Sanicki made the decision to to remove Larry’s speaking and track chairmanship at DrupalCon.

  • Larry appealed the DrupalCon decision, which then went to the Drupal Association board who reviewed material provided by the Community Working Group along with Larry’s statements. They upheld Megan’s decision.  Dries recused himself from this vote.

What was the process followed for each decision?

  • The Community Working Group, which is part of Drupal’s governance structure, provided conflict resolution. When it became clear that some of the issues raised went beyond the scope of their charter, they determined that it was appropriate for the matter to be escalated to Dries. This is consistent with their existing policy and process.

  • Dries discussed the information from the Community Working Group with Megan, and some board members. Dries also met with Larry. Larry had indicated on several occasions that he was drawing down his involvement in the Drupal project. That context informed Dries' decision. It is also important to note that Dries intended to have more discussions with Larry to determine what the decision looked like, but those conversations ended when Larry chose to post publicly.

  • Megan was informed about Dries’ decision and also reviewed the information provided by the Community Working Group. Based on Dries’ decision and information learned from the Community Working Group materials, Megan made the operational decision to remove Larry’s DrupalCon session and concluded his track chair role.

  • Larry appealed Megan’s decision to the board, who only have oversight of Drupal Association. They reviewed the Community Working Group information and Larry’s personal statements and upheld Megan’s decision.  Note: Dries recused himself.

What information was used to inform the decisions?

  • (a) reports, both formal and informal, (b) some of Larry's online interactions, both on and off Drupal.org, (c) information provided by Larry during subsequent discussions to get clarity, and (d) information from one or more members-only sites. It should be strongly noted that we do not condone the manner in which this last source of information was gathered by members of our community.   

Did Dries overrule the Community Working Group?

  • No, he did not. The process is designed so that the Community Working Group can escalate issues to Dries if they cannot be resolved. This process was followed.

Is the Drupal project “against” people who practice BDSM or other non-mainstream sexual practices?

  • Absolutely not. We are an open-minded and inclusive community.

Will there be repercussions for the conduct of the community member who exposed information from members-only sites? [Edit: we have removed this community member's name while the CWG issue is being addressed]

  • The Community Working Group is handling this situation through their standard process.

Comments

rubyji’s picture

I still do have a few questions about this, but I'm not sure whether they can be answered without violating someone's privacy. I very much appreciate Megan and Dries working to bring some badly-needed clarity to this situation. I think you made the rights decisions, even if the process was lacking, and this message is a strong positive step if a bit overdue. This is hard, hard work and I'm glad to see you not shying away from it. 

I know people often talk about Drupal's "growing pains," but I think this whole episode has really put a fine point on the places where we are busting at the seams. We can no longer function like a personality-driven startup. We need infrastructure to fit the broad, diverse, and productive community that we are and a vision of how we can be even more inclusive and effective in the future.

megansanicki’s picture

Thank you for your understanding. We sure are one large, amazing project. And, I agree. The community certainly does require the right infrastructure. 

Megan Sanicki
Executive Director
Drupal Association
twitter: megansanicki

rootwork’s picture

These are indeed complicated discussions to have, and I really appreciate both of you putting this post together. I especially think the "What needs to change" portion is a clear-eyed approach to moving forward.

Drupal's strength has always been its community, and while there are several different perspectives on this particular decision in the community, I think the community does have wisdom when it comes to iterating on our community process.

megansanicki’s picture

I appreciate your understanding. It certainly means a lot. The Drupal community is amazing in so many ways - being willing to iterate and improve things is just one of them - but such an important one. 

Megan Sanicki
Executive Director
Drupal Association
twitter: megansanicki

catch’s picture

Thanks for the clarification on the process leading up to this. It was really missing from previous communications on both sides, and it's helped to me understand how things led to where they are now.

Having looked again at Larry's public communications on Drupal.org and Drupal-related channels, I agree with the decision to remove him as track chair for DrupalCon based on those statements alone, even if any single statement didn't breach the code of conduct, regardless of anything else.

We don't have a separate code of conduct for track chairs and similar positions but this should be looked at probably (and I say that as a core committer, so it would probably include me if we did).

In terms of project involvement more generally, while the deliberations of the CWG rightly shouldn't be made public, I'd fully support a process to review how unresolveable situations should be escalated beyond the Community Working Group in a way that doesn't leave decisions entirely up to Dries.

Any code of conduct is never going to fully encapsulate every event, but we should be prepared to iterate on both documents and processes when they don't, so I hope we can start a process to revise the CoC sooner than later, learning from more recent CoCs adopted by other projects.

I'm concerned that this post may not sufficiently allay concerns from people in the BDSM community, especially those reacting primarily to the news coverage/reddit rather than the more Drupal-centric discussions. Would it be possible to offer a direct, anonymous contact for people to get in touch to address remaining concerns that they have?

morenstrat’s picture

Having looked again at Larry's public communications on Drupal.org and Drupal-related channels, I agree with the decision to remove him as track chair for DrupalCon based on those statements alone, even if any single statement didn't breach the code of conduct, regardless of anything else.

Would you care to elaborate?

drunken monkey’s picture

Surely, if these are his public communications, you can link to them (or examples)?

I think Larry has a bit too many posts to look through all of them for clues.

GiorgosK’s picture

still no explanation from those that support Larry's ousting 

Personally if I go through Larry's public postings on Drupal.org I don't see ANY reason why he was treated the way he was treated ... he needs to be reinstated ...

morenstrat’s picture

Having looked again at Larry's public communications on Drupal.org and Drupal-related channels, I agree with the decision to remove him as track chair for DrupalCon based on those statements alone, even if any single statement didn't breach the code of conduct, regardless of anything else.

Spreading allegations without providing verifiable evidence is defamation.

ordermind’s picture

As a person who is critical towards the sanctions against Larry, I give you credit for this clarification. You appear to understand the concerns from the community and I'm willing to hold my judgement until I get further information regarding the situation.

geerlingguy’s picture

Thank you for the clarification here, it is definitely helpful and will give us a framework for the discussions that need to be had at DrupalCon Baltimore and beyond.

I hope people can continue to back off from knee-jerk reactions, and have empathy for everyone who's been impacted by this decision (even including the venerable Druplicon!).

__________________
Personal site: www.jeffgeerling.com

sonyaellenmann’s picture

I'm not a community member, but I'm one of the reporters who's been following this issue. Today's statement doesn't address the central question and cause of concern: Was Larry Garfield ejected because of his private beliefs, rather than his conduct, as Dries' original blog post indicated? And if so, how can you issue blanket assurance that people will not be "asked to leave the community because of their beliefs or sexual lifestyles"?

Anyone who wants to respond is welcome to email me: smann@inc.com

tewnet’s picture

Agree. Much useful information in the post from Megan. But no response at all to the most important question: Why, specifically, was Larry removed?

ordermind’s picture

I too agree that this is what ultimately must come to light in order to properly judge the situation.

sparklingrobots’s picture

It doesn't seem fair or accurate to say that the central question and cause of concern was whether or not he was ejected because of his private beliefs, rather than conduct.  It's a complex situation that deserves a more nuanced assessment. 

Regardless, the post cites "some of Larry's online interactions, both on and off Drupal.org" as cause for concern, which sounds like conduct to me. As for details of which incidents were reported, by whom, and why, I suspect those details are protected by the existing protocols used by the CWG.  But that's just my guess. 

ordermind’s picture

I disagree with this. We're making software, we're not a political party. A code of conduct is fine if wisely defined in order to make it easier for members to get along, but I find it completely unacceptable to impose any sort of demands on personal value structures or even behavior outside of the community.

rootwork’s picture

I'm thrilled there's a Code of Conduct, and I wouldn't be as involved if there wasn't.

The communities I'm a part of have a commitment to inclusivity. (Inclusivity doesn't mean including people who disagree with inclusivity. "Your intolerance of my intolerance makes you intolerant" is not a legitimate argument.)

Opposing inclusivity isn't "political" in the same way a political party's platform is. It's more fundamental than that; it's about a community's values. I for one am glad this community has been clear about its values over the years, as contained in the Codes of Conduct for the project and Drupalcons.

That doesn't mean I think this situation was handled perfectly, but the Code of Conduct is not the cause of the problem.

ordermind’s picture

In what way has Larry opposed inclusivity? I thought that he was the one getting excluded.

drunken monkey’s picture

From what I gather, the general problem here is that Larry is seen by some, through this new information, as misogynous. And if he is, that would surely oppose inclusivity in a major way.

ordermind’s picture

How so? Has he tried to sabotage the work of female colleagues or tried to get them kicked out?

drunken monkey’s picture

That's the whole point here: nobody knows, and we're trying to find out. (At least in rough terms.)

slashrsm’s picture

Agree. This post is mostly summarizing information that was already known.  Main questions remain unanswered.

--
JAnez

finn.lewis’s picture

I agree. This post is very informative and does help to answer a number of questions about the order of events and the processes involved. My thanks to Dries and Megan for the update and detail.

What it does not address is specifically why Larry was asked to leave.

Was it because of his 'views' as Dries suggests ("he holds views that are in opposition with the values of the Drupal project.") or some specific event or cumulative behaviour as suggested by Megan (We want to be clear that the decision to remove Larry's DrupalCon session and track chair role was not because of his private life or personal beliefs.) Larry sounds as confused by anyone by this question.

Until we have clarity on this it is hard to understand exactly why Larry has been targeted in this way.

Either way, I do agree with other posts, that all concerned are clearly motivated by love for the community, and our collective handling of this crisis will certainly have a huge impact on the future. Let's keep it civil!

Peace and love to all.

X

betovarg’s picture

Yep. Came here to say this. I'm not against the information in this post and the clear need to define a way to move past this. But we need more information to have a clear side. Right now, I'm still unhappy and in need of answers.

drunken monkey’s picture

First, thanks a lot for this post, Megan and Dries! It's certainly a great step forward in this discussion, and great to see you take our concerns seriously. The suggested questions for the future surely sound important.

However, I do agree that the main question remains unanswered: Was there any actual misconduct within the Drupal community, or was this decision based entirely on his perceived mindset/beliefs? I can't help but feel that your item (a) remains deliberately vague on that point.

That being said, I can understand you need more time for deliberations on this and deciding on your communication, so I'll just be patient and wait for more information on this. Personally, though, this is the crucial question I'd like to see answered.

spamjim’s picture

Check our Crell's (aka Larry Garfield) comments in this discussion thread:

https://www.drupal.org/node/752452

It shows an interesting irony of how Drupal leadership (webchick, Angie Byron) was interested in drupal.org recording personal information (gender identity) while Crell and others argued that our personal lives are irrelevant to software development.

I have not seen the alleged public, but unreferenced, information cited in this post from Megan. However, I can certainly read a 7-year-old discussion thread and know that Crell had (still has?) a solid mind for both software and human development on drupal.org.

rj’s picture

how can you issue blanket assurance that people will not be "asked to leave the community because of their beliefs or sexual lifestyles"?

Dries is referred to as a Benevolent Dictator for Life. This means he retains the final say in disputes or arguments within the community. Honestly Megan cannot give blanket assurances like this; our benevolent dictator has the final say. 

--rj

doka’s picture

Even after the clarification of decision making process, this story still reminds me to the movie Philadelphia.

This should not have happen at Drupal :(

Doka

ar-jan’s picture

This post clarifies a few details about the process, which is good, but it evades the real questions that remain. From Dries's first response:

When one side chooses to make their case public it creates an imbalance of information. Only knowing one side skews public opinion heavily towards the publicized viewpoint. While I will not share the evidence that I believe would validate the decision that I made for reasons of liability and confidentiality, I will say that I did not make the decision based on the information or beliefs conveyed in Larry's blog post.

The choice to keep this imbalance of information as large as it is now is due to Dries and the DA. The community doesn't need to know the specifics of what was reported, nor by who it was reported. Surely telling the community what kind of transgression we are talking about does not betray confidentiality.

Furthermore, there is the question of whether Larry got a chance to respond to the decisive evidence. Is he omitting those details, or are Dries and the DA evading this question because he was not given an opportunity to respond?

donquixote’s picture

Some have asked why Larry was removed from the community and not just from his leadership roles. The answer is that Larry had indicated on several occasions that he was drawing down his involvement in the Drupal project, and that context helped inform Dries’ decision.

I find this a strange argument.

The conversation would be a different one if it was only about leadership roles, and then Larry would have decided to do the rest on his own account. I'm not saying I would agree with this, but it would make your decision much easier to defend.

Being part of a community also means feeling responsible for decisions made by or on behalf of this community, making them accomplice in a decision they cannot support with the information provided.

jackbravo’s picture

That quote is also very strange to me. From all that I've read, if Larry is perceived to not be an inclusive person by his interactions online maybe removing him from a leadership position is justified because Drupal as a community does want to promote inclusiveness, and we don't want people to feel someone in a leadership position could be unfair to them because of their sex. But banning him from the Drupal project only because he indicated that he was drawing down his involvement? I think it would have been much much better to leave that decision to him. Especially if there are no complains about his behavior and no code of conduct violations.

donquixote’s picture

Surely telling the community what kind of transgression we are talking about does not betray confidentiality.

Yes.

rszrama’s picture

I think there's more than just betraying confidentiality at stake. The integrity of the process itself must be maintained in order to ensure victims in potential future conflicts trust it to protect them. Even an anonymous retelling of harm inflicted on someone may still traumatize the victim. They know who a blog post or discussion is about, even if no one else does.

In Larry's case, this reality can be very unsatisfying, especially since his doesn't appear (without more detail) to be a decision based on direct personal harm. The fact that this was a 5-6 month long process tells me two things: 1. that folks were very cautious about deciding what to do and 2. that there is no "smoking gun" they can bring out to convince all concerned parties that their decision was justified. If there were, it's likely it would've been a 5-6 day (or even week) process instead.

Wim Leers’s picture

What @rzsrama said.

Plus, disclosing the kind of transgression can violate confidentiality.

Jeff Veit’s picture

Right now Larry is accused of a victimless crime; of not sharing Drupal values. But perhaps there is a victim. And we could know there's one without knowing who or what happened or even what type of thing happened. 

Nick Lewis’s picture

First of all, grats on getting elected to the board! Second of all, your comment is a magnificent example of diplomatically expressing the emotional shockwaves in the community. Overthinking this I think the handling of the situation managed to shatter everyone's schema once Larry gave his tell all (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schema_(psychology))  Deep down, people believe burden of proof is on prosecution, and people are innocent until proven guilty... yadda yadda...

--
"I'm not concerned about all hell breaking loose, but that a PART of hell will break loose... it'll be much harder to detect." - George Carlin
--
Personal: http://www.nicklewis.org
Work: http://www.zivtech.com

gonssal’s picture

If you want justice, you have to step up and expose your case in public or find enough credible people willing to publicly testify to it. That's how the justice system works in most of the democratic world and it's for a reason.

Condeming someone without making the case public is unjust and that's what's happening here, and it's also why most of the community is against the decision being taken. If leadership can't see that, well I'm out.

It's extremely hypocritical to talk about community "values" and other meaningless stuff and then throw justice down the toilet.

djdevin’s picture

Yes. It's sad that in an open source community, not all is "open". We just excommunicated a member on secret evidence.

Dries, the DA, and the CWG, are judge, jury, and executioner.

DHW’s picture

Because some anonymous person, who we have no evidence even exists, might theoretically be traumatized we must take every declaration of the Star Chamber on faith, to the extent that the defendant is not even informed of the nature of his crime? Would you be comfortable with that standard being extended against you? Oh, but you're one of the good ones, they'd never come after you, right?

nvahalik’s picture

This isn't the case. The person who provided evidence was known to Larry and the DA.

DHW’s picture

Evidence of what, specifically? What did he do?

See, we keep coming back to that.

sniegs’s picture

rszrama, I know you commited unspeakable acts against a victim. She is very traumatized and any retelling of it, even anonymous, would hurt her immensely. I will report that to Dries, but for obvious reasons can't disclose any details about the incident or the victim. Dries will excommunicate form the church of Drupal after 5-6 month long careful examination of zero evidence.

See how it works? Like it?

I thought Drupal was about developing great software. Turns out we have secret kangaroo courts with secret evidence. How can people so willingly throw away hundreds of years of painfully fought progress, ignore due process and happily flock back to witch trials?

Either put forward what exactly Larry did wrong or put him back. Save us these endless carefully worded essay which in the end say nothing.

Vacilando’s picture

This is spot on. Either prove that Larry had to be excommunicated, or apologize and rehabilitate him.

wildfeed’s picture

Perhaps he can become a Dominatrix.

wildfeed’s picture

The worst part is, now you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube.

rlnorthcutt’s picture

I've held off on public comments about the situation until we have had time to learn more. This is helpful. As others mention, there are still some unanswered questions and unknown details, which I hope will come with time. I think there have been alot of mistakes (or missteps) in this situation on all sides... which is part of the pain we are feeling. 

However, throughout all of this I have maintained my faith in Dries, the DA, and the community at large. There is no doubt in my mind that everyone involved (even the unnamed community member) were doing what they thought was best for the community. I don't agree with all of the decisions or actions of all of those involved, but even then, I know it ultimately comes from a place of love.

Regardless of how you feel about the situation, I think we should all continue to be patient even as we respectfully share our thoughts and opinions. How *WE* deal with this is what defines us.

I am grateful for Larry, Megan, Dries, and everyone else involved. As I have cringed at reading some of the tweets, comments, and thoughts about the issue, I have only heard reasonable and respectful replies from these folks. 

Let's follow their example as we work through this together. Now is the time for all good Drupalistas to come to the aid of their community.

regards,
Ron Northcutt
Sr. Solutions Architect, Acquia

memtkmcc’s picture

We need to clearly define our values so that everyone knows and agrees to the context in which the community works together.

No, no, you don't need. You shouldn't. Please stop talking about "values" and "views". This situation exploded exactly because you have framed it as something about "values" and "views". Instead of talking about some hard problems with public image of Drupal project you have decided to "resolve" by removing problematic leader.

You failed to control what happened, because either you didn't have strong enough, and legal, reasons to remove Larry, or you have removed him too early in the process. And it was YOU who have triggered and forced him to go public with the situation, because he could see it as his only defense.

How else want you to have interpreted your statements that you intended to have many more conversations with Larry? Why you didn't have these so needed conversations *before* making such drastic decision? And what is the point in having them *after* you have made the decision?

No, Drupal is not your church, it's a FLOSS developed by big and inherently messy group of people. Nothing more. Don't mess with adding any kind of ideology to Drupal project.

You continue to fail to understand that there is a line between healthy community, and sect-like group, which you have crossed, no matter how innocent were your intentions before it all exploded.

I'm glad you have the courage to acknowledge that you screwed up, and royally. Even if you have tried to tar/gzip this hard truth in a hundreds of less blunt words. And that you have no idea how to fix this mess, but at least you want to discuss this with people, to avoid such disasters in the future.

But it is the only, and very weak bright point I could find in your statement above.

You still have a very hard road ahead.

rszrama’s picture

Why you didn't have these so needed conversations *before* making such drastic decision? And what is the point in having them *after* you have made the decision?

I'm not privy to all of the details here, but having followed this very closely, I think two details from previous posts help us understand this:

1. There were separate decisions being made by Megan and Dries related to their respective spheres of concern. Megan / the D.A. removed Larry from leadership in / speaking at DrupalCon specifically, though yes, they did so in light of where conversations between Dries and Larry were headed. (Specifically, that it appears Dries's decision had been made but the details still needed to be determined.) Larry's appeal to the board focused on this DrupalCon decision, and they upheld it. But why would she have done that before Dries finalized his conversations with Larry?

2. By my reading of the timeline, issues were coming to a head in the midst of crunch time for session selection and scheduling at DrupalCon Baltimore. As such, if they knew Larry was going to be removed from the project before the event, they privately made their decision in advance and communicated it to Larry in order to move forward with scheduling, planning, printing, etc. for the conference. As most people are not involved in DrupalCon organization, I don't think they were aware Larry had been disinvited until he broke the news himself.

We can argue that Megan should have waited until Dries and Larry had reached their final conclusions, but it would've been awkward at best and potentially more disruptive to conference planning to move ahead as though nothing were happening. Had Larry not gone public in between hearing from Megan and holding further conversations with Dries, I imagine he still would have been unsatisfied with the action but that his post would have featured the DrupalCon decision as a mere detail of the greater decision to remove him from the community.

DHW’s picture

"issues were coming to a head" - interesting use of the passive voice here.

If Megan and Dries had simply said "some random developer's sexual kinks are none of our business," there wouldn't be any "issues." Drupal management chose to jump headfirst into this. No one forced them.

nvahalik’s picture

No, Drupal is not your church, it's a FLOSS developed by big and inherently messy group of people. Nothing more. Don't mess with adding any kind of ideology to Drupal project.

The thing is, every healthy community has "values". Every community answers to someone and seeks to please someone. I discuss some of this out in my blog post.

The issue isn't that we have values or rules, the problem here is that what Dries, Megan, and the DA consider to be our "values" may or may not match our own. That's why this whole situation has knocked the wind out of us: we still have no idea what unnamed value has been violated.

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