Jul. 25th, 2011 06:25 pm
[personal profile] mjg59
Last night, Tim O'Reilly posted about O'Reilly's desire to ensure that conferences they run are free of harassment and as welcoming to as much of the community as possible. This comes on the back of a brief campaign by various people concerned that the absence of such a policy at one of the largest open source conferences was a problem. O'Reilly turned out to be highly responsive, and it's a credit to everyone involved that this got worked out in such a short space of time.

OSCON's an interesting conference. First, it's huge. There's upwards of 15 simultaneous tracks in the main conference. It covers a huge range of topics, from Linux to pretty much any piece of open source middleware you can think of, to web technologies to hardware hacking to free culture. It's a cross section of pretty much everything that can plausibly be described as open source. As such, the demographics are very different to a typical Linux conference, or even a typical single-field technical conference such as PyCon. We may have discussed these issues at length in the Linux community, but that's such a small part of the OSCON audience that it's not surprising that awareness is lower.

Which means this is a pretty big deal. Sexual harassment isn't something that's limited to Linux conferences. It's prevalent throughout the entire open source world. Having a conference that represents a broader part of that world than any other accept that this is a genuine problem is a massive step towards raising awareness of it in the wider community.

We should too

Date: 2011-07-26 01:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] adamwill.id.fedoraproject.org
I completely agree, but it rather begs the question: why don't we have a Fedora anti-harassment policy?




Matthew Garrett

About Matthew

Power management, mobile and firmware developer on Linux. Security developer at Google. Ex-biologist. @mjg59 on Twitter. Content here should not be interpreted as the opinion of my employer.

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