Now Intel signs up to open-source code of conduct after Torvalds' Linux hiatus

Intel joins the code of conduct that's challenging open source's faith in meritocracy.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Intel's open-source projects have now committed to the widely-adopted Contributor Covenant, a code of conduct that was recently taken up by Linux, following Linus Torvalds' brief break to reflect on his insensitive treatment of other kernel developers.

For Linux, the code of conduct replaced its Code of Conflict, which failed to make the kernel community a more civil group.

The Contributor Covenant, written by Coraline Ada Ehmke in 2014, aims to address the skew towards white male contributors in open-source projects.

The covenant is designed to encourage participants to use inclusive language and promote participation among individuals who are often spread across the world and are unconstrained by the rules of a regular office environment.

It also calls into question open-source communities' faith in meritocracy, which has allowed technically skilled leaders like Torvalds to get away with public displays of bad behavior.

"We at Intel are committed to building welcoming, inclusive communities," said Imad Sousou, corporate vice president and GM of Intel's Open Source Technology Center (OTC).

"The Intel Open Source Technology Center is adopting the Contributor Covenant as the code of conduct for projects we host and maintain, and for our developers."

Intel said OTC's uptake of the Contributor Covenant reinforced its existing commitment to fostering environments where "people are encouraged to share ideas, treat each other with respect, and collaborate towards the best solutions".

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The code of conduct will apply to all Intel open-source projects that it hosts and for its developers contributing to other projects in the tech industry.

The code of conduct has been adopted by 100,000 open-source projects, including those maintained by Microsoft, Apple, Mozilla, and Google.

Microsoft adopted the scope component of the Contributor Covenant detailing when and where it applies.

"This code of conduct applies to all repos and communities for Microsoft-managed open-source projects regardless of whether or not the repo explicitly calls out its use of this code," Microsoft notes.

"The code also applies in public spaces when an individual is representing a project or its community."

This covers communications using an official project email address, posting via an official social-media account, or acting as an appointed representative at an online or offline event.

Sousou said Intel chose the Contributor Covenant because it was "well written and well represented within open-source communities at large". It also clearly outlined expectations for all participants and represented open-source best practices.

Intel also plans to recommend the communities it works with to adopt the Contributor Covenant as well.

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