A few notes:
Eyal, I read your post with the two CoC complaints, a few days ago, and I’ve been weighing how to respond, and I’ve also waiting to see what others in the Scala organization and others in the community think. So I’ve been reading all the followups, too. I’m sorry if it felt like I and the other forum moderators were just ignoring your complaint. (We respond faster when something is much more clearly over the line.)
Som has already apologized for his post where some humor didn’t quite hit the mark. I hope you can let that one go.
As for the “I wish there was a dislike button” post, I agree it was borderline. We don’t normally respond to brief, borderline posts like that individually. We take note of them and who posted them and keep an ongoing eye on the situation to see whether someone’s remarks are repeatedly pushing the CoC limit. If you feel you were wronged here, I part agree: we’d certainly step in someone posted things like that repeatedly, especially if they repeatedly targeted the same individual.
I agree that we could be using Discourse’s thread-splitting feature more. I haven’t used it in this thread, because this thread became a nebulous grab bag of not-very-closely-related discussions ages ago. Maybe it’s time — not today, but sometime this week — to just shut down the thread down entirely, since at this point it seems to mainly be producing bad feeling — though hopefully this meta-discussion is useful?
But, the existence of the thread-splitting feature isn’t an excuse for posters to take threads off-topic. I hope participants will take some responsibility for this themselves. It’s not that hard to post something like: “That’s an interesting point, and it prompted me to start a related thread about X, here’s a link to it, let’s discuss there if interested.”
Threaded discussions, like on Reddit, have their own disadvantages. We’re committed to Discourse (and to GitHub, which is also single-threaded), so we must ask that people take extra care to keep threads on-topic. If we all do that, the overall result is a higher quality of discussion. It does require participants exercise additional restraint, but I don’t think it’s too much to ask. The goal of this forum isn’t to be a gigantic free-for-all. The purpose is exactly to have threaded, focused discussions. If a thread (like this one) does turn into a free-for-all, participants can expect that many people will simply tune it out.
Morgen, your wish that rules about e.g. posting volume be formalized is an understandable but impossible wish. The existing Code of Conduct is about as specific as it’s possible to get, and it’s very similar to what other online programming communities use. Where the CoC leaves off, after that point all any of us can do is do our best to listen to the feedback, explicit and implicit, that we’re getting from other community members, from Martin on down, and then if problems arise, we do our best to deal with them sensitively and on a case-by-case basis. That’s just how groups of humans work.
All: receiving negative feedback in public is extremely difficult — for all of us, Martin not excepted. Feel free to contact the moderation team privately about these sorts of issues; sometimes it’s easier to take when the feedback is private.