Politics, Safety, and the Future of Scala

Is that how you interpreted Rex’s post?

Literally no one suggested someone has to maintain something they don’t want to

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All of the above has been done a long time ago

This is highly inappropriate. To directly imply that I am incapable of forming my own views about the world, and that I just believe whatever I see. To disregard my own lived experiences. This is abhorrent.

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Why is it that whenever we say that we feel threatened or not feel safe because of more generalized reasons, we’re told we need to be more specific. When we are more specific, instead, we’re told we’re overreacting, or that example we brought up was just a one off thing, and that’s not how it is normally. It was just an example taken out of context, and not what was really meant. Yet despite bringing up example after example after example, it never seems to be enough.

To me, it doesn’t matter if it even wasn’t actually meant the way it was taken. We can still be hurt by it, and that is true too. If someone continually creates these situations, it can be really hard to believe it was all just “on accident” after a while.

So I ask then, what would really be “over the line”, when we’ve been yelling about it being over the line for a long time, but none of those instances seem to “count”.

It seems like some people believe that a person X that does something super bad is of course clearly not someone we want around. A person Y that never does anything as bad as X, but because of that is allowed to stay. That’s not to say they’re not a good person, in fact, they might even cause more harm than X ever did, but because all of their actions are on their own not “that bad”, they’re fine.

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Look, I know for a fact of many people who bemoan identity politics and care about minority rights and equality far more than the people who use identity politics to further their personal agenda.

Of course you form your own opinion. But if you would research the other side you wouldn’t make such a claim.

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As someone who’s only cursorily watching here, I agree with everything @NthPortal has said so far, and I sincerely hope the community can respond accordingly.

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By doing what exactly?

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Yes, there is a solution. And we’ve been saying it for a long time.

Ban John de Goes. Ban Jon Pretty. Ban Tony Morris. Ban those who have caused significant harm to many many others in the community, and have not made amends.

And exclude organisations that have those harmful individuals in leadership positions from the Scala community. We cannot stop those organisations from existing, and we cannot stop them from forming their own communities, but we can exclude them from this community.

I’m done tiptoeing around the problem. If we want Scala to be a safe community, we need to permanently remove those who cause enormous, irreparable harm. The Scala community is not going to die from disagreements. It’s going to die from allowing harmful people to continue to cause harm, over and over again, unless we do something to stop it.

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@nafg I need to ask you to stop answering on this thread. You are continuing to push the discussion way beyond the scope of this forum, some of your responses are inappropriate and don’t assume good faith.

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I will fully admit right away that while I have spent countless hours reading threads on this forum, this is my first time posting here. However, I feel like I am watching a crash course on how a community should not act when presented with a topic so full of pain and emotion for so many people.

If not everyone here, the vast majority of people would love to engage with you @NthPortal on concrete steps that we as a community can take to be better at providing safe, inclusive environments where people new to Scala can start their experience on the right foot, as well as where longtime contributors can collaborate with each other without fear of toxic behavior.

But instead of a discussion surrounding this, this thread has instead devolved into baseless mudslinging, whereby each successive comment ignores any substance of the previous one and simply spouts insults and baseless mischaracterizations in a perpetual cycle. Unfortunately, I believe it is those whose hearts are in the right place that are mostly to blame here.

We cannot progress towards healing wounds made by the community by causing more, and by refusing to listen to what people are saying in favor of constructing our own realities about who they are. On and on in this thread, there have been things said like:

But who on this thread is guilty of this? Why should you be able to paint with so broad a brush that it essentially says: “There are people in the community whom I have connected to “abhorrent beliefs”, regardless of what they themselves have said or not said about these beliefs, and have judged them to be guilty, and by extension anyone who supports them, works with them, or works with software they created, as guilty as well”?

I would ask everyone to really examine what a conversation like this is truly saying, and how dangerous it is. At its core, it is saying:
A: “I have decided that anyone who believes in X must also believe in Y, and this is not just my belief, but an inarguable fact.”
B: “This is not true. Some people believe in X, but do not believe in Y.”
A: “You cannot tell me what they believe. I know what they believe, and you are wrong.”

We can use this discussion to become better. We can foster inclusive ideals. We can remove those who choose to engage in toxicity, and work with the highest priority towards a goal that what happened to @NthPortal never again happens in the Scala community. But what we are seeing right now does not get us closer to any of these goals. In fact, I’d almost say that on this current course, we are only widening the chasm further.

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It is clear and old proposal.

  • Would it be possible to improve code of conduct in such way which allows to judge and punish.
  • Who should pay work of a court
  • Who should elect judges

Does it all worth it?

I am so sorry that you have experienced the pain, fear, and threat of mere existence. I have some idea of what this is. It is my own denomination, Chabad, that experienced a shooting in Poway just two years ago. I have to consider this fact every time I bring my children to the synagogue.

Still, I believe that humanity can embrace simple, objective, ethical truths. Can we not see each other’s troubles from where we stand? I cannot and have not experienced your pain but are we not both human? Is there no common thread of humanity that we can connect to as equals?

Are all things reduced to the tautology that where one of us stands, there is no place for the other? Is there no mutual landscape of a reality in which we both exist? Is there no space into which all human beings can enter as equals?

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To be clear, for other people reading … Martin Odersky, the BDFL of our “community” did just that. He dropped an opinion on a PR expressing dislike for that PR.

Which has sparked this entire conversation, because according to that comment by Martin Odersky, people aren’t allowed to have principles and act based on them without triggering his anger.

I really hope he realizes his mistake.

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Again, I don’t think that’s what he was objecting to, I think it was the inflammatory comment

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BTW Rob agreed with me that that’s probably what Martin meant.

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Maintainer has expressed in public that he does not want ZIO dependencies. Expectations were already set.

The comment was not inflammatory, and it was rather to the point. Transition maybe could have been better, but the old code and artefacts are available, someone else can always pick up maintenance. It’s how OSS always worked.

No, this was about the PR itself. Which Martin Odersky also linked to Typelevel, even though this was not a group action, highlighting internalized anger.

Again, I really hope this was a mistake and he realizes it. We’re human, I can accept he made a mistake.

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I was reacting in my comment to the following remark by @deusaquilus with which I fully agree:

Will the whole Scala world be opened up and ripped apart by this conflict? Will every library and every repo have to eventually pick a side to love and a side to spurn? I hope not. I hope that our ideals are not forever irreconcilable and that this conflict will not be the span of decades.

I see that I have been taken greatly out of context by some of the postings here. So, to clarify:

  • I think Quill is great community software. @deusaquilus has of course the right to associate with any org he wants.
  • Dooby is also great community software and @tpolecat has of course the right to delete anything he wants from his repo. The way I perceived it was that doing it in this very public way was intended as a public statement of boycott by proxy. If that was not the intention, then I’d like to apologize for jumping to conclusions too quickly.
  • I personally believe that boycott by proxy is incredibly destructive because it will rip the community apart. I can’t prevent it, of course. People will do what they do. But I would find it very sad if that continues, and it would certainly reduce my motivation to engage.
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And yet, here we are, again :disappointed: . I hope that @odersky just misspoke, and just meant that because the reasons for the PR were non-technical, he didn’t think TypeLevel should weigh in on it. However, it’s really easy to read it as as at least a threat of retribution, and that it’s not an unreasonable way to understand it is a red flag that people don’t really trust the CoC to be enforced in a way that will keep them safe.


When the space where one side stands is that the other should not exist, no compromise is possible. The person we’ve been talking about obliquely has a history of defending and signal-boosting racists, actively engaged in misogyny and online harassment, all of which is well documented.

This is why I think this comes across as apologetic and a deflection, because the political position that “racists are OK, actually” should be considered extreme:


The initial comment by @odersky appears to show support for a man who has a well document pattern of engaging in behavior commonly linked to abhorrent beliefs (specifically: misogyny, transphobia, and racism apologetics), as well as coming out strongly in support of others with similar beliefs who are significantly louder about it. It’s not really unreasonable to worry that consistent support for someone who’s loud about a particular belief is at least sympathetic to those beliefs.

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Most of those “documented” cases are clearly baseless, if you actually read them

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