layout: post title: “Open Letter Regarding the New SQLite CoC” date: 2018-10-22 10:00 -300 categories: Tapestry —-
The following is an open letter I originally sent to the creator of SQLite, Dr D. Richard Hipp, of Hwaci Applied Software Research
Good Afternoon, Dr. Hipp,
My name is Zac Adam-MacEwen. I am a freelance developer and security researcher from Eastern Canada. As a python developer, I have relied heavily on your SQLite software, which is the primary database component of that language’s standard library.
I am writing you today as regards the project’s new code of conduct. While I agree that codes of conduct are highly necessary in this day and age, and recognize that FOSS projects have a mind of their own and often the organization as a whole takes decisions the originators might not have intended.
I do, however, have to register my concern regarding the decision to base the work on Chapter 4 of the Rule of Saint Benedict. While I agree that the Rule contains many important aspects which make an excellent foundation for community life (perhaps why the rule has survived in active use as long as it has), I’m afraid I really must insist that a FOSS project, particularly one with the global reach and usage of SQLite, must necessarily remain secular in its focus to avoid excluding large groups of potential contributors and marginalizing bright minds from areas different from our own. I say this as someone who strongly considered Benedictine life prior to my marriage.
It would be no different than adopting, for example, a code of conduct item that required new contributors to recite the Shahada, recite the Pali Cannon, or chant the Heart of Perfect Wisdom Sutra.
Again, I applaud the intention and the Rule of Saint Benedict makes a fantastic starting point for a secularized Code of Conduct, but I really must register my strong reservation with using the document unmodified in the way that has been done.
Zac Adam-MacEwen Principal Researcher @ Kensho Security Labs