Governance and abuse

governanceopen source

Whenever you have people working together, there's potential for great things. There's also potential for harm - and sadly that's something we need to think about too.

I'm not writing this in response to a problem, but because I believe two things:

  1. The Nuxt community should be safe for you.
  2. If there's a problem, something should be done about it.

Nuxt governance

Before starting as framework lead, I worked on both governance documents and put a code of conduct in place.

I think the most important line in our governance document - one I care about being there - is this:

The project lead is selected by the authors and can at any point be changed if there are issues with their leadership.

That means I lead Nuxt, but only by agreement.

So if you ever have an issue with someone within Nuxt, even me, there is always a way to report and handle it that does not involve that person.

Here are some thoughts about why I think that is particularly important in open source - and a request. 🙏

A community of choice

First, an open-source community is made up of people who choose to be part of it. I love that. I think this freedom of choice unlocks some wonderful things that we should rightly aspire to:

  • No barrier to entry. No interview to start. No necessary privileged background. No special career path. You are welcome here.
  • No power games. Do what inspires you, not what you have to do. Contribution to open source should not be a millstone around your neck.
  • Shared vision. Because we're all here by choice, to some degree we share a vision. That makes it possible to have real team spirit to forge genuine relationships around a common goal.

But it also brings some potential dangers when things go wrong:

  1. If toxic behaviour becomes part of the ecosystem, people may choose to leave quietly. That makes it very possible for a maintainer not to know that there is an issue until far, far too late. It's even worse if a team member is the one causing issues.
  2. There are fewer ways to enforce good behaviour. It's not a job. There's no HR department or contract with consequences if things go wrong.
  3. Because it isn't just 'work', when things go wrong people can be affected even more deeply. Any toxic behaviour is bad, but somehow it feels more destructive when it appears inside a hobby - something that was life-giving.

So we need to be active in establishing what acceptable behaviour is - and listening out for anything that indicates we have a problem.

An appeal

As I said, I'm not writing this because of a problem with the Nuxt community. But neither is it a purely theoretical question. Because we're a community of people, we can get it wrong - and what matters is how we deal with that.

👉 So here's my appeal. If you encounter any toxic, abusive, or unkind behaviour within the Nuxt ecosystem, please let us know, even anonymously. Especially if that person is me or on the team.

You can contact any person listed in our code of conduct via their personal email address. They will investigate appropriately and keep your identity confidential (if permitted by law).

I would be very grateful.