How do distros handle personal conflicts between people?

Wulf C. Krueger philantrop at
Sun Mar 13 10:34:41 PDT 2011

> I would like to know how different distributions have organized handling
> personal conflicts between contributors.

In Exherbo, we have much more contributors (~120) than core developers (~24). 
Personal conflicts do arise, of course, but handling depends on the cause and 
scope of said conflict:

- Technical disagreement between contributors turns into a personality clash: 
We, as core devs, choose the solution we like better. Case closed.

- Technical disagreement between core devs: Our project lead/"BDFL" chooses 
the solutions he wants for Exherbo. Case closed.

- Personality clashes in general: They're tolerated up to the point at which 
one of us core devs thinks something should be done. Said dev then talks to 
the persons involved. If no agreement can be reached, the issue is escalated 
to our project lead/"BDFL" and he talks to the parties involved. If that 
doesn't lead to an agreement the conflict is regarded as basically 
unresolvable and is tolerated. Interaction between the parties involved is 
usually reduced to technical stuff.
This does, in some cases, lead to competing technical implementations one of 
which usually obsolete the other. Technical evolution so to speak and this 
tends to convince the party with the technically inferior solution.

This has worked pretty well for us for the last four years.

Best regards, Wulf
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