Skip to content
Code of Conduct

Stellar and the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) are built fundamentally around the idea of inclusiveness. We aim to work with and enable professionals, volunteers, and users all over the world on every aspect of our mission — including mentorship, teaching, and connecting people. Most of all, we aim to create a thriving, open, and welcoming, community that leaves people inspired.

Diversity of opinion, however, can also lead to communication issues and unhappiness. To that end, we have a few ground rules that we ask people to adhere to. This code applies equally to founders, mentors and those seeking help and guidance.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of things that you can’t do. Rather, take it in the spirit in which it’s intended - a guide to make it easier to enrich all of us and the technical communities in which we participate.

This code of conduct applies to all spaces managed by the Stellar Development Foundation. This includes Keybase, our mailing lists, the issue tracker, SDF events, and any other forums created by the project team which the community uses for communication. In addition, violations of this code outside these spaces may affect a person’s ability to participate within them.

If you believe someone is violating the code of conduct, we ask that you report it by emailing [email protected]. For more details please see our reporting guidelines below.

  • Be kind, cordial, courteous.There’s no need to be mean or rude, or to show contempt towards others.
  • Be patient — especially with newcomers to the community.
  • Be welcoming.Seek diverse perspectives. Diversity of views and of people on teams powers innovation, even if it is not always comfortable. We strive to be a community that welcomes and supports people of all backgrounds and identities. This includes, but is not limited to members of any race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, color, immigration status, social and economic class, educational level, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, size, family status, political belief, religion, and mental and physical ability.
  • Be considerate and empathetic.Your work will be used by other people, and you in turn will depend on the work of others. Any decision you take will affect users and colleagues, and you should take those consequences into account when making decisions. Remember that we’re a world-wide community, so you might not be communicating in someone else’s primary language.
  • Be direct but professional.We are likely to have some discussions about if and when criticism is respectful and when it’s not. We must be able to speak directly when we disagree and when we think we need to improve. We cannot withhold hard truths. Doing so respectfully is hard, doing so when others don’t seem to be listening is harder, and hearing such comments when one is the recipient can be even harder still. We need to be honest and direct, as well as respectful.
  • Be respectful.Not all of us will agree all the time, but disagreement is no excuse for poor behavior and poor manners. We might all experience some frustration now and then, but we cannot allow that frustration to turn into a personal attack. It’s important to remember that a community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened is not a productive one. Members of the Stellar community should be respectful when dealing with other members as well as with people outside the Stellar community.
  • Be careful in the words that you choose.There is no cost and a lot of benefit to taking a deep breath before communicating. We are a community of professionals, and we conduct ourselves professionally. Be kind to others. Do not insult or put down other participants. Harassment and other exclusionary behavior aren’t acceptable and could result in you getting banned. This includes, but is not limited to:
    • Violent threats or language directed against another person.
    • Discriminatory jokes and language.
    • Posting sexually explicit or violent material.
    • Posting (or threatening to post) other people’s personally identifying information (“doxing”).
    • Personal insults, especially those using racist or sexist terms.
    • Trolling, personal or political attacks.
    • Unwelcome sexual attention.
    • Public or private harassment.
    • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior.
    • Repeated harassment of others. In general, if someone asks you to stop, then stop.
  • Be inquisitive.Nobody knows everything! Asking questions early avoids many problems later, so questions are encouraged, though they may be directed to the appropriate forum. Those who are asked should be responsive and helpful, within the context of our shared goal of improving Stellar.
  • Be concise.Keep in mind that what you write once will be read by hundreds of persons. Writing a short email means people can understand the conversation as efficiently as possible. Short emails should always strive to be empathetic, welcoming, friendly and patient. When a long explanation is necessary, consider adding a summary.
    • Try to bring new ideas to a conversation so that each response adds something unique to the thread, keeping in mind that the rest of the thread still contains the other messages with arguments that have already been made.
    • Try to stay on topic, especially in discussions that are already fairly large.
  • When we disagree, try to understand why.Respect that people have differences of opinion and that every design or implementation choice carries a trade-off and numerous costs. There is seldom a right answer. Disagreements, both social and technical, happen all the time and Stellar is no exception. It is important that we resolve disagreements and differing views constructively. Finally, don’t forget that it is human to err and blaming each other doesn’t get us anywhere. Instead, focus on helping to resolve issues and learning from mistakes.
  • Most of all, be excellent to each other.

We encourage everyone to participate and are committed to building a community for all. We are committed to being a community that everyone feels good about joining. Although we may not be able to satisfy everyone, we all agree that everyone is equal. Whenever a participant has made a mistake, we expect them to take responsibility for it. If someone has been harmed or offended, it is our responsibility to listen carefully and respectfully, and do our best to right the wrong.

No matter how you identify yourself or how others perceive you: we welcome you. Although this list cannot be exhaustive, we explicitly honor diversity in age, gender, gender identity or expression, culture, ethnicity, language, national origin, political beliefs, profession, race, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and technical ability. We will not tolerate discrimination based on any of the characteristics above, including participants with disabilities.

Though we welcome people fluent in all languages, Stellar’s development is conducted in English. Standards for behavior in the Stellar community are detailed in the Code of Conduct above. We expect participants in our community to meet these standards in all their interactions and to help others to do so as well.

If you believe you’re experiencing an instance of abusive, harassing, or otherwise unacceptable behavior that will not be tolerated as outlined above, please contact the project team by emailing us at [email protected].

If you are unsure whether the incident is a violation, or whether the space where it happened is covered by this Code of Conduct, we encourage you to still report it. We would much rather have a few extra reports where we decide to take no action, rather than miss a report of an actual violation. We do not look negatively on you if we find the incident is not a violation. And knowing about incidents that are not violations, or happen outside our spaces, can also help us to improve the Code of Conduct or the processes surrounding it.

In your report please include:

  • Your contact info (so we can get in touch with you if we need to follow up)
  • Names (real, nicknames, or pseudonyms) of any individuals involved. If there were other witnesses besides you, please try to include them as well.
  • When and where the incident occurred. Please be as specific as possible.
  • Your account of what occurred. If there is a publicly available record (e.g. a mailing list archive or a public Keybase logger) please include a link.
  • Any extra context you believe existed for the incident.
  • If you believe this incident is ongoing.
  • Any other information you believe we should have.

If you believe anyone is in physical danger, please notify appropriate law enforcement first. If you are unsure what law enforcement agency is appropriate, please include this in your report and we will attempt to notify them.

Whether you’re a regular contributor or a newcomer, we care about making this community a safe place for you and we’ve got your back. Likewise, please also report to us if you observe a potentially dangerous situation, someone in distress, or violations of these guidelines, even if the situation is not happening to you.

If you feel you have been unfairly accused of violating these guidelines, please follow the same reporting process.

All reports will be kept confidential. In some cases we may determine that a public statement will need to be made. If that’s the case, the identities of all the victims and reporters will remain confidential unless those individuals instruct us otherwise. All complaints will be reviewed and investigated and will result in a response that is deemed necessary and appropriate to the circumstances.

Project maintainers who do not follow or enforce the Code of Conduct in good faith may face temporary or permanent repercussions as determined by other members of the project’s leadership.

Project maintainers are responsible for clarifying the standards of acceptable behavior and are expected to take appropriate and fair corrective action in response to any instances of unacceptable behavior. This means that we will exclude you from interaction if you insult, demean or harass anyone. That is not welcome behavior.

Project maintainers have the right and responsibility to remove, edit, or reject comments, commits, code, wiki edits, issues, and other contributions that are not aligned to this Code of Conduct, or to ban temporarily or permanently any contributor for other behaviors that they deem inappropriate, threatening, offensive, or harmful.

When a report is sent to the committee, we promise to acknowledge receipt within 24 hours (and will aim for much quicker than that). The CoC committee will meet to review the incident and determine:

  • What happened.
  • Whether this event constitutes a code of conduct violation.
  • Who the bad actor was.
  • Whether this is an ongoing situation, or if there is a threat to anyone’s physical safety.

If this is determined to be an ongoing incident or a threat to physical safety, the working groups’ immediate priority will be to protect everyone involved. This means we may delay an “official” response until we believe that the situation has ended and that everyone is physically safe.

Once the working group has a complete account of the events they will make a decision as to how to respond. Responses may include:

  • Nothing (if we determine no violation occurred).
  • A private reprimand from the working group to the individual(s) involved.
  • A public reprimand.
  • An imposed vacation (i.e. asking someone to “take a week off” from a mailing list or Keybase).
  • A permanent or temporary ban from some or all Stellar spaces (mailing lists, Keybase, etc.)
  • A request for a public or private apology.

We’ll respond within one week to the person who filed the report with either a resolution or an explanation of why the situation is not yet resolved. Once we’ve determined our final action, we’ll contact the original reporter to let them know what action (if any) we’ll be taking. We’ll take into account feedback from the reporter on the appropriateness of our response, but we don’t guarantee we’ll act on it.

This Code of Conduct applies within all project spaces, and it also applies when an individual is representing the project or its community in public spaces. Examples of representing a project or community include using an official project e-mail address, posting via an official social media account, or acting as an appointed representative at an online or offline event. Representation of a project may be further defined and clarified by project maintainers.

This Code of Conduct was adapted with modifications from the many great guides from the following teams; we deeply appreciate your work.

This Code of Conduct is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license.