#include <C++> Update on CppCon

23 June 2022


CppCon has recently published a post with new, expanded, and continuing diversity and inclusion initiatives for CppCon 2022. We believe this is a good time to review how much progress CppCon has made on the eight meaningful changes that we asked for in our #include <C++> position on CppCon safety document.

Transparency and public accountability from CppCon and the Standard C++ Foundation.

1. A full, public transparency report from the Standard C++ Foundation on this incident.

CppCon has published a transparency report on this incident here (together with the announcement of a new CppCon Safety Policy), with a follow-post answering additional questions here. These posts contain a considerable amount of information on the incident and its aftermath, however notably they do not mention the precise nature of the conviction, describing it only as a “serious felony”. Further, they make no mention of the private meeting the Foundation board held with X. Understanding why such a meeting was held and the purpose of it, as well as the outcome, is part of the transparency that is still missing.

2. Public annual CppCon Code of Conduct transparency reports.

CppCon published a Code of Conduct transparency report for the 2021 conference here and have committed to continue to do so annually.

3. Public minutes for the Standard C++ Foundation board meetings (following the example of the Python Software Foundation).

The Standard C++ Foundation has started to publish minutes of their board meetings.

4. Public annual reports on the activities and decisions of the Standard C++ Foundation Board (following the example of the Python Software Foundation).

The Standard C++ Foundation has published an annual report for the 2021 fiscal year, and publicly committed to continue to publish these reports annually.

Changes to the governance of CppCon.

5. Establishment of a transparent and diverse CppCon Steering Committee that has authority over CppCon. CppCon Attendees should elect the Steering Committee, and have short term limits.

No changes to the governance of CppCon have been announced to date other than appointing Daisy Hollman as Program Chair. While we are confident Daisy will be a great Program Chair, the issues with leadership that led to the #include <C++> statement were not with the Program Chair position (in fact, the previous incumbent, Bryce Adelstein Lelbach, quit over the way this situation was handled). We therefore do not consider this to be a meaningful leadership or governance change.

6. Changes to the composition of the Standard C++ Foundation board.

No changes to the composition of the Standard C++ Foundation board have been announced to date.

Empowerment of the CppCon Code of Conduct team.

7. Extension of the mandate of the team to all questions of attendee safety.

CppCon has announced a Safety Policy and has publicly announced that they have placed the implementation of that policy fully in the hands of the Code of Conduct team. As far as we can tell, this is being followed in practice: a recent security-related question that was raised with the CppCon leadership was immediately forwarded to the Code of Conduct team, along with a confirmation that the decision on this question lies with the Code of Conduct team.

8. Possibility for the team to take binding decisions on the conference leadership.

CppCon has confirmed that the Code of Conduct team’s mandate to enforce the Code of Conduct extends to anyone at CppCon, including the conference leadership, and added wording to the published CppCon Code of Conduct explicitly stating this (“The code of conduct team is empowered to, amongst other things: eject any participant from the conference (including speakers and organisers); cancel a presentation in progress or scheduled; close down any online presentation chat forum”).

Summary Table

Change or Action Current Status
1. Incident Transparency Report ✓ incomplete
2. CppCon Transparency Reports
3. Foundation Board Minutes
4. Foundation Board Annual Reports
5. Steering Committee
6. Foundation Board
7. CoC Team Mandate
8. CoC Binds Leadership