OpenForum Code of Conduct

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         OpenFORUM Policy

Participation in OpenFORUM comes with membership in WorldVistA. It is therefore important to accept the WorldVistA Principles & Values.

Statement of Principles & Values (Revised October 21, 2004)

1. WorldVistA is committed to making and keeping VistA and related software freely available under an open-source software community model.

2. WorldVistA encourages the use and support of other VistA-related open-source software such as open-source host operating systems, M/umps language environments, and client, desktop and other packages.

3. WorldVistA believes that the success of VistA is best assured through the adoption of the values, principles and practices of the open-source software movement and successful open-source software communities.

OpenFORUM is a system developed and maintained to provide a world-wide communications system for use by those using and contributing to VistA. Applications on OpenFORUM provide a variety of tools and utilities to support those engaged in improving healthcare through the use of the VistA software developed originally by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

OpenFORUM is intended for providing an open forum for software developers (analysts, architects, programmers, documenters, testers, users who contribute their development ideas, etc.), vendors, members of standards groups, and the always important support personnel and end users (the folks who have to use information technology to do their jobs.) And then there is everyone else who ever got sick, had a malady, affliction or accident, knew someone who got sick, or simply want to stay healthy.


The following defines the various policies that govern your use of OpenFORUM.

Open and active participation is encouraged. Access to VA MailMan is provided to all who register on OpenFORUM. VA MailMan provides an efficient message-response chain capability permitting very large numbers to participate in receipt of discussions where one can easily opt out (or in, with message forwarding) of ongoing discussions. Message response chains are managed automatically. Responses are threaded in sequence following the original message and are instantly available to anyone currently reading the message, providing a "real-time" conversation among message recipients. All responses are available for review at any time by all recipients.

Registered users of OpenFORUM agree to conduct themselves professionally in all uses of OpenFORUM and especially in messages and discussions for which they are responsible on OpenFORUM. Flaming, soliciting for political or religious causes, harassment as defined by the US CODE, and any unprofessional discourse will not be tolerated. This should not be taken to discourage lively discussions! Good judgment should be used with the knowledge that ANY message could be forwarded or copied in any manner and sent to anyone. There are plenty of other systems where coarse exchanges are allowed and even encouraged. Be courteous and treat all users of OpenFORUM as your peers.

As a kind of OpenFORUM honor code, be willing to quickly call a halt to flames. And be willing to cease when someone expresses that your own messages may be thought inappropriate. Let your first response always be to assume they may be right.

OpenFORUM depends on projecting an always professional image. Vendors, customers, private citizens and government employees depend on being able to use OpenFORUM to exchange useful information freely. Any discourse that is deemed inappropriate, called attention to, and not ceased, should be raised to the G.OPENFORUM SUPPORT mail group. Their decision as to appropriate Action is final. Such Action may be removal of the message chain, or as strong as removing offending users from use of OpenFORUM.