Re: Membership

Havoc Pennington <> writes:

> So, I think we should require that members have been contributing
> significant code, docs, translations, webmastering, or whatever on a
> regular basis for some period of time (2 months?). Defining
> "significant" and "regular basis" could be tricky. Also, we need to
> define what it is they have to contribute to - I guess we are going to
> have to bite the bullet and actually define GNOME as some set of
> packages. Anyway.

An interesting corner case is if a contributor develops a new package
that we might want to consider part of GNOME once it exists.
> One maybe-problem here is that persons at companies such as Eazel
> couldn't get membership for the 2-month period. Maybe that's bad, or
> maybe it isn't (I'm not sure one knows enough to be voting on things
> before spending a couple months keeping track of what's going on).

It has it's ups and downs. On the one hand, working on GNOME full-time
for a company would probably mean more real concrete work than as a
volunteer, but it might potentially indicate a lower level of
"spiritual commitment" or whatever.

> To select the initial membership, we should take whatever criteria we
> plan to use for future members, and simply apply them to everyone we
> know about now.

That depends on if we want the criteria to be mechanistic or
voting/judgement call. One way I think might be good to pick an
initial membership (though it probably would not be scalable) is to
pick the set of modules that will be represented, and ask the
maintainers of each to come up with a list of significant
contributors, and merge these lists.

> We need a fairly simple process for making people members, since
> someone will have to do the work. How about: members write down what
> they've contributed and when, they send it to a particular email
> address ( or something), and we basically just
> check CVS or SourceForge to be sure it's remotely credible and then
> approve them. Alternatively, we batch up the requests-for-membership
> and the steering committee approves the list every couple weeks at its
> meetings.

The way Apache does it, people are nominated for membership rather
than requesting it, and the whole membership votes to approve the
nomination. I think this way might be less likely to lead to hard
feelings and is less likely to discriminate against shy/unassertive
people who would feel uncomfortable requesting membership.

> Unfortunately, we almost certainly need a member database with GPG
> public keys such as the one Debian has. This is the only way I know of
> to do secure voting. This leads to some unpleasantness; basically you
> have to meet all members in person or call them on the phone and do
> the fingerprint-exchange deal to get their key signed, and people have
> to not lose their secret keys.

We can get a start on key-exchange action at LWE.

 - Maciej

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