Re: Membership

Havoc Pennington <> writes:

> Hi,
> Some thoughts on the membership.
> First: Debian has a huge backlog of people who want to be members, and
> they just don't have time to approve people. IMHO one problem is that
> you can become a member _before_ doing any work.
> 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.

I think we need to distinguish between people who're working as
volunteers in their spare time on GNOME and people who're hired by a
company to do the programming:

* If someone is working in his spare time and spending hours and hours
  on GNOME, then I think we can assume that he believes enough in
  Free Software and the "spirit" of the GNOME project so that he can
  become a member automatically after some time.

* If someone is just working for a company, he can easily get 500
  working hours with GNOME stuff - but maybe he's just doing all this
  stuff 'cause he's payed for it so we may not want him to be a

So we cannot just use the amount of work as a criteria.
> 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.

I think we can do this for companies.

How about:

* People who're working in their spare time are automatically becoming
  members after some time

* The steering commitee approves companies - and once some company, for
  instance Eazel, has been approved all their employers who're working
  on GNOME can become members.

> 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.

Well, I think it should be sufficient if people get their keys signed
by some certification authority - at least here in germany there are
several such authorities; so you just need to walk to their office
with your public key and your passport to get it signed.

This may be easier to require European people to fly to the US.

Martin Baulig (private) (work)

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