Re: What is GNOME?

Havoc Pennington <> writes:

> This thread is dead, unless you are going to give a concrete proposal
> for how we decide who gets to vote in GNOME elections.

Well, it's not been decided that the foundation (at the non-board
level) will operate on a voting system.  I think that the notion of a
consensus sounds significantly friendlier and more in-line with the
way GNOME has worked to this point.  Also there are several other
really succesful large organizations that we can learn from.  So we
should look at both as possible participation mechanisms for the
general membership.

> I want productive, concrete suggestions. Suggestions we have so far
> are:
>  - if you want to be a member, you just ask, and the steering
>    committee rubber-stamp approves it if they see any evidence
>    of participation in GNOME
>  - if you want to be a member you have to have work included 
>    in a GNOME release
> Do you like one of those, or would you like to suggest an alternative?
> In general, just ranting about vague stuff like "openness" results in
> unproductive flameage. Giving a concrete proposal results in making a
> useful decision. 

A clear understanding of the importance of openness, and its history
in GNOME, is critical in having the right perspective for designing a
concrete proposal.  Admittedly there were some flaws in my
description, but awareness of those is better than no discussion.

In addition to what you've proposed, there are a few more potential
metrics/procedures for determining whether a person can become a
voting/consensus-participating member of the GNOME foundation.  Here's
as complete a list as I can build right now:

    1. If you want in, you're in.

    2. If you want in, you're in, subject to the blessing of some
       higher body (steering committee, board, whatever).

    3. If you want in, and N other current members endorse your
       application, you're in.  This has some obvious problems (the
       lone programmer cannot vote unless he's also a part of The
       Community; cliques can form).  It's sort of the Advogato model.

    4. If you have contributed materially (code or documentation or 
       translation) to a GNOME release, then you're in.

    5. The Higher Power keeps a list of "approved membership
       projects."  If you are a contributor to one of these projects,
       you're in.  The higher power will have to update this list
       regularly, based on recommendations from the existing
       membership body.

    6. The Higher Power keeps a list as described.  The maintainer of
       each membership module can appoint members.

    7. To join, you submit a simple application saying "Here's what I
       have done/am doing for GNOME."  The Higher Power, or its
       appointed subbody, approves most of these applications.

    8. There is no notion of formal membership.  If you show up for a
       consensus meeting/vote, then you get a voice.

To me, it comes down to the attitute of the people
approving/appointing the new members.  And I think we can all agree
that this attitude should be open, generous, and welcoming.  Which is
why it's important to talk about openness.


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