Re: GNOME Foundation membership guidelines.

On Tue, 2002-11-05 at 08:38, Gregory Leblanc wrote:

[lots of snipped thoughts]

I agree with almost everything Greg has said here, and I know there are
voices within the current board who feel the same way.

> I don't think the crisis of the membership committee began because of
> the existing criteria.  I believe that the crisis was caused by folks
> being rude, inconsiderate, and unkind in their critisms of the
> Membership Committee, and by voicing these concerns in a completely
> inappropraite forum.  I don't believe that it would have escalated to a
> 'crisis' if folks had simply asked for explanations of things, either
> from the membership committee as a whole directly, or from the
> membership committee by way of the Foundation mailing list.  This isn't
> to say that the guidelines were (are) adequate, only that the crisis was
> avoidable.

The crisis was entirely avoidable - people don't particularly like to
get their hands dirty with the Membership Committee role, and as long as
it doesn't upset their world view are happy to let it rumble on in the
background. This applies as much to board members as it does to people
who were rejected or their 'supporters'. At the time I invited people to
attempt to apply the previous regulations to a few applications
themselves. Most response were of the form "well yes, they don't work -
but this is <insert person> we're speaking about - he HAS to get in".

> I don't think this is a good way of looking at this problem.  If they're
> not voting, and they're not particating in any other way on the GNOME
> lists, why should they be foundation members?  They're clearly not
> interested in being part of GNOME.  They're simply bloating the
> membership list, and causing more adminstrative work with no gain. 
> Lifetime membership isn't in the benefits of GNOME in this instance.

This is perhaps my biggest problem with these guidelines.

> If the membership committee is loath to reject applications, and does
> everything that they can to avoid this, (from making sure to contact the
> references that people listed, to simply replying to the applicant that
> their application doesn't contain enough information on their GNOME
> contributions,) then we won't have problems like the ones that  we had
> in the past few months.  

A lack of reluctance? I can't express how reluctant I personally have
felt about some of the rejections, and indeed about some of the
acceptances. I'm sure Glynn will support me in saying what a difficult
process this is, and how hard we worked to at least be even-handed in
the majority of cases. Nothing was done lightly or flippantly by the

I'm not at all happy with the new guidelines personally, for many
reasons I've expounded upon endlessly elsewhere. There is a new
committee with new guidelines - my one hope is that they will generally
be supported by the Foundation Membership and the Board.


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