2 ideas for foundation membership

Hey all,

thought I could briefly add possibilities to the discussion of the
membership committee's work.

I Closure of membership before elections:

One of the concerns is that foundation members elect a good board. A
constant allusion is to 
1) being overwhelmed by folks who know nothing about gnome
2) the voice of developers being diluted by that of common users
3) a take over by some group

I suggest that membership be *closed* for three or six months prior to
elections. This would mean that anyone who wants to vote, has to express
interest in the project a good while before they actually get to vote
their views. This would also mean that to vote you would have to figure
out that you need to become a member, stay interested for a while, then
vote. This would partially address the points above.

II. Use of references:
A second suggestion is that the membership committee, before rejecting
an application, use the names of the people presented as references. (I
don't know to what extent this was done in the last process but for my
personal case clearly was not.) Some cases will always fall on the
borderline. Where such cases include names of references, I would expect
that these references be contacted with a short email and asked for a
short reply. i.e.

From: the gnome membership committee
To: (reference)

The membership committee feels that the application provided by

(applicant name)

is insufficient to be accepted outright. However, the applicant provided
your name as a gnome foundation member who could amplify the application
and give us a better basis on which to decide. Could you please give us
a brief explanation of the applicant's contributions to GNOME of which
you are aware.

Thank you,

the membership committee

Borderline cases are invariably the most time consuming part of such a
committee's role. This should enable the first triage to pass more
quickly while allowing a more informed decision before outright
rejection of an application. Also by giving weight to the opinion of
references, the GNOME foundation stresses the community aspect of

hope these ideas help,


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