Re: Membership drive

On Thu, 21 Jul 2005, Dave Neary wrote:

> Date: Thu, 21 Jul 2005 17:51:58 +0200
> From: Dave Neary <dneary free fr>
> To: foundation-list gnome org
> Subject: Membership drive
> Hi,
> I don't know who the best people to talk to about this are, but it would
> be great to have a membership drive for the foundation in September or
> October.

Would that be before or after the elections?

Before would be better I think but it might put a lot of pressure on the
membership committee and it would make the task of informing the
electorate that little bit more difficult.

> Membership of the foundation has been stagnant, and I know that lots of
> people who are elligible have never asked to join (GIMP developers come
> to mind). What can be done (and by whom) to make membership more attractive?

I've always found it curious how the GNU Image Manipulation Program
sometimes publicallly distances itself from Gnome.  I suspect the
technical aspects of maintaining a portable Gtk only application is not
the whole answer but it certainly didn't help that Gnome used to be widely
perceived as a more techical definition based primarly on a set of
libraries applications used.

Having moved from Gnome 1 to Gnome 2 and gradually moving away from Bonobo
(or redeveloping/renewing it) I think most Gnome developers now fully
appreciate the value of keeping their software easy to port and making
sure any platform specific code is cleanly seperable.  And then there is
the (in)formal(?) commitment of Gnome to being portable and reaching a
wider audience.

It would be great if all kinds of Gtk developers could be made to feel
more like they were part of Gnome too.  Frankly I'd love to see a
more inclusive and modern definition of what Gnome means, one that reaches
out to projects like the GIMP, GPE, XCFE and make them want to define
themselves by our common interests rather than our differences.

> Can we move away from the "can I be in your club" model to the "come
> join us" model, where existing members can invite people to join, rather
> than the person needing to ask?

... any club that would have me as a member ...

> Why is it that people who identify as GNOME contributors aren't in the
> foundation?

Membership of the Foundation entitles developers to voting rights which
many developers are not particularly interested in so they do not bother.
The technical benefits of working with Gnome and following our Guidelines
and Standards do not (and nor should they) require membership.

Inviting all kinds of Gtk developers certainly sounds like a good idea to
me.  The network effect of having developers feel welcomed and part of our
community is in many ways more helpful to us all.  (So inviting
developers to join might be worth considering.)

There is also the distinct possibility that it never occured to
people they were entitled to be a part of the Gnome Foundation,
especially if they were not contributing code to any of the
core Gnome applications.

In summary I give this suggestion my +1


Alan Horkan

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