Re: Astonishment


On Wed, 2002-09-18 at 22:30, Jon Kåre Hellan wrote:
I see the following on cvs-commits-list:

        applications/rejected: martin_baulig

Is this for real?

If this is what the membership criteria actually dictate, have we really
got the criteria we want?

It's really nice to see everyone taking an interest in it - the
membership committee has been a pretty unglamourous role for a long
time. The reality is that we're working against a set of guidelines,
stated on -

"Per the GNOME Foundation's charter, any contributor to GNOME is
eligible for membership. Although it is difficult to specify a precise
definition, a contributor generally must have contributed to a
non-trivial improvement of the GNOME Project. Contributions may be code,
documentation, translations, maintenance of project-wide resources, or
other non-trivial activities which benefit the GNOME Project. While
large amounts of advocacy or bug reporting may qualify one as a member,
such contributions must be significantly above the level expected of an
ordinary user. Membership eligibility is an individual determination:
while contributions made in the course of employment will be considered,
they will generally be ascribed to the individuals involved, rather than
accruing to all employees of a "contributing" corporation. As noted
above, these guidelines are not meant to define precise objective
criteria: ultimately, an individual's membership eligibility will be
determined on a case-by-case basis, in the sound discretion of the
Membership Committee and the Board of Directors."

These guidelines are pretty vague - and when the membership committee
has to deal with 10 or 20 applications [or more] coming in each week
then this obviously becomes a very difficult proccess. It would be
impossible for the membership committee to know each person who is
applying, so we must take their applications at face value...what they
have written on their application.

I'm believe, and I can't speak for the membership committee [since I'm
no longer officially on it anymore], that we need to build up a
membership who love GNOME, dedicated to its cause and actively
contribute to its success. Now, I'm not saying that Martin doesn't love
GNOME far from it. But when you are faced with the above guidelines, the
task gets pretty hard. Membership expires after 2 years - do you judge a
person on their contributions 2 or 3 years ago...or their current
contributions? Which is better for GNOME? I have no hesitation in my

Also of interest this week was Elliot's application. His application
form was almost empty, except for the summary statement -
        "Wasting people's time, part deux"
The membership committee rejected this application as incomplete and
asked him to re-submit his application. So Elliot did indeed waste the
committee's time - he also changed his application from 'rejected' to
'approved' further wasting their time. Sure, the committee could have
recognized the name, remembered his truely great contributions to GNOME,
and did a small amount of research to accept him. But why given his

What I'm saying is 'don't beat up the messenger'. The committee are
under a great deal of stress - they will have processed well over 200
applications by the time the elections come [which are soon]. They are
judging people based on current guidelines, which perhaps as Jon
suggested aren't suitable and, indeed, we hope to review them with the
board in the coming weeks.

If you had your application processed unfairly in your mind, send a mail
to the committee, cc the board and we'll discuss it again. I've been on
the committee...I know what its like - it's a lot of hard work that some
one has to do and I personally believe that the current committee are
doing an absolutely super job, led by Mike.

                        See ya,
                                Glynn ;)

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