Re: Astonishment

On Thu, 2002-09-19 at 00:43, Glynn Foster wrote:
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.

One question here is how recent the contribution has to be. The
guidelines are silent on the issue. It has therefore fallen upon the
membership committee to settle the matter in each individual case. I
respect the work they are doing, and do not expect them to come to the
same conclusions as I would.

Nevertheless, I am going to state my point of view:

Most of us do take breaks from Gnome activites from time to time, and
return after a while. My own contributions to the project are relatively
minor, and I would expect that the time of inactivity until I no longer
could be considered a participant would be short. Others have made major
contributions, which have had major impact on the project and a
corresponding major impact on their private lives.

I believe that in such cases, the community should allow a longer period
for recuperation and catching up on non-Gnome commitments. In Martin
Baulig's case, it has been a little over a year. 

I am not arguing for lifelong coasting on old accomplishments. I am just
arguing that both elapsed time and magnitude of contribution have to be
taken into account. And I cannot see that the membership guidelines
contradict this view.


Jon Kåre

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