[steering-discuss] Suggested blog about MC work and philosophy

Hi SC/MC members,

I'd like to blog about the start of the Membership process.

Althoug I'd do this in my private blog, I'd like you to verify some of my comments in the lower part of the post. It targets some questions that we received and might be of interest for a broader audience. It's about our philosophy of merit and how we acnowledge contributing members.

(btw. sorry for the rather long text hope you can get through it before falling asleep).

regards,

André

**********************************

TDF has new members

The opening of the membership process has been announced last Tuesday (http://blog.documentfoundation.org/2011/04/19/the-document-foundation-is-open-for-members/) and we already received lots of applications. Sophie did a great job scanning those and preparing the list for our first Membership Commitee meeting.

So - on Friday we processed 59 applications (roughly all we received until Thursday midnight). We are very pleased that we could directly approve 23 applications. For 22 more applications we need to have a closer look. We will ask the contacts named in the applications for verification, scan our systems like git, pootle, wiki, mailing lists for visible contributions and the like. Please bear with us while we are collecting the information for our decision.

Unfortunately we had to decline 14 applications - almost all because no information about current contributions were given. Anyway - these people are welcome to send in a new application with appropriate information.

All applicants will be informed within the next days about the status of their application (we are just preparing some mail templates for this). We will also set up a list of accepted TDF members at our website.

What we learned from some of the comments and mails that came in is that we will have to review our application form. Some phrases are not very clear (like the "contact information") and we should provide a link to our bylaws, so that you can check membership criteria as well as rights and responsibilities of our members.

We also received some mails, asking why we need a membership application at all. Let me try to answer to some of those comments.

> Does the mean that unless we are "members" of the "Community" we are not allow to work trade shows, promote, or provide support to users?

This is indeed not the case. Everyone is welcome to contribute to LibreOffice and TDF. And this can be done in various ways. Our bylaws list some ways to contribute, but this list is not totally fixed. The Membership Committee will also value other ways to contribute (we envision that there are many other ways that we even did not think of yet).

So - everyone is welcome to contribute and the official membership is our way to acknowledge these contributions.

> Before the fork members of the Community Council were elected by the members of the community. The only requirement to be a member was to have created an account on the OOo web site.

There are two things two consider.

1st - only one seat at the OOo Community Council was directly elected by the community (defined as above). The majority of seats was elected by project leads who had to be elected or appointed before. So the OOo process is also not open to everyone. Even worse - the OOo process did not give equal rights to contributing members, because of the egalitarian system of project leads. We at TDF clearly stick to the rule, that there is no difference among the accepted members.

2nd - If we would allow anyone to get voting power with "just a click" this would completely invalidate our philosophy of merit. Why should anybody work hard and give continuous user support and then just see, that his voice will be overruled by people who "just found the right button"?
This does indeed not mean that we will ignore the voices of our user base. Especially those people who give support and are in close contact to end user are encouraged to represent user concerns.

> I also refuse to apply for membership in the community. I do not feel that anyone has the right to judge me when they know nothing about me.

This is indeed very unfortunate and a misunderstanding what we as Membership Committee are heading for. We are trying to get to know you to correctly process your application. The information we ask is to help us with this task. My experience is that everybody who is contributing to a community is known within this community. Our obligation as MC is to seek counsel from the community to find the right decision.

The next meeting of the Membership Committee will be in about a week. We are looking forward to receive your applications :slight_smile:

Hi André

Good idea and good topics you address. Some remarks:

André Schnabel wrote (23-04-11 20:58)

until Thursday midnight). We are very pleased that we could directly
approve 23 applications.

Minor point: I would say 'immediately approve'

> Does the mean that unless we are "members" of the "Community" we are
not allow to work trade shows, promote, or provide support to users?

This is indeed not the case. Everyone is welcome to contribute to

   'is definitely not the case' (anyway, I hope so)

LibreOffice and TDF.

the next part is more about the process /merits on which members are accepted. Is it that you want to say that on the one hand not each contribution is a ground for membership and on the other hand the MC will look to all possible contributions when deciding on an application?

                     And this can be done in various ways. Our bylaws
list some ways to contribute, but this list is not totally fixed. The
Membership Committee will also value other ways to contribute (we
envision that there are many other ways that we even did not think of yet).

So - everyone is welcome to contribute and the official membership is
our way to acknowledge these contributions.

Regards,
Cor

Hi André,

Hi SC/MC members,

I'd like to blog about the start of the Membership process.

Althoug I'd do this in my private blog, I'd like you to verify some of my comments in the lower part of the post. It targets some questions that we received and might be of interest for a broader audience. It's about our philosophy of merit and how we acnowledge contributing members.

(btw. sorry for the rather long text hope you can get through it before falling asleep).

I felt asleep, but it was not because of your text :wink:

regards,

André

**********************************

TDF has new members

The opening of the membership process has been announced last Tuesday (http://blog.documentfoundation.org/2011/04/19/the-document-foundation-is-open-for-members/) and we already received lots of applications. Sophie did a great job scanning those and preparing the list for our first Membership Commitee meeting.

Thanks :slight_smile:

So - on Friday we processed 59 applications (roughly all we received until Thursday midnight). We are very pleased that we could directly approve 23 applications. For 22 more applications we need to have a closer look. We will ask the contacts named in the applications for verification, scan our systems like git, pootle, wiki, mailing lists for visible contributions and the like. Please bear with us while we are collecting the information for our decision.

Unfortunately we had to decline 14 applications - almost all because no information about current contributions were given. Anyway - these people are welcome to send in a new application with appropriate information.

I would insist on the necessity of the details, this is very important because all the process is only base on that. Even if we know the people, I think any applicant should do as if we don't know him.

All applicants will be informed within the next days about the status of their application (we are just preparing some mail templates for this). We will also set up a list of accepted TDF members at our website.

What we learned from some of the comments and mails that came in is that we will have to review our application form. Some phrases are not very clear (like the "contact information") and we should provide a link to our bylaws, so that you can check membership criteria as well as rights and responsibilities of our members.

yes, it's often considered as information about the applicant when it's about the person of reference.

We also received some mails, asking why we need a membership application at all. Let me try to answer to some of those comments.

> Does the mean that unless we are "members" of the "Community" we are not allow to work trade shows, promote, or provide support to users?

This is indeed not the case. Everyone is welcome to contribute to LibreOffice and TDF. And this can be done in various ways. Our bylaws list some ways to contribute, but this list is not totally fixed. The Membership Committee will also value other ways to contribute (we envision that there are many other ways that we even did not think of yet).

So - everyone is welcome to contribute and the official membership is our way to acknowledge these contributions.

> Before the fork members of the Community Council were elected by the members of the community. The only requirement to be a member was to have created an account on the OOo web site.

There are two things two consider.

1st - only one seat at the OOo Community Council was directly elected by the community (defined as above). The majority of seats was elected by project leads who had to be elected or appointed before. So the OOo process is also not open to everyone. Even worse - the OOo process did not give equal rights to contributing members, because of the egalitarian system of project leads. We at TDF clearly stick to the rule, that there is no difference among the accepted members.

2nd - If we would allow anyone to get voting power with "just a click" this would completely invalidate our philosophy of merit. Why should anybody work hard and give continuous user support and then just see, that his voice will be overruled by people who "just found the right button"?
This does indeed not mean that we will ignore the voices of our user base. Especially those people who give support and are in close contact to end user are encouraged to represent user concerns.

> I also refuse to apply for membership in the community. I do not feel that anyone has the right to judge me when they know nothing about me.

This is indeed very unfortunate and a misunderstanding what we as Membership Committee are heading for. We are trying to get to know you to correctly process your application. The information we ask is to help us with this task. My experience is that everybody who is contributing to a community is known within this community. Our obligation as MC is to seek counsel from the community to find the right decision.

Yes, you are right to emphasize this part of our work, and by the way this is also what makes this work interesting for us :slight_smile:

The next meeting of the Membership Committee will be in about a week. We are looking forward to receive your applications :slight_smile:

thanks Andre, it's a great blog.

Kind regards
Sophie

Hi Cor,

the next part is more about the process /merits on which members are accepted. Is it that you want to say that on the one hand not each contribution is a ground for membership and on the other hand the MC will look to all possible contributions when deciding on an application?

Hmm .. not exactly. It is more my point, that we have a list of contributions that establish merit. But there are possibly more ways to contribute (we cannot even name yet) and the MC will consider those ways as well.

Any better words for that?

André Schnabel wrote (24-04-11 10:46)

the next part is more about the process /merits on which members are
accepted. Is it that you want to say that on the one hand not each
contribution is a ground for membership and on the other hand the MC
will look to all possible contributions when deciding on an application?

Hmm .. not exactly. It is more my point, that we have a list of
contributions that establish merit. But there are possibly more ways to
contribute (we cannot even name yet) and the MC will consider those ways
as well.

Any better words for that?

The words are fine, but I think I get a bit confused by the way you connected the two parts. (And the biased interpretation word 'indeed' before). I think it is OK to just start a new line with:

Contributing to The Document Foundation/LibreOffice can be .... etc etc

                    And this can be done in various ways. Our bylaws
list some ways to contribute, but this list is not totally fixed. The
Membership Committee will also value other ways to contribute (we
envision that there are many other ways that we even did not think of
yet).

So - everyone is welcome to contribute and the official membership is
our way to acknowledge these contributions.

Regards,
Cor

Hi, :slight_smile:

I took the liberty of proofreading the post a bit and editing
slightly. See below, plus attached ODT file. HTH.

David Nelson

TDF has new members

The opening of the membership process was announced last Tuesday
(http://blog.documentfoundation.org/2011/04/19/the-document-foundation-is-open-for-members/),
and we already received lots of applications. Sophie did a great job
scanning those and preparing the list for our first Membership
Commitee meeting.

So, on Friday, we processed 59 applications (roughly all we received
up to Thursday midnight). We are happy to tell you that we felt able
to approve 23 applications immediately. For 22 more applications, we
need to take a closer look. We will ask the contacts named in the
applications for verification, scan our systems ‚Äď such as Git, Pootle,
the Wiki, Alfresco and the mailing lists for appreciable
contributions. Please bear with us while we collect the information to
enable us to take an informed decision.

Unfortunately we had to decline 14 applications ‚Äď in almost all cases,
this was because no information was given about current contributions.
However, these people are welcome to send in a further application
with appropriate information.

All applicants will be informed within the coming days about the
status of their application (we are just preparing some mail templates
for this). We will also publish a list of accepted TDF members on our
website.

What we learned from some of the comments and mails that came in is
that we will have to review our application form. Some phrases are not
very clear (like the "contact information"), and we should provide a
link to our bylaws so that you can check that you meet the membership
criteria as well as read about our members' rights and
responsibilities.

We also received some mail messages asking why we need a membership
application at all. Let me try to answer to some of those comments.

Question: "Does the mean that unless we are 'members' of the
'Community' we are not allowed to represent and promote LibreOffice at
trade shows, or to provide support to users?"

Answer: This is not the case at all. Everyone is welcome to contribute
to LibreOffice and TDF, and this can be done in various ways. Our
Community Bylaws list some ways to contribute, but this list is not
necessarily exhaustive. The Membership Committee will also evaluate
other ways of contributing (we anticipate that there are many other
ways that we even did not think of yet).

So, everyone is welcome to contribute and the status of official
membership is our way to acknowledge these contributions.

Question: "Before the fork, members of the Community Council were
elected by the members of the community. The only requirement to be a
member was to have created an account on the OpenOffice.org website.
So what's the situation now?"

Answer: There are two things two consider.

First, only one seat on the OOo Community Council was directly elected
by the community (defined as above). Most seats were elected by
project leads, who had to be elected or appointed beforehand. So the
OOo process is also not open to everyone. Even worse, the OOo process
did not give equal rights to contributing members, because of the
non-egalitarian system of project leads. We at TDF are sticking
closely to the rule that there is no difference of equality among
accepted members.

Second, if we allowed just anyone to get voting power "with one
click", this would completely invalidate our philosophy of merit. Why
should anybody work hard and give continuous user support, and then
just see his/her voice overruled by people who "just clicked the right
button"?

This does indeed not mean that we will ignore the voices of our user
base. Those people who give support and are in close contact to end
user are especially encouraged to represent user concerns.

Question: "I refuse to apply for membership in the community. I do not
feel that anyone has the right to judge me when they know nothing
about me. So?"

Answer: This is indeed very unfortunate, and a misunderstanding of
what the Membership Committee's is intended to accomplish. We want to
get to know you so that we can properly and fairly process your
application. The information we ask for is intended to help us with
this task. My experience is that everybody who is contributing to a
community is known within the said community. Our obligation as the
Membership Commitee is to seek counsel from the community so that we
can arrive at the right decision.

The next meeting of the Membership Committee will be in about one
week, and we'll be looking forward to receiving your applications. :slight_smile:

Hi Andre,

I'd like to blog about the start of the Membership process.

  Great blog content :slight_smile:

  Thanks !

    Michael.