Re: [steering-discuss] Suggested blog about MC work and philosophy
On 23/04/2011 21:58, André Schnabel wrote:
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
(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 ;)
TDF has new members
The opening of the membership process has been announced last Tuesday
and we already received lots of applications. Sophie did a great job
scanning those and preparing the list for our first Membership
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.
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
yes, it's often considered as information about the applicant when it's
about the person of reference.
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, you are right to emphasize this part of our work, and by the way
this is also what makes this work interesting for us :-)
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
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
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
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
The next meeting of the Membership Committee will be in about a week.
We are looking forward to receive your applications :)
thanks Andre, it's a great blog.
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