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Hi, :-)

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
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 – 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 – 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

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

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 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

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. :-)

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