This page is a collection of initial thoughts and will be used to track discussion about who we consider as members of the foundation.
term definition "Member"
- when speaking about members, we mean those people who have a say within the foundation (e.g. elect the board, start referenda, influence the work and strategy of the foundation ...)
- we do not speak about member as a legal term, as in many countries, a foundation is a body that has no members but is directed by a board (according to the bylaws of the legal entity)
basic principles for members
- Members need to agree to the charter of the foundation (currently the Next Decade Manifesto)
- Membership is based on merit - to become a member one must have contributed significantly to the goals of the Foundation and / or the projects of the foundation (currently this means contributions to OOo / LibO)
general ideas and readings
- we do not need to invent all things anew
- membership might be modelled following other foundation's ideas ... e.g.
- membership process should be simple and fair (we expect to have a large number of contributors, complex processes will hinder contributors to become members)
- members should be individuals (see ND Manifesto: "we encourage corporate participation, e.g. by sponsoring individuals to work as equals alongside other contributors in the community")
- corporations, NGOs and other sponsoring entities still need good reasons to support the foundation. We must work on this - but they can get a voice within the foundation through their (staff) members.
- we encourage local entities (Associations, user groups ...) to setup own legal entities and find own structures that best match their cultural background. Members of such entities are welcome as members of the foundation.
criteria for membership
- Members need to agree to the charter of the foundation (currently the Next Decade Manifesto) and support an independent foundation.
- membership is based on merit -> so how do we define merit?
- code contribution
- contributing translations
- contributing documentation, artwork, templates ... that will be published at the foundation's resources
- triaging, prioritizing and doing in-depth analysis of bug reports and feature requests
- research activities (like market and feature research for future versions, usability research ...)
- advertizing the foundation and it's projects in coordination with the foundation at media, events, fairs ...
- maintaining infrastructure or administrative work for the benefit of other contributors
- all these contributions need to be non-trivial and last for a certain time frame
- time of membership
- if a member stops contributions, so that the criteria for merit are not given anymore, membership status should be revoked after a certain timeframe
- we may opt for a special "non voting" membership status (honored friends)
- for an initial timeframe, contributions to OpenOffice.org establish merit
- contributors to OpenOffice.org are qualified by the same rules to become members of the foundation
- we may have simplified process for OOo project leads, and long term contributors
- membership fees
- membership should not be bound to any fees
- membership is granted on request and needs to be approved
- approval is done by a membership committee (which is nominated by the board - or for the moment by the steering committee)
- membership requests need to include information about merit
- collection of such information should be automated whenever possible - infrastructure should be prepared for that
- membership status is reviewed and renewed or revoked by the membership committee in certain intervals
- members can retire at any given time
First week's discussion review
Discussion took place at email@example.com mailinglist.
general discussion points
- some people expressed general agreement with the notes (e.g. Jean Hollis Weber, Stefan Weigel, Christoph Noack)
- several mails expressed the need to have a clear distinction between "kernel / nucleus and wider community"
e.g raised by Gianluca Turconi:
- request for clear principles (foundation core needs to be defined in legal terms)
- fair (but rather high) criteria to be accepted as member (clear by the facts, not only by good will)
- maybe clear criteria for membership rejection (this was also mentioned by Alexandro Colorado)
- Charles' point on this:
- nucleus might be defined by structure
- short discussion if members of legal entity be a distict group
raised by Sebastian Spaeth
- easier to track membership, model like Open Streetmap Foundation
- Gianluca and André opposed to this idea
- legal nightmare, contributors have no guarrantee on control
questions repeatedly raised during discussion
- what is our vision for the number of members (100s, 1000s ...)
- How many projects does the SC envision having under the TDF.
- rules for individuals / organisations to join (implicit question, if organizations would become direct members)
- duties and rights of members (what should they vote on)
- working on which projects is considered as "contribution to TDF" (e.g. working on extensions ...)
- who to (if at all) make (sub)project decisions distinct from general Foundation decisions find rules for project decisions (e.g. if I did contribute to LibO may I vote on a "DocViewer for BADA" issue?)
more detailed comments from the discussion
(to be considered for further discussion)
- Drew Jensen about when lobbying should be treaded as contribution
- If you lobby your local government for FOSS (even if LibreOfficee is included) then I would not consider that as working on this project.
- If you write a lot of blogs that advocate FOSS and LibreOffice I also would not count that.
- If you you go to shows/events/fairs and you "work the halls", that is not working for this project, even if you mention LibreOffice a lot.
- if you do that AND you also are active on the MLs here, you are on the marketing conference calls and you pitch in to help write and execute a marketing plan. Then you _are_ working on the project.
- Marc Paré having some thoughts on project structure / gouvernance