[Foundation] Criteria, Voting, Membership What does it mean?

Ivan R. Judson judson at mcs.anl.gov
Tue Mar 12 09:42:09 CST 2002

Hey Peter,

In case you don't hear it elsewhere, Good Job.  temas, Same Thing for you.
Don't get discouraged.  As a guy who's been around alot of communities
working on cool technology, this is not an unexpected turn of events.

Don't worry about it.  The real issues are:  Where do we want to take
Jabber, and How do we get there?  The rest are details.

I want to take Jabber further; I want to make it the network substrate for
my project.  That means getting some core things done.

I'd like an analysis of the server, some architectural discussions perhaps
some migration towards a more peer to peer model. (don't all yell at me at

>From the protocol side, I'm still confused why things are encapsulated in a
<stream>,</stream> block.  It mostly doesn't matter, but it makes some
assumptions that I can't make about the network.

1. reliable
2. ordered message delivery (you better not get a </stream> before a content
message :-)
3. 1 + 2 usually means TCP, I avoid that because it's not multicastable and
I rely heavily on multicast for our work.

So, my point I guess could be summed up in the following:

The trademark copyright issue is a big one, but I don't care about it (if it
doesn't work out the way I need it to, I have to pick another tech).  That
is, I don't want to invest time in that kind of work.

The "what is the foundation for discussion" is interesting, but only from
the perspective that it highlights our mistakes in harnessing more effort to
make jabber cool.  Ok, that didn't work, what do we do now?  Who cares why
or how it didn't work (that's for the sociologists), we just want to make
jabber cooler and better.

What do we have to do to make it easier for people to contribute?  One group
that I've seen do this reasonably well is the openmash group at berkeley
(check out www.openmash.org), they've kept things simple, but get alot of
"community involvement".

Keep your chins up, if it weren't cool, nobody would argue.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: members-admin at jabber.org [mailto:members-admin at jabber.org]On
> Behalf Of Peter Saint-Andre
> Sent: Monday, March 11, 2002 10:25 PM
> To: members at jabber.org
> Subject: Re: [Foundation] Criteria, Voting, Membership What does it
> mean?
> What does JSF membership mean? Here is my ideal:
> JSF membership means a *lot* -- it's something that community members
> aspire to. You're accepted as a member only if you have created a lot of
> value and have really contributed. JSF members are a small, respected
> subset of Jabber community members. Promises, wishes, and good intentions
> are heavily discounted when current JSF members vote on whom to accept. In
> other words, the JSF is a meritocracy, not a democracy.
> It's easy for me to say that but not quite so easy to implement. One way
> to ensure that JSF membership means a lot is for current JSF members to be
> picky about whom they accept as new members. But even that is not enough.
> For example, say someone was a strong contributor to the Jabber community
> two years ago and was voted in as a JSF member, but has since lost
> interest and is no longer active. Is that person stripped of JSF
> membership? By whom? Based on what criteria? Right now, as long as that
> person continues to vote, he or she can be a member of the JSF for life,
> which doesn't seem right.
> A standard open-source project is certainly a meritocracy, since your
> standing in the project is based on the code (or docs etc.) you've
> contributed, but it is not a membership organization and its formal
> structure is loose to non-existent. A standard membership organization
> (e.g., a club) is more of a democracy since it considers anyone who pays
> monetary dues to be a member. The JSF is something in between these. Like
> a club it is a membership organization, but like an open-source project
> your membership is based not on your monetary contribution, but on your
> contribution of code, documentation, assistance to people on the mailing
> lists, and so on. A club will no longer consider you a member if you don't
> contribute money. Likewise, I think it would make sense for the JSF to no
> longer consider you a member if you don't contribute in at least some
> relevant capacity.
> Would it be possible to come up with objective ways to measure the extent
> of an individual's contributions to the Jabber community? Here are some
> possibilities:
> 1. JEPs accepted by the JEP Editor
> 2. Substantive comments made within the Standards JIG
> 3. Questions answered on JDEV or JADMIN
> 4. Documents produced (howtos, whitepapers, etc.)
> 5. Community services provided (e.g., JabberStudio, JabberCentral)
> 6. Code contributed (to your own project or someone else's)
> I'm not thinking that we would have hard-and-fast quotas here (10
> questions answered on JADMIN and you're in), but I am thinking that in the
> future we would ask for documentation of specific contributions in each of
> the above areas from new applicants (URLs for docs created or posts made
> to the mailing list archives, features added or bugs fixed in code
> projects, etc.). I'm still not sure what to do about existing members who
> have stopped contributing -- for example, I don't particularly want to
> require each member to put together a yearly list of accomplishments in
> order to remain a member (I must admit I would not be averse to that, but
> I don't quite see who would vote on retaining existing members).
> You may wonder where this leaves people who have not made public
> contributions to the Jabber community -- for example, people who have
> created proprietary software. I'm not sure. I'm inclined to say that if
> all you have done is create something private and proprietary (say, an
> awesome Jabber-enabled intranet for your company) and you have not made
> any public contributions to the Jabber community (e.g., by posting to the
> mailing lists), then you don't deserve to be a member of the JSF. To
> borrow a term from Lawrence Lessig, the Jabber protocols are an
> intellectual commons. If you have not contributed value to that commons,
> serving instead solely your own private interest, then you do not merit
> JSF membership, no matter how significant your efforts may have been to
> your own cause. So my proposed criteria would exclude people whose
> interest in Jabber is purely commercial (I emphasize the word "purely").
> However, for people or more likely companies whose interests are purely
> commercial, there is always the option of sponsoring the JSF, as several
> companies have already done. (I recognize that there is a lack of clarity
> around sponsorship right now -- Andre Durand and I are working to clear
> that up soon.)
> Anyway those are my initial thoughts on the meaning of JSF membership. I'm
> looking forward to discussing these issues further.
> Peter
> --
> Peter Saint-Andre
> email+jabber: stpeter at jabber.org
> weblog: http://www.saint-andre.com/blog/
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