[Foundation] membership, money, and meritocracy

Ragavan S ragavans at hotmail.com
Fri Apr 4 13:08:21 CST 2003

>We aren't trying to strengthen the community, we're trying to strengthen 
>organize a non-profit organization. There is no barrier to entry to "join 
>jabber community". Just join a mailing list :)
>I think there is a key point that people are overlooking here:
>The "Jabber Community" existed long before the JSF was ever created. The 
>JSF was
>started. So there has always been a clear distinction between the two.
>(Community vs. JSF).
>Many folks have asked what the "goals" of the JSF should be. According to 
>JSF page on jabber.org (http://www.jabber.org/jsf/):
>The Jabber Software Foundation (JSF) is a sponsor-supported, not-for-profit
>membership organization that fosters freedom of conversation through the
>continuing development of an open XML protocol for instant communications 
>and by
>supporting the growing community of Jabber-based projects and companies.The 
>does not itself develop software. Instead it provides organizational and
>technical assistance to projects and organizations within the Jabber 
>This clearly states the goals of the JSF (as they currently stand)... 
>perhaps I
>can summarize:
>1. Continue to develop and mature the Jabber/XMPP protocol.
>2. Provide technical assistance to projects "in the jabber community".
>Note that if we don't agree on these points, lets discuss that also :) I'm
>thinking a third goal should be added (IMO):
>3. Promote the use of Jabber through various marketing programs, and to 
>the public at large about Jabber.
>So what does this mean to me?
>It means that developing a jabber client doesn't "entitle" me to be a 
>member. It
>means that providing feedback, guidance, and primary authorship of JEP's is 
>of a contribution. (Goal #1). It also means that hanging out in jdev, and
>helping people learn about jabber and how it can be used with their 
>project, or
>helping them understand how subscriptions work is also more important than
>contributing code. (Goal #2).
>There are lots of people that develop "jabber related code"... they are 
>part of
>the Jabber community. They write all sorts of things: libraries, clients,
>servers, components, etc... Those folks are _VITAL_ to the community. They
>provide good usable "real-world" implementations of the jabber protocol 
>allows people to actually use this stuff. However, there are also folks in 
>community that are writing JEPs, providing good feedback on JEPs, providing
>marketing materials (to educate those ever-so-informed media reporters), 
>providing experimental implementations which assist in protocol 
>According to the JSF goals above, it's the 2nd group of people which are
>important to the JSF, not the first.
>If you think the jabber protocol rocks and works, and you build stuff, then
>great. But if those are the extent of your personal goals for jabber, then 
>are unlikely to contribute in a meaningful way to the JSF itself (since 
>there is
>no motivation). If you want to see "total jabber world domination", then 
>the Marketing group. If you want to help drive the pub-sub protocol, then
>provide feedback on the standards-jig mailing list . If you want to see 
>be more "secure", then participate in the IETF XMPP Working Group.
>If you've read this far, kudos :)
>I agree with Ryan:
> > I think the following questions need to be answered:
> > What is the JSF?
> > What is its purpose?
> > What are its goals?
>IMO, many of these questions are answered by the quote above from our 
>website. So I think at the minimum we ALL need to answer these questions:
>Do I agree with these goals?
>If not, what should the goals be?
>If you do, do you agree that the existing "member criteria" is sufficient 
>assure that the JSF will can focus and achieve these goals?
>This email is not intended to personally attack anyone. It's intentions are
>1) To promote introspection on your personal role in the jabber community, 
>possibly in the JSF.
>2) To promote productive discussion and debate, not a flame war :)
>Looking forward to feedback & comments, not flames.

I think this is by far the email I agree with the most in this thread. So, 
on these lines, I do not think the current membersip criteria are 
sufficient. As Rob pointed out in another email, people can do the minimum 
possible (vote), and still continue being a JSF member. However, they still 
are doing what is CURRENTLY defined as the membership criteria. So, they 
will have to be compared against what is defined now, before being booted.

Once we decide on our new membership criteria, then we could set a timeline 
(kinda like redeem yourselves :))where everyone will be given a chance to 
fulfill one or all of these criteria, and at the end of this review each 
case. In other words, this is like giving people another chance to get 
involved, and contribute as defined in the new membership criteria. I think 
that is a fair way of doing things.

On the topic of money, I believe asking money from individual developers 
will only drive people that are genuinely interested in promoting Jabber 
away from the JSF, while not really helping improve the financial status of 
the JSF. If this was proposed solely with the intention of weeding out 
people (which I STRONGLY doubt was what PSA intended), then there is 
something wrong with the way we do things around here. Instead, if this was 
done with the intention of brining in more money to the JSF, then marketing 
committee (or maybe even a financial committee) will have to work towards 
defining ways (sponsorships, fundraisers, T-shirts, coffee mugs etc) of 
getting money into the foundation.

Those are my 2 cents.


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