[Foundation] membership, money, and meritocracy

Shawn Wilton shawn at black9.net
Sat Apr 5 15:18:46 CST 2003


Ragavan S wrote:

>> We aren't trying to strengthen the community, we're trying to 
>> strengthen and
>> organize a non-profit organization. There is no barrier to entry to 
>> "join the
>> 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 the
>> JSF page on jabber.org (http://www.jabber.org/jsf/):
>> <blockquote>
>> 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 JSF
>> does not itself develop software. Instead it provides organizational and
>> technical assistance to projects and organizations within the Jabber 
>> community.
>> </blockquote>
>> 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 educate
>> 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 more
>> 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 which
>> allows people to actually use this stuff. However, there are also 
>> folks in the
>> community that are writing JEPs, providing good feedback on JEPs, 
>> providing
>> marketing materials (to educate those ever-so-informed media 
>> reporters), and
>> providing experimental implementations which assist in protocol 
>> development.
>> 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 you
>> 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 join
>> 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 jabber
>> 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 
>> current
>> 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 to
>> assure that the JSF will can focus and achieve these goals?
>> This email is not intended to personally attack anyone. It's 
>> intentions are
>> twofold:
>> 1) To promote introspection on your personal role in the jabber 
>> community, and
>> 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. 

This is an awful idea.  Who's going to judge the 80 some members for 
their contributions?  I've been a part of this community since it 
began.  I started by running the first OpenBSD based Jabber server, then 
began work on my own client Shagger/Shaolo and eventually took over work 
on Jabberbeans.  Nothing personal but if someone says that I need to 
redeem myself because I've chosen to lurk no the lists then you can kiss 
my cherry red ***.

> 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. 

This would work.  Merchandising is always a good method of raising 
money.  But there will always be the issue of who handles the money and 
what it gets used for.

> Those are my 2 cents.
> Thanks,
> Ragavan
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