[Foundation] a simple reform

Peter Saint-Andre stpeter at jabber.org
Fri Apr 11 08:15:57 CDT 2003


I'd like to again thank everyone who participated in the recent thread
on the meaning of JSF membership. The fact that members are passionate 
and opinionated is a Good Thing.

I've been thinking about this topic for weeks and I've discussed it with
numerous JSF members and Board members. Lots of ideas have been floated:
charging for membership, setting up levels of membership (e.g., voting 
and non-voting), allowing only those on JSF work teams to be members,
etc. Many of these involve unnecessary complexity, I think, and really
won't solve the problem. And what is the problem? It's not that the JSF
is too open, but that members are, with very little effort, granted the
equivalent of tenure: once a member, always a member. So I'm thinking
that a simple reform would be to say that the term of membership is one
year. When you are accepted as a member, your membership term is dated
from the beginning of the application period in which you applied (e.g., 
2003-04-01 for those who are accepted this month). In the application
period 12 months later, you must re-apply -- and you must list your
Jabber-related accomplishments for the last 12 months. I don't think it
matters all that much exactly what those accomplishments are, but
they should be things that contribute toward the threefold mission of 
the JSF (develop the protocol, assist the community, and promote Jabber
technology). So one's accomplishments could include writing JEPs, 
releasing software, posting consistently and productively to mailing 
lists, creating documentation, giving talks to Linux User Groups and 
industry forums, working actively on the Jabber Council or one of the
JSF work teams, and the like.

This simple reform would ensure that only active contributors are JSF
members, and it might also encourage JSF members to be more active. :)
Obviously we'd need to work out some details (e.g., what happens if a
Council or work team member is not re-accepted -- how do we elect a
replacement for that person?). But I think that won't be too hard.

I'm not formally proposing this yet (i.e., it's too late for us to vote
on this at the meeting on April 23), but I'd like to discuss it and see
what people think.

Thanks again.

Peter

-- 
Peter Saint-Andre
Jabber Software Foundation
http://www.jabber.org/people/stpeter.php



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