[Members] Voting criteria

Peter Saint-Andre stpeter at jabber.org
Mon May 9 12:05:27 CDT 2005

On Thu, May 05, 2005 at 10:06:42PM -0700, Robert Norris wrote:
> [This email is a ramble. I'm not sure if it makes a point.]
> So I've just finished voting for another round of prospective Foundation
> members. And like previous rounds, almost everyone gets an automatic
> "yes" - the only ones who miss out are the folks who have provided next
> to no information, and Google reveals nothing about their Jabber related
> activities.
> I have no real way to tell who makes a good Foundation member and who
> doesn't. I made up my own criteria, because I have to measure against
> something, but really, its crap. Hell, I doubt I'd measure up, since I
> haven't done anything for almost a year, and while I do have some Jabber
> stuff on my plate at my workplace, its having a hard time climbing my
> list of priorities, and may not yield any publically-available results
> anyway.
> What do people measure new applicants against? Any bright ideas for
> formalising something? We've been over this numerous times in the past,
> when discussing what the point of Foundation membership is. Do we need
> to have that discussion again?

This may sound strange coming from me, but JSF membership is essentially
meaningless. The whole point of having the JSF, at least to date, has
been to provide a legal structure around the JEP process. The reasoning
goes as follows:

1. We need a technical body that chooses which JEPs proceed through the
standards process, i.e., the Jabber Council.

2. We need a fair and objective process for choosing the members of the 
Jabber Council.

3. Rather than doing what, say, the IETF has to do (see [1]) because it
is essentially is not an organization for legal purposes, the JSF was 
formed legally as a membership organization, with the full membership
choosing the Jabber Council.

4. Therefore we need members and a fair and objective process for
choosing JSF members.

5. Thus we vote on members four times a year.

It may seem that the only thing JSF members do is vote on new and
returning members four times a year, and vote on a new Board + Council 
once a year. This is entirely accurate, because that's really all JSF
members need to do in order to keep our standards process running.
Everything else that members do is outside the framework of the JSF
organization -- they write code, author JEPs and other documentation,
evangelize Jabber/XMPP technologies, give talks at conferences and LUGs
and such, start companies, release products, offer consulting services,
etc. None of that needs to happen within the JSF.

Now, we can debate whether the JSF should do more than run a standards
process. But that is all it does now and really has ever done.

Personally I don't see a problem with that, but perhaps members have
always expected the JSF to do more and to require further involvement
from the membership.


[1] http://www.ietf.org/nomcom/

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