[Members] XSF @ 10

David Banes dbanes at cleartext.com
Tue Jul 12 21:12:56 UTC 2011

A good idea and I'm sure many on the fringes will like it.


On 12/07/2011, at 10:03 PM, Peter Saint-Andre wrote:

> Ten years ago, Jeremie Miller, Michael Bauer, Andre Durand, and other
> interested people (including me) founded the Jabber Software Foundation
> to openly document, improve, and extend the Jabber protocols. A lot has
> changed since then, including IETF standardization (as XMPP) and
> widespread adoption of our technology by the Internet community, so I
> think it's time for us to think about what has worked, what hasn't
> worked, and what we can do to make the next ten years a success.
> I see one basic problem in our community: we have too much organization
> (XSF processes and procedures, voting, teams, boards, councils) and too
> little energy (individual contributions, actions, and decisions).
> Some of this is caused by the maturity of XMPP -- it's no longer a hot
> new technology, we have fewer active code projects, etc. However, some
> of it is caused by excessive bureaucracy within the XSF. I can't cause
> new projects to emerge, but I can try to fix the XSF to some extent.
> The XSF has one core purpose: to public high-quality protocol specs and
> related materials (schemas, registries, etc.). Our websites, servers,
> validation software (I wish!), and other tools exist to support that
> basic mission. If we have organizational cruft, then let's clean it out
> as much as possible. (Some changes might not be possible given the XSF's
> legal structure.)
> The basic idea floating in my head is to make the XSF into something
> like an "open-spec project". A meritocracy, not a bureaucracy. Just as
> with open-source projects, the XSF as an open-spec project would have
> two basic levels of involvement: contributors and committers.
> A contributor would be anyone who writes specs, maintains the
> registries, reports bugs, submits patches, helps out with the
> infrastructure, edits the website or the wiki, runs the Summits, codes
> our tools, mentors GSoC students, assists new developers, helps people
> deploy XMPP, etc.
> A committer would be anyone with full or partial commit access to our
> core output: specs, schemas, registries, etc.
> Yes, we also might need project leads and even overall "leadership" of
> some kind, but I'd really like us to evolve beyond "members" and
> "leaders" toward "contributors" and "committers".
> This would require some changes in our bylaws, but those changes are
> easy compared to the changes needed in our thinking and attitudes.
> Members would need to think and act as contributors -- not as people who
> just like XMPP and vote four times a year.
> Leaders (XMPP Council members, XSF Board members, etc.) would need to
> think and act as committers, as stewards of the technology, and as
> mentors of our contributors -- not as anointed experts who have a
> permanent place at the top and can say no to new ideas. (And yes, I
> include myself in that criticism!)
> I've been thinking about this for a while, but I don't have all the
> answers. Rather than design a perfect plan for a top-down revolution, I
> wanted to share these thoughts with the rest of the community so we can
> have a conversation about problems and solutions. Your feedback is
> important, because we need to work on this together if we want to
> succeed for another ten years.
> Let the flames begin! :)
> Peter
> -- 
> Peter Saint-Andre
> https://stpeter.im/

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