[Members] Section 8.1 propsed change

Dave Cridland dave at cridland.net
Fri Mar 18 03:09:52 CST 2011

On Thu Mar 17 21:07:18 2011, Peter Saint-Andre wrote:
> On 3/17/11 5:29 AM, Dave Cridland wrote:
> > There's a couple of items I'd like to change within §8.1, and I  
> suggest
> > that these are placed as separate voting items on the agenda for  
> the
> > next meeting. Firstly, I'd like to propose that Council members  
> are
> > drawn from non-members as well as members. I have no strong view  
> on
> > whether voting them onto the Council should, if they are not  
> already
> > members, automatically make them members for the duration of their
> > council membership, but after some thought I'm leaning toward the  
> notion
> > that technical leadership is not the same as the management of  
> the XSF,
> > so therefore my only change in this area is:
> >
> >
> > Strike the final sentence of the second paragraph of §8.1: "All  
> the
> > individuals elected to participate on the XMPP Council must be  
> Members
> > of the Corporation".
> >
> The members of the XSF are technical experts.

This might even be largely true, but the "job" of the members is  
actually to oversee and manage the XSF, so any technical expertise is  
in no small part coincidental. The only role within the XSF that  
demands technical expertise is the Council. It's not clear to me that  
we should limit our technical leadership to only those people who  
have been previously interested in the running of the XSF as a whole.

(As a case in point, consider that any key management issue for the  
XSF will be raised here - our members list, not on standards@,  
whereas any technical issue will be raised on standards@ - which is  
our primary repository of technical knowledge, and is *not* aligned  
with our membership).

>  It seems that we haven't
> had problems recruiting from among the membership for people who  
> could
> serve in technical leadership roles. Seems to me that the solution  
> is to
> recruit more members, if needed.
There is indeed a considerable overlap, and we're lucky, or have been  
so far. But there are a number of technical experts who are engaged  
in the XMPP community as a whole who are ineligable to stand for  
Council because they've not applied to manage the XSF.

> > (As an aside, here, I suspect that Board members ought to be
> > automatically granted membership for very similar reasons)
> That would require more significant changes to the bylaws, or  
> perhaps
> two classes of members. Ick.
RIght, and it's considerations such as these that make me nervous.  
That said, the very same arguments - that the XSF membership is not  
the be all and end all of the community's technical expertise, but  
those who have demonstrated an interest in the maintainence of the  
organization - does suggest that we should consider limiting Board to  
the XSF membership. I'm not going to propose that, though, in no  
small part because if someone is interested enough to serve on the  
board, I'm happy they do so, member or not. Also, Will would get  
upset with me.

> > Secondly, I was always rather unnerved by the fact that the  
> Council
> > could select a replacement for someone resigning from, or being  
> forced
> > off, the Council.
> Has that caused problems in reality? We wouldn't have this problem  
> if
> only we could elect people who would serve the full term. :P

No, when I resigned and the Council selected Nathan Fritz, they did  
so because Nathan had stood, achieved a majority vote, and come 6th  
in the poll, as I recall. Irrespective of whether Nathan is a good  
choice, the Council effectively limited themselves to following the  
last AGM results.

But they could legitimately have picked any member at all, with no  
mandate - and not only is each individual member very powerful, but  
it weakens the Council as a whole when the members are largely in  

We have *not* had this problem. But it did surprise me that we could  
- the text looked remarkably undefined, to me.

Compare it with §4.7, for board vacancies. (And incidentally, I  
should make a proposal on that as well...)

> > Therefore:
> >
> >
> > To the third paragraph of Section 8.1, add an additional sentence  
> as the
> > new final sentence:
> >
> > "The filling of any vacancy shall happen at a special meeting  
> (persuant
> > to §3.3), and in accordance with the procedure defined in §3.13"
> >
> >
> > In other words, instead of the Council selecting someone to fill  
> a gap,
> > they can either choose not to fill a gap, or else can ask the  
> members to
> > do so.
> That seems to add extra complexity because we need special meetings  
> of
> the membership.

Not particularly "Special", just a meeting other than the AGM. We  
have more special meetings than we do ordinary anyway. Besides, this  
is the *point* of the membership - to make these decisions  

Dave Cridland - mailto:dave at cridland.net - xmpp:dwd at dave.cridland.net
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