[Members] Fwd: [Standards] Proposed XMPP Extension: Form of Membership Applications

Dave Cridland dave at cridland.net
Wed Feb 26 21:37:46 UTC 2014

On 26 February 2014 20:58, Peter Waher <Peter.Waher at clayster.com> wrote:

>  Hello Dave
> Thanks for the effort to create an initial document formalizing membership
> applications.

Thanks for your review.

>  Personally I feel there are several things left out. It seems only name,
> contact information and affiliations are required more or less, and other
> members are left to contact the applicant and request further information.
> If members are to vote on new membership applications (or applications for
> membership renewal), I believe they need more information than names they
> probably never have heard of. Either all members spams all applications
> requesting further information, or the voting process becomes only a formal
> ritual.
I think you may have misunderstood.

Only name, contact information, and affiliations are required. The proposal
states, however (§5):

The purpose of the mandatory information is to allow the XSF Secretary
> sufficient information to adhere to the XSF Bylaws. As a secondary purpose,
> it also allows the XSF members to make an informed decision when voting to
> accept applications; it is important for Applicants to understand that this
> mandatory information is unlikely to be sufficient to convince the members,
> however.

Applications which don't have the mandatory information the XEP discusses
don't get as far as a vote (in principle; though the system as described in
the XEP relies on someone noticing). Applications which don't have the kind
of information you're describing may not (and possibly even should not) get
voted for.

I should probably add a paragraph somewhere stressing that Applicants may
put any information they feel will help members make a choice. I don't
think I've mentioned that Applications are free-form, either.

In particular:

> ·         Either a description of the person or a link to such a
> description or CV (as an example, a link to LinkedIn). Should be required
> in my view.

This is not a job application; I don't want to make applicants feel as if
they need to sign up to LinkedIn or quote a full employment history. But if
you feel that way, then vote against those applications that miss it out -
you're welcome to make that choice.

Also, you should see my CV, some day. It's somewhat non-traditional. :-)

>  ·         Another section about experience/interest with/in XMPP (not
> necessarily development). Perhaps optional, even though I personally
> believe this is perhaps the most interesting to read for others and would
> like to see it required.
Being a member does not, contrary to popular belief, require any knowledge
about XMPP at all. Some members with technical ability are useful, of
course, to populate the Council and/or liaison teams, but we need members
to do laborious tasks, mostly. I'd rather not mandate something that
promotes a purely technical membership.

I agree that XMPP experience is interesting and often useful; but mandating
it would suggest that good XMPP experience is important, which I don't
think is the case. Some of our most useful members have little technical

>  ·         A third section about reasons for applying and/or what the
> person hopes to achieve by becoming a member. Optional.
I personally don't think that optional information should be present in
this XEP, on balance; I think it's too likely to be taken as some kind of
mandate, either by applicants or by the voting members.

That said, if an applicant doesn't mention what they do for the XSF, or
what they hope to achieve by joining, I'll tend to vote against. (An
exception, though, is where I know the person, and know they do useful work
for the XSF).

I've had some pretty crazy applications myself over the years; I'd hate to
rule any of those actually illegal. (My favourite was the voting client,

What I'm trying to do is be able to reject Applications that are manifestly
incomplete, like a completely empty one, which currently we can't because
the Board hasn't (obviously) ever actually formally approved a "Form of
Membership Applications". Hence this XEP.

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