Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (245 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] openSUSE Membership
  • From: Cornelius Schumacher <cschum@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 7 Feb 2008 12:50:59 +0100
  • Message-id: <200802071250.59571.cschum@xxxxxxx>
On Wednesday 06 February 2008, Francis Giannaros wrote:

Being an open, global project is certainly the top thing on the list,
and nothing should detract from that. We should always be open and
accessible to others -- and in fact I think the idea of membership
only complements this. Nearly all open source projects have something
similar to this (like KDE e.V.). What we do need to keep an eye with
things like this is that the process and requirements are transparent.
I want to work on making it even more transparent, and the current
method should definitely be seen as a "beginning" with serious
consideration later on how well it scales, how appropriate it is, etc.
There shouldn't be anything secret, exclusive, or bureaucratic about

If becoming a "member" requires "continued and substantial contribution" and
approval by the board it is in fact a pretty exclusive thing. I don't think
that's necessarily bad in itself. For getting an openSUSE address we need
some exclusivity, because this means not only participating in the project
but also representing the project. I fully trust the board to handle this
appropriately and without imposing too much bureaucracy.

But calling these people "member of openSUSE" and all others not is wrong in
my opinion. In contrast to KDE and many other free software projects openSUSE
doesn't have an organization whose purpose is to represent the project. For
KDE e.V. and other organizations being a member comes with certain
formalities, responsibilities and rights, which are very specific to the
organization. In most cases members of the organization are also members of
the project, but it's not required at all to become a member of the
organization before you can be part of the project.

We should work hard to make everyone feel involved instantly, and we
should definitely distinguish and acknowledge the active and helpful
contributors. The point is never to imply that only those who are
members are part of the community -- on the contrary, everyone
involved in anything related is part of the community, and
'membership' is just an umbrella for those active contributors who it
would be fitting to give i.e. o.o addresses and cloaks to, and who for
example we might see as representatives of the openSUSE project.

For me the problem would be solved by using another term than "member".
Maybe "representatives" or "ambassadors" (Fedora is using this term) or at
least attribute it like "core members" or something like that.

Cornelius Schumacher <cschum@xxxxxxx>
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