Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (245 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] openSUSE Membership: a general comment
  • From: "Benji Weber" <>
  • Date: Sat, 9 Feb 2008 01:07:41 +0000
  • Message-id: <d6b310ce0802081707u11144180kb02f889ed236ca66@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On 08/02/2008, Roger Whittaker <roger@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
It's clear that a project like openSUSE (or Fedora, or Debian) needs
some formal (and ultimately legal) system of governance, and a Board
is welcome and necessary as a way of providing that, so long as its
workings are transparent and open.

But I'm slightly uneasy about the whole membership concept.

This begets the question - do you see any way other than a membership
system to have an elected board in the future? This is a stated aim of
the current board.

Clearly an election where anyone can vote would not work, as people
from other distributions or even corporations such as Microsoft could
alter the outcome. The current board was selected by Novell, as I see
it the only way to move towards an elected board is to have a
membership system in place.

There are more reasons than just representing the project that require
a somewhat exclusive group. There is already an exclusive group which
has been representing the project, choosing the board, and making
decisions up until this point. This group has been a subset of Novell
employees. The membership process opens this up to non-Novell
employees and makes the process transparent. Now anyone can apply, and
anyone can see who is already a member.

Therefore it seems to me that the membership system only reduces
exclusivity, rather than increasing it.

Could it be improved further, certainly. However, most of the concerns
seem to be implementation details, and the system can be evolved to
meet the changing requirements of an expanding community.

I would certainly be personally interested in hearing if you have any
suggestions on how the practical requirements of the community such as
elections and representation can be addressed without a membership

Benjamin Weber
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