Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (134 mails)

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[opensuse-project] openSUSE Members retirement
Hi everybody,

as you all know, we have the openSUSE Members, a group of contributors through
their sustained and substantial contributors that are eligible to participate
in elections, have mail and other perks. We have now about 600
of them, but as you can see[1] in last openSUSE Board elections only 150 of
them voted.

This could mean two things - either most of the members are not interested in
elections or plenty of them are simply no longer around. I guess the truth is
somewhere in middle. This is something we need to know when we take project
wide decisions in order to correctly assess the communities interest in the

This is a recurring topic that has been discussed at the openSUSE Board Face to
Face meeting last year, oSC 15, and on this list several times over the last
few years. Taking these into consideration, we (in the board) think it would
be a good idea to implement something to help with ensuring our Membership list
accurately reflects our current Membership. I have put together a tool which
attempts to detect an openSUSE Members activity on mailing lists, OBS,
bugzilla, maybe more. This tool will remember when we last saw openSUSE Member
on any of those channels and if they doesn't show for 6 months, we will send
them an e-mail asking whether they still wants to be a member. A response to
that email will automatically count as activity and preserve the Members
status. If there is no response within 30 days of the notification, the Member
will be 'retired' and be considered a 'Member emeritus'. If someone is retired
incorrectly, or a 'Member emeritus' returns to the Project and wants a
restoration of their voting privilege, they will be unretired without question
by the Membership Committee.

There are few implementation details to be worked out, so we don't expect this
to go live overnight but consider this a "statement of intent" and an
explanation of how we expect things to work before we start testing the


To answer some of the obvious questions:

Q: Shouldn't we retire inactive members anyway after measuring and evaluating
their activity?

A: No, that would be too hard, too subjective and it could bother people that
we cannot measure automatically. Automatic measurement is just an indicator
that those people are no longer interested, but they might be just working
on project aspects we cannot measure. openSUSE Members are members until
THEY no longer want to be. We believe this system preserves that principle.

Q: Wouldn't it offend active contributors if they will be falsely accused of
not being interested?

A: I hope not. If period will be long enough (6 months) and if we monitor even
mailing lists, people will usually show up somewhere. We intend to word the
'ping' email in a way that is not judgemental, but just makes it clear that
we have failed to automatically find evidence of contribution so want to make
sure they are still interested in remaining a Member.

Q: Doesn't it change the meaning of the openSUSE Member?

A: Not really. So far once you got a membership status, it was forever without
question. Now it would be forever as long as you are interested. No big
change, just a little difference.

Q: What if mail with warning gets lost?

A: If you lose your membership by accident by losing an e-mail, you can still
contact membership committee and as a retired member you will be reinstated
immediately without voting/verification that takes time. And you should fix
your e-mail in in that case ;-)

Q: Will retired members retain their email & IRC cloak perks?

A: No, the intention is that retired members will no longer be eligible for email addresses and Freenode IRC cloaks.

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