[part 2] Article 3: Membership

Dale Scheetz dwarf at polaris.net
Mon Mar 29 17:03:36 UTC 1999

Sorry to take so long to reply, but the tooth came out on Friday, and I'm 
"much better now" ;-)

On Thu, 25 Mar 1999, Darren O. Benham wrote:

> On Thu, Mar 25, 1999 at 10:39:25PM -0500, Dale Scheetz wrote:
> > Why should membership have a duration?
> How about to just keep the rolls (or atleast the "all important"
> contributing member rolls) down to people who are active?  If nobody every
> expired, and people just dropped out (it happens a lot) we could end up
> with way too many people to satisfy any quorum...  
Keeping up with "active" members is much easier than deciding whether or
not they have met "qualification requirements" for each year they "claim"

I simple membership list ping, before meetings, would determine who was
active and who wasn't. If they can be reached, they should still have the
opportunity to vote.

> Just a thought.  I'd have to think if I actually believe it's a real
> problem on an imagined one.
> > Does the value of a contribution deminish over time?
> of course not... but availability does.  If we had a "sure fire" way to
> make sure people didn't just "disappear" like happens from time to time
> with Debian... either way, it'll be some amount of work for someone(s).
> The expiration way is more automatable.

But if they "just disapear", so what? 

I had the impression that the increased management of members was intended
to make sure that all participants were "qualified" in some way, and not
just casual (or malicious) interlopers with a mistaken interest in the

Once you "qualify" as a member, your active participation is a positive
thing, but I don't see that your, possibly temporary, lack of
participation indicates a "drag" on SPI resourses that must be rectified
by removal of the non-participant member.

Until a member doesn't want their name on the membership rolls, I see no
reason to remove them.

> > Are we considering any other conditions that would "remove" a member?
> Violation of the goals and such of SPI, I suppose.. but that could be
> specified in the Membership Committee Charter...
As with Debian, I see no reason to go beyond gaining assurances at the
beginning that the applicant does, in fact, agree with the principles of
the organization. I have participated in "discussions" with other Debian
developers where my belief in the principles of Free Software became
questioned because of a position I took in opposition to the PC one being
promoted. I would hate to fear expulsion for displaying unpopular ideas in
an SPI member forum.

If we do not allow deviations from the pre-defined course of SPI, then the
ship will only go in one direction, and can never be changed. This would
be a drastic mistake from my POV.


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      e-mail:  dwarf at polaris.net     Tallahassee, FL  32308

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