Am Wed, Apr 07, 2021 at 04:04:42PM -0400 schrieb Frank Ch. Eigler:
Is the intent to interpret a discussion-list membership as
to gnu assembly membership, or as an endorsal of position letters
speaking on behalf of the members?
indeed I think we may have been going too fast (while at the same time I am
happy to see more people joining, so that things can move forward!), since
the purposes of the potentially multiple groups of people have not been
defined. Probably we need two things: an open discussion list for GNU
contributors who endorse the Code of Conduct and (this could be open for
debate) the GNU Social Contract; and a subset of voting members who form
what I would call the assembly and who definitely must endorse the GNU
Social Contract. Currently by adding more people without much debate, this
list serves essentially the former purpose, while its name appears to
reflect the latter purpose (but the "assembly" could also be everybody, and
the decision taking subset could bear a different name).
As a side-note, it would be good if people joining the list explicitly
stated in their first message that they endorse the GNU Social Contract,
instead of it being implicit by their request to join. And that they be
added to the wiki page as endorsers (which may already deter moles).
The point I am making is that our goal (at least as I understand it) is not
to be just another discussion list, but to form an organisation that can
state at some point in time: "We are GNU" (hm, I tend to do so already;
I think we are the most legitimate group of people to make such a claim).
To me that not only feels like the ethical thing to do, but is also
eminently practical (in case the FSF disappears, for instance).
Am Wed, Apr 07, 2021 at 09:46:55PM +0200 schrieb Ricardo Wurmus:
I’m sorry for involving you in my paranoia, but experience has shown
that GNU has its share of people who do not shy away from bullying, so I
don’t think it’s hard to imagine bad faith actors who agree to whatever
conditions there are to participate just to be able to subvert the
(I loathe thinking so defensively.)
I share your concern, which is quite natural: Just imagine the most vocal
contributors to gnu-misc-discuss joining the GNU assembly... So there
should be some organisational structure to protect us from a hostile
take-over (which can never be completely excluded).
In the Guix Europe non-profit, for instance, we took the following
There are regular members, and the Solidary Administrative Council (SAC),
which takes all decisions. The members elect the SAC during their yearly
general assembly. The SAC votes on membership requests. This entails some
kind of bootstrapping in spirals: The founding members elected themselves
to the SAC, and then during one year accepted new members. One year later,
these members joined the SAC and so on. It is not explicitly stated in the
bylaws, but our goal was to be as collegiate as possible and to have every
member join the SAC eventually. And the rules effectively instate a waiting
period of about one year for a new member.
We could have a similar mechanism for the GNU assembly. Maybe it could
additionally reflect our structure consisting of different projects.
(How to limit the power of the bigger projects? Should we have one vote
per project or per member? Or two "chambers"? Should we keep the notion
of maintainers? If yes, how would they be appointed? By the GNU assembly
or from inside the project? If the latter, will they automatically have
voting rights in the assembly?) Lots of interesting questions, but we
could also start small and consider only individuals and their roles in
the GNU Assembly.