Proposal: Improving the membership application process

I totally agree with all of this. Just not that it needs to happen on IRC specifically.

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It doesn’t work that well when there is no quorum though, and the membership meeting can’t take place (especially when it’s repeated again the next time).

Yes I recall apology each time (& suggestion to use another time slot as they had issues getting quorum at the time slot that was easiest for me to reach from downunder as board members where all EU or US timezones, @diddledani if I recall correctly was there each time, or at least twice of the failed meetings)… but problems with IRC meetings do occur. The fourth time when a quorum existed it matched your description yes, but for me the failed three prior meetings sort of colored the experience somewhat.

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@rhys-davies My recommendation is to leave out the parts that refer to no need to sign with gpg key on launchpad and the part about not needing to contact Popey, no need to bring up anything about what’s not needed imo, it looks real good for a first draft, thank you for writing this up.

I am reading and responding from my cell and I have trouble with my old eyes sometimes so if I miss something or typo that’s why.

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Ooooof. I am glad you persisted, but that definitely would put someone off the experience. And even if that change in communication platforms happens (which is a whole other thread and issue), while it solves the “IRC as a technology hurdle” issue, it doesn’t solve those issues behind it. Though maybe @diddledani could tell us if that’s gotten better since you applied.

One potential compromise would be to have the real-time interview be a part of the process, with the other option being a take home short answer (or something like that), and then the Membership Board could vote yes or no on the mailing list, and then announce the result to the applicant over e-mail and, if successful, make a post announcing the new member on Discourse, much like they do now.

I do think that signing the CoC is important, or making some sort of recorded pledge to abide by it. Could the process be better than it is now? Heck yes. But I don’t think it’s something we should leave out, though I was up early and so I might have misunderstood you, @Wild_Man !

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@madhens No I was not saying it shouldn’t be a part of the process, I believe it is needed, I agree having a page like an application page for signing is a good alternative if the powers to be do not want to make it where launchpad is much easier then it is now, but Ian-wesser has what I think is the best solution with making launchpad user friendly for signing the CoC.

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@madhens yes not having enough Board Members present at a meeting is disappointing, right now we only have six members but we are very dedicated, we should have 8 members but not enough Ubuntu Members came forward and nominated themselves during the last call for nominations, we personally contacted several Ubuntu Members and asked them to nominate themselves or we would have only about three Members, as I mentioned in my other post on occasion we voted via the M/L when we could not get enough members present and mostly that is for the 12:00 meeting time, and we have discussed changing the meeting times extensively but the times we have now work best, I know I personally set an alarm to get up for the 12:00 meeting even though that is the only reason I need to get up, I’m not sure about another method of granting Membership but I am okay with the Candidate creating a thread on discourse if needed and we can vote on the candidate by this means if they can not attend a regular meeting, to answer your question we have not had any issues with having a quorum with the latest six members, we try to get all members proxy for members that can not attend the meeting in advance and we vote their proxy for them also if needed Community Council Members can vote on a candidate for Membership so we try to plan ahead.

@msdomdonner, glad to see you weigh in friend, thanks to all fellow Members that have replied and for all suggestion.

@mark.johnson, thanks for starting this discussion, you have made some excellent points that have needed addressed for a long time.

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This sounds good to me. It definitely sounds like there’s a consensus that keeping the real-time interviews is good. Whether accepting the CoC is actually performed in Launchpad or a separate web form is an implementation detail, the important change is removing the technical hurdles.

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Alrighty, so, next steps. I’ll give this more time to breathe to point more people at for thoughts and feedback but I’d also like to finalise a proposal, with what would actually need to be done, for people to comment on so that when we’re in agreement we can crack on.

  1. Document your contributions on Discourse and invite members of the community to give testimonials in a ‘membership applications’ category

    • Needs doing:
      • Creation of a ‘memberhip application’ category
  2. Agree to the code of conduct

    • Option 1: Sign in using existing Launchpad creds, read the CoC, and check a check box in Launchpad. Needs doing:

      • Ticketing Launchpad to make the change - (unless somebody to write the patch for this part of launchpad?)
    • Option 2: Complete something similar to: https://ubuntu.com/legal/contributors/agreement. Needs doing:

      • Request/ticket the web team for the creation and hosting of the form
      • Write the form itself to include the CoC and any agreement membership requires
  3. Present your application to the membership board

    • Still a real-time interview with the board. Needs doing:

      • Documenting the process of setting up and attending the meeting with an asynchronous contingency if quorum can’t be had in a given time frame.

One caveat here:

  1. 'Updating the wiki and anywhere else this process is documented needs doing for each item

I left the option of a form in there for step 2 because I thought we just want them to agree to the CoC right? If we’re wanting to update this process for new people, and for people who might want to become a member without contributing code, but other things, maybe keeping this stage out of Launchpad is a good thing? Launchpad isn’t the most user-friendly place in the world. - Just a thought, @ian-weisser?

I also added that last bit about documenting the process for setting up a ‘real time’ meeting for the board to do because I think it’s important that that process is properly documented and that there’s a backup plan for if a quorum isn’t reached. - @Wild_Man what do you think?

I say we keep this discussion alive for another week, give more people a chance to weigh in, and then we make some waves. I’d be happy to make the ‘membership application’ category and reach out to the recent successful applicants to pre-seed the category and of course help with documenting. And if we land on option 2 I’d be happy to bother the web team about the form.

What could you do?

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membership means you get added to the ubuntu-members team on LP … it also assigns you an @ubuntu.com mail address there … i dont think you can easily get away without LP here without some additional more or less complex development …

what i also miss is the requirement for endorsements in your list … you want to become a member of a community you want to work with so people from this community should speak up and proof that you are pleasant enough to deal with when doing any kind of work with us …

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I’m happy to document the process for attending the membership board meeting. I’m not sure what the asyncronous contingency would be, but if the board want to agree it and let me know, I can write that up too!

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I find the profile section to be a friendly and discover-able section. New members must create a Launchpad account anyway, since that’s how membership is tracked.

The Wiki already has a How-to-sign-the-CoC walk-through. Seems easy enough to revise to any new method.

My bias: I find Launchpad familiarity invaluable, and inevitable for many contributors beyond code. Even just hanging out on AskUbuntu, many of the answers to support questions are in Launchpad.

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Alright, I’m nice and convinced, seems option 1 is the way.

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I an not opposed to a back up plan but the Board Members have not had time to discuss this yet though and like I said we do vote on the M/L occasionally when needed and we also try to plan a head of time so we can vote the proxies of members that can not attend, voting by proxy is better then voting on the M/L imo because it allows complete transparency and all users can at anytime go to the irc logs and read up on any meeting, you are doing great work on documenting the process however I do believe we need to give more users including all Board Members more time to chime in, that’s why madhens pinned this topic until the end of this month, since the Community Council is over the Board I would like to make sure the Community Council is looped in and have the opportunity to give their thoughts on the this matter before we decide on what changes to make.

There is one issue I can think of with having the meetings on discourse and that is we need to allow for users that are present to speak on behalf of the applicant to be able to post while keeping voting to just the board members.

Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to revamping the process and I believe we will come up with the best solution for the process soon.

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Hi guys,
Some personal feelings.
Irc meeting must stay. Who of you did not feel thankful and happy on receiving your +1 votes.
The signing of the COC was a serious issue with me. I needed help all the way through. So any better easier way will be welcome.
Launchpad wasn’t much or a problem once I worked my way through it. I do not know what has changed since I started with 09.04. I think an email or telegram reminder the day before and an hour or 2 before a live meeting will help with quorum issues and of course proxies. That is something we can all arrange before any meeting. So if 3 of us give our proxies to the other 3 and vice versa we should never be short of quorum.
But I am with you guys whatever you decide to do
Kilos

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Thanks everyone for the great replies and conversation! I am excited to see what the Community Council has to say, and regardless of what changes get made, we will help people make their membership applications, and find ways to bootstrap the current procedures through office hours, live tutorials, etc.

(As someone who needed copious help with her GPG key, if there is anyone out there who would want to help potential members as part of that bootstrapping process, please reply here!)

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14 posts were merged into an existing topic: Topic Split: IRC Discussion

Okay, this has had enough time to breathe. Thank you everyone who’s commented, and thank you @mark.johnson for starting the thread. It’s split off into a couple of other interesting discussions about IRC and communication channels in general too which is good to see.

@Wild_Man I’m assuming there has been enough time to raise this with all the board members? I asked the CC to chime in and read through, they don’t seem to have had any problems. Taking everything into account, we have landed on this process to apply for membership:

  1. Document your contributions on Discourse and invite members of the community to give testimonials in a ‘membership applications’ category

    • Needs doing:
      • Creation of a ‘membership application’ category - (I, Rhys, can do this)
  2. Agree to the code of conduct through Launchpad and check a box to agree.

    • Needs doing:
      • Ticketing Launchpad to make the change (@madhens and I can take care of this and report back)
  3. Present your application to the membership board in a real-time interview with the board on IRC.

    • Needs doing:
      • Documenting the process of setting up and attending the meeting with an asynchronous contingency if quorum can’t be had in a given time frame.
      • @mark.johnson made a great start on this that needs updating with Libera but I would also like to work with an elective from the membership board to do a larger update too @diddledani or @Wild_Man who might be the best person to talk through some ideas with?
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Hello! So we know the Launchpad integration will be a slightly sticky point, since whatever method of signing the CoC we propose needs to automatically update the applicant’s launchpad profile. Adding this individually definitely doesn’t scale! I’ve had a chat with Colin from the Launchpad team, and next week I’ll be chatting with some of the necessary people behind the scenes to see what would be feasible, and will update this post accordingly!

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