The openSUSE Project is an open and global community project that encourages collaboration and contribution on many levels. Each contribution to the project is valuable and appreciated. Once you contribute to the project you are automatically a contributor and member of the openSUSE community. As part of the project governance model we have the openSUSE Board which is chartered in guiding the project and being the decision making instance of last resort in the event that differences cannot be resolved any other way. The openSUSE Board is elected and therefor it is necessary to define a pool of people that are eligible to be elected to the openSUSE Board as well as define a group of people that is expected to participate in the election of the openSUSE Board members.
This pool of people, called "openSUSE Members", is substantially no different than any other contributing member of the openSUSE community. Meaning those that vote and are eligible to run for the openSUSE Board have no special status when it comes to contributions to the project. We realize that the term "member" is heavily overloaded, but there is really no better term to express this. One can also think of "openSUSE Members" as "community members with voting privileges". One does not have to be an "openSUSE Member" in order to contribute to the project or in order to be a part of the openSUSE community. There are many members of the openSUSE community that are providing sustained and substantial contributions to the project that have chosen not to be "openSUSE Members".
The difference between contributing openSUSE community members and "openSUSE Members", is that the so called "openSUSE Members" have shown continued and substantial contributions to the openSUSE project and have completed the application process. openSUSE is shaped by those that contribute to the project, something we broadly term with "Those who do, decide". However, we believe that those that provide continued and substantial contributions should have the opportunity, to provide a stronger influence on the governance of the project as opposed to those that dip their toes into the project.
The openSUSE Membership officials team is the group of people that reviews the openSUSE Member applications and attempts to verify an applicants contributions to the project. The definition of continued and substantial contributions is necessarily very loose and subjective. However, one could say that continued implies somewhere on the order of six months or more of consistent involvement in the project. The definition of substantial contributions is a bit more difficult as there are so many levels to contribute to the project, more on this below.
We appreciate that you have shown interest and visited the Membership page to learn about becoming an "openSUSE Member". If you desire to have voting privileges and a few small other perks and believe you have shown continued and substantial contributions to the project please follow the steps below to submit your application to the Membership team.
How to become a Member
As mentioned in the introduction, continued and substantial contributions is the basis for becoming an "openSUSE Member" with voting power and some extra perks. Contributions considered for the application are any contributions to the project, for example participating in and helping to organize events, technical contributions, wiki maintenance, documentation writing, participation in the openSUSE Forums and many more activities are considered as contributions to the project. The How To Participate wiki page is a great place to get started.
Detailed steps to follow
To apply for an openSUSE membership, head over to Connect and follow these steps:
- login :-)
- mention your contributions in your profile (click on your login in the navigation bar, and then the "Edit profile" button on the left bar; the contributions field is at the end)
- request to join the openSUSE members group (click the "Request membership" button)
While the membership team has a number of tools to verify contributions you can help make the membership team's job easier by providing a detailed list of your contributions to the project with links to the contribution. Links to blog posts about event reports, submissions to openSUSE:Factory, bug reports, openFATE entries, Forum posts etc. provide evidence of your contributions that are easy to verify. Remember that there is also a time component involved, thus multiple links that show sustained involvement in the community is important as well. If the membership team cannot verify your contributions it is unlikely that your application will be successful.
Joining the members with voting privileges also requires you to support and uphold the openSUSE Guiding principles. Therefore, joining the openSUSE geekos group in connect to show your commitment to the Guiding principles is a requirement of the application process.
Examples of contributions
Contributions include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Code and packaging
- Wiki editing
- Bug reporting, triaging, and bug fixing
- Continued user support on any communication medium
- Giving openSUSE Talks/Presentation and/or promoting openSUSE
- Organizing an openSUSE Booth at FOSS events
Perks of being a member with voting privileges
- Receive an @opensuse.org email address
- Receive an @opensuse/member/username IRC cloak. You need to have your nickname registered for it to work.
- Be encouraged to be syndicated on Planet SUSE
- Be entitled to a Lizards.openSUSE.org blogging account
- Be able to participate in elections and votes of the openSUSE community
- Be able to be elected to the openSUSE Board
Canceling/Losing your membership status
- You can choose to cancel your membership at any time by clicking the "Leave group" button on the page of the openSUSE members group or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Repeated violation of the Guiding principles will provide grounds for the Board to remove you from the "openSUSE" member group such that you will no longer be able to participate in openSUSE Board elections and will loose the other perks.
Maintaining your membership
The openSUSE community is to be governed by those who 'do the work'. From this it follows that openSUSE members are expected to remain active in the community via contributions. Within a 2 year period a member should provide sufficient contributions to the project such that the membership team would accept a membership application based on the contributions. Members that are no longer active in a 2 year time period move to "Emeritus" status and may no longer participate in elections.
To regaining voting privileges, emeritus members need to send an informal request to the membership team and provide information about their recent contributions.