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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 part 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, therefore it is necessary to define a pool of people who 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 who vote and are eligible to run for the openSUSE Board have no special status when it comes to contributions to the project. "openSUSE Members" also collectively have the right to call for replacing the current "openSUSE Board", if a total of 20% of the current membership agree with such a motion.
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 who are providing sustained and substantial contributions to the project who 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 contributed in a measurable way, shown a desire to have voting rights within the openSUSE project and have completed the application process. openSUSE is shaped by those who contribute to the project, something we broadly term with "Those who do, decide". So while someone doesn't need to be an openSUSE Member to be a fully fledged part of the openSUSE community, those who have contributed should have the opportunity to provide a stronger influence on the governance of the project.
This opportunity should remain for as long as the Member wishes. However, those who no longer contribute actively to the Project may be repeatedly reminded to confirm they still wish to influence the governance of the openSUSE Project despite their lack of recent active contributions.
Those "openSUSE Members" who choose to let their Membership 'lapse' due to lack of recent contribution activity, do not lose all of the perks of being a Member. They are considered "Members Emeritus" to respect their past contributions, and retain most of the perks of Membership, but can no longer vote in any Board or other elections requiring full "openSUSE Member" status.
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. They are responsible for any tooling used as part of the application process, and manually verifying any applicant's eligibility to become a Member, if it cannot be automatically verified.
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 have already contributed to the project in a measurable way please follow the steps below to submit your application to the Membership team.
How to become a Member
As mentioned in the introduction, contribution in a measurable way 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
Notification: Please note that the process below is being updated during September 2021. Changes will likely occur as the process is being fine tuned.
To apply for an openSUSE membership, head over to code.o.o and follow these steps:
- login :-)
- Create a new issue, which is private by default, with your nick name (see below) at the beginning of the subject and mention your contributions. Attachments can be added to support your mentioned contributions. (Recommendation: list your contributions in your https://en.opensuse.org/User: profile on the openSUSE wiki. A section in the User: profile with endorsements is helpful for the process.)
- The request to join the openSUSE members group by submitting "Create Issue" 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, 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 shows 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 able to participate in elections and votes of the openSUSE community
- Be able to be elected to the openSUSE Board
Cancelling/Losing your membership status
We are working on a way to cancel your membership within code.o.o, but do not have a solution just yet.
- You can choose to cancel your membership at any time 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
- Members who lose their membership in either of these ways are no longer able to participate in openSUSE Board elections and will lose 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. A member should continue contributing to the project. Members who are suspected of being no longer active in a 12 month time period may be contacted via email by the Membership Officials or automated tooling running on their behalf. Members who have clear, publicly visible contributions should never receive any of these "status requests".
Members should not feel such "status requests" to be a rebuke or a dismissal of any contributions they have been doing. With a project as diverse as openSUSE and with so many different methods of contribution, it is impossible for the Membership Officials or any of their tooling to have a comprehensive overview of whether or a not a Member is still active. But, we need to keep the Membership list pruned in order to ensure any vote properly reflects the current will of the active voting community.
Therefore all Members who receive a "status request" need to do to retain their Membership is answer the email in the manner outlined within the mail.
Any Member who fails to respond to these emails, or who requests it, will become "Member Emeritus" and immediately lose the right to participate in openSUSE elections or votes. They will also lose the right to be elected to the openSUSE Board, but will retain all of the other Perks of being a Member (email address, IRC cloak, etc).
Such a status does not have to be permanent. Any "Member Emeritus" who wishes to re-engage with the Project as a full member can regain full voting privileges. To regain voting privileges, emeritus members need to send a request to the membership team and provide information about their recent contributions.