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Ubuntu "Memberships" Questioned 210

mxh83 writes "Apparently if you have 'sustained' and 'significant' contributions to Ubuntu, you can become a 'Ubuntu Member' and get some freebies. 'While there is no precise period that we look for, it is rare for applications to be accepted from people contributing for less than 6 months. It is vital to be well prepared for the meeting. You need to convince the membership board that you have contributed to Ubuntu.' Have they thought this incentive through? What about recognition for smaller contributors? And who judged what is a 'significant' contribution to a community project?" Update: 01/06 20:33 GMT by S : Changed the title to reflect the fact that Ubuntu memberships have actually been around for a few years now.
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Ubuntu "Memberships" Questioned

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  • Why not? (Score:5, Informative)

    by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @12:12PM (#30670696) Homepage Journal

    You already have to [digitally] sign a document and agree to a code of conduct in order to become an "Ubuntero", which among other minor benefits is necessary in order to get access to the PPA system. This is just another layer of evaluation for another icon next to your name on Ubuntu sites and... whatever it was they're giving you. In return, they give you the right to represent yourself as a "member" of Ubuntu, kind of like an employee except you don't get paid :)

  • Not news (Score:5, Informative)

    by flimm ( 1626043 ) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @12:16PM (#30670762)
    Ubuntu membership has not been introduced recently, it has been around from before I started Ubuntu (2006), at least. This is not news. The title needs changing.

    Ubuntu members get addresses, their blogs syndicated on, a free subscription to LWN, and they vote for certain things.
  • Re:Reminds me (Score:3, Informative)

    by Itninja ( 937614 ) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @12:34PM (#30671036) Homepage
    I don't know if I have ever 'made Slashdot great' or whatever. But NoScript and ABP give me the same result.
  • by Attila Dimedici ( 1036002 ) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @12:43PM (#30671150)

    What about money contribution?

    Sorry but no - protestantism allows you to buy your way to heaven, not FOSS

    Actually, indulgences (buying your way into heaven)was one of the practices of the Roman Catholic CHurch that the Protestants were protesting.

  • Re:Let me translate (Score:3, Informative)

    by CyberNigma ( 878283 ) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @12:52PM (#30671326)

    Also, if you read any of Heinlein's interviews, you will find that his intention was not that only military service earned citizenship, but ANY federal service, military or not earned citizenship. He did admit that he didn't convey that too well in the book like he had in his mind. Of course the movie, being a bug hunt movie that was converted to Starship Troopers near the end conveys none of that.

  • by DragonWriter ( 970822 ) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @01:01PM (#30671458)

    Do I get to complain about lame mono apps being included in favor of better gtk or KDE ones.

    If you want Ubuntu with KDE environment and apps as "standard", Canonical has a distribution for that [].

  • by CannonballHead ( 842625 ) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @01:05PM (#30671530)

    I've heard this touted many times, and that Catholicism was non-works-based and Protestantism changed all that with the Reformation, turned it into a money thing, etc. Don't you guys read history?

    The major reason for the Reformation... Martin Luther could not stand indulgences. That was a major player in it. And he didn't think salvation, as laid out in the Bible, is based on human effort - as he was taught as a monk. And tried to accomplish.

    Protestantism's very start was because of the corruption of the Catholic church and them trying to sell the way to heaven, not vice versa....

    (Note: Protestant denominations today may or may not reflect Protestantism of the 16th century. :) )

  • Re:DD (Score:3, Informative)

    by Beuno ( 740018 ) <(argentina) (at) (> on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @01:56PM (#30672316) Homepage

    I am a member of one of the membership boards (Americas board)
    No, Ubuntu Members are people who contribute to Ubuntu directly, not indirectly. There is a lot of work involved in getting Ubuntu out the door every 6 months, and membership recognizes the people who help do that in a direct way.
    That said, upstream developers and Debian developers have the advantage of already knowing how a lot of things work, so they will probably have a higher chance of getting through than anyone else (there are separate councils for community involvement and technical involvement).

  • Re:Let me translate (Score:2, Informative)

    by CyberNigma ( 878283 ) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @02:09PM (#30672496)

    The movie had nothing to do with Heinlein's book in the beginning. It was originally intended to be a generic space bug hunt movie until the director became aware of the Starship Troopers IP, read a little bit of it (his own words) and adapted the movie to fit the book a bit. It wasn't a critique. In fact he never read the whole book. It was just a title and minor adaptation.

    Plato's Republic was similar but not quite the same. It did have a class of citizens that had a sole duty to look after the rest (for the public), but it also involved lying to them for their own good (baby lotteries) and community families. Both books and ideas are very similar, but still have their unique qualities.

    Heinlein most certainly didn't come up with the idea of responsibility in governance, he just put it into book form and made it more palatable :-)

    Here's a quote from wiki, but you can check out the commentary if you have it or look up the references:

    "There is a vast divergence between the original book and film. A report in an American Cinematographer article around the same time as the film's release states the Heinlein novel was optioned well into the pre-production period of the film, which had a working title of Bug Hunt at Outpost Nine; most of the writing team reportedly were unaware of the novel at the time. According to the DVD commentary, Paul Verhoeven never finished reading the novel, claiming he read through the first few chapters and became both "bored and depressed."[4]"

    The second and third movie installments were most certainly social commentary and critique. The animated series has more to do with the book than any of the movies.

  • by mackyrae ( 999347 ) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @02:58PM (#30673202) Homepage
    Code has nothing to do with it. I became an Ubuntu Member a few weeks before I submitted my first patch--which wasn't to Ubuntu. My contributions were things like:
    • helping people on
    • helping people in #ubuntu on IRC
    • organizing an installfest
    • volunteering with the local community team

    Technical contributions are not the only sort of contributions. For that matter, someone wanting membership whose only contributions are code-based will be told to simply apply for developer status as developers are automatically granted member status. Direct membership application is for community-based contributions. Advocacy work, tech support, writing documentation, working on translations, etc. are what are looked at.

  • Re:Let me translate (Score:3, Informative)

    by nxtw ( 866177 ) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @03:01PM (#30673246)

    You don't just pay a fee, but you actually help. It's like working in the soup kitchen versus giving money to the homeless shelter.

    I would imagine paying for Red Hat Enterprise Linux or SUSE Linux Enterprise has a much bigger impact than helping Ubuntu directly. Red Hat is a big contributor to extremely important projects [] such as the Linux kernel, GCC, glibc, Gtk, and GNOME. They (or companies they have since acquired) created GFS, LVM2, and KVM, and they maintain a lot of other projects that make up any modern Linux distribution.

    I can't find a similar list for Novell, but they are the second biggest contributor to the Linux kernel.

e-credibility: the non-guaranteeable likelihood that the electronic data you're seeing is genuine rather than somebody's made-up crap. - Karl Lehenbauer