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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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  • LOL. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @12:06PM (#30670586)

    Which marketing department dipshit thought this stupid idea up?

  • by schon ( 31600 ) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @12:07PM (#30670604)

    You need to convince the membership board [...] And who judged what is a 'significant' contribution

    This is amazing... we've gone from people not reading the articles, to not reading the *summaries*, to the *submitters* not reading what they themselves wrote!

    CmdrTaco, I know it's tradition for editors not to read the summaries, but isn't it taking it a bit far to not read ones you wrote yourself?!?!?

  • What? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by symes ( 835608 ) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @12:08PM (#30670618) Journal
    It sounds like one of those dreadful golf clubs - surely there is a better way of recognising significant contributions without the potential for "membership commiittees" screwing things up?
  • by Scopeuk ( 915859 ) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @12:12PM (#30670670)
    or drive away people that feel that they're being unfairly excluded from the program despite making only a marginally different contribution to those accepted or worse yet, seeing that their area of contribution seams to be less credited that other "pet areas", all in all a great way to drive a deep wedge into the community.
  • by xtracto ( 837672 ) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @12:15PM (#30670754) Journal

    Well duh, you are supposed to contribute because you like to do it. Whatever they give you back is a plus.

    As for who is going to judge what is a significat contribution... I guess whoever is giving you the free T-Shirt (Shuttleworth?)

  • Re:Why not? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @12:54PM (#30671354)

    Releases which are stable and are not shipped in a broken state would seem to distinguish Debian from Ubuntu rather clearly.

    On a broader level to say Debian doesn't have anything to distinguish itself is foolish. It runs a Linux kernel on at least 11 different architectures and can also run a FreeBSD kernel on i386 and amd64. Debian is the origin of the APT package management tools widely used by derivatives and others. It has a Social Contract. Etc. etc. etc. To see it as undistinguished or having nothing to distinguish it says more about of the person making the comment than it does about the object of his/her derision.

  • openSUSE members (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew ( 866215 ) <enderandrew AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @01:02PM (#30671474) Homepage Journal

    openSUSE has had a very similar program for some time.

    http://en.opensuse.org/Members [opensuse.org]

    Members get to vote on the board, and get a free boxed/retail copy of each openSUSE release.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @01:05PM (#30671516)

    Why not? Ubuntu *has* DDs as members; conversely, Debian has DDs that started at Ubuntu. Also for upstream. You presume wrong. If you had a bit of interest you could have checked, but your (almost religious) prejudice (from Latin, "pre-judge", literally) seems to block the possibility of enlightenment. I am not saying Ubuntu is always right, as I am not saying your (and other DDs) position is always wrong.

    This is no news, by the way (both the article and your position -- and Greg K-H' s). And both are wrong, although Greg H-K is _less_ wrong, since he only cares about contributions to the kernel.

  • Re:PulseAudio (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geminidomino ( 614729 ) * on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @01:10PM (#30671610) Journal

    And the decision to use a BETA of Grub2 that even the developers say isn't ready for production use? Was that upstream at gnome too?

  • by DakotaSmith ( 937647 ) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @02:45PM (#30673008) Homepage
    I know how to tell if my contribution is significant. It's really very simple: I get paid.
  • They should (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jimpop ( 27817 ) * on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @03:10PM (#30673356) Homepage Journal

    They should initially include any and all Debian contributors.

  • by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @03:41PM (#30673746) Homepage Journal

    But that's the point. Once you start recognizing certain contributors more than others and giving them status symbols - especially where the difference is small and/or largely subjective - you risk creating a "them and us" situation.

    Next phase is that the "them", who are probably more numerous and contribute more, feel rejected and decide to tell the clique to stuff it.

  • by Magic5Ball ( 188725 ) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @03:58PM (#30673962)

    And then contributors will be able to level-grind to earn more achievements. Let's just hope that they don't turn into one of those corporate situations where internal wiki edits and rcs actions count positively in the performance review regardless of substance.

  • by duncan ( 16437 ) <chuckf410 AT yahoo DOT com> on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @07:10PM (#30676428)

    I'm a member and I've never contributed a piece of code.

    I do a bit of bug triaging and reporting on Launchpad. I work with the Loco here and people locally to get involved and educated in free software using Ubuntu.

    If you ask me the membership doesn't do much overall. The major reason I went for it was to get the @ubuntu.com email address that l think helps on the advocacy front when I give someone my business card. Makes it seem more legit in some way.

Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them. -- Bill Vaughn