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Subject: RE: [chairs] TC Membership Rules - Take 2

Comments inline.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Hal Lockhart [mailto:hlockhar@bea.com]
> Sent: Monday, September 15, 2003 12:02 PM
> To: chairs@lists.oasis-open.org
> Subject: [chairs] TC Membership Rules - Take 2
> I raised this issue before, but the thread went off in other directions and
> I did not have the cycles to pursue the matter. I was also waiting until the
> new TC process was published to see which points had been clarified.
> Let me start by disposing with a couple of points raised last time.
> 1. Some argued that the process should allow for chair's discretion. I
> agree, however this should only be necessary in rare, borderline cases. This
> note is about bread and butter decisions that come up every week, not once
> or twice a year. If chairs are forced to constantly make these decisions on
> their own, it will mean different TCs use different procedures and create an
> impression of arbitrary use of power by chairs. Neither of these is
> desirable for an open standards organization. The secretaries and chairs
> need to know at the begining of every meeting whether or not they have
> quorum. It should be possible to determine this by a well defined algorithm
> 95% of the time.

Completely agree.

> 2. Some have suggested that attendance calculations can always begin with a
> meeting that was attended, because that will always be true of a member.
> This is only true of people who join at the initial meeting. Under the old
> rules people could join the TC without ever attending. Under the new rules,
> they cannot join without attending, but we are now required to enforce the
> same rules during the probationary period, so the same condition (never
> attending) can and does occur.
> I suggest that the following points be clarified and that the "official"
> interpretation of the process be made a part of the TC guidelines. The two
> relevant sections of the TC Process are:
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> ---------------
> 2. d.
> During the probationary period the Prospective Member must follow the same
> attendance rules as a TC Member, as defined in the section "Termination of
> TC Membership"; if attendance requirements are not met the Prospective
> Member will not become a Member at the end of the probationary period and
> must re-apply for membership.
> 2. f.
> * A member shall be warned by mail from the chair of the TC upon his first
> failure to be present during the roll call at the beginning of the meeting
> of two out of every three successive meetings of the TC. Membership shall be
> terminated if the member fails to be present during the roll call of the
> next meeting following transmittal of the warning or if the member
> consistently fails to be present during the roll call of two of every three
> meetings thereafter.
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> ---------------
> These leave a lot of questions open.
> A) "A member shall be warned by mail from the chair of the TC upon his first
> failure to be present..."
> The choice of the word "first" seems deliberate, but ambigious. Does a
> person ever have to be notified a second time? I am not talking about the
> individual that misses one or two meetings a month. We can get rid of them
> with the "consistently fails" clause. I am talking about a member who misses
> two meetings, gets warned, attends every meeting for six months and then
> misses two in a row. Do I have to warn them? Should I drop them immediately
> without warning? Are they entitled to a warning per month? per year? per TC
> lifetime?

The ambiguity here forces me to ignore the "first" qualifier, and to
always warn a member about possible termination.  In fact, I don't see any 
value to the clause about terminating a member who "consistently fails to be
present".  There should be a very object approach to determining termination
based on attendance.  The area of discretion by the chairs is useful, however,
for giving grace to someone who, by normal calculations, should be terminated.
For instance, if a family matter causes someone to miss a meeting following a 
warning, the chairs could choose to act in that case.  But making the 
calculations fuzzy doesn't seem useful to me.

> B) Now let's consider the actual calculation. Warning is required in two
> cases: (P=Present, N=Not Present) N-N and N-P-N. The first half of the rule
> says if they miss the next meeting, they are out. But what if they attend?
> We have N-N-P and P-N-P (considering only the window of the last three
> meetings. In neither case do we warn them, because even though N-N-P is 2
> out of 3, it is not the "first failure."

I disagree.  In the N-N-P case, I think the process should be interpreted to 
issue another warning, since the member has in fact missed 2 out of the last
3 meetings (regardless of the fact that the 1 that was attended was the most
recent meeting).  Taking this approach eliminates the problems that are
accurately described in the following two paragraphs.

> Again, if they attend the next meeting, there is no problem, so let's assume
> they don't. We have: N-P-N and N-P-N. Since they both missed 2 out of three
> again, it seems like I should throw them out, but I don't see how I can
> under the rules given. They did not miss a meeting immediately after being
> warned and I would not consider that a total history of ...P-P-P-P-N-N-P-N
> or ...P-P-P-P-P-N-P-N meets the criteria of "consistently fails". So I guess
> they stay in limbo for an unspecified period until a pattern develops.
> The other thing that bothers me is that P-N-P-N-N gets you thrown out, but
> P-N-N-P-N does not. This seems arbitrary and unfair.

Addressed above.

> C) During probation, we are supposed to "follow the same rules." I presume
> that means that if they do N-N or N-P-N then we warn them that they may not
> become become members. If they miss the next meeting, we immediately drop
> them back to observers and do not continue calculating their attendance
> pattern. If they attend, then we fall into the "consistently fails" case,
> except that it is unlikely that this condition will be satisfied before
> their probation is over. Presumably the intent is that the probationary
> period and membership period be considered a continous sequence for the
> purposes of calculating membership elibility. In other words, we do not
> "reset the count" when someone becomes a member.
> However, if the TC meets only monthly, then the person will become a voting
> member before they can possibly fail the attendance criterion. In this case,
> it is even more important to consider all meetings as a continous sequence.
> Does everyone agree with this interpretation?

I didn't interpret "follow the same rules" to require warning a prospective 
member after missing two out of three meetings, only voting members.
I interpreted it to speak to the burden on the prospective member to attend,
rather than on the chair/secretary to provide the benefit of a warning.  If a
prospective member doesn't attend at least 2/3 of the meetings during their
probationary period, they simply don't become members.  This can be expressed
in the email sent to them when they initially request membership.  However,
I wouldn't be opposed to Hal's interpretation above either.

> D) I don't want to start a thread on Kavi bugs, but the current Kavi
> calculations about membership don't seem to follow any consistent algorithm
> as far as I can tell. Ideally, Kavi should follow the algorithm determined
> by the outcome of this thread. If this is not possible, Kavi should NOT send
> out any messages about membership transitions, because they just create
> confusion.

Hearty +1.

> Hal

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