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EGLUG Charter

YoussefAssad's picture

The eglug charter is a document describing the purpose of eglug and outlining its ideals and driving motives. This document is intended to serve several purposes:

eglug.org is the Egyptian Linux Users' community. eglug exists for several reasons:

One is said to be a member of eglug by simply registering with the eglug.org website. It is that simple. eglug members have several basic rights. These are:

The administrator is a person in the community who has ultimate responsibility for the eglug.org forum. The administrator has no formal role outside the eglug.org site. The administrator's role is to ensure the integrity of the site from a technical standpoint and from an ideological one. The following guidlines govern administration:

From time to time a need for new administrators will arise. One or more administrators are needed when:

The procedure is as follows:

The administrators are the only people with the authority to revoke membership. The criteria for revoking membership for a user are:

Since both these criteria are subjective, the rights of members are protected as follows:

The moderator is primarily responsible for making sure of several things in the content of the eglug.org site:

To avoid a flood of potentially meaningless votes on such issues, matters are initially discussed in the meta thread in the forum. A matter can be approved for voting by either:

The Acceptable Use Policy is a simple set of guidelines determining behavior in eglug. The intention is not to restrict, but rather to provide the barest possible protection for members in order to provide a respectable and constructive working environment for the site. The AUP is as follows.

The charter is the document which affects everything the community does and says. As such, it is beneficial to limit the rate at which it evolves to induce stability. The charter will come up for optional review once every year in the first week of August. This procedure will be effected as follows:

Comments

Alaa's picture

few problems

ok where to begin.

  • this document is written in a slightly complex language, it needs to be simplified a bit (strip out the legalese) and tab3an it needs to be translated.
  • its too long, while I understand the need for a long charter that covers everything its unreasonable to assume new members will all read this, so we need a shorter version that shows up when they register, with a link to the real thing, in discussions we should never refer to the shorter version, and when a user is about to become senior member we need to ensure she understands the charter (olohof used to ask 2 exam question about their bylaws just to make sure you're ready to go up a level, we can do the same and include technical drupal specific questions when moving from senior to mod and from mod to admin).
  • requiring a quorum to include new users is not practical IMO, websites get many dead members and lurkers who will not vote (check Linux-Egypt polls), I suggest qurom be secified in terms of moderators and admins, but that poll results disregard user class (am I making myself clear?)
  • I thought we agreed that the promotion of senior members should be mostly automated, I liked the idea of a scoring system based on contributions, maybe mods can grant score points.
  • I think the AUP should mention no hateful speech and no personal attacks
  • I also think we should have guidelines that explain how each section of the website should be used, these should be enforced by the mods but violators should not be considred evil.
  • Also we need to mention the idea that mods are editors responsible for the organization of the website, one of the imprtant goals IMO is a community that retains its memory and minimzes redundancy, it is mods job to make ensure this, dunno if such goals should be expressed in the charter or elsewhere though.

I'll post this and reread again.

where does it say I'm supreme overlord?


whirlpool's picture

RE: few problems

>requiring a quorum to include new users is not practical IMO, websites get many dead members and lurkers who will not vote (check Linux-Egypt polls), I suggest qurom be secified in terms of moderators and admins, but that poll results disregard user class (am I making myself clear?)

no. understood nothing

> I think the AUP should mention no hateful speech and no personal attacks

yes

MSameer's picture

The B4|-|r4m D0c|_|m3n7

I object to saying " Egyptian Linux Users'" We are the 39yp714n GNU/Linux Users.

> The poll'll be left open for 10 days,

sometimes this won't be enough, summer holidays, .... We can state that: pools are left open for 10 days unless the community thinks that it should be left open more for good reasons.

> The number of administrators at any given time is to be one fourth to one > third as many as there are administrators.

of who ??

> Ten days after issuing the e-mail alert, the entire member base > excepting new users votes on the nominations according to the voting > procedure mentioned in section

I still object to a hardcoded value of 10 days.

> If the administrators vote does not achieve a two thirds majority, > then the candidate(s) with the most votes is selected.

most votes from who ? admins ? mods ? admins+mods ? admins+mods+users ????

> the candidate whose birthday when written out according to ISO > specification and with the dashes removed is closest to a prime > number is selected.

WTH ?

> If several candidates achieve equivalent distances from prime numbers, > it will be assumed that eglug was not meant to exist and all operations > will terminate in anticipation of the implosion of the internet. nop,

I suggest that we should ask /dev/random 1st ;-)

> 7.2 Polling

I still object to the 10 days period.

> Note that the personal blogs will be considered an area where this rule is > relaxed fully.

to what extent ?

whirlpool's picture

About the language

Well, I don't think that it is that hard. Well, there is the part were MFA uses slashes to describe event/circumstance/project, which is a bit distracting just say event. When the document is translated things will be easier to read.

The document should be in a reverse order. Starting with members, senior members, moderators then admins. This way for a new member it will be an easier read. And makes more sense IMHO. And if he got tired from continuing it he/she will have read enough to ensure that he/she will have know about the AUP and senior membership.

Remove that prime number BS. It wasn't their at first? Yeah, funny but this document should be a bit serious though.

the two thirds and ten days issues should be voted upon ?

Alaa's picture

this is a discussion

guys this is the 1st draft. all numbers are there as place holders to be discussed.

I suggest that we need a minimum period for voting, that a vote should never be forced to cover less time. but it should not be the default period, the longer we can keep it the better.

however sometimes circumstances force us to do a vote on a short notice.

and the problem of the voting period is balanced by having a quorum (a minumum number of people who should vote for the poll to be considered binding).

a reasonable quorum is very important, Egyptian law states that any democratic organization should have a quorum of at least 51%, MFA is suggesting 2 thirds of the membership.

my not so clear point above is that a quorum should be calculated in terms of the number of senior users due to the strong posibility that we get a silent majority.

before you discuss numbers though, cosnider wether you agree with a rule being specified in that style, ya3ni do you agree that we should have a minimum hard coded period for votes?

cheers, Alaa


whirlpool's picture

RE: this is a discussion

> ya3ni do you agree that we should have a minimum hard coded period for votes?

yes, we should not leave votes open forever. Nor should we leave that minimum period open to change from poll to poll. But, what if we need fast decisions ?

Alaa's picture

fast descsions

ok here is how I think about it.

fast descisions, meaning needing less than 10 days for a descision, would almost always be concerned with a certain event or immediate activity, or with individual initiative, which means there is an obvious set of members who are working on these activities.

for these short notice (and hopefully short term) descisions, the members involved in said activity should reach a consensus among them.

note that this can never be truely formalized or guaranteed to be safe, its a risk we have to take.

hell sometimes the single person responsible for a given task has to make descisions about this task, she may consult others, or not.

I think to allow for real initiative and contribution we have to aknowledge this, once a project starts it more or less becomes the responsibility of those involved.

now is there a situation where a quick descision is needed that does not fall under individual initiative (which we want to encourage) and an already ongoing event/project?

in that case maybe we should see, if the descision is easily reversible leave it to those directly involved bardo, since we can always get back and fix things.

if it isn't I don't know anymore, I suppose wait for the whole 10 days and suffer the consequences.

maybe the consensus of all mods and admins should be enough to reconsider voting time, or a two third majority of all mods, admins and senior users.

in fact IMO we should not be very pedantic about a democratic process, I prefer a more wiki like process, where we're empowered as individuals, ya3ni if some idea does not conflict at all with anything, members should be free to work on it without much consideration.

if a useful easily reversible idea comes up bardo members should be empowered to experiment.

cheers, Alaa


Bad words in blogs

Salamo 3alaikom,

I noticed that bad words could come out of some users in their own blogs. Free of speech is guarranteed on this site. I guess however if someone wants to make his own blogs full of bad words that the particular blog is kept private. Do we want a forum that is full of bad words? I guess not. Please don't ask about who wrote bad words in his blogs. I have to suggest that the blogs should be kept private, since you are free to say whatever you want in them (which is contradictory to what a blog funtion is actually). The other solution would be to stop saying bad words on the blogs since they are public. Hope the best for the new forum.

Salam.

Alaa's picture

Acceptable use Policy

The acceptable use policy is very short, it only mentions two point, not violating any egyptian laws.

and sticking to the Free/Open Source Software topic everywhere except on the blogs.

one of the things we want is for the rules to be obvious and not change suddenly according to circumstances so only things mentioned in the AUP will be considered reasond for moderation.

as I said I think the AUP should be a seperate document and it should at leats mention no personal attacks or hate speech on both the blogs and the rest of the website.

I think we should also discuss the posibility of using obscene words, IMO they should not be allowed in the forum or other comments and article areas, I don't care though if they're used on the blogs or not.

note however, that by giving each senior user a personal blog, it is practicaly impossible to make the blogs agreeable to everyone.

we need to think carefuly about this and come up with a descision.

what do you guys think??

note also that we can reconsider the policy and make it more strict or more allowing again when the charter comes for reconsideration (this happens once every year).

cheers, Alaa


See below

See below

1) Kind of speech allowed in

1) Kind of speech allowed in blogs and off topic forums:-

Allowed:-

  • You can speek/discuss anything you wish (religion, politics, philosophy...etc) as long as you don't violate the "Not Allowed" section.

Not Allowed:-

  • No hate speech against individuals and groups (be it ethnic, religious, national...etc)
  • Sexually explicit content is prohibited.
  • Profanity and vulgar language is not allowed
  • As with religion, you have the right to express your religious believes even if it contradicts other religions as long as it doesn't insult/attack them, there's a very fine line between both.

2) Other parts of the site:

I'm kind of thinking of very strict rules here. What about restricting the speech to technical stuff and prohibit speech ANY other topic, the hell, we might as well prohibit talking about even your colors preference, technical off topic Discussions are allowed but are highly not recommended; by off topic here I mean discussion about an issue other than the topic that the starter of the main thread is talking about.

================================================================ Alaa seems to hate the idea of off topic section in the forums, its not that we're allowing off topic content in the whole site, its a very confined place where you can talk about nearly anything. Blogs can't fit here since they are kind of a diary.

Comment about the "right to be heard": Doesn't make sense to me, a member has the right to speak and other members have the right whether to hear him or not.

whirlpool's picture

testing the limits

well, since we are still in the testing phase of eglug .. MFA's blog is actually just a test of what can convievably happen. I think personally I think soemthing like that will never happen in life. No one will go on saying bad words in that fashion, because well, blogs is a place were you place your thoughts and so on. Its a mirror of your personality.

But, when of course when all these bad words are directed to some one. Things should be well thought of.

Other than that, there is no 13 year olds on a linux forum. So I don't think that bad words should be censord or something.

Alaa's picture

why not

there are indeed 13 years old members in Linux forums, we had 2 14 years old volunteers in the installfest.

now this raises an important issue, I think we should strive for this page to be welcoming and suitable to all ages, the younger they are the better start they'll have.

IMO this means prophanity and sexualy explicit speech cannot be allowed here, even in the blogs.

what do you think?

cheers, Alaa


whirlpool's picture

add this in the first part of the charter

Leadership is by agreement rather than authority and is established by the needs of the community rather than by the autocracy of an individual.

القيادة بالأتفاق و ليست بالسلطة و تبنى على أحتاجيات المجتمع لا تبنى على الأستبداد الفردى

Alaa's picture

Don't edit the charter

please don't edit the charter directly, discuss the points you want to add here until we agree on any modifications.

Sherbo that means you in the back.


ShErbO's picture

Re: Editing the charter

Alaa you told me on IRC to go ahead with this charter addition... or did you mean as a comment first ?? whatever.. probably a misunderstanding.

Anyway here it is, everyone please state your opinions.

3. Suggestions are welcome, as mentioned above. This however, doesn't grant any member the right to give orders. Telling members that they 'should' act in a certain way is not acceptable.

Alaa's picture

ma3lesh

cheers, Alaa


Manal's picture

Shouldn't we say that EGLUG i

Shouldn't we say that EGLUG is the Egyptian Gnu Linux Users Group, especially since we started to use the arabic name:

جنو لينوكس مصر

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Manal Hassan

YoussefAssad's picture

Good, discussion.

Now I know how to get people to perk up and take notice :)

Right, so some points here. The controversial blog entry I wrote was written 75% to stimulate precisely this discussion of what is and what isn't acceptable. I want this issue settled right from the get go. (in case you're wondering, the remaining 25% was me at 3 am unable to sleep and going nuts)

Regarding free speech, I find myself for once on the liberal side of everyone else here. Hide the blogs, but don't try to restrict them. I'm not saying this because there are elements of free speech I want to protect, I'm saying this for a practical reason: no one wants to police anyone else. No one wants the administrative overhead.

The only things that should be banned in the blogs is illegal things and hateful speech, and other obvious things like that. Off-topic stuff hould be fine, and profanity too.

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ramez.hanna's picture

i don't agree on hiding blogs

i don't agree on hiding blogs this would make it meaningless in my opinion (if no one sees it why bother?) i say ban profanity and hateful speech sinse we mention in the charter that we are an egyptian LUG and we are subject to the egyptian law and egyptian law forbids both (!! i think)


the best things in life are free --- so as myself

Alaa's picture

not total hide

hiding the blogs doesn't mean we completly hide them.

it means we don't promite new pblog content, we don't push it at members.

however members can easily reach anyone blogs, by either visiting the persons's profile or by clicking on the blogs link.

by not having to go through a tep where you search for a certain user we make it clear to all that blogs are a personal thing and the personal responsibility of the blog owner.

now I think the extra step also helps in the blogs goal. ultimatly a lug should not have off topic content at all, but a lug is also a social gathering, without alowing for social interactions and encounters you limit your lug severly, making special off topic areas that are pushed and promoted like the rest of the website simply raises the noise to signal ratio, by keeping off topic content to the blogs and by requiring a step of social recognition (you choose the blog by person) we encourage real social interaction (not just casual comments on off topic threads) and we encourage the building of mini communities within the lug (ie guitar players can find each other through their blogs, link to each other and enjoy long guitar specific discussions on their blogs).

but also there is the problem of admenestration overhead, even if we opt for restricted blogs we can't expect moderators to monitor all blogs for rule violation, so whatever the policy we'll agree on it will mostly be a matter of trust that senior members would abide by the rules. now in case someone breaks the rules and the blog entery gets mentioned on the front page, we will have another outroar, many clueless readers would not know the difference between a blog and the rest of the site anyway and the whole thing will explode again, to avoid this moderators are supposed to heavily police the blogs, this is too much work, and also ruins a great part of the fun (not to mention that the line gets very thin on off topic content).

BTW Egyptian law is not very strict on profanity, the constitution after all protects free speech. to the extent that when they wanted to remove a certain famous obscene poem from the internet they had to use charges like inciting social disturbance.

hateful speech is illegal yes, at least against religions, not sure if Egyptian recognises ethnicity at all.

hate speech towards SCO certified admins and Capitalist tools in managerial positions is of course allowed, even encouraged.

cheers, Alaa


YoussefAssad's picture

Yea!

Can we slam emacs users too? Can we? Can we? They suck! Can we? Can we?

/jumps up and down enthusiastically

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ezabi's picture

Did I see the word "SCO" here

Did I see "SCO" mentioned here without the TM and without the proper copyright and disclaimer, did you note that there are some lines of code in Drupal code are actually owned by SCO, we invented variables and arrays, how dare you use them without proper permission and license..

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