U.s.oo.o/User Community Roles

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Revision as of 06:26, 11 September 2007 by TerryE (Talk | contribs)

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This page is a spin-off of the Constitution page and specifically aims to provide a collaboration vehicle to agree the OOo User Community Rolls for the users of the site (Users).


Guests are Users who can search and access the information provided by the site, but cannot post or modify its content. No registration or validation is required to be a Guest. The site is open to all. (1).


Member are Users who have completed the site registration process(2). Members can also post or modify the information content of the site, within the content rules of the site.


Any Member who wishes to take on a more active part in the life of the site (and is able to commit to defined responsibilities for any site role that the Member has accepted) can request to become a Volunteer. The site Volunteers are collectively referred to as the User Community Volunteers (UCV). There is no cap on the size of the UCV.

The Member must apply to become a Volunteer though the registration process(2) and if successful will be elected to Volunteer status within the UCV. For a Member to be successful, some evidence of sustained commitment to the site will normally be required. An example of such commitment could be say 100 postings and wiki contributions, or a number of material articles over a six month period. A equivalent track record on an associated community (for example one of the other active OpenOffice.org or Linux related forums will normally be acceptable.

As the UCV is intended to comprise the community of the active Members within the site, Volunteers may also revert to being a normal Member by one of a number means:

  • the Volunteer may simply resign from Volunteer status
  • if the Volunteer has been inactive on the site for a period of greater then six months, then Volunteer will automatically propose removal of Volunteer status
  • any Volunteer may propose the removal of Volunteer status for any other Volunteer, stating the just cause for the proposal; such cause could include repeated abuse or disregard of the site, the membership or standing instructions endorsed by the UCV.

The removal of Volunteer status is also controlled through the registration process(2), and where this occurs the individual will revert to normal Member status. Such Members can always subsequently reapply for Volunteer status.

Volunteers are regarded as trusted members of the site and therefore have available elevated privileges associated with such trust:

  • full voting privileges within the UCV
  • the ability to upload images and attachments to the site
  • the ability to use HTML in posts (most forum packages allow this as an option, and it certainly makes the layout of proper articles somewhat easier than in simple BBcode-style mark-up languages.)
  • the ability to blog
  • eligibility for site roles.

Roles available to Volunteers

The following User Community Roles available to Volunteers. Notwithstanding this, the list of site roles and responsibilities of the such roles may evolve overtime under change control and endorsement through the UCV voting process.

Site Administrator

Individuals that are willing to take on the responsibilities necessary to perform a due diligence in the following areas:

  • Help maintain the security of the host system by:
    • Maintaining good working relationship with designated network administration staff at Sun Microsystems, Hamburg Germany.
    • Maintain contact with the vendor's / supplier's information service for any applications run on the server.
    • Take agreed upon steps when any security announcement is made by the vendors / suppliers.
    • Follow agreed upon steps should a security breach of any application on the server become suspected. For example: notified by a board user that they suspect a problem.
    • Perform steps necessary to carry out agreed upon configuration control procedures on application level services running on the server. During modifications of the applications, application of patches, reconfigurations.
    • Follow agreed upon steps / actions to implement and maintain a disaster recovery plan ( e.g. off-site storage of backups, off-site storage of application modifications, included files and configuration settings).
  • Support the Service Administrators and Content managers by performing the following tasks
    • Create or apply modifications to the applications source, configuration files as needed.
    • Configure client communication settings for the service application
    • Configure server settings for the service application
      • Database indexing
      • Database backups ( working with network admins )
      • Install / configure support packages ( php libs, caching systems, etc ).

These individuals must also be willing comply with any Standard Operating and Security Procedures defined by the hosting provider ( SUN Microsystems ), and to take whatever reasonable actions that the hosting provider requires of them in order to receive necessary host computer access privileges.

Service Administrator

Individuals that are willing to take on the responsibilities necessary to maintain an application level service. For example the Forum service Administrator would perform the following, and other, functions:

  • May add, edit, delete, and reorder the forums, categories, and links.
  • Manage User Accounts
  • Manage Group Accounts
  • Manage Board Level Settings ( Email, Template, etc )
  • Support the Service Moderator's

These individuals are selected by the UCV alone. The service administrator role is enabled through and provided by the relevant service application. No action is required by the hosting provider to grant these privileges.

Service Moderator

Moderator is a supporting administration roll supported by some application services. For example in the case of forums, moderators have an elevate level of privilege which enables them to modify or delete user posts that contravene site policy (e.g. SPAM or obscenity). Service Moderators are selected by the UCV Voting Process. No action is required by the hosting provider to grant these privileges.

Content Manager

These individuals are selected by the UCV alone. The Content Manager role is enabled through and provided by the relevant service application. Where required Content Manager's may be granted User Account Interactive Access and MySQL datadase access.


The Ombudsman's role and responsibilities include:

  • Administration and oversight of all polls
    • The ombudsman can mandate that any specific vote be opened to the general membership, where he or she feels that there is reasonable case for doing so.
  • Voting member of any change control boards to represent the general mmebership(do we have a process for this?)
  • Managing and arbitrating on any Membership complaints

To avoid conflict of interest the Ombudsman cannot hold any other User Community Role.


Limitations on Site Access

Some transactional rate limiting mechanisms may apply to prevent robot users degrading the performance of the site for normal interactive users. We also need to consider whether we bar certain users and / or IP address/domains.

Site Registration Process

The Site Registration Process has two variants:

  • The standard process is for Users who want to become a Member of the site. The main reason form this process is to assign an identity for purposes of tracking changes that the user wishes to make. The minimum content is correct response to a "Captcha" dialogue or equivalent to eliminate SPAMing bots, and the submission a valid contact email address and response to an email sent to that address. The email address is retained as confidential information and not published on the site without written authorisation by said Member. It is there is to ensure that the site has a means of contacting the member: the site will not permit contributions from users without a valid supporting contact address. There are various other optional fields that the User can specify.
  • The stricter process controls the promotion of Members to Volunteer status, and the reversion of Volunteer to normal Member. Since such Volunteers can be appointed to trusted roles within the site, the UCV needs to have some confidence in the provenance and credentials of the applicant.
    • A forum maintained for the purpose controlling the Site Registration Process. Only Volunteers can post to this forum, though it is viewable by all members(+).
    • All applications for promotion to or removal from Volunteer status are posted to this forum as a new topic. Any Member can make an application through a Volunteer (for example the ombudsman) which might typically contain a brief identity (name, country, work experience, etc.) and a short personal statement of why the candidate wishes to become a volunteer.
    • Any Volunteer may comment on the application.
    • Any Volunteer may explicitly designate approval.
    • Any Volunteer may explicitly designate a protest.
    • The application is open for [two] weeks.
    • If at the end of this period at least two approvals and no protest have been made then Volunteer status change is granted.
    • If less than two approvals have then the Volunteer status change is declined.
    • If a minimum of two approvals have been made and any protests registered then a vote of the UCV membership is needed under the standard UCV voting procedure.
    • Where the application is declined, reapplication can be made after [3] months.

(+) There are issues of disclosure that we need to think about here. See the Talk page for further discussion on this.

UCV Voting Process

Again another placeholder. In general the UCV will be the normal voting forum. Hopefully we can batch routine votes up to say once per month, so that we don't get bombarded by votes.

We also need to think about the when, what how of general Membership votes.

Author: TerryE (Terry Ellison)
Please do not change the logical content of this page without first discussing this on the Talk Page and acknowledgement from the UCV Contact list.

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