Vote 1: Adding the Github source to the Bylaws and Addendum

Pull Request:

Visual Diff of the bylaws is attached.

change2.pdf (155 KB)

Okay, reading this two things jump at me. First, there needs be language for the directors to take emergency action as appropriate, then note said action in minutes, or vote to continue, discontinue, uphold on vote next week, or schedule meeting as required for major headache. Emergencies such as major injury, physical alteration, extreme verbal altercation, extreme misuse of tool, extreme safety violation… Also in that scheme of things, most clubs I’ve been in set a discretionary amount the chief executive can spend without vote between meetings as needed.

Second: The term member is overly confusing. I’ve had the same problem other places. Took darn near a year to understand what people meant when they said member. It’s a bit like the term “smurf” one or two smurfs in a sentence, you can still figure the meaning. “Hey! Smurf on out to the garden and smurf up some potatoes!” “Hey! Smurf on out to the smurf and smurf up some smurfs!” Voting, good standing, bad standing… quorum… argh! The worst thing about the term “member” is if badly worded, people participate but will say “Well, I am not a member.” It’s a block, part of something… but not really. Guest, Novice, Practitioner, Expert, Guru… all these seem better than voting/non voting. Payment of dues and fees to vote… pretty standard. Somebodies inactive for illness for months? Daggone… seems like they are more storing projects, and the storage is the issue not shop time. If there is storage space on the lot for a cargo container, a rack for the boxes might solve that for inactives. Dunno. Just want to give some food for thought on this, it can be a roadblock. One thing that can work is have every level of membership able to make a motion… weather it succeeds or fails is another thing entirely. Believe me if people are sitting through a business meeting for a club, they want to be there :slight_smile:

Third: Sustaining funds. One of my clubs way back, we had a treasurer get handed a few bankers boxes of random records and a “Here ya are! Best luck!” He sorted all that stuff, and found even more held at the post office. In all that stuff? Two bank accounts abandoned with about 35k in funds from winning recycling contests almost 15 years earlier. He walked into a couple banks and asked about investments… and as a young college kid was laughed out of the first few. One bank said “Really? Okay… how much are you talking about investing with us?” The money was set to staggered maturities… and we did no fund raising for a really long time. That being said… it is also worth considering doing… but the purpose and the bylaws and all that need be iron clad, otherwise there are arguments. Sure, it takes more to make a revenue stream… but once done, it’s there.

Sorry if that’s all been hashed over, if I dished up a second serving.

Okay, so I've never actually used GitHub for anything except downloading
software and patches and such. Why are we drafting a text document on a
programming tool that not everyone is familiar with?

There are people beside me, I think, that don't know what a pull, branch,
merge, master, clone, commit, whatever is. Also, why does this look like
html code with all this \begin \end \content stuff?

I acknowledge that using GitHub would only take an hour or two to learn,
but it just seems a little tedious and overwrought for editing a text
document. Plus, I'd rather watch a movie with that time.

Rant over.


Well if you have used it to download things you figured it out better than I have lol. I can go to the site and then get super confused trying to do anything on that site lol!

Instructions for building the PDF from the Github sourcecode for the Bylaws:

Instructions for Ubuntu

apt-get install -y texlive-latex-base

git clone
cd bylaws-and-addenda/

This should create a PDF that is in a more human readable format.

What about for Windows?


linux virtual machine

hive13 shell server

Disclaimer: I have not used any of the native windows TeX programs

Alternatively, you can use an online service like:

That offer an integration to the github repository and a functional WYSIWYG interface to edit the document.

I realize that there’s some humor in this, but, with git, we can take our documents, the histories, and the changes that were made (along wit who made them) with them should github shut down. We can’t export our documents with the full history with Google Cloud.

If you’ve never used LaTeX before, you’re really missing out on a powerful document preparation system that a lot of engineers, mathematicians, lawyers, and chemists use. There isn’t a steep learning curve and it allows you to make documents on any platform that you’re on and gives you an amazing amount of control through the use of common-sense plugins, commands, and phrases.

I’m always open to suggestions as to where we should change our bylaws to that remain open, not locked into a proprietary format, and are easy for people to use; feel free to suggest one if you would like.


There is the ability for the BoD to suspend a member; it has been utilized in the past.

The President of the club is really there in name only (and to accept legal liability for the organization); when the bylaws were created, this was done for a reason: this is a member-driven organization. The membership is in control of spending funds. The president (or, honestly, any other member/director) of the organization really has no reason to spend money without the explicit approval of the members.

Member is used both in a legal context (every corporation needs to have members) and in a general sense (we are members of a club) in this document. If you’d like to know how it’s used in a legal context, I’ll be back in Cincinnati after November the 9th and I’ll be more than happy to sit down and explain the document to you in any way you’d like.

As for sustaining funds, that’s something that the BoD should consider, bring to the membership to vote upon, and then proceed from there.

I would disagree about LaTex. When I was dissertation writing it had too steep of a learning curve for me to learn. And everyone I talked to said it was outdated and noone used it anymore. Now, I’m sure there are still plenty who do use it. Might have been a localized experience at UC.

Although I personally like Github mostly for the ability to see the changes from each edit with the responses I am seeing here in this thread, Maybe a locked down page on the wiki that could only be modified by the Board of Directors.

Mostly everyone seems to be fairly comfortable with viewing and editing the wiki and the storage of the document would be housed locally on the hive equipment instead of out on a github server.

The wiki would show any changes that occured, who made the changes, time stamps of the changes etc. All while still allowing nearly the same possibilities to revert the changes if necessary.

Do we need to have the capability to form this as a document? Well that is actually quite simple on the wiki as well just click the "Printable version" link on the left and it will print just as it was shown in the editor.

Just offering up another suggestion


LaTeX is still very much alive.

The SCOTUS uses it for briefs (they switched from a Linotype machine back in 2000) and for their publishing.

This is about the right tool for the job; the bigger driver is that LaTeX allows us to have a workflow that works (and provides us a series of tools so that we can quantify and enumerate changes between versions). There were a LOT of changes to the ByLaws that were made on that one Google Document, and it was difficult to identify which change went where, nor did it provide the context of those changes. Using these tools (along with the visual diff) allows us to:

a.) identify which changes are made in which section (and provide the context of those changes in the section)
b.) allow us to easily accept only the changes that are made by the members of the hive
c.) easily let us modify the document and share the pdf and other formats with the members.

There might be better tools out there. There might be a better solution that’s out there, but, this was what was in the original google document, and it’s why I created the pull request (to make merging that request easier into the repository), visual diff (so that we could see the changes against the original bylaws), and moved the discussion to the mailing list vs the comments in the google doc.



The format is not the point. The point is transparency.

The fact that Brandon had to give me instructions on how to make these “human readable” is sort of absurd.

I have nothing against LaTEX or GitHub. I think they’re quite cool, but we need to have something easier for everyone to see for this process.


Readily accessible - easy to understand - this is NOT git or LaTEX. Lorin is right, it’s difficult, annoying, and requires extensive effort on the part of the average user to look over these, and I say that working in IT for a living. Also you have a Professor for a Major University that complained about its complexity and steep learning curve. Perhaps these are clues that it’s not the best tool for the masses. Sometimes what we think is cool and awesome is rather burdensome on the rest of the users - and as an organization that requires transparency and accountability, we should focus on serving the largest common denominator not the least.

The notion that the “masses” should be editing our bylaws is a curious one to me.

Edit No… Read, comprehend, understand - Yes. No one anywhere said it should be editable by the masses. We were complaining about the fact it’s not intelligible by the masses. I am not a member of the masses, and I’m saying it’s a PITA for the masses.

A page on the Wiki that editable only by officers, yet viewable by all would serve the exact same purpose, and it would be usable, understandable, and clear foralmost every member of the organization a.k.a. the largest common denominator.

For the sake of reading, comprehending, and understanding, PDFs appear to already be available in the git repository.

They are now - but they were not, are they direct output, have they been checked to ensure everything is correct and accurate? There’s quite literally nothing in that document that couldn’t have been accomplished on the Wiki, or a tracked changes document with OpenOffice or Word. The point you seem to be be missing (I hope you’re not actually intentionally being obtuse) is there were much better tools that did not require adaptation of the members of the hive, and we went with “cool” and geeky. LaTEX isn’t for the masses, and the use of it has been questioned by some exceptionally intelligent people within the organization. Again - an organization should work to serve its largest common denominator not its least.

I like the idea of a wiki. Simple, easy to read, editable by all, built-in version control.

Also keep in mind that I’m on the board, as well as a neophyte.

In the end I already have latex compatible tools, but opening by-laws in matlab just seems weird.