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From Corey Nolet <>
Subject Re: [VOTE] Accumulo Bylaws, vote 2
Date Fri, 04 Apr 2014 01:58:11 GMT

On Thu, Apr 3, 2014 at 8:45 PM, Benson Margulies <>wrote:

> If you're all going to go spelunking in the Apache policy docs,
> perhaps I can help a bit with context.
> The original HTTPD project developed a very specific set of policies
> for controlling  _commits to the code base_. The ballet of
> -1/veto/justification comes out of there. The overall foundation
> policy is an expectation that all projects will apply that same
> approach to commits unless they can state a very good reason to do
> something else.
> Contrarywise, releases cannot be vetoed. A -1 is just a -1. No veto.
> Justification is polite, but not required. Proceeding in the face of a
> -1 is not always a good idea, but the policy envisions it; it
> envisions that someone might vote -1 because they _might prefer_ to
> wait for some other change. But they can just be outvoted.
> Once you get past commits to the codebase and releases, you're more on
> your own in deciding how to decide. The particular case at hand, these
> bylaws, is an interesting one.
> People should be really clear about what they mean when they propose
> consensus as a process. Yes, a consensus process is a process in which
> every member of the community has a veto. However, it is also a
> process in which every member of the community feels a grave weight of
> responsibility in using that veto. Focussing on the veto in a
> consensus process is not a good sign.
> Consensus is a slow, deliberative, process, chosen by communities
> which value group cohesion over most everything else. It is also a
> process that presumes that there is a _status quo_ which is always
> acceptable. The community sticks to the status quo until everyone
> involved is ready to accept some change. This approach to
> decision-making is pretty hard to apply to a new group trying to chart
> a new course.
> It is _not_ foundation policy to expect communities to choose
> full-blown consensus as the predominant process. Typically, in my
> experience, Apache projects do not do full consensus process. Instead,
> they strive to give everyone a voice and seek consensus, but
> eventually decide via a majority of some kind. Most of the time, the
> first part of that (open discussion) achieves a consensus, so that the
> second part of that becomes a formality. However, from time to time,
> the community chooses to decide by majority in order to decide. The
> touchstone of a healthy community is that the minority feel heard and
> not steamrolled.

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