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From "York, Brennon" <Brennon.Y...@capitalone.com>
Subject Re: Discuss PPMC
Date Fri, 20 Nov 2015 21:10:12 GMT
All, I’ve done quite a bit of reading on this topic and, now that I feel I’m informed on
how things should work given the documentation on the Apache site [1][2][3][4][5], here’s
my 2c on the whole discussion.

First I want to clarify the roles and responsibilities of a Committer and a PMC Member according
to Apache.

Committer[6]
A committer is a developer that was given write access to the code repository and has a signed
Contributor License Agreement (CLA) on file. They have an apache.org mail address. Not needing
to depend on other people for the patches, they are actually making short-term decisions for
the project. The PMC can (even tacitly) agree and approve it into permanency, or they can
reject it. Remember that the PMC makes the decisions, not the individual committers.

PMC Member[7]
A PMC member is a developer or a committer that was elected due to merit for the evolution
of the project and demonstration of commitment. They have write access to the code repository,
an apache.org mail address, the right to vote for the community-related decisions and the
right to propose an active user for committership. The PMC as a whole is the entity that controls
the project, nobody else. In particular, the PMC must vote on any formal release of their
project's software products.

The biggest difference I see is that a Committer does not have the power to direct the *long
term* roadmap for the project while a PMC Member can, esp. as they (PMC Members) can reject
patches as they see necessary for the longevity of the project (including patches from Committers).
Additionally I haven’t found any documentation that changes the above definitions in the
context for an incubating project. Correct me if I’m wrong here.

Now, if we (as the Apex committers / PPMC members) decide that we should remove a majority
of us (myself included) then I, personally, am okay with that, but the better question I see
would be *why* would we do that? If the idea is to “trim the tree” so to speak and only
keep a smaller set of members in power (i.e. as PPMC members) then it is implying that the
original set of committers (that were proposed) should not have been so as they cannot effectively
direct the project. That’s an issue with the original proposal and, I feel, should be addressed
up front if so. More than that though I assume each member that is on the original proposal
is actually completely and acutely able to aid in the direction of the project and that is
why they were chosen in the first place.

If the goal is then to quickly “build back” a larger PPMC committee based on current active
contributions I feel that this is going against the Apache Way (whether I like it or not)[8][9]
and, esp. for the project, I feel hurts us when considering a genuine goal of moving to a
TLP. We should instead use this as an opportunity to further embed Apache Apex into the Apache
Way and define what “inactivity” means for a (P)PMC Member and a Committer.

Another point I’ve heard is that we want Apex to be very open to new Committers which is
amazing, but I want to make a point here that I, as a current PPMC Member, wouldn’t want
to be giving away Committership like candy. I would much rather see the Apache Way and its
concept of Meritocracy[10] in action. Moreover we, as a community, still haven’t defined
(that I know of) a strong set of guidelines that any individual can follow to earn said merit
in the project and become a Committer. This certainly shouldn't be construed as a bad thing
since we are still a relatively young project and need to work these things out (and I’m
sure we will :) ).

So, what are my recommendations?

1. Keep the current PPMC and Committer list as they are
2. Establish a set of guidelines on what it takes to be a Committer
3. Establish a set of roles and responsibilities for a Committer on Apache Apex
4. Establish #2 and #3 for a (P)PMC Member as well
5. Most importantly, establish a set of guidelines on what “inactivity” means for (P)PMC
Members and Committers

Also, because I didn’t want to clog the actual vote thread, I’ve restarted this thread.
Forgive me if that upsets anyone.

I want to end by saying that this is my first foray in the Apache project lifecycle, the Apache
Way, and the general way Apache governs a project. That said I have no clue how other projects
have succeeded or failed in the past with these issues, but I can only assume that this is
certainly not the first time something like this has happened for a project (nor the last)
and I, for one, am confident that no matter what the decision is we, as a community, will
continue to strive for what is best for Apache Apex to grow into a truly successful project.

Phew, that was a bit long. Candid feedback welcome and appreciated.

[1] http://incubator.apache.org/incubation/Roles_and_Responsibilities.html
[2] http://incubator.apache.org/guides/ppmc.html
[3] http://incubator.apache.org/guides/committer.html
[4] http://incubator.apache.org/incubation/Incubation_Policy.html#Roles+in+the+Incubation+Process
[5] http://apache.org/foundation/how-it-works.html
[6] http://apache.org/foundation/how-it-works.html#committers
[7] http://apache.org/foundation/how-it-works.html#pmc-members
[8] http://www.apache.org/dev/pmc.html#pmc-removal
[9] http://www.apache.org/dev/committers.html#committer-set-term
[10] http://www.apache.org/foundation/how-it-works.html#meritocracy


> On Nov 11, 2015, at 3:49 PM, P. Taylor Goetz <ptgoetz@gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> +1
> 
> I've seen references in email threads to the effect that there are 6 people that are/were
supposed to form the PPMC, but I've not seen a list of who those individuals are. Granted,
I may have missed it and I haven't done an exhaustive search of the mailing lists.
> 
> As Justin mentioned, only PPMC member votes are binding for things like a release, so
we need to know this information. We may also have to revoke karma, but I'd have to check
on that.
> 
> Again, my apologies if that list was discussed/documented and I missed it.
> 
> -Taylor
> 
>> On Nov 11, 2015, at 6:28 PM, Justin Mclean <justinmclean@me.com> wrote:
>> 
>> Hi,
>> 
>> Also remember that a main practice difference between committer and PPMC is that
only PPMC votes are binding on releases. Committer votes are not binding. I see a lot of votes
on Malhar release that state they are binding when perhaps they may not depending who exactly
is in the PPMC. Would be good to clear this confusion up.
>> 
>> Thanks,
>> Justin
> 

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