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From Stephen McConnell <mcconn...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Charter.txt
Date Thu, 05 Dec 2002 22:51:19 GMT

Berin Loritsch wrote:

> Stephen McConnell wrote:
>> Your going to consider me really picky - but what the hell - it is 
>> important. What we *need* is agreement by the PMC members on a 
>> charter and as things stand today - and that is basically a majority 
>> opinion of the elected PMC members until such time that we declare 
>> charter modification as something special under a set of PMC 
>> by-laws.  And, yes - it would *nice* to have PMC member concensus, 
>> even community concensus - but these attributes are not obligations 
>> on the PMC members and do not impact the decision procedure.
> Stephen,  what is the biggest problem with the Avalon community?
> Just that, the community.  The thing is that we the community have
> to come up with the bylaws that run our community.  If the community is
> not happy with the bylaws that the PMC sets up by blind majority, they
> will go elsewhere.
> I think it is more important at this juncture to get the community
> on board and forget about your pet agenda.


Lets take a step back for a moment and look at what we are both 
attempting to achieve.

  You want to make sure that the process under which the
  PMC makes decisions cannot be abused through rushing of
  something then results in a majority decision, and becomes
  law. I think (and I'm sure you will agree with this) that
  PMC decisions will be on important issues, and such we must
  ensure that there is a process that ensures adequate
  discussion and representation.  You have raised the vote to
  recommend the formation of an Avalon PMC as an example of
  the type of process that you consider inappropriate.  Your
  issue is the timeframe for the vote - in the case of the
  PMC vote that was 72 hours.  I agree with you that PMC
  voting processes should be longer then this.

  I want to make sure the procedures that are put in place
  for PMC decision making cannot be used a single individual
  to hold up the will of majority.

There is another aspect concerning the process we employ to achieve 
resolution of the above points. 

  You priority is to ensure that the whatever we establish,
  it is based on the consensus of this community.  This is a
  position I am completely supportive on.  My disagreement above
  was on the grounds of a conflict between the "standing
  procedure" the PMC has today, and what was implied by your
  earlier email that suggested the adoption of committer
  procedures for handling the work on charter and procedures. 
  While I am totally with you on the principal of a total
  consensus based process, I think it is equally important
  that we respect the rules that exist (even if we don't like
  them) just as we will respect future procedures that we

  I think we can achieve community consensus on a set of policies
  and procedures - and once that is achieved, the PMC will have
  to vote on something using the existing PMC procedures.

Back to the discussion on procedures for the PMC.  Based on the emails 
so far, it seems to me that there are a three proposals that meet both 
our objectives.

  Noel has suggested a majority voting process that is based on
  the Board process that includes the notion of quorum based on
  Apache bylaws Section 5.8. Quorum and Voting (i.e. 50% of
  PMC members).

  You have also suggested a qualified majority (2/3) process that
  also includes the notion of a quorum.  In an earlier email you
  referenced quorum in relation to Apache bylaws Section 3.9
  dealing with general members (i.e. 33% of the PMC).
  A third proposal from Sam Ruby is based on auto-PMC-membership,
  majority voting rules and presumably a fixed quorum of 3.

The difference between the first two is subtle - the benefit of 
increasing the quorum is that it ensures "representation" - the downside 
is related to availability of members.  The impact of "majority" as 
opposed to "qualified majority" favors consensus.  Of the two, I think I 
prefer your proposal.  The third proposal is interesting because it 
ensures representation and in general makes life simpler (it is also 
possibly my favorite out of the three). However - to properly included 
the third proposal would need to set the timeframe for voting to be 
something like a week instead of 72 hours.

Cheers, Steve.


Stephen J. McConnell

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