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From Ralph Goers <Ralph.Go...@dslextreme.com>
Subject Re: [Vote] Java 5 as minimum JDK requirement
Date Wed, 16 Aug 2006 07:49:50 GMT


Torsten Curdt wrote:
> I think you are simplifying this situation a bit...
>
> Let's say I am working for company "A". Company "A" has a policy to only
> use reaaaaally stable and proven software. "Don't change if you don't
> have to". Basically they are still using JDK 1.3. I am a PMC member of
> an OS project the company is using. Now is the non-upgrade policy of
> that company "A" a valid reason for the individual PMC member to veto
> the upgrade of the JDK requirement for the OS project?
>
> ...now I am curious 
Well, one implication of where you are going with this is, "Is it 
appropriate to vote according to your employer's needs". My answer to 
that is, yes.  In fact, I'm certain that it happens all the time.  If 
you are a consultant who works for various people at various times you 
will continually be adding features each of your "employer's" needs.  I 
see nothing wrong in using your "real world experience" to influence 
your votes.  What is not OK is for you to be directed by your employer 
on how to vote on issues.

Now, in the scenario you provided it could be (and should be) argued 
that the PMC member is not acting appropriately as an individual. But 
you wouldn't necessarily know that depending on how the justification 
for the veto is made. With the current policy, this PMC member would be 
required to state their objection. It is implied that they are also 
supposed to help find an alternative proposal that can be agreed upon. 
But it may never really be obvious that the driving factor is the 
employer's policy.

However, using a policy that says that to veto an upgrade I have to 
either a) provide an alternative or b) provide a statement as to what 
would be required to rescind the veto would put this person in an 
awkward position.  Clearly they can't provide an alternative. So what 
would their statement be - "We can upgrade when my employer says its 
OK"?  That, clearly, is a violation of policy.

OTOH, what if the statement is "It is OK to upgrade when BEA and IBM 
both have versions that support version nnn of XYZ and those versions 
have been available for at least a year"?   I would argue that this 
moves from the category of voting on code modification to voting on 
procedure, in which case majority rules and the veto can be ignored if 
the majority does not agree.

Ralph

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