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From Ross Gardler <>
Subject Re: ComDev scope and lists
Date Sun, 08 Jun 2014 04:28:56 GMT
Yes, your reading of ComDev's scope is correct.

I have no opinion of the current purpose of - it was
put under this PMC by the board when the PMC was first created. It was a
mostly dead list that needed a home. The board changed the PMC resolution
without discussion with the new PMC. Consequently it never really had an
owner here (unless something went wrong of course). In other words, I
believe it could be repurposed as necessary.

Whether this PMC would be the right place for a wider remit as you describe
is something the PMC as a whole needs to address. This PMC is supposed to
be a place for signposting for the ASF. That is we don't set policy (other
than management of mentoring programs) but we do help people find their way
to the policy.

It seems that there are often calls for something more committer focussed.
Personally I worry that we need such a thing. Our committers come to us
through PMCs. Those PMCs should be providing all the mentoring and guidance
new committers need. ComDev was set up for people who are outside the ASF
and don't know where to start. We are not, IMHO, supposed to be providing
services to the ASFs projects.

That is not to say that this PMC could not expand to this remit. I'm just
worried that if it is really needed then we should be sure that such an
action is not a sticking plaster but a real solution to a real problem.

I guess that means we need to look at concrete actions that we might take
as a PMC.


On 5 June 2014 22:49, Brett Porter <> wrote:

> Hi ComDev PMC and other interested folks,
> From time to time, I hear someone suggest ComDev or its lists as a
> potential target for a foundation-wide activity that affects current
> committers. However, I've always thought of ComDev as being focused on
> "those that are not here yet", rather than those that are - as the monthly
> report starts, "The Community Development PMC is responsible for helping
> people become involved with Apache projects."
> Some roughly related discussion was held in in April 2013 [1] at Ross'
> initiation. However, it's not clear to me whether there was any decision
> taken in the end. If I look over the archives since, it's related to
> mentoring, GSoC, small events and ApacheCon, with one exception being a
> large release cadence discussion - which seems to confirm my expectation.
> The current composition of the PMC also seems to reflect people with that
> sort of expertise.
> Possibly it's just my personal bugbear, but my concern with sending
> traffic to a list that doesn't feel empowered to act on it is that it often
> ends up in discussion with very little decision making.
> In addition to this list, ComDev stewards, but that
> is much less frequently used now.
> I feel like the ASF is seeing a pattern where we need something like
> "committer relations", that can focus on providing resources and assistance
> to any committer, while not interfering with individual project boundaries.
> I'm willing to take up that initiative with others interested - but also
> quite happy to acknowledge it might be more overhead than value if existing
> groups can address that need. The first thing I wanted to do was clarify
> whether ComDev already feels like it has this responsibility in whole or
> part.
> So, my questions are:
> - have I read ComDev's scope correctly, or should it be expanded to
> include resources for current committers?
> - regardless of scope, how does the PMC feel about its lists being used to
> reach out to committers for discussion or updates?
> - what does the PMC see as the current purpose of vs
> this list?
> Thanks for indulging me :)
> Cheers,
> Brett
> [1]

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