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From Joe Brockmeier <>
Subject Re: Veto! Veto?
Date Sat, 21 Mar 2015 16:19:30 GMT
On Sat, Mar 21, 2015, at 11:50 AM, Pierre Smits wrote:
> When a (greater) number of people within a project can collaborate with
> the 'difficult' newcomer, why should it then be possible that the one (or the
> few) with veto power - who don't/doesn't seem to be able to collaborate
> with the 'difficult' newcomer -  can block voting regarding onboarding as
> committer or PMC member?

Adding a committer or PMC member is an action of trust and shouldn't be
looked at in the same view as code or other technical decisions. It's
*much* harder to reverse adding a person to a project than to grant
committer or PMC status. So while the bar should not be ridiculously
high, it should be approached as a decision that can have serious
consequences down the road.

This is just my experience, but I've been around a number of communities
over the years and I've encountered a few disruptive and difficult
people who (if it'd been an Apache project) I would have -1'ed for
committership or PMC status. They did good work, but were also abrasive
and caused hard feelings for some members of the community. (Usually the
ones the difficult person particularly disliked.) Usually it's a matter
of "death by a thousand cuts" rather than one major issue that you can
point to and say "this person should be removed from the project."

There are a lot of people in open source communities with very thick
skin and/or just happen to be very good at ignoring jerkishness and
focusing on the technical bits. Those are often the folks who call for
voting someone in despite evidence that they are not great at the
"community" bit of "community over code." 

No one *should* have to have a thick skin to participate. So, IMO, it's
entirely justified to allow a minority - or even one person - to veto
committer or (especially) PMC status*. 

Note that the vetoer(s) should articulate valid reasons for this. Nobody
should be vetoing someone because they simply don't like another person.

A person who's contributing *may* at some point feel unhappy if they are
not offered committer or PMC status, but they will almost certainly feel
unhappy if it is taken away because they turn out to be a "poisonous
person" or just don't get "The Apache Way." 

* In those projects that separate committer/PMC.


Joe Brockmeier
Twitter: @jzb

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