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From Jacques Le Roux <>
Subject Re: On wearing multiple hats
Date Thu, 27 Oct 2016 21:28:40 GMT
I do love this answer

Thanks Ross!


Le 25/10/2016 à 16:19, Ross Gardler a écrit :
> First, I'm tired of hearing it too but let's not be fooled, most of the time it comes
from people ill informed about how the ASF works.
> We use social controls within the projects and we have a fully independent board to handle
escalations should a community member feel that their (or anothers) merit not be recognized.
> If this is breaking down then its a problem within the PMC not with the process, which
has served us well for many years across many projects and should, IMHO, serve us well for
many more. Rather than starting to look for a solution to a problem purebred by others perhaps
we should look at why they have this perception.
> Here's my thoughts...
> Open source, in general, has changed. Its gone from mostly individual hackers from small
collaborating companies "scratching their own itch" to mostly big business and will funded
startups paying individuals who sometimes don't care on a personal level. This has resulted
in the emergence of a different flavor of open source. One in which money and metrics count
more than community and code. I'm the money and metrics model success means market disruption
rather than collaboration on code.
> I maintain that the Apache Way is still a highly valuable and repeatable process that
when applied correctly brings the highest chance of success (where success is valuable open
source code). It is a process that is designed to ensure that those who care on a personal
level have as much influence as those who are motivated by external need. It is a process
that leaves money and metrics at the door but recognizes community and code contributions
> I'm not a fan of metrics. They are often misleading and allow any story to be told. I'm
much more interested in people taking responsibility for the health of their community than
taking the easy route and monitoring an arbitrary metric. Those people should be working within
project PMCs to ensure all contributions (code or otherwise) are being recognized. They should
be identifying new committees not a "number of commits" metric that ignores the individual
who facilitates consensus and merit recognition on our mailing lists.
> If a PMC is devoid of such individuals then it is nothing more than a shared code base
regardless of how many new committers are brought in. Those projects exist, but they should
not exist in the ASF where we stand for "community before code".
> The current metric, reported quarterly, to a vendor neutral and member elected board
is "last addition of a committer". This is good. When it goes a long time the board should
ask "why". Sometimes its because a project is in maintenance mode (no problem with that) other
times its because a PMC is not recognizing contributions and needs reminding.
> Do we really need metrics? Perhaps we need more awareness in our communities about why
building a personal profile in a project is good for both career and community. Then we can
help people build those personal profiles by ensuring we recognizing all contributions that
bring stability, independence and health to a project community.
> Ross
> ---
> Twitter: @rgardler
> ________________________________
> From: Isabel Drost-Fromm <>
> Sent: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 12:50:21 AM
> To:
> Subject: On wearing multiple hats
> Pre-text: This conversation started among several members of the ASF, you are
> seeing this message here, as it was suggested to have the discussion on a
> public mailing list so everyone can participate.
> Hi,
> tl;dr: I'm tired of hearing Apache is "where large firms dump code (to break the
> market for other or to avoid looking bad for abandoning it", I'm also tired of
> hearing that Apache is where projects are controlled by corporate interests
> under the disguise of some Apache Way process. I would like to figure out
> whether this is actually true based on numbers instead of subjective
> perceptions. If it is true I would like to figure out if and how we need to fix
> this.
> Longer version: Every now and then I hear people complain either privately or
> publicly [1] that people working on Apache projects who are not paid to do that
> work and have don't have the luxury to participate full-time are facing a hard
> time getting into our communities.
> Similarly every now and then we see projects running into trademark issues,
> conflicts of interest with their employers, trouble with wearing too many hats
> [2,3] (though everytime I hear about wearing more than one hat I have to think
> of the following lightning talk [4]).
> I don't think handwavery statements will get us very far. Maybe it makes sense
> to think about the following first:
> - If projects are making progress (getting new releases out, getting new
>    features implemented, getting bugs and security vulnerabilities addressed), do
>    we care about how they are governed? Why do we care if we do? About which
>    aspects do we care?
> - Given the influx of projects into the incubator (and the number of projects
>    making it through) people seem to trust the ASF as a home for their
>    communities. What kind of value does that have for us? What is the value we
>    are giving back to these projects?
> Maybe from there we can come up with stories and metrics that hold (or should
> hold) for all of our projects.
> Let me provide an example for illustration: In many previous conversations and
> talks I stressed that Apache is about communities, that being part of an Apache
> project doesn't necessarily mean that the particular human has to contribute
> large amounts of code - in the case of Mahout at some point we even had to
> communicate that the best way to not be accepted as a GSoC student would be to
> propose to implement yet another machine learning algorithm as that would
> probably not what the project needed most, nor would it be feasable given the
> time frame. Based on that my answer to "do we care about how projects are
> governed" would be "yeah, sure we do - our system is based on merit, merit comes
> from valuable contributions". The metric I'd setup to test that hypothesis is
> true would be to cross-check number of contributions (patches, documentation
> fixes and the like) with whether the people making these contributions are
> actually being promoted to committer. Makes sense?
> Anyone interested in this? Anyone interested in helping get sensible numbers up
> - my JIRA magic is seriously lacking...
> Isabel
> [1]
> [2]
> [3]
> [4]
> [5]
> --
> Sorry for any typos: Mail was typed in vim, written in mutt, via ssh (most likely involving
some kind of mobile connection only.)
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