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From Daniel Gruno <>
Subject Re: Does GSoC help develop communities?
Date Mon, 05 Dec 2016 14:13:31 GMT
On 12/05/2016 02:59 PM, Bertrand Delacretaz wrote:
> Hi,
> On Mon, Dec 5, 2016 at 2:30 PM, Daniel Gruno <> wrote:
>> ...The task of ComDev is developing community. If we don't have any data or
>> interest in acquiring such to show that this is in fact helping towards
>> that, then we should consider whether the current strategy is the right
>> thing to focus on....
> I disagree with the need for comdev to have a strategy.
> At the technical level the ASF doesn't have a strategy, it just
> provides space for its projects to exist and flourish.
> I think comdev can operate in the same way, as a loose group of
> volunteers who collectively help develop communities, without
> necessarily having a global comdev strategy to follow.

I wasn't thinking a global strategy in the stringent "we must see a 5%
growth!" sense. But we do have a mission at comdev, it's in the
resolution to establish the committee; "helping people become involved
with Apache projects.". If ComDev can't in any way account for whether
its various projects have any effect, then why are we doing them?

Having a loose management structure is fine, that's what the ASF is
about, it's a very flat organisation. But there should at least be some
form of communication/discussion going on about what we do and whether
it had any effect towards our mission of helping people become involved
in the ASF. If the mission is not considered to matter, then what is the
purpose of ComDev as a PMC? Sometimes, it seems to me - and I'll admit I
fell into that trap as well - that ComDev is just a place you put things
when you can't find another place to put it, regardless of whether it
helps our mission or not. If that's the case, then I think the overall
mission statement of comdev should change to reflect that.

> Three examples:
> 1) A small group is running GSoC, which as Uli mentions doesn't cost
> the ASF anything and actually brings some money in. GSoC clearly helps
> our mission by helping a few community members join the ASF every
> year. Exactly how many is not very important if volunteers agree to
> run it.
> 2) Sharan and others have started work on diversity initiatives -
> another subset of folks sharing common interests that match the
> overall comdev mission.
> 3) I led a small group to develop our maturity model, I think it's a
> very useful tool. I think we made just one change to it in 2016, it's
> stable but useful and maintained. Others don't care about that or
> didn't have time to help - no problem.
> You could argue that these things are disjoint but they are all small
> steps that help towards our overall mission. We don't need much
> coordination between them, IMO just making sure the comdev PMC agrees
> with these things happening, and doing out best to unify their
> communications channels to create synergies is good enough.
> Comdev can just provide a space for volunteers to help develop
> communities, that's good enough for me. If others want more structured
> activities feel free to do them but don't expect all PMC members to
> necessarily join or to feel bad if they don't.
> -Bertrand
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