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From Noah Slater <>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] Project by-laws
Date Mon, 05 May 2014 16:35:16 GMT
On 5 May 2014 10:54, Benoit Chesneau <> wrote:
> I am not sure to see the interest of these by-laws. They look redundant
> to the the *practices* documented inside the apache foundation
> documentation:

The bylaws of the foundation are here:

They cover a completely different set of things at the foundation
level. And say very little about how projects must function.

The resources you linked to are, at best, recommendations. They are
not binding. And in some cases they are contradictory. These represent
past efforts to distil common practice across many different projects.

What our bylaws are doing is saying that we have specifically chosen
these interpretations, and that as a community we consider them

> - In 4.1 : the sentence "Objecting too far down the road will cause
>   problems.", and in 4.2 "If lazy consensus is not possible, you can
> move to a discussion" .
> The passage from a lazy consensus to a discussion is not clear. How it
> is decided? Who is deciding it?

Good catch.

I have updated the wording to:

"If lazy consensus fails (i.e. someone objects) you can start a
discussion or you can abandon the proposal."

Does this address your concerns?

> - In 4.2, there is "Proposals should be explained clearly and come with
>   adequate justification. Disagreements should be constructive and
> ideally come with alternative proposals. The goal is to reach a positive
> outcome for the project, not convince others of your opinion." .
> Sorry but I don't understand that part. How can you expect that people
> deeply attached to a project can't have an opinion on how it should
> works or be seen by the others? Also what is the point of a discussion
> if it's not to convince others that your idea is OK?

Interesting comment.

If you enter into a discussion with the objective of trying to
convince the other person, and they do the same, all that will happen
is that you argue with each other until one person runs out of energy.

I am more interested in the sort of discussion where both people put
aside preconceived notions, swap facts, debate points, and
cooperatively work towards a greater shared understanding of what is
being discussed.

The goal then is not "winning" (i.e. convincing the other) but
expanding knowledge. Even if that means that you have been convinced
by the other person.

Two people spend an hour arguing, and person A convinces person B of
their opinion. Typically, we would say that person A has won.

Try modelling that discussion so that knowledge and time spent are
considered valuable, instead of pride. Both A and B spend time, but
only B receives new knowledge. So who is the real winner?

This is important for the project because the first type of discussion
is not very valuable for us. The second is. That's why I put that the
end goal should be to reach a positive outcome for the project.

> Rather what is a bad opinion for the project (i.e. an expression of an
> idea) there? How do you put the limit?

It's not opinions that are bad. Instead: modes of discussion.

> - In 3.3 you added the notion of having "good people skills" for
>   commiters. How do you define "having good people skills"? This notion
> completely depends on the culture of the people interacting in the
> project. I propose to remove that sentence. It suffices to say that
> all contributors of the projects obey to the Code Of Conduct and make
> the Code Of Conduct enough generic.

How do you define good technical skills? This stuff is always
dependant on individual interpretation. My goal here is to make it
explicit that as a project we value people skills over technical

I would rather have someone who is helpful and cooperative on our
lists and who is only an average programmer, than someone who is
unhelpful and uncooperative who is an excellent programmer.

This is not usually the case for OSS projects. But I believe it is
important. Which is why I want to bake it inout our bylaws.

> - What about having the PMC members renewed each years by a vote of the
>   community? So they will be the choice of the community? PMC members
> could be proposed during a period by the community and then a vote will
> happen.

What benefits would this bring?

> - The same for a chair. We could make it renewable more often. For
>   example each 3 or 5 years.

I've included this in the draft already. I am proposing that the chair
is reelected every year.


Noah Slater

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