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From Leo Simons <lsim...@jicarilla.org>
Subject Welcome to the Excalibur PMC!
Date Sun, 13 Jun 2004 21:35:52 GMT
Hi gang!

(This e-mail is primarily directed at the Excalibur PMC members, but 
intentionally on a public mailing list because everything that doesn't 
need to be secret will not be.)

Some of you have lots of experience around the ASF, others are shiny new 
committers who still lack a unix account. This e-mail is to give you a 
basic idea of what it means to be "on a PMC".

"Core group"
First of, "Project Management Committee" is a ***bad*** name that has 
stuck for historical reasons. The daily "management" of this project is 
done by its committers, and the not-so-daily matters are often done in 
co-operation with other teams at apache, like the board and the Incubator.

A much better name for "PMC" is "core group". Shame we're kinda stuck 
with "PMC". O well.

We, the PMC, are, together, responsible for the success of the excalibur 
project. As such, we are tasked with

  "creation and maintenance of embeddable software libraries related to
   component and service management"

all this based on, and in alignment with, the basic goals and principles 
of the ASF. While most apache projects have a tendency to drift somewhat 
from that designated task (for example, we have xmlutil under our wings, 
which is hardly about service management), the part about "in alignment 
with the basic goals and principles of the ASF" is something not to be 
drifting away from.

Being responsible is not the same as doing things. If all is well, the 
PMC doesn't do a whole lot at all. The people who do the work are the 
committers and contributors.

Committers ~= PMC?
Most committers are also pmc members. This is on purpose. It makes us 
"self-managing": the people doing the work are the people in charge. 
Some committers are not pmc members.

If all is well, that is a temporary situation, where someone has just 
been elected as a committer but still has some things to learn before 
stepping on the PMC. In other cases, a committer may not have the desire 
or ability to take on the responsibility that comes with being on a PMC.

Just like contributors can get invited to become a committer, committers 
can get invited to become a pmc member.

The PMC has a private mailing list to discuss sensitive issues. If all 
is well, there are no sensitive issues, and there are just about 0 
messages exchanged on that list at all.

Note that the pmc list is not actually restricted to just the PMC: board 
members and ASF members may hang out there as well (and often do), to 
offer useful advice.

All non-sensitive issues that the PMC deals with are not dealt with on 
the PMC list, but on this one. This message is one example. Some things 
that are dealt with in public include discussion about project progress 
and policy, votes on project releases, etc. Things that are dealt with 
privately include code security problems, some legal stuff, and 
discussions and votes about people (like election of new committers, pmc 
members, and the pmc chair).

Even people who are not on the PMC, can (and do) still send e-mail to 
the pmc list if there's a sensitive issue related to excalibur they wish 
to discuss.

Learning the ropes
There's a lot to learn about the way the ASF works; I've been learning 
my way around for a few years and I still get lost sometimes. Take a 
look at Stefano's whitepaper someday:


in the meantime, just remember to tread lightly if you're unsure where 
you're going, and to ask lots of questions...

Being on the Excalibur PMC is a cool thing! You're taking on real 
responsibility for a big project at The Apache Software Foundation. 
You're part of the "people in charge" now. This means, among other 
things, that the ASF thinks you capable of project management (and 
trusts you to not act like you're in charge at all!). Don't dissapoint 
em :-D



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