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From Nicola Ken Barozzi <>
Subject Simple committership
Date Fri, 29 Jul 2005 13:30:23 GMT

Over time, some seem to recurringly ask that Forrest creates a "simple
committer" role used as a step between being a developer and a PMC member.

Here is an explanation of what I think I have learned in this respect.
Other people might have different views and recollections.

AFAIK Apache was not made to have the "simple committer" role. Since the
beginning, there were two roles: Apache members and PMC members, and PMC
members were to become relatively soon also Apache members. The
reasoning is that if someone can commit, he is part of the group that
trusts him in committing, and thus has the same voting privileges.

But then Jakarta came to life, and real life started changing the way of
doing things that had started in HTTPD land.

In essence, Jakarta became a small Apache, creating sub-roles where the
PMC members were like Apache members, and committers were like PMC
members. In Jakarta it's usual that committers can vote, but in fact
their vote is not legally valid, and they *cannot* release code without
a PMC vote. For some time, this wasn't even known by most Jakarta
committers AFAIK.
This created a big disconnect between the Board of Directors and
Jakarta, and most projects were having little or no active oversight,
and the number of Jakarta committers that was an Apache member was
extremely low.

As a result, Apache members started a mailing list for discussing
reorganization of Apache ( IIRC, now closed), and the
conclusion was to push sub-projects to top level, making them resurface
and deal with the board directly.
The process is still continuing to the present day, as Tomcat has just
gone top-level, and it seems to be working. Recently there have been
also discussions that there are too many PMC members that are not Apache
members, so that will probably have some impact.

If we want to include "simple committership" as a role, I would like to
hear someone explain how simple committership will solve more
issues than it may cause, especially given the above. In particular, I
would like to have some real-life examples that show how simple
committership would have been useful.

Nicola Ken Barozzi         
            - verba volant, scripta manent -
   (discussions get forgotten, just code remains)

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