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From David Crossley <>
Subject Re: Community health
Date Sat, 18 Mar 2006 03:59:15 GMT
I waited for some days to see if others would attempt
to answer this. No-one has, so i will try.

Ross Gardler wrote:
> I wrote a long and details reply to this, but have decided not to post
> it. The issue is too volatile and has the makings of an argument rather
> than a discussion. Maurice has made some very valuable observations,
> along with some misunderstanding of my intent.

Me too. Lets try to follow your new approach to
sort it out.

> Let me try and be clear about the "inventor" tagline:
> I have an issue with any claim of ownership of ASF code, not with the
> recognition of contributions.
> I am a strong believer in the meritocracy of the ASF and how it awards
> credit to individuals.
> A claim of being the "inventor" of community code implies ownership. I
> do not believe this was the intent of the original commit message, only
> an unfortunate side effect of that particular word. Thorsten has been
> around the ASF long enough to know how it works.
> For the record I'm happy with Tims observations, as is Thorsten. Since
> this specific instance only concerns Thorsten that can be the end of it,
> I hope.
> However, there are more general community issues here as well, and I
> would like to look at them. Here are three community observations (and
> as far as I am concerned the really important part of this):
> 1) Some people seem to feel that the normal ASF meritocracy is not
> sufficient credit within Forrest. Why should Forrest be different from
> other ASF projects? Do we need to do something different?

I reckon that we don't need to change anything that
we are currently doing. If someone feels that we do,
then they need to make an explicit proposal.

There are some things that we do need to do better.
Better use of changes.html (often we forget to
add entries). Get better at noticing new committed

> 2) We see occasional mails that seem to imply "hidden agendas" on the
> part of others, yet never say anything directly. This is extremely
> damaging to our community. If someone has a genuine concern it should be
> raised in the open (or the semi-open of the PMC list if more appropriate).

I can only recall two occasions and those concerns
were quickly dispelled. Yes we need to do as you
suggest if ever they arise again.

> 3) For a while now this community has had periodic eruptions. Why is
> this happening? Is it related to the above observations, or is there
> something else?

I reckon that it is due to something else.
We are still attempting to define our project
guidelines. This requires us to investigate some
delicate issues. We don't see this on other
projects such as Apache Cocoon, perhaps because
they (we) have not yet managed to make a start
on that obligation.

Also i wonder if other projects do not talk much
about community issues, even though that is supposed
to be a big part of managing an ASF project.

Sometimes those discussions go astray. I believe
this occurs when someone has mis-interpreted another's
comments and intent, or perhaps said something like
"Joe said such-and-such" when that is not at all
what Joe meant.

Another reason for the eruptions is that some
people seem to get defensive, thinking that comments
are directed at individuals.

The sooner that we get these guidelines finished
the better. I am going to add some more to
to try to explain the "Apache Way" as it applies
to our project and how we recognise contributions.
Hopefully others can help to build upon that
to reflect our intent.


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