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From "Jeremy Boynes" <jer...@coredevelopers.net>
Subject Geronimo PMC
Date Fri, 12 Sep 2003 18:22:45 GMT
The discussion on the process for nominating committers has highlighted
confusion about the role played by the PMC for a project and I believe
before we can make process on procedures for Geronimo this must be
clarified. This may be stepping into a political and social minefield,
but events over the last week have shown this is something that must be
resolved.

There appear to be two different approaches within the ASF to the role
played by the PMC:

Firstly, there is what, for want of a better name, can be called the
httpd approach. With this structure, the PMC has a relatively large
number of people comprising the active committers on the project.
Technical decisions are made by the committers on the public development
list, but procedural decisions (such as adding a new committer) are made
in private on the pmc list.

Secondly, and again for lack of a better name, there is the Jakarta
approach. Here, the PMC is smaller and seems to deal mainly with
organizational issues such as adding projects, ensuring CLAs are filed
and co-ordination between sub-projects. Both technical and procedural
decisions are made in public on the sub-project development lists and
then passed to the Jakarta PMC where appropriate.

I would speculate some of the confusion arises because many members of
the Geronimo community are new to Apache and, being Java centric, are
more used to the Jakarta approach, whereas the incubator PMC is more
used to the httpd approach.

My first question is whether this is a fair and accurate summary? If I
am just confused, please just ignore the rest of this mail.

The second one is whether the ASF as a whole has a formal preference for
one of these two approaches, or has prior experience shown one to be
"better" (with allowance that there probably as many opinions on that as
there are community members)?

The third question is whether either of these is the "right" solution
for Geronimo, and if not, then we need to define an organization
structure that meets the legal and philosophical requirements of ASF and
the needs of the Geronimo community.

The Jakarta sub-project concept seems to fit with the current status of
Geronimo - it is not yet a project in its own right, but a sub-project
of incubator. Given that, it seems to make sense to have the project
operate in a similar manner, where the committers make the technical and
procedural decisions and, where necessary or appropriate, pass the
results to the PMC to execute.

However, we still need to debate and define the management structure
that will be put in place when Geronimo leaves the incubator. Either of
the two approaches may be appropriate, or we may need a different
variant capable of handling the legal requirements imposed by
certification.

This discussion should start now but we cannot place Geronimo on hold
whilst it is resolved. There was very strong support in the vote on the
committer process to "do it a standard way", and the way chosen was that
of a Jakarta sub-project. Is it the right way, I think not - is it good
enough for now, I believe so.

--
Jeremy


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