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From Greg Stein <>
Subject incubation process and new committers (was: [vote] Aaron Mulder as committer)
Date Tue, 16 Sep 2003 22:44:12 GMT
On Tue, Sep 16, 2003 at 07:41:46PM -0000, wrote:
> From: Richard Monson-Haefel <>
> Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2003 01:30:33 -0500
> There. That is honest feedback on a public list. I debated doing this. The
> fact that I debated speaking my mind at all, convinced me that private
> voting in the PMC is a must. You want honesty in a public forum, then people
> are going to be hurt -- or at least offended.  I'm sorry, Aaron if this has
> offended or embarrassed you in any way. I felt compelled to be honest.
> Apparently David Blevins and others feel you deserve commit access ... I
> respect there opinions and won't object.

Exactly. And even if the person is *not* offended (as Aaron stated), there
is *still* that tiny bit of doubt in the back of the votee's mind. A small
shift in the shading of how future posts are viewed. A new set of glasses
to read future posts. Simply look at Aaron's response and his questioning
of the commentary that Richard made. While Aaron wasn't "offended", he
*is* thinking that Richard's post wasn't entirely fair.

For the most part, we are all very nice people. You have to be in the open
source world because you (generally) have to work with people. And part of
being nice is being *considerate*. To that end, it is very hard to post
your innermost thoughts in a public forum, and especially where the person
can read them.

Adding a committer is giving somebody the right to modify ASF property.
That should not be a light decision. That means that candor is required,
and that can be done most effectively in a private environment.

Jason raises a good point, however: how does the Incubator PMC debate the
merits of the various candidate committers? Are they familiar enough with
the details? And this isn't even the half of it -- the PMC members paying
attention to this list are a pretty strong subset of the entire PMC. So
what is the resolution? Hard to say :-)  *That* discussion is an
interesting one. There are two opposing items here:

1) need for information to make a qualified judgement of committer status
2) need for the PMC to be the responsible party for that decision

This really only applies during Incubation, where the PMC members are not
the incubated project's active committers. One answer might be to
constitute the Geronimo PMC early, and get some of the right people into
that PMC (e.g. geronimo committers + some incubator PMC members). That has
a lot of ramifications, though, in terms of the overall ASF oversight that
has been described elsewhere -- that PMC (and thus, the "new" geronimo
committers) would need to start answering directly to the Board rather
than getting its feet wet via the Incubator PMC. And the Board still needs
the Incubator PMC to be involved, so there is potential for confusing
lines of responsibility...

Yes, the incubation process is "relatively" new if you haven't guessed :-)
There are certain requirements from the ASF side of things, but those are
not always clear, and the way to effect those are unknown in many areas.
As each project goes through incubation, we have learned more and more.
Just don't ask Andy Oliver about incubation: he was the first one, and
thus had *THE* most difficult time of anyone. Ever. He doesn't have good
words about the process :-)


Greg Stein,

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