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From "Cabrera, Alan" <>
Subject What is a PMC?
Date Fri, 19 Sep 2003 19:48:32 GMT
>From the list I had gathered that the PMC wields a significant amount of
clout.  What the PMC was, I did not have a clue, until Aaron filled me in.

-----Original Message-----
From: Aaron Bannert [] 
Sent: Tuesday, September 16, 2003 4:49 PM
To: Cabrera, Alan
Subject: Re: [vote] Aaron Mulder as committer

[I don't think that's a dumb question. Feel free to forward this message to
the dev@geronimo mailing list if you wish.]

Each Apache project has a PMC (Project Management Committee). The PMC has a
Chairperson who is an officer of the ASF (Apache Software Foundation, a
Non-Profit Corporation registered in Delaware). The Chair makes reports to
the Board at some of the board meetings about the progress and state of the
project, and attends all board meetings. This is how the board maintains
oversight over each project.

The PMC approves (implicitly or explicitly) the actions of its committers.
One way in which the actions of the committers are approved is by approving
a project release (there is a vote and if it passes then the tarball and
other release files are put up on the website for public distribution).
Since many of the ASF guidelines are not strict rules, it's up to the PMC to
fill in the gaps (for better or for worse). Sometimes one PMC will do things
differently than another PMC. In the end, it is the responsibility of each
PMC to make sure things are Running smoothly, and to fix them if they are

Normally, the PMC mailing list is quiet, where most of the activity revolves
around approving new committers or PMC members. Sometimes something
sensitive will come up, like a security vulnerability or some copyright
dispute, etc... When this happens it usually happens on the PMC mailing
list.  Eventually, all decisions that affect the project are brought to the
public development list.

Just because the PMC has the power and the responsibility over its project
doesn't mean the committers have no power. On every PMC I'm on (I'm on a few
at this point) the voice of the committers carries huge weight. In most
cases the distinction is totally transparent because the PMC is comprised of
most of the committers, and that group usually agrees with the minority of
people who are not yet committers. In any case, there is an incentive there
for committers to become full PMC members, since it guarantees their voice
in the project that they have dedicated so much effort to.

I hope that clears things up a little. Again, feel free to post this to the
geronimo list or to ask any other questions about this. I may not have
everything totally right, and as it sometimes works at the ASF, there are
multiple ways of doing things, so someone else have some other Better ideas
for the above descriptions.


On Tuesday, September 16, 2003, at 01:30  PM, Cabrera, Alan wrote:

> Let me ask a dumb question.  What is a PMC?

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