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From Aaron Bannert <>
Subject Re: committer process
Date Fri, 12 Sep 2003 16:38:28 GMT

On Thursday, September 11, 2003, at 11:33  PM, n. alex rupp wrote:
>> By moving the vote explicitly onto the PMC's private
>> mailing list, you are putting the vote in front of the
>> people who are ultimately responsible.
> No we're not.  We're only hiding it from the eyes of the community.  
> That's
> pretty ironic coming from someone who has recently brought up our 
> alleged
> "cathedral" tendencies.
> I'm curious how the members of the PMC can be more "responsible" than 
> the
> people who *also* invest their free time each day to write the 
> software,
> foster the community and contribute to the list, the wiki and incoming
> members?  If they were "more responsible" than us, everything on this 
> list
> would be in front of them every day anyway, so there'd be no reason to 
> "put
> the vote in front" of them.  Perhaps the PMC isn't more "responsible" 
> so
> much as more "accountable", which begs the question "to whom?"

I think this is a common misunderstanding of what the ASF means by
"responsibility". By no means should the PMC detract from the dedication
or effort put forth by the committers and by the community. The ASF
would not exist were it not for the efforts of countless code 
bug testers, release managers, etc.

In an ideal world, all contributers are also committers and are also PMC
members. As this project and all projects mature, more and more of the
community will be contained within the body of the PMC. Since this 
is so new, and doesn't even have a PMC of its own yet, the 
falls to the incubator. By responsibility, I mean the legal 
of oversight that the ASF (a Non-Profit Corporation) must maintain in 
to justify its legal protections. The ASF is taking upon itself legal
responsibility for the products it releases, but it can only do that if
it is in charge of the stuff that gets released.

By moving the discussion of new committers to the PMC, we aren't trying 
take away the ability of the community to decide who becomes part of
the community, but we are trying to uphold the legal responsibility of
the ASF to maintain oversight over its projects.

We need to start thinking about how we are going to get Geronimo its own
PMC, but I'm not sure how to do that yet. Maybe we should create another
mailing list, grandfather in all incubator PMCers, and then start voting
in new PMC members from the group of Geronimo committers. I personally 
feel obliged to nominate anyone for PMC who has shown a good 
of the general guidelines of the ASF, and has shown an interest in 
manage the project. Once that PMC starts to get critical mass, incubator
PMCers can volunteer to drop out of the Geronimo PMC.

> To the board?  To the public? Or to the people on this list who stand 
> to
> lose or gain the most as its developers and future users?
> No one can say I'm not grateful for everything the ASF and the 
> incubator PMC
> members in particular have done on behalf of this project and the 
> community
> growing up around it.  But the time is fast approaching when they'll 
> need to
> stop treating its members like outsiders.

Agreed. Let's start nominating committers. Send nominations to


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