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From Aaron Mulder <ammul...@alumni.princeton.edu>
Subject Re: committer process
Date Fri, 12 Sep 2003 00:43:16 GMT
	Speaking from the other side, even if the vote is conducted in
private (assuming the person is selected/admitted/whatever) posting any
positive feedback to the list is definitely appreciated.

	But for my 2 cents on the actual issue, a public process seems
equally viable if a +1 indicates strong positive support, a "me too" or
"yeah sure" translates to a +0, and resistance means abstention.  If a
number of committers strongly feel that a person contributes positively to
the community, is that qualification enough?  Perhaps in this case, a +1
should only count if accompanied by a reason or the voter's summary of the
person's contributions.  I think the public process gets more dangerous if
it becomes a formality, where you agree more because you respect the
proposer than because you respect the nominee.  Perhaps the proposer
should also refrain from comments like "let's have some +1s please" or
whatever.

	On the other hand, if there's some likelihood or desire for debate
on the merits of the nominee, then I certainly would agree that a private
process if the only realistic option.  It does seem a bit more clique-ish,
but I can't seriously see posting a counterpoint to the public list.  
(That said, being in process myself, I'll certainly take it in the spirit
its intended if someone does want to object!)

Thanks,
	Aaron

On Thu, 11 Sep 2003, Greg Stein wrote:
> I believe both of these are incorrect forms for voting in new committers.
> My original statement was:
> 
> > I would recommend coming up with, say, a list of four people and submit
> > that list to pmc@incubator for consideration. How about by end of week?
> 
> The implied part here is that you're sending a list to the PMC. The PMC
> then decides *in private* on whether to add the new committers, and whom.
> 
> Currently, there are two general forms of adding committers at the ASF. I
> believe one works, and the other fails.
> 
> 1) httpd/apr style: somebody on the PMC sends a nomination to the PMC list
>    and the PMC votes privately.
> 
> 2) jakarta style: a committer sends a nomination/vote to the public dev
>    list and the other committers vote publicly.
> 
> There are two primary differences (and problems) here:
> a) public vs private voting
> b) committers vs PMC members
> 
> With regard to (a), the biggest issue is that you will *very* rarely see
> any -1 votes. People just don't want to do that in public. Especially in a
> healthy and cooperative community. It is very hard for somebody to say,
> "yes, they're good, but they just don't "get it" very well." What'll
> happen is that they'll simply abstain. Or maybe vote, but without comment.
> And dropping the comments means that other people don't get a chance to
> consider those words and how they feel about them, and whether they may
> resonate with those thoughts and want to change their own vote.
> 
> Public votes about *people* just don't work. That needs to be done
> privately for it to be successful. This is exactly why most countries have
> secret ballots: to avoid repercussions against how people vote.
> 
> With regard to (b), the set of committers does not always match the set of
> people who are *responsible*. The Jakarta project is pretty bad about
> this: the set of committers is way larger than those responsible (the
> PMC). Within the Incubator, the separation is actually quite prevalent:
> the committers are generally not on the PMC, yet the PMC is the group that
> is responsible for this project. 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.
> 
> In my experience, I have seen *many* private votes raise concerns which
> are very valid. The usual result from these "edge" cases is that the group
> simply decides to wait for a while and see where things go (with some
> coaching for the person to help them remedy the concern). But I have never
> seen a public vote raise the same kinds of concerns and the resulting
> discussion. Mostly out of consideration for the feelings of the nominee,
> but also so that the "contrary" position-holder is not embarrassed to post
> their concerns. Net result: I see the private form succeed, and the public
> one fail.
> 
> Consider the situation where somebody who gets voted in as a committer via
> the public mechanism. Since there isn't any real strong way to vote
> *against* a person, then they will usually end up as a committer. Almost
> by default. All you need is a *single* person to put a nomination out
> there, and "ta-da!" you're in. Now what happens when you discover that it
> really was a mistake. That you didn't have an opportunity to discuss the
> problems with that committer. Now you have the unfortunate task of
> figuring out how to fix that committer, or to remove their access. And
> trust me: you *REALLY* don't want to go down that path. It is so
> incredibly painful, that you want to have a very high confidence that when
> you make somebody a committer, that they will make for a great committer.
> While the "six month rule" doesn't truly exist, it is a very good
> benchmark for being able to see how somebody interacts with the community
> over a long period of time, to see whether they are dedicated, and to
> get a good look at the quality of their code.
> 
> The process of voting in new committers is a choice of the PMC. In this
> case, that is the Incubator PMC. *However*, the intent is that the
> Geronimo project will receive its own PMC which means that it will be able
> to define whatever process it would like. Thus, I think the Incubator PMC
> will defer to the community to choose the process that it would liek to
> use. They will certainly help the community to choose a process that fits
> in with the meritocratic principles of the ASF, and to show some of the
> forms in use at the ASF.
> 
> I would request that the community also considers and votes on my proposal
> to use a private voting system. The mechanics of that would be a private
> email to the PMC to nominate somebody for commit access.
> 
> Thanks,
> -g
> 
> 


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