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From Leo Simons <m...@leosimons.com>
Subject Geronimo and Incubation
Date Sat, 04 Feb 2006 16:41:09 GMT
Hi all,

I'm afraid I don't have time for a drawn-out discussion about any of this, especially
not a heated one, but a few people asked me to write this down anyway. This message is
directed primarily at the Geronimo PMC.

I've just reviewed the traffic to pmc@incubator and general@incubator on all the
different subprojects under incubation for geronimo and some of the proposed stuff
and some of the it-might-be-proposed stuff and its all very unclear to me exactly
what is going on.

This has been the case for a while now.

Just some of the things that have me scratching my head:

 * A variety of status files seems to not be up-to-date
 * A bunch of reminders from the incubator PMC chair for incubation status reports
   went unanswered
 * it seems a code grant was acked after a release vote was started (finished??)
   which indicates the incubation mentors / pmc are not doing their primary job
   (oversight) properly
 * there's a whole bunch of heated emails about a lot of this stuff where people
   rapidly change opinions without a lot of explanation
 * some people were proposed as committers to a subproject without them ever
   contributing a line of code to that project but that was not clear from the
   proposals

and so on and so forth. I'm not going to bother to compile an extensive list; it should
be obvious to most that some things are going wrong.

I took a brief look at the dev@geronimo and pmc@geronimo mailing list archives to try
and figure out what is going on, but it seems there is a whole bunch of emails about
all this stuff there that would take me most of the weekend to read. I'm not going to
do that, I have more fun stuff to do with my free time! :-)

That's fine, eg there's no particular need for me to read all those emails and
understand precisely what is going on. I'm not a part of the geronimo PMC or its
community and I'm not actively helping with any of the gazillion stuff under
incubation under direction of the geronimo PMC.

But, and this is important, its becoming very hard to be able to perform even my
oversight duties as part of the Incubator PMC. I suspect the same is true for more
than a few incubator PMC members.

IMHO, the primary responsibility for making my job as incubator PMC member a little
easier lies with the geronimo PMC and the mentors for the geronimo subprojects under
incubation. It saddens me I even have to write this email after spending a whole
lot of my hackathon weekend explaining all this stuff to a bunch of the people I see
most active within Geronimo at the moment, and also discussing it at a stretch with
the former and current geronimo PMC chair over the course of a few months.

I feel you are more often than not doing your job as PMC properly, you're not
listening to the many gentle pointers I've given over the years to try and help
change that, and all this is making my job as an Incubator PMC member a lot harder,
more involved, and also a lot less fun. I feel its not just the energy that I've
invested that is totally being wasted, it is the energy of a whole bunch of people.

Now, I realize the above is a bit abstract. So with all that in mind, a little more
concretely, I have some suggestions. These are just my personal suggestions. In terms
of carrots and sticks, there's only a very abstract carrot ("healthy community") and
only a very big stick ("pulling the plug") that's not mine to wield, so I'm not waving
any of them around; the only thing I'm trying to do is help make some sense out of it
all.

Anyhow, I suggest that (the "you" in the below means the Geronimo PMC as a
collective):

 * you guys work to update all the incubation status files and flesh them out with
   much more detail

 * you guys write some meaningful summaries and reports of all the stuff that went
   on and is going on with regard to the stuff under incubation under the banner of
   the geronimo PMC (and I really don't care about internal disagreements within
   geronimo as to what is going on, get consensus on what is going on first please)
   and send that info to general@incubator

 * you guys leave about a week or so for the incubator PMC to read that and catch
   up on it all and ask questions

 * in the meantime there's no talk about any kind of release of stuff under
   incubation or anything like that and you practice some patience (its likely you'll
   get a -1 because the situation is currently not clear enough to be able to perform
   enough oversight)

 (* you take a whole bunch of traffic off of pmc@geronimo and ot into the open (man.
   I remember stating that repeatedly when it was still geronimo-ppmc@incubator.
   Sigh).)

 * you don't propose any new stuff for incubation for a while so that everything
   gets a chance to settle down and cool down and can proceed at a more healthy pace

 * when you do decide to bring in more stuff you take into consideration this whole
   concept of "oversight" more seriously and you make it a whole lot easier for the
   incubator PMC to perform its duties

 * you guys in general take a more active part in helping along the incubation process,
   participating on the Incubator PMC and the general@incubator mailing list, thinking
   about how you can help the incubator instead of the other way around, etc etc.

That's about all I can think of right now. Well, I can think of more, but this email
is long enough already. Hope it helps...


cheers!


LSD

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