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From "Roy T. Fielding" <field...@liege.ICS.UCI.EDU>
Subject membership
Date Thu, 27 Jun 1996 03:48:12 GMT
> Hmm. Out of curiosity, how do we define a "member of the Apache Group"? As
> far as I know, there's no ID card, or application form, or special
> handshake, or anything... If anyone asked me (which they haven't), I'd go
> for the IETF approach, which means that anyone on the list *is* a member.

Ummm, no -- the IETF does not allow anyone on the list to veto a patch
(change request).  We do, which means we need to at least believe that
the person has a clue and will be responsible *if* they vote.  That is
why we traditionally (but not always) invite someone to join after they
have supplied a few good patches and one existing member vouches for them. 
Mind you, this was a lot more visible when there were only nine people
able to do the inviting.

It used to be true that only people who were already invited to join
the Apache Group, or people invited to join in discussions (like NCSA
and RobM), were allowed to send mail to this mailing list.  Has that
been changed?  That is why the voting guidelines
<> say:

   Anyone on the mailing list may vote on any issue. However, the act of
   voting carries certain obligations -- voting members are not only
   stating their opinion, they are agreeing to help do the work of the
   Apache Project.

which has, in the past, been sufficient to differentiate between those
who vote and those who discuss.  However, it assumes that people are only
being added to the post-capable list after they have been invited to
join the group.  People who are invited to join should be informed of
the voting guidelines when they do.

Voting is a little more than just being a member of the group -- it also
means that you are willing and able to do the work.  That is why I don't
vote on releases except on those occasions when I have a working test
server and the time to do some testing.  Most of the Apache work that I
do is related to keeping an eye on standards issues, the W3C, and
occasional herding of the cats.  That, combined with reading all the
mail on this list and the web-related mailing lists, is why I vote on
anything related to standards or the future of the Apache project.
I am fairly certain that the rest of the group is following similar
guidelines when they vote, even though not all of them are written down.

For the lurkers out there, I'd say that it is safe to start voting when
you believe that the other group members won't be surprised when you do.
Vague as it is, that is probably the best way to proceed -- new members
have to convince existing members that their opinion is worth counting
as a vote (and, more importantly, as a veto) before they actually start
sending in +/- 1's.  When other people start counting your opinion as a
vote, even without any explicit vote in your messages, then that's a
good indication that it is safe for you to really vote within that topic area.

It actually isn't that hard.  Keep in mind that I've been around since
the beginning, but I've still only met Brian, RST, Dirk, and the NCSA
crowd in person (or at least that I recall) and I've probably done more
web-related conference travelling than anyone else in the group.  All the
rest I trust just on the basis of their work and e-mail communication.

If you don't know whether or not you should vote, just ask a few of the
old-timers -- if the response is "who are you?", then you shouldn't be
voting yet.


p.s.  I expect the other group members to correct me if I got any of that
      wrong, or if someone holds differing expectations.

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