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From Chip Childers <chip.child...@sungard.com>
Subject Re: Discuss changing the project bylaws for the PMC Chair voting process
Date Mon, 25 Feb 2013 16:58:04 GMT
On Fri, Feb 22, 2013 at 04:23:41PM -0500, David Nalley wrote:
> On Fri, Feb 22, 2013 at 3:29 PM, Chip Childers
> <chip.childers@sungard.com> wrote:
> > Hi all,
> >
> > Continuing the graduation discussion (you're going to see plenty of
> > threads like this as we head down the road), the PPMC had a discussion
> > around how to best select the name we would recommend to the ASF board
> > to be our PMC chair.
> >
> > Currently, our bylaws [1] state that we would use the Single
> > Transferable Vote method for this selection (see section 2.4.5).  In the
> > thread on the private list, our mentors have suggested that we may want
> > to reconsider this position.
> >
> > I'll admit that we have it in our bylaws, purely because I started with
> > the Hadoop project's document as a starting point for our own.  I
> > believe that the Hadoop folks probably have a very good reason for this
> > approach, but perhaps it's not right for our community.
> >
> > I'm proposing the following change:
> >
> > CURRENT:
> >
> >   2.4.5. If the current chair of the PMC resigns, the PMC votes to
> >   recommend a new chair using Single Transferable Vote (STV) voting.
> >   See http://wiki.apache.org/general/BoardVoting for specifics. The
> >   decision must be ratified by the Apache board.
> >
> > PROPOSED:
> >
> >   2.4.5. If the current chair of the PMC resigns, the PMC votes to
> >   recommend a new chair using a lazy 2/3 majority voting method.
> >   This vote would be held on the cloudstack-dev mail list, after a
> >   discussion is held on the cloudstack-private list to nominate a
> >   candidate for the role. The decision must be ratified by the Apache
> >   board.
> >
> > This is the discussion thread to see if people have any opinions.  If we
> > don't have any big concerns, I'll start a new VOTE thread to change the
> > bylaws (using the rules in section 3.4.9 of the bylaws themselves).
> >
> > Thoughts?
> >
> > -chip
> >
> > [1] https://cwiki.apache.org/CLOUDSTACK/apache-cloudstack-project-bylaws.html
> 
> 
> 
> So here are my thoughts:
> 1. Chair is appointed by the board, generally upon recommendation of the PMC.

True.  Even as a TLP, that remains the case.

> 2. There is a high likelihood that we'll continue to grow and might at
> some point have contention for the Chair, even if it is friendly.
> Discussing people (IMO) should not happen in public. There's a reason
> we already do that for committers in private. Think of some of those
> conversations that we've already had that simply have no place in
> private. And I know your proposal calls for discussion in private, and
> vote in public but here's the thing:
> 
> The decision is one for the PMC to make.
> You're effectively 'voting' by nominating someone and pushing them
> forward - which means the 'vote' will be more of voting theatre than a
> real vote, and really more of a ratification of the decision made in
> private. 

Yes, Sebastien made that point as well.  I fear I missed the mark with
the specifics of this proposed change.

> Additionally, only votes by the (P)PMC are binding, and
> unlike technical discussions, it would be bad form to discuss people
> in public. So I am personally struggling to see the benefit afforded
> by 'voting' in public. You can disagree, but if there is dissent it
> being public would potentially be deleterious to the person it is said
> about.
> 
> I can see doing away with STV (or only resorting to it if clear
> consensus isn't achieved).

I'd like to modify my proposed change, but I think we still have issues
to discuss with this modification:

 2.4.5. If the current chair of the PMC resigns, the PMC votes to
 recommend a new chair using a lazy 2/3 majority voting method.
 This vote would be held on the private mailing list, after a
 discussion to nominate a candidate for the role. The decision must be 
 ratified by the Apache board.

The problem I see with this new version, goes to the point you 
made about contention: What happens if the discussion doesn't lead to 
a single candidate?  Do we opt for STV as a backup process?  In that case,
does it even make sense to have that lazy 2/3 majority statement above?

The issues we have to balance are (1) fairness, (2) being as open as 
possible, (3) respect for privacy for individuals.

I'd also point out, as one of our mentors did in the private list 
discussion, that the chair role is largely an administrative one.

And while we're at it, the private discussion brought up the idea of
re-introducing a rotation (or at least a "term"), which would allow
for a regular opportunity to recommend a change to the board.  I'm not 
sure that it's required, given the nature of the job...  but does anyone
have an opinion?

-chip

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