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From Apache Wiki <wikidi...@apache.org>
Subject [Incubator Wiki] Update of "AlternativeIncubatorAnalysis" by BensonMargulies
Date Sat, 04 Feb 2012 13:37:24 GMT
Dear Wiki user,

You have subscribed to a wiki page or wiki category on "Incubator Wiki" for change notification.

The "AlternativeIncubatorAnalysis" page has been changed by BensonMargulies:
http://wiki.apache.org/incubator/AlternativeIncubatorAnalysis?action=diff&rev1=2&rev2=3

  In response to the current march to the Bastille, IPMC-wise, I wanted to try to organize
a set of thoughts about the existing incubator's purpose, warts, and possible future directions.
This is organized by the major responsibilities of the PMC. There are contrasts to the 'no
more incubator' proposal in here. I think that the upshot of this proposal is to offer 'less
incubator' as an alternative to 'no incubator.' You might also read this as offering some
ideas about details of a no-incubator universe.
+ 
+ = Summary of Alternative Proposal =
+ 
+ 1. The IPMC shrinks, it does not die.
+ 
+ 1. The IPMC evaluates and approves new projects.
+ 
+ 1. The IPMC contains projects until they clear IP and demonstrate a stable core group including
three experience ASF participants.
+ 
+ 1. Podlings graduate from the incubator to probationary status at that point, and leave
probation at the board's discretion.
+ 
+ 
  
  
  = Groom & Evaluate Proposals for new Podlings =
  
- The IPMC is a the go-to place for incoming projects. Its web site provides a clear target.
It has 'brand presence' in the outside work, and positive brand presence, at that. Just because
we've tired of angry email exchanges (and other more material problems) has not (yet) translated
into the outside world seeing the Incubator as some sort of a crocodile-infested moat around
the ASF.
+ The IPMC is the go-to place for incoming projects. Its web site provides a clear target.
It has 'brand presence' in the outside work, and positive brand presence, at that. Just because
we've tired of angry email exchanges (and other more material problems) has not (yet) translated
into the outside world seeing the Incubator as some sort of a crocodile-infested moat around
the ASF.
  
  The IPMC is a resource here. It has a public mailing list, and that list reaches people
who have useful experience. 
  
@@ -31, +43 @@

  
  The board needs to supervise project, and the board has been discontent with the quality
of the IPMC's work on its behalf. On the other hand, I think that we've demonstrated that
a few volunteers within the IPMC can step up and improve this. Chris' proposal is to eliminate
the intermediate layer altogether. Later in this document, I'm going to propose an intermediate
alternative. We have many new projects and are likely to have many more. Is flattening the
structure really the right way to go? At the board level, there has been some sporadic discussion
about how to scale the board's supervision across all the TLP's. Even in this discussion,
Bill Rowe pointed to the need for members to actively serve as the board's eyes and ears.
This could argue either way. If the Foundation got better at scaling supervision, that could
be applied to new projects as well. If it does not, a flood of new TLP's on training wheels
could be a problem.
  
+ = Self-Governance Trajectory, Begging for Votes, and Podling Lifetime =
  
+ My initial positive reaction to Chris' proposal resulted from a gut reaction, 'here's the
solution to the problems that have led to endless hostile email between Joe and Bill.'
+ 
+ When a podling graduates, it's self-governing. When it starts, not so much. How do we get
it from here to there? Begging for votes, in my opinion, is a symptom of our lack of a process
for this. 
+ 
+ Joe's proposals and experiments have a common theme: delegate progressively more authority
into the podlings. The arguments aren't about whether this is a good idea, but rather about
how to do it. Given a conventional PMC structure for the IPMC, the only way to really delegate
authority is to make more people IPMC members. This, in turn, gives them a role in broader
governance that some people find objectionable.
+ 
+ Chris' proposal solves this, absolutely. Constitute a project with a few people the board
trusts, and delegate to them.
+ 
+ I ask, however, 'does this have to happen at inception?' We could construct a lifecycle
for projects with three instars: podling, probation, and TLP. New projects could live in an
IPMC until they complete IP clearance and show an understanding of basic governance. Then
they could become probationary projects, as in Chris' proposal.
+ 
+ The natural size of an IPMC in this scheme is smaller, since there will be less projects
in it. This would alleviate the 'if 100 people are in charge no one is in charge' problem.
+ 
+ Should a probationary project still have 'incubator' slapped all over its mailing lists,
release bundles, and website, like a leper carrying a bell?
+ 
+ There are other ways that the board could structure the IPMC to allow progressive self-governance
that would cut through the dispute about 'IPMC membership'. Really, this is about release
voting. What's wanted here is a way for 'evolved' podling personnel to have binding votes
on their podling releases without (necessarily) granting them other less-earned status. Chris'
proposal is clearly the simplest and clearest way to accomplish that.
+ 
+ I think that the board process in this area deserves another moment's thought. If a brand-new
project elects its first new PMC member, does the board really want to rubber-stamp it with
the usual ACK process? I hope not. I hope that the board wants at least one member to see
some evidence to support the nomination. Does the board really want to be taking this time?
Or would the board prefer a small IPMC to persist for this purpose?
+ 

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