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From "William A. Rowe, Jr." <>
Subject Re: piling on
Date Fri, 21 Jul 2006 03:25:00 GMT
Sanjiva Weerawarana wrote:
> On Thu, 2006-07-20 at 15:00 -0700, Roy T. Fielding wrote:
>> It is kind of like getting advice at a barn-raising from some bystander
>> who isn't willing to lend a hand.  The advice will be heard for about
>> five minutes, after which the people doing the work will simply ignore
>> the bystander (even if the advice is good).  Community is more than
>> just being in the same place at the same time.
> I agree, except that my impression so far has been that a mentor does
> not have to be someone who's a technical person in the area or at least
> necessarily someone who writes code for that project. Mentoring is not
> about how to do the code but rather about getting to the "Apache
> Way" (which is of course a moving target in its own right).

Sanjiva - I totally concur with you.  There is nothing wrong with a project
mentored by one of the committers, in fact Roy's points are good.  BUT that
doesn't mean someone with a little less vested interest is a bad idea,
either.  Someone for whom it's possible to stand back and say, "Hey, yes
that's technologically good for this application, but a bad social practice
here at the ASF".  A deeply vested mentor can actually undermine things in
that sort of a scenario, for the long-term.

By that I mean we will have mentors who 1) are very competent ASF members
and otherwise make very good decisions, and 2) have a deeply vested interest
in the technology advanced by a project, and 3) happen to be employed by
a company leveraging the technology.  When those three things are true, I'd
suggest it's actually not an "issue", but that additional mentors to provide
a sanity check on the project become more than a "nice to have", it would
ultimately become necessary.  (And, said "very competent ASF member" would
see full well they need to ask for another mentor to avoid any future claim
of impropriety, from ever arising.)

So Roy's implication that every mentor should wade into the code just doesn't
jive with me.  The stdcxx project hasn't 'required' me to, the 'lokahi' project
hasn't required me to.  The stdcxx project is close to graduation once we can
attract more folks who aren't employed by the original contributor, and the
lokahi project is close to floating their first 'incubating release' to let
more folks dig into the code.  I really don't think either project would fault
me for not committing willy-nilly into those two repositories ;-)


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