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From Thilo Goetz <twgo...@gmx.de>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] Community diversity (again)
Date Thu, 27 Mar 2008 07:47:22 GMT
Matthieu Riou wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 26, 2008 at 5:03 PM, Robert Greig <robert.j.greig@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> 
>> I think this is an important topic for future incubator project groups
>> to have clarified.
>>
>>> "The project is not highly dependent on any single contributor (there
>> are at
>>> least 3 legally independent committers and there is no single company or
>>> entity that is vital to the success of the project)"
>> Perhaps the word "legally" needs to be removed since from the Qpid
>> discussion it would appear that several people do not think a strict
>> legal interpretation should apply?
>>
>> However, given that the intent (as I understand it) is to avoid the
>> case where a project dies because one entity withdraws funding,
>> perhaps some definition along the lines of "for people who are paid to
>> contribute to the project, no single entity remunerates more than 50%
>> of the committers"?
>>
> 
> The thing is, for both for Qpid and Tuscany, there *were* 3 independent
> committers. And in the case of Qpid, I believe the "no single entity
> remunerates more than 50% committers" would have worked as well.

The thing that I've learned over the past 18 months as a podling
committer is that there are no hard and fast rules.  The community
(in this case, the IPMC) decides on a case-by-case basis, based
on more than just the letter of the law.  That's a good thing, but
it is a difficult concept to grasp when you're new to the Apache
way.

So when you're new to this, as I am, you look for the well-defined
rules and want to cling to them.  You see the "3 independent
committer" passage and you aim for that, because that's something
you can understand right off the bat.  However, when I go back
to the graduation guide now and read the whole passage, it says:
"Graduation tests whether (in the opinion of the IPMC) a podling
has learned enough and is responsible enough to sustain itself
as such a community."

It's just that to an outsider, it is totally unclear what that
means.  And it may be impossible to really convey the meaning
of it in a few sentences.  So why don't we just say so.

Make it absolutely clear that the diversity of the community
will be judged by the IPMC based on the overall conduct of the
project, mailing list, commit activity etc.  I know it's there
already, but it could be reinforced.  Perhaps at the end of the
"Creating an Open and Diverse community" (community should be
capitalized, btw) paragraph: "The IPMC will judge diversity of
the project based on many criteria.  These include mailing list
activity, commit activity and the affiliations of the committers.
There is no single sufficient criterion, it is the overall conduct
of the development community that counts."  Or something like that.

Another thing that might be helpful is to advise podlings to
engage in the incubator community.  The graduation guide sounds
a bit like general@incubator is a place where you just go for
help or questions.  I think that's actually misleading.  We should
strongly advise podling committers to subscribe to and follow
general@incubator.  It's the best way (the only way?) to understand
what it takes to graduate.

So I would change "Please post any questions about graduation to
the general incubator list" to "Subscribe to and closely follow
the general incubator list.  It is *the* place to learn about
graduation votes and current policies and their interpretation.
It is also where you can post any questions about graduation."

If this goes in the right direction, I'll propose a patch.

--Thilo

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