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From Ross Gardler <>
Subject Re: Radical revamp
Date Tue, 17 Aug 2010 12:45:01 GMT
On 17/08/2010 13:21, Joe Schaefer wrote:
> ----- Original Message ----
>> From: Ross Gardler<>
>> To: ""<>
>> Cc: ""<>
>> Sent: Tue, August 17, 2010 4:14:02 AM
>> Subject: Re: Radical revamp (was: an experiment)
>> On 17 Aug 2010, at 03:53, Joe Schaefer<>   wrote:
>>> It's optimized for success while making mentors potentially
>>> responsible for failure (iow a project with crappy mentors
>>> will fail no matter  how much they grok apache).  Still
>>> have doubts about escalating the  graduation decision to
>>> the board.
>> I don't see this proposal  replacing the IPMC. The project
>> can turn there for help if they choose (eg our  mentors are absent).
>> I see the IPMC role becoming more of a training  ground
>> for mentors than a police force.
> Well isn't that what the IPMC is supposed to be right now?

Yes, with the operative word being "supposed". There are problems for 
some types of projects.

> Isn't that why we encourage IPMC members to participate in
> discussions about our podlings?  How do we expect people
> to learn without dialog and discussion- by reading our constantly-
> in-need-of-attention docs?

We should be trusting our mentors to know when to ask for help and when 
to trust their instincts. We should be helping our mentors understand 
the boundaries of their expertise. We should be helping mentors 
understand what mentorship is - it should not be a box ticking exercise.

[at this point I should acknowledge Martijn's plea to not bad mouth 
everyone here. Naturally the above is a sweeping statement and unfair 
for many mentors. However, I know that *I* am guilty of paying too 
little attention to at least one of the projects *I* mentor.]

In this very thread a self confessed newcomer said that their experience 
of the incubator was just fine. Then they went on to say that the Apache 
Way is not about modifying processes to best fit your individual needs.

This, to me, is incorrect.

The Apache Way works precisely because we allow projects to change 
(most) processes to suit their individual communities. Whilst there are 
a few invariant processes to ensure IP is managed properly and 
communities are meritocratic pretty much everything can be modified on a 
per proejct/per community basis.

That is the vast majority of processes in the ASF are "best practice" 
not check lists to be ticked off.

IPMC members should indeed participate in discussions about "what is the 
best way to solve problem x within this community", that is how we learn 
about best practice. We should *not* be writing more rules to constrain 
projects in ways that is not necessary for the Apache Way and is not 
necessary for the legal oversight of the foundation.

> That is
> why I went through the trouble of improving the release management
> docs here in the Incubator, but do those docs ever get read by mentors?

Well I've read them, and indeed I have my day job release managers read 
them - so your time was well spent for me, thank you.

As I've said before, different people learn in different ways. Providing 
docs alone is not sufficient. Providing a model of incubation that 
forces people down a different route is not sufficient.

I now refer back to Justin's point about there being different types of 
communities entering the incubator. Add to that the fact that 
communities are made up of different people and we have a very complex 

Once again, kudos to those who are trying to find ways of tweaking the 
incubation process without actually breaking up something that works for 
some (I'm not about to ask that Wookie, another of my podlings, moves to 
an alternative model for example).


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