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From Marvin Humphrey <mar...@rectangular.com>
Subject Incubation end states (was Re: [DISCUSS] Graduating empire?)
Date Sun, 30 Oct 2011 17:26:57 GMT
On Sun, Oct 30, 2011 at 12:55:01PM +0100, Jukka Zitting wrote:
> To me this suggests that our current three state transitions [1] from
> the podling phase -- termination, continuation and graduation -- may
> need some adjustment. That could mean introducing new exit strategies
> or relaxing the existing ones. 

How about adding another Incubation end state: "migration"?

  * The project migrates to a new home at Github or wherever, leaving behind
    the Foundation's infrastructure, administrative oversight, and legal
    umbrella.  A name change would be required (unfortunately) to avoid
    trademark complications.  However, the project would pledge to continue
    operating according to the Apache Way in its new home: meritocracy, PMCs,
    hats, votes, quarterly reports entered into a record, etc.

  * Ideally, the ASF would continue to receive CLAs for migrated podlings.
    That way, license headers would not need to change, and the potential
    return of a project to the Incubator should its community expand would be
    streamlined.  IANAL and I don't know if this is either feasible
    or advisable, but I do know that it's hard to deal with CLAs as an indie
    project.

  * Migration would require an affirmative vote of both the PPMC and the IPMC on
    a proposal akin to the one drawn up prior to entry into the Incubator.  

If you're thinking that there is little in this proposal that a "terminated"
podling with sufficiently motivated contributors couldn't do on its own,
you're right.  But the difference here is while "termination" punishes a
project for its supposed failures in not meeting the lofty standards required
of an Apache TLP, "migration" rewards the project for what it achieves while
in the Incubator and enables it to thrive on its own in the wild.

In addition to better serving our podlings, I suspect that providing a
positive end state other than graduation would help to control the Incubator's
seemingly ever-expanding podling population.  It would also mitigate pressure
to relax the standards for an ASF TLP, though what with the Attic and all
there may be other legitimate rationales for relaxing those standards.

Lastly, drawing up some guidelines for how projects not at Apache can operate
according to an approximation of the Apache Way might be a worthy task for its
own sake, providing the ASF a channel to spread its values without incurring
more administrative overhead.

Marvin Humphrey


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