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From Joe Schaefer <>
Subject Re: should podlings have informal chairs?
Date Wed, 23 Nov 2011 13:36:56 GMT
Well IMO the whole point of the reporting at the ASF is for the
"business requirements" of being a non-profit org are satisfied.
What that means is that the committee's activities, and ONLY the
committees activities, are relevant to the board report.  Yes we
talk about community and non-PMC member participation in non-IPMC
reports, but that info is just for additional context related to
the overall health of the pmc in question.  It still remains the
focus of the report to talk about the PMC's accomplishments.

Podlings are not like subprojects, they are speculative efforts

by the org to create a healthy development community that's suitable
for GRADUATION into another tlp or to a tlp itself.  Subprojects
are not subject to GRADUATION, they can remain as-is for as long
as the parent pmc wants to entertain them.  That is NOT TRUE of
podlings, they cannot remain in incubation indefinitely, tho sometimes
it feels like they can.

This distinction has little to do with the org's reluctance to embrace
middle-level management structures into our communities: aka Umbrellas.
Yet that is exactly what the IPMC needs to work out, how to perform
board-level-type reviews of podling reports and shepherd that feedback
back to the podling in a timely fashion, without simply punting that
work to the board.  We can learn something from Jakarta so as not to
repeat some of the early structural issues with a small-sized PMC trying
to manage a large number of subprojects who had little representation at
the PMC level.

Something I continue to feel strongly about is that we never perform
coherent reviews of a podling's status over time.  Personally I've
argued in the past for mandatory reviews at the 1 year mark, followed
by 6 month reviews thereafter.  And I generally agree with Sam that
we need to reset expectations about the typical time for graduation
from several years to maybe just one.  But again, that rests with us,
to agree on expectations and to communicate them effectively to our

----- Original Message -----
> From: Chris Hostetter <>
> To: "" <>; Joe Schaefer
> Cc: 
> Sent: Monday, November 21, 2011 10:50 PM
> Subject: Re: should podlings have informal chairs?
> : We should be reporting to the board about OUR work, not the work of
> : the podlings.  Podlings should only be brought in for a few specific
> : examplesto mention.  That's the first thing to correct.
> While I generally agree with everything you suggest, your entire premise 
> seems to be in direct conflict with everything that I've ever seen/heard 
> brought up regarding the point of Board Reports and the argument against 
> "Umbrella Projects" -- notably ....
> * Umbrella Projects add a layer of indirection that make it hard for the 
> board to know when there are problems in the individual (sub/leaf) 
> projects.
> * The Board needs regular status updates on all the projects in the ASF 
> (where podlings are considered projects)
> While it seems to be historically accepted that the Incubator is one the 
> exception/exemption to the "No Umbrella" rule, I seem to recall it 
> being 
> argued that that exemption doesn't change the fact the individual podling 
> reports are suppose to propogate all the way up to the board to. (but i 
> could be wrong)
> That said: (Even if i am remembering correctly) Things change.  
> If the new world order is that the Membership is cool with the IPMC acting 
> as a proxy for the Board, and that the Board doens't need to "lay 
> hands" 
> on direct reports from each project/podling, then so be it .... just makes 
> me wonder if that means there should be some re-consideration of the 
> Umbrella rule in general -- Because another way to help scale the 
> governance of the ASF as a whole would be to add some Umbrella management 
> for groups of projects that have a lot of overlap)
> -Hoss
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