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From ant elder <>
Subject Re: Does Apache Have a 'Rule' Problem, or does the Incubator sometimes just make it look that way?
Date Thu, 24 Nov 2011 16:41:10 GMT
On Thu, Nov 24, 2011 at 3:14 PM, Benson Margulies <> wrote:
> When the hot air manufacturers start ragging on us, one of the usual
> tags that they paint is 'rules' and 'bureaucracy'. If you read
> general@, you will see a fairly regular occurrence that feeds this
> perception.
> Someone poses a question about NOTICE files, or IP, or release structure.
> If they are lucky, they get 3 disagreeing responses in short order.
> Why lucky? Because that gives them a clue that perhaps none of them
> are the right answer. If they are unlucky, they get a one answer,
> confidently worded. And then they put in hours of work based on that
> answer.
> Time passes. A release, or even a graduation vote arrives. Suddenly,
> some crusty veteran arrives on the scene to tell them that what
> they've done is wrong, or inadequate, or purple.
> This is not precisely wonderful from a PR standpoint.
> What can we do as a PMC to improve this?

I don't think there are actually that many rules, its certainly much
better than it used to be, a lot of the things have been clarified
like the contents of the NOTICE file and there are now simple
procedures in place for other things for example like raising a JIRA
with legal to clarify licensing questions.

One of the causes of problems i think is knowing how to deal with
questions or objections - if someone says something is wrong then ask
for the link to where thats documented if they don't have one its
probably not a rule or it maybe you could ignore the issue for now
till it is documented, if its a link to a CTR type guide or info page
then that doesn't mean the page is actually true so if you think its
wrong you could try just changing the page to match what you think is

Another thing that can help is to keep reminding about which
situations a  -1s is a veto, they're not in many situations including
release votes so if there's -1 which you think its a wacko one then
don't have a massive argument just ignore it.

Another thing that helps is giving people the chance to talk about
things without appearing disruptive - eg have a [DISCUSS] thread
before a [VOTE].


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