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From Sam Ruby <ru...@intertwingly.net>
Subject Re: Actively retiring projects
Date Sun, 15 Jan 2012 13:57:39 GMT
On Sun, Jan 15, 2012 at 7:12 AM, Jukka Zitting <jukka.zitting@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi,
>
> On Sun, Jan 15, 2012 at 11:49 AM, ant elder <ant.elder@gmail.com> wrote:
>> I accept there might be some poddlings where the mentors are AWOL but
>> most of the ones I know of the mentors are actually paying attention
>> but there is only so much mentors can do if the poddling isn't very
>> active.
>
> Right, a mentor that just takes care of the responsibilities described
> in [1] can't do much in such a case. However, a mentor with experience
> in growing open source communities and willingness to share it (plus
> the required time and energy) can do much more. Projects like PDFBox
> or River are living examples of how active mentoring can turn around
> the fortunes of a project.
>
> [1] http://incubator.apache.org/incubation/Roles_and_Responsibilities.html#Mentor

We seem to have a difference of opinion on what a "timely manner" means.

----

I'll note that the first responsibility listed there starts off with:

* to ensure that Incubator PMC decisions and/or issue are dealt with
in a timely manner

We have an instance where a podling has reported, quarter after
quarter, the following:

* Decide in what form the podling should continue, if at all.

And before that, for multiple quarters:

* To be determined once Oracle's involvement has been established.

------

Now to go back and answer Ant's question directly, I believe that the
podling report should fully and completely report on this status (in
this case, the length of time that this question has been lingering is
clearly a relevant matter to report on), and to call for help.  If
after quarter, no viable plan comes out of the committers, the
mentors, or the Incubator PMC as a whole, then include THAT in the
report.

The goal here is to become self-governing.  The board will not
intercede if there is a reasonable chance that that can occur.  Nor
should the Incubator PMC.

But the first step to self governance is accurate self-appraisal.  The
first people to notice that the status on an important question such
as "what form the podling should continue" hasn't changed since last
quarter should be the mentors.  Should they fail to do so, this should
be caught by the Incubator PMC as a whole.  It should never be the
case that such information makes it all the way to the board without
some sort of analysis, trends, projections, enumeration of plans,
hopes, expectation of a miracle: something.

Should the Incubator PMC fail to identify, catch, and work on such
items, the way things are set up, the focus of board interactions will
be to direct things to the chairs, after all, they are the designated
liaison to the board.  That doesn't mean that we expect the chair to
be the individual who solves the problem, but just like the current
thread on identifying Champions, it often helps to be able to identify
the ONE person who is responsible.

The root problem here is that we have an incubator PMC which consists
primarily of people who mentor an individual project or three.
Despite the large size of the group, we have nobody identified that
those people can turn to to ask questions.  And we have nobody
identified who reads the reports looking for patterns and problems and
seeks to act upon those.  And by act, my expectation is that the first
action is to simply to ask questions.

Speaking as an individual Director here, but we have a board meeting
in a few days and I can obtain an Official Word™ on the matter if
that's what people here would like, but I'm highly confident that the
outcome (directed at the chair) will be something along the lines of
"see to it that podling reports are adequately vetted before
forwarding them to the board"

Speaking as a member of the Incubator PMC, I am willing to review
reports as a member of the PMC, and do so here, and before such is
forwarded to the board.  I hope that there are others that will join
me.

- Sam Ruby

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